High altitude wind power systems continue to be explored with new systems and new approaches. The latest comes from Altaeros Energies, who recently tested the Altaeros Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT), a prototype 35-foot diameter, helium-filled, tethered structure with an onboard turbine. The prototype turbine is able to be transported and deployed from a trailer, which makes it potentially very useful for use at remote locations.
Using a Southwest Skystream turbine, the test model of the AWT was flown to an altitude of 350 feet where it produced more than twice the power as what is generated at a conventional tower height. The company is interested in developing high-altitude wind resources at elevations over 1,000 feet (over 300 meters) above the ground, where the winds are stronger and more regular.