Airborne Wind Turbines:
Clean, Consistent and Cost-Effective Energy
The tether moors the airborne wind turbine to the ground, allowing it to generate energy from the wind. At the tether's center are coaxial electrical conductors, which transmit high-voltage DC power. Synthetic fibers surround the conductors and provide the physical strength necessary to withstand the pull of the system.
Our turbine blades are strong, versatile and efficient to enable our system to both takeoff vertically and generate maximum power. We accomplish these goals by coupling optimized geometry carbon fiber blades to a variable pitch hub. Our advanced flight computer system can then automatically alter the aerodynamic properties of the blades to best suit the prevailing wind conditions and propulsion requirements.
Since high-altitude wind is so strong, our rotors can be smaller and spin more rapidly than those on surface wind turbines. This allows us to use light, low-cost generators. Also, because generators are only efficient within a narrow range of rotational speeds, surface turbines require a gearbox, which lowers reliability and efficiency. Joby Energy generators are direct drive and use a variable pitch hub to keep the generator spinning at its optimal rate.
A major impediment to surface-based wind turbines is that as their size and rated power increase, so do the costs and difficulties of transporting them to their installation locations. The Joby Energy airframe is completely modular enabling wings, turbine nacelles, and other components to be produced in mass, easily transported and assembled at their final destination.