Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Floating Wind Turbines

PostedJanuary 13, 2008

Pierre Rivard:  There's perhaps less than 15% of the land mass that would have sufficient wind quality at the ground level, but when you raise the altitude you virtually have access to 100% of the land mass with usable wind energy.

Randy Atkins:  Pierre Rivard heads Magenn Power.  Engineers there are building blimp-like turbines that float about a thousand feet in the air using helium.  Winds spin it on a horizontal axis, generating electricity that’s sent to the ground through a tether.  And he says it's safer for birds.

Pierre Rivard:  They could fly through the blades of a conventional windmill, but with us they see it ahead of them and just fly around it.

Randy Atkins:  Rivard says initial uses could be in developing areas and for rapid deployment for emergencies.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.