Video Pick: The BAT (Buoyant Airborne Turbine) Floats 2,000 feet in the air and shows, for the wind
If anyone tries to tell you things aren't looking up for wind power just tell them about the BAT (Buoyant Airborne Turbine) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies startup, Altaeros Energies.
The first planned commercial demonstration of the BAT is in partnership with the Alaska Energy Authority. The Alaska project will deploy the BAT at a height of 1,000 feet above ground, a height that will break the world record for the highest wind turbine in the world.
In Alaska, the BAT will supply power and cell phone services to the city of Fairbanks, Alaska. The BAT can also provide internet connectivity and weather data to remote, off grid communities.
The BAT uses a helium-filled, inflatable shell to lift to high altitudes where winds are stronger and more consistent than those reached by traditional tower-mounted turbines. Because the BAT can access high altitude winds it will generate roughly double the power of land based turbines. High strength tethers hold the BAT steady and send electricity down to the ground.
The really awesome thing about the BAT is that Altaeros has designed the BAT to generate consistent, low cost energy for the remote power and microgrid market. This includes remote island communities without access to clean, affordable, power and power for use by disaster relief organizations.
In the not too distant future, 100% electric powered planes and flying cars will cruise past the BAT. The more adventurous will fly by the BAT on hydrogen fuel cell powered jet packs that have become as commonplace as electric bikes are becoming now.