GMSV: Shut out the lights

From: Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 09:30:07 PST

>From GMSV this morning. I always thought you wouldn't
even need a hovercraft. If you get a material that's
strong enough and conducts electricity, you can generate
a hell of a lot of megawatts just dragging the cable through
whatevers in the atmosphere way up there and generate
a static charge.


"Windmill in the sky" makes this sound quixotic.

Flight attendants please prepare the cabin for... what the hell... Those of
you who believe airborne wind turbines are the solution to California's energy
crisis will likely find some vindication in the work of professor Bryan Roberts.
Roberts has spent 20 years developing the "gyromill," a device that can pilot
itself into the jet stream and hovering there while its rotors generate electricity.
Tethered to the earth by the very cable which transmits the electric current it
creates to facilities below, a single gyromill reportedly can provide 20
megawatts of power. That's enough energy to power 7,000 homes and more
than 30 times what a standard wind turbine produces. Roberts has great plans
for his invention. "There would be a cluster of these things in the sky -- like a
range of kites at an altitude of approximately four kilometers," he told the
BBC. "The power station would cover an area about 20 kilometers (12 miles)
in diameter." An aviation disaster waiting to happen? Perhaps. We'll find out if
and when aviation authorities grant Roberts the permission he needs to deploy,
as he intends to, a vast flock of these devices near Woomera in South

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