Altaeros Launches The Highest Wind Turbine In The World.
Alaska’s very own city of Fairbanks will soon become the home to one of the world’s largest turbine created by an up coming startup that popped out of MIT, called Altaeros. The four-year-old startup will being to launch its large helium-filled blimp shaped turbine at 1,000 feet for 18 months with a huge cost of $1.3 million.
The idea behind high-altitude wind are that the winds powered at greater heights can be much more promising, with winds up to 1,000 to 2,000 feet above the ground tend to be 5 to 8 times more powerful as they are on the ground. Altaeros turbine, which has been dubbed BAT (Buoyant Airborne Turbine) can deliver twice as much power as a comparable standard turbine.
Floating a wind turbine in the middle of the air can also lead towards other advantages as well, like it having a less effect on the environment by leaving not leaving footprints on the ground. and it could be kept away from regions that are sensitive under conflict or in disaster areas. The team are locating remote regions and specific applications like disaster relief, off grid backup power for mobile phone base stations and military bases.
Altaeros technology runs on a 18 cent per kilowatt-hour, which is far more expensive on a per killowatt hour the standard wind turbine runs on. In more windy areas regions with large standard wind turbines can be launched at a scale of 4 to 5 per kilowatt hour. With Altaeros high priced technology, this means they will need to find customers in areas where grid electricity is far more expensive, like Alaska, or where expensive off gird diesel generators are the main option.
Other companies are also looking for ways to gain wind energy from high altitudes as well, which includes wind giant Vestas and Google, who recently bought startup Makani Power. Altaeros has raised its funding for this first demonstration plant from Alaska Energy Authority’s Emerging Energy Technology Fund, and Tata Group’s former Chairman Ratan N Tata