Airborne wind energy generation using Aerostat

As we are advancing in technology it is necessary to find a newer method of energy generation with minimal damage to the environment. The wind is renewable source energy which will not pollute the environment. The energy generated from the wind almost fulfils the energy requirement of most of the households. But wind turbines have drawbacks like high implementation cost and difficulty in the transportation of components.

Airborne wind energy generation is the only solution to solve the problem. Here the turbine is placed airborne and the power generated is transmitted to the ground with the help of power cables. This saves a lot of cost in the implementation and transportation compared to the conventional wind turbine system.

In this aeronautical project, we are going to develop an airborne wind energy system using lighter than air aircraft.

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The aerostat is positioned at a certain altitude to generate power. By doing this we can generate more power than the conventional wind turbine. The average height of a wind turbine is 50 m where the air velocity is low compared to the height where the aerostat is positioned which is 400m. At this height, the air velocity is twice than the ground thus more power generation.

This aircraft is a cylindrical balloon which is filled with helium gas that can able to rotate in the horizontal axis. The rotary motion is coupled to the generator to produce the electricity. The generated electric power is transferred down to the ground station with the help of tether cable. Let’s briefly discuss the components used:

Cylindrical balloon - This is the lift generating device, which generates the lift due to the buoyancy force. The air filled inside the balloon is lighter compared to the surrounding air this pressure difference makes the balloon rise in the air. It is made up of composite fabric similar to the one which is used in airships. The exterior of the balloon is coated with Tedlar to protect the aircraft from the UV rays.

Aluminium tube - It is fixed over the balloon in such a way that it rotates the cylindrical balloon by restricting the airflow. It converts the linear motion into rotary motion. This rotation also generates the Magnus effect which helps to stabilize and position the aircraft.

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Wind vane stabilizer - It stabilizes the aircraft in the horizontal position and restricts the airflow to pass over the cylindrical balloon.

Axle - It is an assembly which connects the balloon to the generator. It helps to transfer the rotary motion to the generator.

Generator - Important set up in the aircraft, which helps to generate the electricity by converting the rotary motion into electrical energy.


  • Generation cost of electricity is very low.
  • Friendly to the environment where the conventional wind turbine injures the birds and bats.
  • It can be operated on a wide range of wind speeds.
  • Can be operated in higher altitudes without increasing the operational cost.
  • Can be transported easily from one place to another
  • It can be installed near to the power grid which reduces the power transmission cost.

Airborne wind energy generation is the most effective way of power generation compared to conventional wind turbines. It is the cheapest solution to solve the problems faced in energy generation.

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Airborne wind energy generation using Aerostat
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2022-04-18

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