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Magenn Power – Clean Green Energy

“There is enough energy in high altitude winds to power civilization 100 times over; and sooner or later, we’re going to learn to tap into the power of winds and use it to run civilization.” – Ken Caldeira, Professor of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science. (Discovery Channel, Project Earth, Infinite Winds episode)

Magenn Power is headquartered both in the U.S and Canada. With the the U.S. site located at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA, (more on this unique area in a future post), and the Canadian site located in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.

In 1978 the founder of Magenn Power, Fred Ferguson designed the Magnus Airship. Patented in the 1980s this unique spherical airship utilized the ‘Magnus effect’ for the first time in lighter-than-air craft. Named after physicist Heinrich Gustav Magnus (1802–1870).

In aerodynamics the Magnus lift effect theory states that if air is directed against a smooth, revolving cylinder, whose circumferential speed is greater than that of the air current, a force is directed against one side of the cylinder – air compressed on one side and vacuum formed on the other – creating lift.

The Magnus Airship has a large spherical envelope filled with helium (an inert non-reactive lighter than air gas), to achieve static, buoyant lift. It’s huge sphere rotated backwards as the craft flew forward. The resulting lift at cruise speed was greater than the total buoyant lift which could be up to 60 tons payload depending upon the final production size. This proved that as wind speed increases, rotation increases, lift increases, drag will be minimized because of reduced leaning, and stability increases.

That was Ferguson’s first brain-child, which gave birth to his second brain-child, the patented Magenn Power Air Rotor System (MARS™), a patented high altitude, helium sustained air rotor, lighter-than-air tethered device to efficiently generate clean renewable electrical energy. The MARS’ air rotor cylinder utilizes an internal bladder system called a ballonet to maintain pressure as it rotates around a horizontal axis in response to wind. The unit ascends to an altitude as selected by the operator for the best winds, causing the Magnus effect which provides additional lift, keeps the device stabilized, keeps it positioned within a very controlled and restricted location, and causes it to pull up overhead rather than drift downwind on its tether. The electrical energy is transferred down the tether to a transformer at a ground station and then transferred to the electricity power grid.

MARS offers high torque, low starting speeds, and superior overall efficiency thanks to its ability to deploy higher. The closed structure allows Magenn Power to produce wind rotors at a fraction of the cost of current wind generators, from very small to very large sizes (although Magenn will not be shipping a 4 kW, 10 kW or 25 kW sized unit as previously planned).

Due to the ability to reach greater winds at higher altitudes the MARS units can be placed closer to demand centers, reducing transmission line costs and transmission losses. The envelope and tether system is made of a Vectran material which is stronger and lighter than steel, abrasion resistant, minimal moisture absorption and UV resistant. There is a Rapid Deflation Device installed that will automatically and rapidly deflate the balloon if it escapes from its moorings. The units will have a lighting system including individual lights that are placed at intervals according to FAA guidelines. The lights will flash once per second.

The Advantages of MARS:

1. Low cost electricity – under 20 cents per kWh versus 50 cents to 99 cents per kWh for diesel
2. Bird and bat friendly
3. Lower noise
4. Wide range of wind speeds – 3 meters/second to more than 28 meters/second
5. Higher operating altitudes – from 500 feet to 1,000 feet above ground level are possible without expensive towers or cranes
6. Fewer limits on placement location – coast line placement is not necessary
7. Ability to install closer to the power grid
8. Mobile
9. Ideal for off grid applications or where power is not reliable.

Initial MARS Target Markets include:

1. Mini-Grid applications such as developing and island nations where infrastructure is limited or non-existent
2. Rapid deployment (to include airdrop) to disaster areas for power to emergency and medical equipment, water pumps, and relief efforts (ex. Katrina, Tsunami)

    MARS 100kW Performance Specifications:

  1. Magenn Power Product Model 100kW
  2. Rated Power 101,000 Watts
  3. Size (Diameter x Length) 45 ft x 100 ft (plus blade height of 22 ft each)
  4. Shipping Weight Under 13,000 lbs
  5. Volume of Helium 200,000 cubic feet
  6. Tether Height 750 ft standard – up to 1,500 ft optional tether length
  7. Start-up Wind Speed 2.5 m/sec – 5.6 mph
  8. Cut-in Wind Speed 3.0 m/sec – 6.7 mph
  9. Rated Wind Speed 12.0 m/sec – 26.8 mph
  10. Cut-out Wind Speed 24.0 m/sec – 53.7 mph
  11. Maximum Wind Speed 30.0 m/sec – 67.1 mph
  12. Temperature Range -40¼C /-40¼F to +45¼C/+113¼F
  13. Generators 100 kW Total
  14. Output Form 380 V 3 Phase 50 Hz, 480 & 600 V 3 Phase 60 Hz or Regulated DC
  15. Warranty One Year
  16. Life Cycle 10 to 15 Years
  17. Price (USD) (Estimated) $500,000 USD
  18. Availability 2010-2011 (taking orders now)
  19. So, before long we will look up to the sky and wonder, is it a bird, or a plane, no …. it’s super clean energy!

    …. as the green future unfolds

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5 Responses to “Magenn Power – Clean Green Energy”

  1. Barbara Says:

    This is another great idea. I would love to see it everywhere. Wish this country would get on board, and make it happen, sooner than later! 🙂

  2. Lissof Says:

    Thanks Linda,

    Another great idea about to Launch.

  3. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof … Yep! I believe so!

  4. Greg Says:

    This is a great idea, and would do so much to ween us from the addiction we have to big oil. It would do so much for the environment as well. Loo forward to the day when we are more dependent on alternative sources of energy.

  5. Linda Says:

    Hi Greg …. that would certainly be the day to totally celebrate that we are off of oil. 😀

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