Robust Airborne Wind Turbine Shroud for Production of Low Cost Renewable Energy

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2011-00161
Agency Tracking Number: 2011-00161
Amount: $99,964.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.6
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2011
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
1 MARINA PARK DR 14TH FL, Boston, MA, 02210-2170
DUNS: 963485789
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Benjamin Glass
 Chief Executive Officer
 (734) 646-4378
Business Contact
 Adam Rein
Title: Vice President
Phone: (617) 908-8464
Research Institution
Hundreds of existing wind power projects have transformed communities by creating jobs, improving economic development, and reducing environmental pollution. However, 85 percent of rural communities cannot utilize wind power today due to community concerns or poor wind resources at ground level that make projects uneconomical. Altaeros Energies is developing an airborne wind turbine that adapts proven aerospace technology to capture winds up to six times higher than tower-based turbines. This enables the harnessing of stronger and more consistent winds, which make wind projects feasible in many new communities by generating clean energy that has both a lower cost and a lower noise and environmental impact. The key enabling technology is a helium-filled support shroud that lifts a horizontal-axis turbine into the air, using a conductive tether to hold the system in place and send electricity down to the ground. The shroud and tether are adapted from decades-old tethered aerostat technology that is mainly used to lift multi-ton radar systems into the air for long periods of time for surveillance or weather monitoring. This project will determine the feasibility of deploying a mid-scale Altaeros airborne wind turbine in rural America. The proposed project will first determine the average and extreme wind speeds for different U.S. regions at the proposed operating height of 500 - 2000 ft above ground. Using this information, a support shroud will be designed and analyzed for its ability to withstand the maximum wind speeds in the most promising regions. Finally, a scale model will be built and tested in a wind turnnel to confirm that the simulation correlates to a real world test under simulated conditions. Taken together, this project will determine the feasibility of the Altaeros airborne wind turbine to operate in real-world wind conditions in rural markets. This feasibility study will be used to justify the development of a commercial-scale airborne wind turbine.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government