NASA researchers envisions airborne wind turbines for renewable energy
Eco Factor: Airborne wind turbines to use high velocity winds for more power.
While onshore and offshore wind farms are common in different parts of the world, a NASA researcher is envisioning a future where wind farms will not be built on land or the sea, but will actually take up the free space above the ground. These airborne turbines would spin with greater speeds found at high altitudes and send power back to Earth via nanotube tether cables. Swarms of these energy harvesting turbines could stay aloft for a year and could easily be reeled in during storms.
NASA aerospace engineer Mark Moore believes that the idea is definitely worth giving a thought as wind speed is more consistent and its velocity much higher at higher altitudes. At an altitude of 2000 feet, once can get between eight and 27 times the power production. The plan does seem ingenious but the vision does come with its own set of drawbacks. Researchers opine that floating wind turbines could have a two-mile protected no-fly zone, which will cause problems for airliners and unmanned aircrafts of the future.