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Floating Wind Turbine | Innovation Nation

Floating Wind Turbine | Innovation Nation

mankind has been trying to harness wind
power for centuries using everything from sails on ships to windmill farms to
even that melon-baller thing you see spinning around now an innovator and
MIT graduate Ben Glass has developed a buoyant airborne turbine
better known as the B.A.T. this turbine resembles a modern windmill only it’s
surrounded by an inflatable shell that floats way up in the sky capturing
strong high-altitude winds we all sort of have an intuitive understanding that
the winds are stronger as you as you get up higher whether it’s from flying a
kite or being on the top of a mountain or a tall building as the winds get
stronger the power available in the wind goes up quite quickly Ben and his team
at Altaeros Energies had to figure out a way to put a big wind mill high in the
sky and keep it there they researched the design of blimps and the weight load
that they carry in the sky they also realized the tether line used to keep
the wind turbine from floating away could also transfer the power from the
back to a generator on the ground core technology is what we call a
helium-filled inflatable shell it’s basically a ringed wing that surrounds
the turbine it’s filled with helium which provides buoyant lift so even when
there aren’t any winds blowing the system will basically just float up
there like a balloon a lot of the design has been on the aerodynamic aspects of
the inflatable shell which begins to act more like a kite rather than a balloon
and allows it to function aloft in high winds without getting blown down to the
ground or becoming unstable the bat will hover up to 2,000 feet above ground on
its own automatically moving higher or lower to find the best winds floating
wind turbines could help bring vital energy to the 300,000 remote communities
around the world not connected to any type of power grid but is the B.A.T. safe
for airborne wildlife and humans buzzing around in airplanes the turbine is
actually surrounded by this big inflatable structure the birds can see it and avoid it so they won’t fly into the region with the
blades and that makes it a lot more friendly for birds and bats and other
avian life they’re lighting requirements and visibility requirements and there
will be a transponder so that a general aviation aircraft will know where it is
the first commercial test is currently underway in Alaska and the B.A.T. is
getting lots of interest from developing nations in the near future you might see
a floating wind turbine hovering over the shopping mall keeping the lights on
for that midnight sale


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