High Altitude Wind Power is field that has been under constant scrutiny and has presented researchers with new challenges that they need to overcome in order to tap into an energy source that could potentially run the whole planet on alternate power. High Altitude Wind Power is stable, consistent and far more efficient than wind energy at ground levels. Altaeros Energies aims to harvest this unlimited power with its new high altitude wind turbine that has already fared well as a prototype.
The design of this wind turbine that intends to capture power at high altitudes is both unique and innovative. Altaeros as using inflated Helium shell which encloses a giant wind turbine. The Helium shell takes the wind turbine to the altitude of choice thanks to its buoyancy and the integrated wind turbine will start producing energy much like those at ground level. Altaeros have already tested a prototype crafted to scale which produced twice as much energy at altitudes of 350 feet above ground when compared to those on earth.
The turbine will be tethered to a base station on the ground, which will capture and store the energy produced. The full scale high altitude wind turbine should reach heights over 1000 feet with future models going further up. Altaeros proposes using these airborne turbines in military locations to reduce the US Forces reliance on diesel. Also future installations could go off-shore in order to clear up air space, but that posses a new challenge of designing an efficient system which transfers energy out from the base in the middle of nowhere to the coast. Irrespective of the hurdles, it seems for the moment that high energy wind power is headed in the right direction.