I know this looks like it fell off the Michelin Man’s private 747 but it’s actually a balloon. This balloon surrounds a turbine so that it can float up in constant winds and generate electricity. This will be great for those out-of-the-way places with no power.
Developed by Altaeros energies, the floating turbines are designed to take advantage of the powerful prevailing winds that exist 2,000 feet above our heads. Once they’ve been inflated and deployed, these floating power plants can generate twice the output of a ground-based turbine. The tethers that keep the turbine anchored in place also send that energy ground-ward. While in the air, the turbines can also serve as Wi-Fi, cell service hubs, and weather monitoring stations.
Sounds to me like these beauties have everything going for them. One of those, “why didn’t we think of this before?” situations. I know that I would be pretty happy to host one of these balloons at my place. We’ll tie it to the car port, or even better, tie it to the car. Then I’d generate even more power when I drove around. I could be like a bumper-car where the electricity comes from the ceiling.
Hit the jump for some concept shots.