07 January 2006

High Flying Energy Concept

Here is an interesting new concept in renewable energy:From Magenn Power INC:
The Magenn Power Air Rotor System (MARS) is an innovative lighter-than-air tethered device that rotates about a horizontal axis in response to wind, efficiently generating clean renewable electrical energy at a lower cost than all competing systems. This electrical energy is transferred down the tether to a transformer at a ground station and then transferred to the electricity power grid. Helium (an inert non-reactive lighter than air gas) sustains the Air Rotor which ascends to an altitude for best winds and its rotation also causes the Magnus effect. This provides additional lift, keeps the device stabilized, keeps it positioned within a very controlled and restricted location, and causes it to pull up overhead rather than drift downwind on its tether.

Most of the wind is way up, high above the ground. To catch it you either need to build a tall tower, or fly your generator up to meet the wind. A tethered lighter-than-air device such as this is a logical alternative to towers, particularly if wind is seasonal, and you plan to move your generator to a different location with the change of seasons. If the wind is higher on a certain day, just let out the tether. Access for maintenance is also easy, requiring you only to crank the tether in. My concern is whether the device would survive high gusting wind conditions.


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