From Flying Wind Turbines to Robotic Birds of Prey

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Scouting Technologies That Fly, Float, and Focus

Yes, it’s true. Wind turbines can fly—or at least one prototype that is attached to a helium-filled blimp.

EPRI Innovation Scouts are investigating the airborne turbine, along with concepts and technologies spanning diverse aspects of wind power generation, including:

  • Enhanced towers, foundations, blades, rotors, generators, and other turbine components
  • Novel concepts for onshore and offshore turbines
  • Wind measurement devices
  • Turbine monitoring systems
  • Systems to transport heavy components
  • Offshore energy storage
  • Wildlife protection

Wind power costs and performance have improved significantly over the past decade, but many hurdles to mass deployment remain, such as siting constraints, high upfront capital costs, and adverse impacts on wildlife. Scouting reports point to many promising technologies to address these. Here’s a sample:

When these and other emerging technologies are ready for field demonstration, EPRI will work with member utilities to assess their performance under actual operating conditions. Members who want more information on demonstration-ready technologies can contact techexpert@eprijournal.com.