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A Look at High-Altitude Wind Power Generation Poster

Created by William Price and Roger Walker for the 2011 Freshman Conference at the University of Pittsburgh

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A Look at High-Altitude Wind Power Generation Poster

  1. 1. A Prospective Look at High-Altitude Wind Power<br />By: William Price and Roger Walker<br />Fossil fuels currently supply the majority of global power. Unfortunately, these fuels are linked to environmental problems and have limited reserves. High-altitude wind power has the potential to be a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels, because it is estimated to have a lower cost of electricity generation than coal. It emits no pollutants, and causes relatively little environmental damage.<br />Individual turbines can capture more power from higher altitude winds than from winds close to sea level. High altitude Turbines are likely to not cause as much visual “pollution” that ground based wind is criticized for. <br />Sky Windpower’s design: the Flying Electric Generator (FEG).<br />Magenn’s design is the Magenn Air Rotor System (MARS).<br />Wind Data<br />Design Data<br />FEG:<br /><ul><li>Can operate at altitudes up to 4600 m.
  2. 2. Extracts energy from wind with speeds between 11.5 and 35 m/s
  3. 3. Is rated to produce 240 kW
  4. 4. Maintains position by GPS</li></ul>MARS:<br /><ul><li>Operates at altitudes around 100 m.
  5. 5. Extracts energy from wind with speeds between 2.5 and 29 m/s
  6. 6. Is rated to produce 100 kW
  7. 7. Maintains altitude using Helium</li></ul>The wind moves faster at higher altitudes, from sea level until an altitude of 10,000 m. Winds also become more consistent as altitude is increased. These effects are caused by friction with the Earth’s surface, which slows the wind down. This means more energy is available in higher altitude winds, measured by wind power density (units – kW/m2).<br />Prototypes<br />240kW FEG<br />At 10,000 m, the wind power density is a maximum over the regions visited by the Polar Jet Streams, which includes Japan and the eastern United States. At 1,000 m, the wind power density is a maximum over the Southern Ocean. To be more specific, the best locations for high-altitude wind turbines include Japan, the Eastern US, Egypt, Israel, Australia, and others.<br />10kW MARS<br />