Flying Wind Farms

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Ben W, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Wind power is the world’s fastest-growing energy source. Existing capacity worldwide is approaching 50,000 megawatts—roughly equivalent to that of 50 nuclear power plants. But there are problems with this seemingly benign wellspring of pollution-free electricity. Aside from being noisy, the whirling turbines interfere with television reception and are generally considered terrestrial eyesores rendered useless when the wind stops. Bryan Roberts, an engineer at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, has a solution: Instead of erecting wind turbines on the ground, float them in the jet stream, a screamingly fast current of air that circles the globe, fluctuating between altitudes of 15,000 and 45,000 feet.

    Roberts has partnered with three other engineers to form Sky WindPower, a San Diego, California–based start-up that is developing something it calls a Flying Electric Generator (FEG). As Roberts envisions it, huge squadrons of airborne FEGs will hover in the jet stream like giant kites. Winds of up to 200 miles an hour will spin rotors on the FEGs, generating an electrical current that’s transmitted along superstrong tethers to ground stations linked to the utility grid. “You might have 600 of them, each producing 20 megawatts,” he says. “They could generate enough power for two Chicago-size cities.”

    In the next two years, Sky WindPower intends to build a working 200-kilowatt version and fly it in a remote area in the U.S., provided the Federal Aviation Administration will grant the com-pany permission to do so. “We’ve done all the designs, sizing, weights and costs,” Roberts says. “Now we just need $4 million to build the prototype.”

    http://snipurl.com/skymills
     
  2. hillclimber

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    At least there are people thinking of new energy sources. I doubt that'll fly though. [​IMG]
     
  3. billwald

    billwald
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    A 20,000 ft kite string? Also, the jet stream can zig and zag 500 miles a day.
     
  4. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    Can you imagine the size (dia.) of the tether??? WOW!
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    The article said 3 inch diameter.
     
  6. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    Been thinking that I needed new specs!! :D
     
  7. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    I think it is a great idea. Along with putting them in the ocean.
    I want to be the first one to feed some oil rich Arab shiek his first spoonful of breakfast crude.
     

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