Canadian Consulting Engineer

Floating wind turbine could help out remote communities

February 10, 2015   By CCE

Altaeros Energies' prototype Buoyant Airborne Turbine in low flight. Image: Altaeros Energies.

Altaeros Energies’ prototype Buoyant Airborne Turbine in low flight. Image: Altaeros Energies.

A company founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a floating wind turbine.

The Altaeros Buoyant Airborne Turbine, or BAT, is described as “a balloon that lifts a wind turbine.” It can float up to 600 metres high, catching strong wind forces at these upper levels. A wind tower turbine is around 150 metres at the most.

The BAT’s helium-inflatable shell holds a lightweight  turbine, while multiple tethers connect it to a mobile ground station. The system is capable of generating more than twice the energy of a similarly rated wind tower turbine.

The first BAT model is approximate 15 x 15 metres and containerized. It could be installed within 24 hours, making it a potential source of energy for communities and industry in remote areas.

Altaeros received $7 million towards developing and commercializing its technology from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

To read an article about the project provided by the National Science Foundation in phys.org, click here.

To learn more from AltaerosEnergies, click here.

 

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