Gallery: Super Efficient Floating Wind Turbines from Magenn

 

Wind turbines at ground level produce at a rate of 20-25%, but when placed at altitudes from 600-1000 feet, energy output can double. Ottawa-based Magenn Power is in the prototype stages of the world’s first floating wind turbine. The Magenn Air Rotor System or MARS is a stationary blimp kept afloat with helium and tethered into place on an electrical grid. Centrifugal blades on the MARS can generate up to several megawatts of clean, renewable energy at a price well below our current grounded wind turbines.

While we’ve been intrigued by other forms of lofty renewable energy systems, MARS stands out for its seemingly low-impact presence and highly mobile capabilities. Eventually the company hopes to use MARS in remote locations for camping or cabins, in developing countries with little rural access to electricity, and for emergency disaster relief. For now, Magenn is focused on viability and testing the prototype.

+ Magenn Power

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19 Comments

  1. shahramkel May 31, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Whole lot of cynicism above. This idea sounds terrific, especially for emergency power. Obviously there are issues. I\’m sure they can be overcome.

  2. Scotty O February 25, 2009 at 8:36 am

    How are the FAA lights connected? Do the tethers light up light christmas lights? Not a very realist prototype, neat, but not realistic.

  3. Scotty O February 25, 2009 at 8:11 am

    How do they stay in place, No stabilization, what a mythical beast?

  4. Rayray February 24, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    A sailboat can sail at Hull Spead in a storm under “Bare poles” or just the mast, no sails. Make like metal bristlls on the edges to form a fariday cage so it cant get hit by lightning. Or put out a rod to harness the strike. Ben Franklin’s Kite. Is thsia no fly zone. I hope?

  5. Bio-nut December 11, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    What would the price per Killowatt hour be for operation and maintenance?

  6. dennis_walker June 10, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I can see much running in circles with few resolutions. i look at the future and i see people with broad knowledge of wind turbines, their impacts on cultures and environments, prioritizing needs, being funded. They might be called “wind Prospectors” what if we had a free power source in haiti right now to produce healthy food, how about darfur with security to provide clean water? how many people die each day because there is no energy to drill for clean water, o.k. some places impractible, but the no.s are in the thousands daily and i know acess to energy can shape a world to be a safer, better place. could turbines be blended in to a environment so as to be almost invisible and yet safe and enviro safe too. there is no end to the wind because the planet earth revolves 24thousand miles (rough) in 24 hours, do the math. that velocity creates a lot of wind
    in manyplaces namaste truth seekers and wind prospectors and children of God

  7. iahawa June 5, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Send it to the red planet for power

  8. mitch June 5, 2008 at 9:21 am

    There might be issues with air travel.. What if the energized tether snaps? I think towers are a better idea. Besides, we already have mountains and other windy places to position them.

    I you like unconventional wind/solar power schemes check out the Australian Wind Chimney at:
    http://alt-e.blogspot.com/2004/08/solar-chimney.html

  9. Lennergy June 5, 2008 at 2:54 am

    I like to se this WHEN it´s up there, ok. How much is the weight of the cable down to the earth? The more power the havier cables, the weight of this cable will be at least 10 kilo per meter (times 3 kilo per meter), count and finde out your selfe, ok. And the “swinging positions”, how to control this? How about the airplaine?
    Show me, thank´s. And Good luck.
    Leo Mac Ender

  10. Scott June 4, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    k i looked at their webpage and they mention disaster relief and portability. i agree with those points. this -so far- does not seem like it will be able to fill the wind farm goal that they are also mentioning. all this floating stuff seems so dangerous and tanglely.

  11. Scott June 4, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    yea unfortunately im with tripdadd (wow ive always wanted to say that!)

    i can see these things twisting and being driven to the ground. we all know that they will never float straight up like the renderings show. but there is some possibility for these things. maybe if they are put together in a frame sort of like one of those old bead calculator things in the Flintstones.

    Im trying to figure out where these would be most useful. My first thought was out at sea for research labs like in The Life Aquatic. Then I thought of Antarctica. Major weather problems with both though. I think a major drawback with this system is the amount of wire needed. Are they using copper cause thats expensive… Someone said something about industrial electric wire. Maybe if thats stainless steel you might be able to get double duty out of it.

  12. macrumpton June 4, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    I used to have a kite that was shaped very similarly to this and it flew quite well even without any helium inside, so I am pretty sure this should work even better. Actually I just googled \”rotor kite\” and here is a video of a prototype of the magen on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6ZFcKnP2AM

  13. bpg131313 June 4, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    While I can see issues with this technology, I would hope the designers would be able to capitalize on storms and high wind speeds rather than worry about them. Storms are nothing more than energy, and we need to design systems that capture that energy as best as possible rather than worry about it. Some may take what I wrote to mean that I want it to harness the power of a lightning strike. That’s not what I mean, but there has to be a way to get all the energy possible out of a storm rather than worry about the systems when one approaches.

  14. tripdaddy June 4, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    nice concept but totally impractical. The wind needed to spinn them will bounce them around and twist them up. they will not be striaght above the anchor point. they will be also have to support the larger cable weight. While they may be more efficient they need lots more room so you will have fewer of them in the same space.
    I see them floating a lot like a kite.

  15. telix June 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    If they ever begin producing viable carbon nanotube tethers for commercial use(think space elevator), I could think of nothing better. I would put multiple turbines on one tether forcing them apart somehow, that way when the winds change, they move as one and don’t become entangled. Also, make the tether retractable so that in higher winds it can be lowered to keep the power input/risk to device constant at lower altitudes only to be raised back up afterwards.

  16. fehler June 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    During a storm, haul them down to earth. They’re just balloons, after all.

  17. Copeland aka Green Mode... June 4, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    I *love* it!
    Seems a lot more efficient and less impact than your conventional wind turbines in propeller form.

  18. James Johakee June 4, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    higher winds = more power
    make the line out of industrial electrical wires, connect it to a tower with some really big capacitors.

    great idea no?

  19. Brian Lang June 4, 2008 at 11:44 am

    This I like.
    Again I have to question the strength of the tether in, let’s say, 100km/h winds – or higher.
    What happens during a storm?
    What about lightning?

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