Altaeros Bat: A Floating Wind Turbine With the Most Efficiency Ever

OUTLINE

  • What Altaeros bat (floating wind turbine) is?
  • Working of the Altaeros bat (floating wind turbine)
  • The Design
  • Advantages of the Altaeros bat
  • Extra features of floating wind turbine (ALTAEROS BAT)
  • The future for the floating wind turbine
  • Conclusion

Introduction

Remember that Big hero 6 movie where there was one particular scene in the sky with a lot floating wind turbines were seen, well that movie concept is actually a real thing.
Altaeros energy has developed a floating wind turbine “THE BAT” and it is exactly the same as we saw in the Big Hero 6 movie.
Floating wind turbine
Floating wind turbine

World demands a cleaner alternative to the fossil fuels due to the rising cost of oil and gas and the environmental problems (Global warming) related with it, ALTAEROS BAT (floating wind turbine) is stepping up to that challenge by providing a clean and affordable power, providing effective power within economical range for rural communities is a big challenge, the bat is answer to that call.

Current energy trends in the World are related to either fossil fuels (fossil fuels are expensive and a threat to our ecosystem) or renewable energy like solar or wind which is unpredictable, and it depends on the flow of wind or sunlight mainly but the floating wind turbine or Altaeros bat is free from such barriers and it provides highly affordable and clean energy without depending upon any parameter of the weather or sunlight.

According to ALTAEROS energies:

The mandates of many governments across the globe to provide universal access to electric power mean that global utility companies are striving to deliver economic solutions to remote and rural populations”.

What Altaeros bat (floating wind turbine) is?

It is basically a balloon that lifts a wind turbine 600m above the ground.

Its basic concept is taken from aerospace technology, Altaeros bat uses inflatable helium to lift a small generator in the air,  the balloon is made of very strong and lightweight material to support the weight and can easily float in the air. 

Floating Wind Turbine (Altaeros Bat), photo takaen in alaska; source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kldA4nWANA8
Floating Wind Turbine (Altaeros Bat), photo was taken in Alaska; source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kldA4nWANA8

Working of the Altaeros bat (floating wind turbine)

Most of the commercial wind turbine manufactures build taller wind turbines to harness more wind at 150 meters or 500 feet in the air, at such height, wind turbines will harness more wind and produce more electricity but the Altaeros bat is aiming at 2000 feet or 600 meters in the air to knock off every single competition in the market.

Floating wind turbine
Altaeros Bat; image source taken from http://www.altaeros.com/energy.html

It is very simple, at 600-meter height, the wind is stronger and more consistency, it is 8 to 10 times faster than that of ground, as a result, Altaeros bat will produce as much as twice the energy than ordinary wind turbines.

Its basic working is same as any wind turbine, wind drives the blades and attached shaft rotates generator hence producing electricity but the material used in the floating wind turbine is very light and strong which is support the turbine even in the high winds which increases its overall efficiency.

A power cable (high strength conductive tethers) is attached with the floating wind turbine which will transmit the electricity down to the ground.

The Design:

The design is also simple, according to National Science Foundation US:

The BAT’s key enabling technologies include a novel aerodynamic design, custom-made composite materials, and an innovative control system. The helium-inflatable shell channels wind through a lightweight wind turbine. The shell self-stabilizes and produces aerodynamic lift, in addition to buoyancy. Multiple high-strength tethers hold the BAT in place and a single conductive tether transmits power to a mobile ground station”.

Floating Wind Turbine (Altaeros Bat)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kldA4nWANA8
Floating Wind Turbine (Altaeros Bat); image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kldA4nWANA8

Advantages of the Altaeros bat

  • Generate twice the output as an ordinary wind turbine
  • it is independent of the ground wind patterns
  • Highly flexible
  • Automated, minimizing the logistics and supports
  • Quick and easy installation (within 24 hours after the shipment)
  • No environmental problems and reduces the diesel consumption
  • Highly favorable in off-grid industries, remote areas and in disaster areas due to its quick installation and high energy outputs
  • No migrating birds kill problem due to the high altitude (600 meters above ground) and sophisticated design with blades closed in helium shell structure.

According to the National Science Foundation US:

Combined with significant increases in energy output and the ability to install the unit in 24 hours, the BAT substantially reduces the cost of energy and time to reach customers’ energy needs. In the future, Altaeros expects to deploy the BAT alongside first responders in emergency response situations when access to the electric grid is unavailable”.

The floating wind turbine (Altaeros bat) significantly reduces the cost of diesel generators and it can be a great relief to remote areas or off-grid industries because of its easy installation, greater energy outputs, and independence of weather.

Extra features of floating wind turbine (ALTAEROS BAT)

  • Like any other tether balloon, the Altaeros Bat also offer an internet platform for the users.
  • Weather monitoring options
  • Sensory equipment etc.

The future for the floating wind turbine

The altaeros bat is yet be commercialized due to its relatively new concept and mass manufacturing.

According to the National Science Foundation US:

“Altaeros was founded in 2010 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The company has received NSF small business innovation research (SBIR) (Phase I and Phase II) to test a novel low-cost, high-performance fabric suitable for the BAT’s shell, and to develop its modular wind turbine for power performance and ease of installation.

Altaeros recently received Series A funding of $7 million dollars for the continued development and commercialization of its technology”.

Altaeros is currently working with the Alaska Energy Authority to launch the first ever commercial high-altitude floating wind turbine.

Conclusion

The altaeros bat is a floating wind turbine and it is a less expensive, flexible and very efficient version of ordinary wind turbines, it can produce as much as twice the energy supporter by the 8 t0 10 times faster wind at high altitude (600 meters above ground).

The altaeros bat is a very good and efficient choice for remote areas and off0grid industries to produce independent power which is free from any weather barrier and provides extra features such as internet and weather monitoring etc.

There are other modern wind turbine technologies like the soundless eco whisper wind turbine but nothing is as efficient Altaeros bat which is the first responder in the emergencies because of its easy installation and high energy outputs.
This floating wind turbine technology is so futuristic yet it is simple and affordable.

 

REFERENCES

[1]              Altaeros Energies (http://www.altaeros.com/energy.html)

[2]             National Science Foundation U.S (https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=134023)

 

 

 

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