When I read about this project the first thing that came to my mind is a project featured on discovery channel project earth series. In the series they test out 8 crazy Ideas that will help us deal with the ecological problems we may have to face. The particular project I think may tie in with the seasteading idea is described by the shows web site as: ( http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/project-earth/highlights/highlights.html )
“Fred Ferguson, a Canadian engineer specializing in airships, has designed a revolutionary wind turbine that will use the constant winds that exist at 1,000 feet above sea level to produce energy. Testing a 70 foot prototype for the first time, they will need to prove that is can convert this untapped energy into electricity.”
The Idea basicly boils down to a cylindrical ballon with fins that floats in the air horizontaly. It is raised to to a point where winds are constant and spins when its fins are pushed by the airflow. As it spins electricity is generated and trasfered down through the teather to the ground.
Since space is at a premium and the only thing needed on the ground for these generators is a place for a teather to hook into this idea could be perfect for this project. They teathers could even be attached to the edges of the platform so the balloon does not obscure any sunlight. However, this idea seems to be in its developmental stages even though it has a pretty solid test run on the Discovery show. If this comes to fruition this may be the cheapest, most constat, and least space hogging way of making power.
Edit: More research into the inventor yeilds this site http://www.magenn.com/ you can see these baloons in all their glory
There are countless ways to generate electricity. What we must do is find the best way to do so with the resources available to us. If the total cost (including maintanence and oher replacement costs) of the balloon, turbine, cable, and converter work out to be less than the total costs of other methods of creating electricity, I say we have a winner.
Until that proves to be the case, however, I recommend we keep out thoughts and minds closer to more proven technologies.
Wow… when did I become the buzzkill?
It’s mainly these numbers, or lack thereof, that concern me the most with this kind of new technology:
Warranty: Up to 5 Years
Life Cycle: 10 – 15 Years
Without having a price point, how can they say that cost per kWh is less than 15 cents, or less than 20, as it also says on the website.
This could be very promising, definitely, but more research will be needed for sure.
Thanks for sharing this with the group. I’ll definitely be one to keep an eye out for this to be possible electricity delivery mechanism for us in the future.