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AIRBORNE WIND POWER

h t t p :// www . s u p e r s u s t a in a b l e . or g

It doesn’t m atter how m uch you use it. It’s still ther e ev ery day a nd it’s fr ee! Wind energy is via ble, clea n, plentiful a nd ca n ev en be cost effectiv e with today’s r ecent wind tur bines. Wind at higher altitudes a r e faster a nd m or e consistent th a n winds nea r the Ea rth’s surface. The total wind energy in the j et str ea ms is roughly 100 tim es the global energy de m a nd.[2] Sev er al technologies h av e been proposed th at aim at h a rnessing wind pow er at high altitudes. M ost of the m a r e still at a n ea rly stage of dev elopm ent; how ev er, M agen n Pow er pl a ns to sta rt m a nufacturing its M agen n Air Rotor Syste m (MARS) in 2010-11. (Figur e 1) M agen n Pow er’s high altitude wind tur bine called MARS is a Wind Pow er A nywher e solution with distinct adva ntages ov er existing Con v entional Wind Tur bines a nd Diesel Gener ating Syste ms including: global deploym ent, low er costs, better oper ational perfor m a nce, a nd gr eater en viron m ental adva ntages.


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AIRBORNE WIND POWER

h t t p :// www . s u p e r s u s t a in a b l e . or g

MARS is a lighter-th a n-air tether ed wind tur bine th at rotates a bout a horizontal a xis in r esponse to wind, gener ating electrical energy. This electrical energy is tr a nsfer r ed dow n the 1000-foot tether for im m ediate use, or to a set of batteries for l ater use, or to the pow er grid. Heliu m sustains MARS a nd allows it to ascend to a higher altitude th a n tr aditional wind tur bines. MARS ca ptur es the energy avail a ble in the 600 to 1000-foot low lev el a nd noctur nal j et str ea ms th at exist al m ost ev erywher e. MARS rotation also gener ates the “M ag nus effect” which provides additional lift, keeps the MARS sta bilized, a nd positions it within a v ery controlled a nd r estricted location to adher e to FAA (Feder al Aviation Ad ministr ation) & Tr a nsport Ca nada guidelines.[3] While M agen n Pow er h as m ade wh at looks like a spin ning, heliu m-filled blim p, Joby Energy’s tur bines fly by the sa m e principle as kites. Lifted by the winds, they giv e the a ppea r a nce of a flying fr a m e ( Figur e 2). Helicopterlike rotors keep Sky WindPow er’s device afloat while also being the tur bine’s rotors ( Figur e 3).

While M agen n Pow er h as m ade wh at looks like a spin ning, heliu m-filled blim p, Joby Energy’s tur bines fly by the sa m e principle as kites. Lifted by the winds, they giv e the a ppea r a nce of a flying fr a m e ( Figur e 2). Helicopterlike rotors keep Sky WindPow er’s device afloat while also being the tur bine’s rotors ( Figur e 3).

L ast but not least M agen n wind tur bine is v ery light a nd safe a nd ca n be located in m a ny m or e pl aces th a n grou ndbased wind pow er, such as ur ba n a r eas, off-shor e or a ny other pl ace which is in e m ergency need of energy.


page 3

AIRBORNE WIND POWER

h t t p :// www . s u p e r s u s t a in a b l e . or g

It’s difficult in m a ny cou ntries to build tr a nsmission lines a nd gener ating ca pacity, said A nthony Piza r ro, dir ector of cor por ate dev elopm ent at M agen n co m pa ny. It m a kes m or e sense to h av e so m e autono m ous source of pow er righ ther e at th at one spot.

R efer ences 1. Discov ery Ch a n nel, Proj ect Ea rth, Infinite Winds episode 2. Roberts, B.W.; Shepa rd, D.H.; Caldeir a, K.; Ca n non, M.E.; Eccles, D.G.; Gr enier, A.J.; Fr eidin, J.F. H a r nessing high-altitude wind pow er. IEEE Tr a ns. Energy Con v ers. 2007, 22, 136-144 3. http://w w w.m agen n.co m/index.php 4. http://w w w.jobyenergy.co m/ 5. http://w w w.skywindpow er.co m/


Airborne wind power