Wind-prospecting balloon could seek out locations for turbines
There’s wind in that thar sky ... That’s the sort of thing that – conceivably – might be wistfully said by someone who is tasked with looking for locations in which to locate wind turbines. Their job could soon be getting a little easier, however, thanks to a new balloon-based wind-prospecting system.
The prototype, which is being developed by a team at the University of Barcelona, consists of a tethered helium balloon that carries a four-kilogram (8.8-lb) sensor module. That balloon is three meters (9.8 feet) long, and has a shape that’s “similar to a saddled seabream” – that’s a type of fish. Such a distinctive design allows it to withstand wind gusts of up to 150 km/h (93 mph). It can be raised to a maximum height of 150 meters (492 feet), on a cable with a breaking strength of 600 kilograms (1,323 lbs).
The idea is that the balloon could be tethered to a buoy in marine environments, then moved around to record the strength and consistency of the wind in different locations, and at different altitudes. Data collected by the sensor module can be sent via Wi-Fi to a land-based monitoring and recording unit. Anti-collision lights on the balloon could allow it to remain aloft indefinitely.
According to the researchers, marine wind prospecting is presently carried out by constructing measurement systems such as meteorological towers on fixed platforms in the ocean. The balloon would reportedly be much less expensive to implement, and have less environmental impact on the seabed.
While preliminary tests of the system have been very promising, the team is still trying to determine if the balloon and module could withstand the rigors of spending up to a year in constant use.
Source: University of Barcelona
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Already they're being turned off and taken down in Scotland and France where taxpayer subsidies have run out for 'alternative energy'.
France has a very powerful and frightened nuclear lobby and as far as Scotland goes Donal trump is the only one interested in taking down the wind generators there because they're putting them up in front of the land he just bought. It's a pretty funny article about him testifying in Scottish Parliment, here's an excerpt.
When challenged to produce hard evidence about his claims on the negative impact of turbines, Trump said: "I am the evidence, I am a world class expert in tourism." And the public gallery burst into laughter.
There is no reason to believe that the ground under a nuclear power plant can not be cleaned up to harmlessness. But with a rational energy policy why would you want to? When a reactor reaches the end of its useful life remove it and build a new one in its place.