The idea is madly in the wind. This involves using the jet stream that blows between 4 500 meters and 15 000 altitude meters, all around the globe, to generate electricity by means of flying wind turbines. In the manner of a kite, they will be stowed on the ground by a Vectran ultra-resistant cable surrounded by two aluminum wires that will carry a current of 20 000 volts to a station on the ground.
The inventor of the concept, Bryan Robert, of the Sydney University of Technology, plans to equip each wind turbine with four 40 rotors meters in length made of very light materials. They will first serve as a propeller to bring the craft to the desired altitude, then the blades will begin to rotate alone, driven by the jet stream. Bryan Robert has calculated that an 600 wind farm of these 20 megawatts each could power two Chicago. After testing models, he joined three other engineers to create a California start-up called Sky WindPower. They plan to manufacture within two years a prototype 200 kilowatts, provided they find the 4 million dollars they lack.
Problem: these flying wind turbines could be obstacles for the planes, but the inventor replies that there are about fifteen balloons in the upper atmosphere without having ever been deplored of an accident