Flying Wind Turbines

Wind 2.0

Wind energy has come along way in the last 15 years. Year on year turbines have been getting more efficient and reliable, however conventional design is now nearing it’s limits. Two companies Altaeros Energies  and google have recently presented some innovative new methods for collecting wind energy that could change the game when it comes to efficient wind power.

Conventional turbines have been getting bigger and are increasingly being deployed at sea to take advantage of better, more consistent winds. In addition to consistency wind at higher altitude is twice the speed and has up to eight times the power of wind used for large conventional wind turbines. Altearos Energies and google use different approaches to harness the power of wind at higher altitude. If successful these innovative developements could mean a huge change in the uses of wind power in the future.

Altaeros Energies floating power-stations

The device pictured below is called the BAT  (Buoyent Airbourne Turbine) from Altaeros Energies . The floating turbine is basically a helium ballon containing a wind turbine. According to the company it is intended for use in remote areas and disaster sites. The BAT will be capable of powering 25 houses.


Googles Flying Power-stations

Google project Makani has a very innovative concept for energy production. It works like a kite with propellers that are turbines and the electricity is delivered via the kite string. They are surprisingly powerful they are currently working on a 600 KW system – enough power for 300 homes. Below is a video

Your comments are much appreciated

Carbon Footprint Nonsense

  • Carbon Offset
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Carbon Trading
  • Carbon nonsense

I am getting increasingly irritated by the fuss about carbon. If you assuming global warming is the biggest problem the world currently faces I do not agree that reducing carbon is the solution. I believe a focus on reducing pollution and clean efficient technologies is a good idea to help the environment but to blindly just to to reduce you “carbon footprint”

Global Problems

  • Potable water shortage
  • Food shortage
  • War
  • Destruction of the natural world (you kill this we all die)
    • 95% reduction in all food crops genetic diversity in the last 100 years.
    • x acres of farmland turned to dessert
    • Genetic modificated organisms are currently cross-pollinating with natural occurring species which could screw up all the rest
  • The countries we live in are run by people with more power everday caused by erosion to our civil liberties increasing


Energy Efficient light globes are harmful

I have long suspected that the claims made for energy efficient light globes is nonsense so armed with google I did a bit of research

The claim for energy efficient globes (Compact fluorescent lamp)

  • More environmentally Friendly

  • Use less electricity

  • As good as existing light globes
  • Last Longer

Let me take these items one at a time

More environmentally Friendly
These bulbs are much more energy and resource intensive to manufacture and they also contain mercury making them difficult to dispose of properly.
Use less electricity
They do use less electricity however they are basically using the same technology as old fashioned fluorescent strip lights and they share the efficiency profile of these. If you turn these lights and never turn them off they use about a quarter of the energy of a conventional bulb. However if you turn your lights on and off frequently (like we do) then the efficiency goes right down because these bulbs (just like fluorescent strip lights are a lot less efficient when being turned on and off).

As good as existing light globes
I hate the light from these (the wave spectra is different). They also take a while to get to full brightness. They have also been shown to cause epilepsy and they can buzz. The EPA take the safety and disposal of these pretty seriously if you break one you need to evacuate the room for 15 minutes and dispose of the bulb in a glass jar
Last Longer
I suspect if you have a modern house with electrics then they would last longer but I frequently have these (expensive) babies blow on me. Also as they get older they get less bright. The life is also dramatically shortened by turning them on and off.