Winds of change

Helium blimps can be raised hundreds of metres into the air to generate twice the energy of the average tower.

At one point, it seemed like wind farms would be the answer to all our alternative power needs. Then came the concerns about health, decreased land values and noise. If only there was a way to get around those objections.

According to Altaeros Energies of the US, there is. If the turbines were housed in helium blimps that could be raised hundreds of metres into the air (and generate twice the energy of your average tower), that would about do it.

Altaeros also says that winds are much stronger at those higher altitudes, and more consistent than they are at ground level.

The floating turbines are tethered to the ground by cables that also transfer power back to ground level and the devices can be rapidly deployed at remote sites, on- or off-shore.


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