Wind Power Beats Solar Power Hands Down, Analysis by AWELabs Shows

Airborne wind power beats conventional wind power even by wider margin.

San Jose, California October 08, 2013

A wind power vs. solar power research analysis is published by Airborne Wind Energy Labs. The analysis is based on comparisons of the power intensities of power-harvesting surfaces. Intensity is a physical quantity that measures the power that is transferred per unit of area.

The effective intensity of wind power exceeds the effective intensity of solar power between 60 times (for conventional wind turbines) and 50,000 times (for airborne wind energy systems, which are in development). Specific costs of power-harvesting surfaces are also lower for wind.

Compared to conventional wind turbines, airborne wind energy systems (AWES) have higher effective intensity and lower balance-of-system costs. The only necessary components for an AWES are power-harvesting surfaces (i.e., wings), an electrical generator, a tether and a control system. These components are relatively inexpensive.

The discovery of large areas with persistent low-level jet streams provides hope in overcoming the main shortcoming of wind as an energy resource, which is the intermittent and unpredictable nature of wind power.

The advantages of wind over the solar are even greater in the higher-latitude and cloudy areas of the United States, especially the Northeast, the Great Lakes region and Washington state.

In a wind energy system, the wing is not only a power-harvesting surface, but also a power-concentration device. This gives wind the edge over not only solar, but also tidal, wave, hydrokinetic, heat gradient and other seemingly available sources of renewable energy.

The analysis concludes: wind power is the most effective of all alternative renewable energy sources and airborne wind power is the most promising direction for wind power development.
Airborne Wind Energy Labs is best known for its breakthrough technologies that allow an order of magnitude decrease in wind energy costs and manufacturing of synthetic liquid fuels from natural gas using wind energy.

Featured Product

The Solar Fastener Expert by Mudge Fasteners. Your Source for Solar Industry-Related Hardware

The Solar Fastener Expert by Mudge Fasteners. Your Source for Solar Industry-Related Hardware

3M™ Extreme Sealing Tape is a family of single coated, pressure sensitive adhesive tapes designed for difficult sealing applications. The backing on this tape is an ionomer film that is very tough yet flexible and abrasion resistant. The very soft and thick acrylic adhesive has excellent sealing properties and good outdoor durability. This single coated tape is designed to seal over an existing joint, seam, or penetration. The adhesive is designed to adhere well to the ionomer film so that overlapping tape joints can be made while maintaining a strong seal. 3M™ Extreme Sealing Tape - instant sealing that rolls on fast and looks good.