BAT: The Buoyant Airborne Turbine

The Altaeros BAT integrates proven aerospace and wind turbine technology. The BAT lifting platform is adapted from tethered aerostats, which have reliably lifted heavy communications and monitoring equipment high into the air for decades. The Altaeros BAT integrates four main components:

  • Shell - A proprietary helium-filled shell made from high performance, industrial fabrics that lifts the turbine up and stabilizes it in the air.

  • Turbine - A lightweight conventional three-blade, horizontal axis wind turbine fixed within the shell.

  • Tethers – The lightweight, high strength tethers hold the turbine in place in all weather conditions and transmit power to the ground.

  • Ground Station - The portable ground station is rapidly deployed from a shipping container and includes an autonomous control system and power conditioning equipment.

Product Concept

Renderings by Valentin Angerer

Shell

Made of gas-tight and durable fabric, the patented shell is inflated with helium. The shell passively aligns into changing winds while channeling wind through the turbine. Aerodynamic lift combines with buoyant lift to keep the Altaeros BAT aloft in both strong and weak winds. The shell also provides an airborne platform for customers to add communication, camera, or other sensor equipment to furnish additional remote services.

Turbine

The lightweight, horizontal-axis turbine adapts conventional, proven architecture used in the thousands of efficient wind turbines that are currently deployed around the world. The turbine generates electricity both when airborne and while docked on the ground.

Tethers

Tethers are used to connect the shell and turbine to winches on the portable ground station. Tether control is automated to adjust turbine altitude, stabilize the turbine in the air, and provide an electrical connection to send power from the turbine to the ground. The BAT’s autonomous control system periodically adjusts based on changing winds to keep the turbine at the optimal altitude for peak energy output and minimal structural loads.

Ground Station

The ground station is built onto a trailer platform for easy transport. Winches on the ground station control tether speed and length, and aligns with the shell to prevent tethers from tangling. Landing rails safely secure the envelope while docked. The power produced by the turbine is conditioned on the ground station before interfacing with a microgrid, grid connection, or customer equipment.