Air HES system to collect water and generate electricity from the clouds
Using a tethered airship floating high up among the clouds, the Air HES concept is designed to yield both clean water and electricity by harvesting and condensing water vapor, which it uses to spin up an electric turbine generator to create power. The developers behind the concept claim to have built a prototype to test their theory and have also conducted feasibility studies into upping the scale of their device to produce economically viable levels of water and power.
Using three proven technologies – water vapor condensers, hydroelectric generators, and airships – the Air HES (HydroElectric Station) is planned to be released up to a level of around 7,000 ft (2,100 m) to reach the mid-level clouds in the troposphere. Once there, it will use a large curtain of vapor-condensing mesh (similar to the system developed by MIT) to collect water.
The water collected from this process will then be released down a lightweight pipe attached to the balloon, where it will provide a significant head of pressure on its way to the ground. Large enough, the creators say, to provide more than enough energy to rotate the turbine on an electric generator and generate electricity.
The designers say they have produced and flown a scale prototype of the blimp and water collection system, which they claim produced around 4 L (1.05 gal) of water per hour for each square meter of mesh at 4,000 ft (1,200 m). The hydroelectric system planned for use on the system was not tested in this instance, though the creators do state that they have secured a Russian patent for the concept.
They are now working toward constructing a full-size, fully functional prototype of the complete system, and one that will be large enough to produce significant amounts of water and electricity. The team calculates that as a balloon 60 ft (18 m) in diameter yields around 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) of lift, this will be more than a sufficient size to carry the expected weight of the vertical tether and the water load collected.
At this size, the team says that power output – based on water collected per square meter of surface area – will produces around 1.8 kW of electrical power per day for every 10 liters (2.6 gal) per square meter of surface area. Given the team's ultimate goal of a 1000 square meter (10,700 sq ft) mesh collection area, this would supposedly produce anything up to 185 kW per day, provided the predicted collection rates and energy conversion figures are correct.
To get the full-size system off the ground, the team has floated a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, aiming to raise US$14,000 to build a working prototype. After the first prototype is operating, tested, and proven, the team hopes to attract further business investment to make the Air HES system a viable commercial proposition. This will then allow team members to pursue other proposed advances of their technology, including a kite-based variety for use as an emergency drinking water solution.
As such, the Air HES team also believes that its aerial system may provide other advantages, including ease of mobility and deployment on an as-needed basis for emergency power or drinking water, along with the possibility of using the flight platform to raise antenna systems for communications in remote areas.
No timeline has been provided for the release of a full-sized operational system, but the team has provided a comprehensive feasibility study (PDF) of the system.
The video below is the team’s Indiegogo pitch that shows the prototype in action.
Source: Air HES
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Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.
The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies.
The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.
A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.
The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.
An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.
Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society
The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.
Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning bodily life. Such technologies will greatly enlarge the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make all kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.
Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence, expand human capabilities and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times. The final result at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.
This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive! Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.
Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots will become affordable and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however: humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover, prerequisites for a large-scale expansion into outer space will be created as well.
Key elements of the project in the future
• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of the project of "Immortality”.