Flying Wind Farms: Future Power Harvesters
How would you like swarms of kite-like airborne turbines spinning at high altitudes sending power down via nano-tube cable tethers to generate power for your community? This could very well be a true picture of future power harvesters according to NASA. A federal fund of $100,000 is being reserved for exploring these high-altitude, nano-tube cable tethered, above-ground wind farms. The project will check all aspects as well as weigh the pros and the cons of a wind farm such as this one.
Envisioned Research by NASA
Mark Moore, aerospace engineer at NASA, outlined this research as a study to look at the practicalities of the idea of air-borne turbines. To know the challenges that will be faced when turbines are working at 30,000 feet above ground level — and what the effect will be on airspace and unmanned aircraft — is what the project is aiming to uncover.
Features of Flying Wind Farms
A prototype planned by Italian start-up TWIND has a pair of balloons at 2,600 feet. The open sails move antagonistically so while one moves downwind the other moves upwind. This movement spins a turbine to generate power. The option of offshore flying wind turbines is also being explored to solve the airspace competition issue.