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Testing Wind Turbines at altitude
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It’s a structure that looks like an ordinary air balloon but in fact at the centre of the structure is a propeller which captures energy from the wind. 300 metres above the ground, the wind is more powerful and blows more reliably than at ground level. The turbine is working at optimal speed, and the cable which anchors the balloon also conducts electricty to the ground.

It’s a new development which has given birth to numerous projects. Like this balloon which turns automatically to generate electricity. Even more innovative, the arms of these turbines also turn the engine. At altitude the strength of the wind can be used in many ways.

And with this concept, quite literally, the sky’s the limit. At altitudes of between 6,000 and 15,000 metres, the winds have phenomenal strength. Jet Currants are icy winds that blow all the time at 100 km on the periphery and up to 350 km per hour at the centre. According to a recent study if low altitude winds were harnessed, they could represent 400 terawatts of energy, but jet currants could deliver up to 1800 terawatts.

But flying turbines that high could be dangerous for aviation and what about the climate? Might there be climatic risks, if we disturb the planet’s jet currants with turbines? A study is is being done and there’s plenty of time because the technology is still at a very early stage.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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