Magenn Air Rotor System Finally Floats

New ideas always take twice as long and cost twice as much as one hopes when first envisioned; when we were among the first to cover the Magenn air rotor system (MARS) back 2005, it was projected that units would be available in 2006. Three years later, the first full scale version is floating in an airship hangar in North Carolina. Pierre Rivard, CEO of Magenn tells Tyler Hamilton that "This is an historic moment...This is a world’s first, there has never been a rotating airship test done before."

The prototype will be moved to an outdoor location for further testing, and then by four demonstration projects. They are now concentrating on the larger 100Kw model for remote industrial sites; the small 4Kw model for campers and cottages has been put on the back burner for now.

According to the Elizabeth City Daily Advance, home of the TCOM airship hanger:

Pierre Rivard, president and CEO of Magenn, said the MARS is intended as a renewable energy source for industrial customers seeking to replace diesel generators or who need to use energy in remote locations.

"We see our product as creating new demand for wind, as opposed to tapping into" the current wind-energy market, Rivard said.

Eventually, however, the MARS could be utilized where conventional wind power is already in use.

A difference between the lighter-than-air turbine and the conventional turbine, Rivard said, is its mobility. Unlike fixed turbines, it's not as dependant on factors such as the availability of open space. It also can be floated above tree lines to access strong and constant wind, he said.

Traditional wind power works best on flat land, where there are fewer obstructions to block wind flow. However, only about 15 percent of the earth's land mass is flat. Rivard says the MARS technology can help provide wind power in areas that aren't flat.

At 30 feet long and 10 feet in diameter, the MARS is held aloft by a conductive tether between 300 and 1,000 feet above ground. ::Magenn

Tags: Alternative Energy | Canada