Green energy is becoming increasingly important as time goes on, and we learn more and more about how we’re treating the climate. But it can be hard to keep up with the various ideas surrounding green energy, which is an exploding field. That said, the Altaeros Bat stands out, even in a crowded field. Here’s what you need to know about the next step in wind power.
1. It’s Portable. Well, For A Wind Turbine.
Wind turbines aren’t really noted for being “portable”, since they’re essentially massive generators with huge, carefully crafted propellers sitting on a massive column. The BAT is, instead, a balloon secured to the ground by a generator truck and guywires. This means that it can be quickly trucked and set up to start providing power.
2. It Can Go Where A Lot of Turbines Can’t.
Setting up a wind farm is, sadly, not just a matter of building a big column and plopping a turbine on top of it. Many potential sites for wind farms turn out to be less than economical for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from an inability to make the towers tall enough to zoning problems. But the BAT can pretty much go anywhere and is designed to make this a problem of the past: After all, it goes a lot higher.
3. It Generates More Electricity Than A Standard Turbine.
This isn’t a function of improved efficiency so much as it is a matter of the wind that the BAT generates power from. Altaeros designed the Bat to be floated one to two thousand feet off the ground, much higher than most wind turbines can reach. Thanks to that height, the turbine is spun by much faster winds, meaning that it generates more power and generates that power faster than other wind systems.
4. It Can Do A Lot More Than Just Generate Power.
Altaeros designed the BAT essentially for situations where either powering stations weren’t available or where they couldn’t reach. Research stations in the middle of nowhere, disaster areas, and other isolated sections of the world are the key target markets. But they also know that having a big-ass balloon in the air is useful for more than just generating power, so users can add everything from cameras to sensors to it, and get more out of their giant power-generating balloon. Probably the most notable would be an antenna for radio communications or even Internet usage.
5. It’s Got A Lot Of Potential To Change The World.
Again, this is exciting not least because, while the BAT may not exactly be cheap, it’s also reliable and efficient in a way that a lot of other remote-area power sources aren’t. Solar power is dependent, of course, on the sun, and it’s difficult to haul panels across the country. Geothermal energy requires expensive plants and isn’t easy to set up. In a lot of ways, the BAT is uniquely placed to help pretty much anybody looking for a cheap, reliable power source away from the grid. And that’s good news for all of us.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.