Magenn Power has been testing its airship-based wind turbines— the company hopes to prove that its “air rotor system” will work. The Canadian startup has named the system MARS. It consists of a blimp that is tethered to the ground, and rotates horizontally in the wind, generating electricity. According to Greentech Media, the blimp is designed to float between 600 and 1000 feet above the ground, and its intended to produce power capacities ranging from 10 kilowatts to several megawatts.
The MARS can be filled with any lighter-than-air gas, including hydrogen, methane and argon, to lift it above the tree line. The company will come out of the gates with a 100-kilowatt model aimed at remote industrial sites, such as offshore oil rigs and mining operations, before expanding into commercial markets.
Other companies are pursuing airborne wind power. California’s Sky WindPower Corp. and Kite Gen Research of Italy have also designed “high-altitude” wind systems that are tethered to the ground. Another California venture, Makani Power, raised $10 million from Google.org in 2006 to help develop a kite system that taps winds in the jet stream.
Via: Greentech Media