Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Magenn Air Rotor System (M.A.R.S.)

MARS is a lighter-than-air tethered wind turbine that rotates about a horizontal axis in response to wind, generating electrical energy. This electrical energy is transferred down the 1000-foot tether for immediate use, or to a set of batteries for later use, or to the power grid. Helium sustains MARS and allows it to ascend to a higher altitude than traditional wind turbines. MARS captures the energy available in the 600 to 1000-foot low level and nocturnal jet streams that exist almost everywhere. MARS rotation also generates the "Magnus effect" which provides additional lift, keeps the MARS stabilized, and positions it within a very controlled and restricted location to adhere to FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) & Transport Canada guidelines.

Magenn Power draws on over 31 years of research and development in advance materials and structure. It all began with designing the Magnus Spherical Airship starting in 1978. Fred Ferguson (founder of Magenn Power) patented the Magnus Airship in the 1980s. This unique airship utilized the Magnus effect for the first time in lighter-than-air craft. This Magnus Airship was a large spherical envelope filled with helium to achieve static, buoyant lift. As the sphere rotated during forward motion, Magnus lift was generated proportional to the airspeed flowing over the sphere; the faster the vehicle, the higher the Magnus lift.

The 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. As wind speed increases, rotation increases, lift increases, drag will be minimized because of reduced leaning, and stability increases. This airship design was fully patented world-wide and was developed over a decade.

In the early 1990's, Fred Ferguson then formed Av-Intel Inc., a small private company with a group of prominent financiers from US industry. The new Av-Intel airships encompass an advanced new technology that divides the long cigar-shaped airship into sections or segments that act similar to a huge shock absorber. In simulation studies contracted to the Lockheed Advanced Development Corporation, Av-Intel's design proved to exceed the current requirements for safety and gust loading by a broad positive margin.

In April of 2008, Magenn Power made history by having the world's first rotating airship. This MARS Alpha prototype generated 2kW of electrical power; further testing is being done to bring the power output to 10 to 12 kW. (Size of MARS above is 29.5 feet by 57 feet).

The device rotates about a horizontal axis in response to wind, efficiently generating clean renewable electrical energy at a lower cost than all competing systems. This electrical energy is transferred down the tether to a transformer at a ground station and then transferred to the electricity power grid. Helium (an inert non-reactive lighter than air gas) sustains the Air Rotor which ascends to an altitude for best winds and its rotation also causes the Magnus effect. This 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.

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