Helium Provides New Hope for Wind Power
We all know that wind energy has a long way to go before it can be considered a reliable source of power for all.
But Boston-based Altaeros Energy just took a huge step in that direction.
You see, one major issue with current wind energy technology is that turbines only stand so tall. Therefore, they tend to miss out on capturing the more powerful winds found at high altitudes.
Instead of spending insane amounts of cash in order to boost turbines to the necessary height, however, the company decided to do something different.
It made a turbine that’s inflatable.
More specifically, the company developed an aerodynamic, inflatable duct that’s able to wrap around standard three-blade turbines like we see anywhere in the world.
In other words, the company developed a turbine blimp – one that’s capable of generating three times more power than conventional technology.
There could be a potential drawback with such a solution, however. While traditional turbines require minimal human supervision, most people wouldn’t trust a giant balloon to its own devices.
But the developers have already considered that…
Ben Glass, Co-Founder of Altaeros Energy, says, “We have taken the approach that basically allows the system to direct itself into the wind. So without any input or without any control, the aerodynamics of the system – just by the aerodynamic forces on the shroud and on the fins – will direct it into the wind, even as the wind direction changes.”