Bill Gates invested in the development of cheap wind energy
Wyoming-based Airloom Energy has received $4 million from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures. It proposes a 2.5MW installation concept with several 25m pylons to suspend an oval-shaped tracked structure, on which is mounted a series of 10m blades connected by a cable.
Like sailboats, which can harvest energy from the wind in any direction, these blades harvest wind energy as they move along a specially oriented track.
The Airloom installation will fit on a single truck and will not require large turbine tower cranes for installation, and the parts can be manufactured in relatively small factories using non-specialized materials.
Yes, the cost of the installation may be less than $225,000, and its installation will not exceed $6 million.
Airloom says the design would reduce the cost of wind power to about one-third of today’s per kilowatt-hour. It can be about 1.3 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The design can potentially be scaled horizontally. The company also claims that the units can run on water.
Small-scale prototype installations are already up and running, and Airloom will use the seed funding to test the technology with a 50 kV test rig.
Meanwhile, the world’s largest high-altitude wind power plant started operating in Tibet. It has a capacity of 100 MW and is located at an altitude of 4,650 meters.