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Science Technology

Getting Power From The Jet Stream 12

An anonymous reader pipes up: "Here's some cool news about actually using the jet stream to generate power." Nutshell: aircraft-mounted windmills that lounge in the jet stream. I'm imagining a huge area populated by these aircraft, each held up with a 4.5km electrified tether, and staying on North America for a while.
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Getting Power From The Jet Stream

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Same exact story as Windmills in the Sky []...
    Look there for discussion...
  • Yeah, but doesn't this get given back when the fan/wheel/etc stops spinning again? (I am not a phyisist, this is a serious question...)
  • Let's see, this couldn't be another repeat article [], could it?

  • I have a better idea. Build a huge man-made island, several miles square. Fill it with ultra-high performance wind generators. Better yet, build a few of them - some for the Atlantic and some for the Pacific - and transport them to locations of hurricanes and tropical storms, or just where it is windy.. Generate clean power sight unseen.
  • From I think 20 years ago. It wasnt an April Fools joke either, it was proposed but dimissed.

    OTOH, what you really should do is to harness the power of flatulance. It's closer to the ground and if you use the right people, just as violent and as powerful. I even saw the project listed... the Facility for Abnormal Renal Turbulance Gastronomic Analysis Station (FARTGAS). It was a study to investigate the applications for one of the most unutilised resoureces we have. No one has seriously looked at, until now, the advantages of a simple gaseous extrusion on powering the globe. Lets face it, everyone farts dont they? Think of the power being wasted as thighs around the world vibrate with the potential energy being released. I envisage a whole network of FART reclaimation centres, where you could flatulate and know that you are powering the globe.

  • naturally, one side effect of this technology would be slowing the earth's rotation, resulting in distinctly longer days after, oh, a million years or so.
  • Any spinning object has a gyroscopic efect that impeads the objects rotation about any axis that is not the same as the objects rotation...

    In a nut shell, every time we spin a wheel that is not perfectly aligned with the earths axis of rotation we are slowing down the planets rotation.

    The Fan in your computer, the wheels on your bike, the motor in your car, the generators at the local nuclear power plant. They are all slowing the earths rotation.

    Funny thing is the cumlative effect of this is so small we are unable to measure it.

    Just goes to show how tiny and puny we really are...

  • Yeah, because we all know the atmosphere rotates completely independently of the Earth, and any angular momentum lost to it won't be coming back.
  • Of course, it's going to take energy to fly those airplanes. And what about all the pollution they are going to put out?
  • Read the article - electric motors. The first launch might require electricity generated some other way, but after that you pull power from an operating plane to launch the next one.

    I think its more proper to think of these things as a sort of kite anyway. Once in the stream they have to rely on the tether to keep them from blowing away rather than generating energy as the thrust required to counteract the stream would be pretty much the same as the energy generated from the windmill effect. (The difference would be inefficiencies/friction on non-generating parts).

  • does anyone really believe that those things will be used simply for power? you can bet they will have cameras and/or other gear. the military wouldn't like somthing in the jet stream without it being monitored or monitoring.
  • Tidal friction is already causing the earth to slow its rotation. It's a lot more dramatic than a few wind generators.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.