- First public video of the 35-foot-wide Airborne Wind Turbine. The scale prototype harnessed strong winds up to 350 feet high to produce over twice the power of traditional wind turbines.
The prototype was tested in Limestone Maine by Altaeros Energies, a wind energy company formed out of MIT. The Airborne Wind Turbine uses a helium-filled, inflatable shell to ascend to higher altitudes where winds are more consistent and over five times stronger than those reached by traditional tower-mounted turbines. The automated lifting technology is adapted from aerostats, industrial cousins of passenger blimps that for decades have lifted heavy communications and radar equipment into the air for long periods of time. Altaeros is developing its first product to reduce energy costs by up to 65 percent by displacing expensive fuel used to power diesel generators at remote industrial, military, and village sites. See
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