Energy Independence – when the wind dies down



Last weekend when I was visiting my brother I was introduced to his neighbor. The neighbor, was an engineer who spent last winter trying to come up with a useful way to produce energy from wind.

My wife, who works with an Energy Company that is investing in wind energy always points out that the chief obstacle to wind generated energy is that people need energy even when the wind stops. Imagine having your work stop because your plant has to end production because of the wind dying down. This is exactly what happened to ships in the day of wind power. Out in the middle of the ocean a ship would sit in the water until the wind picked up again.

My new engineering colleague has a solution. Instead of turning wind power into electrical energy he wants to use the energy immediately to produce hydrogen from water. Hydrogen is nearly limitless. Two thirds of the molocules in the ocean are hydrogen – H2O.

The chief difficulty with this plan is that for the moment no one is making Hydrogen powered engines. Changing the entire manufacture of car engines overnight is prohibitively expensive.

Still, this plan would turn energy from wind into stored energy just like water stored behind a damn.

This engineer also says that wind energy could be increased ten fold using another Canadian innovation. Instead of wind mills he would use blimps shaped like corkscrews. He’s not the first to discover this firm. Looking for it on the Internet I found it written up by the arch liberal blogsite the Daily Kos.

My engineer also suggests stringing up the floating wind turbines on a wire like a string of hydrogen baloons six to a wire. There are two big advantages of such a formation. It would take up less ground space and because friction with the ground slows down the wind it would be able to take advantage of faster wind speeds. This is his diagram for a single guy wire with six wind turbines.
 wind generation blimps

About the author