|Wind energy is becoming more
and more popular. It is one of the fastest growing sectors of all the renewable
energy schemes. However, not every location is suitable for capturing wind energy.
Trees, buildings and the lay of the land can often conspire to reduce the wind energy to
useless levels. One way to determine if a location is suitable is to monitor the
speed of the wind over a period of time. The conventional way is to erect a tall
tower and position one or more wind speed indicators along it. Data from those is
then fed to a computer for later analysis. But, erecting a tower can be expensive
and time consuming. I imagine a wind speed indicator attached to a helium filled
blimp as shown below. A light weight anemometer would be installed on top of the
blimp. The blimpís shape would aid in gathering wind direction data using an electronic
compass. The wind speed and direction data would be fed to a battery powered RF
transmitter, which would periodically spit out the data to a matching receiver, connected
to a computer. Computer software would capture the data and stamp it with the time and
date. Distance tick marks on the blimpís rope could help position the blimp at
various heights to determine the best place for any future wind generator. The wind
speed data would be collected and analyzed to determine if the site would be suitable.
This data collection scheme may be a service offered by local renewable energy companies.
They may lease the equipment for 6 months to a year and maintain the blimp, which would
need helium refilling periodically.