Stronger than onshore and offshore wind: wind wheel … Two U.S. companies propose to overcome the problems associated with wind power, mainly the low productivity and heavy material requirements, by developing a kind of deer-flying capable of producing electricity. Crazy idea or promising project?
Clean and renewable, wind power is one answer to the energy challenge that humanity faces. Unfortunately, it suffers from defects and must wipe critics more or less justified that hinder its development and sometimes question: first, productivity already relatively low, is totally dependent on the continuity and the intensity of the wind. The use of alternative energies is often necessary.
Then, the installation of a mast requires a lot of material and the carbon footprint of the operation is not always very positive (especially if you count the break). Finally, the wind turbines are accused, whether on land or at sea, of generating an eyesore in the landscape, even a noise that could disturb nearby homes.
However two U.S. companies may have found the solution to make wind more productive, cheaper, and less annoying…
Wind turbines of the future
Joby Energy and Makani Power has indeed had the idea to pick up where the wind is steadier and stronger: at altitude. Also, these companies come to present wind prototypes like kites that would amount to more than 400 meters to capture more substantial and more powerful gusts. Result: productivity doubled (the current is routed to the ground via cables that would retain).
Another plus, material costs would be drastically reduced (no work). Makani Power believes that its machine would be five to ten times cheaper than a conventional wind turbine. And Joby Energy Announces spending 20 times less.
These innovations offer the added advantage of being easily moved, allowing to follow the winds and respond to potential visual or audible nuisance complaints.
The first products should be marketed in 2015. To be continued …
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