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Harnessing Energy Of Jet Streams---Is It Really Possible?

  1. Mar 9, 2015 #1
    Here is something I read on a Wiki article:
    "Scientists are investigating ways to harness the wind energy within the jet stream. According to one estimate, of the potential wind energy in the jet stream, only 1 percent would be needed to meet the world's current energy needs. The required technology would reportedly take 10–20 years to develop.[35] There are two major scientific articles about jet stream power. Archer & Caldeira[36] claim that the jet streams can generate the total power of 1700 TW, and that the climatic impact will be negligible. Miller, Gans, & Kleidon[37]claim that the jet streams can generate the total power of only 7.5 TW, and that the climatic impact will be catastrophic."

    So, bottom line, can the kinetic energy of these fast moving winds(about 110 to 184 km/h) in the upper atmosphere(round about >12 km) be in any way harnessed? If so, how?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2015 #2


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    This is about double the total power estimated to be sustaining air movement/atmospheric circulation, therefore, unlikely.
    Tune in the weather sometime, and watch the "troughs and ridges" in the jet stream moving across the country steering weather patterns. "Catastrophic?" Might be a bit overstated, but some caution in engineering circulation patterns is advisable.
  4. Mar 9, 2015 #3


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    Since these scientists estimate it will take 10-20 years to develop the technology necessary to harness the power of the jet stream, my guess is they don't have a clue, either. :wink:

  5. Mar 10, 2015 #4
    oh....well thanx
  6. Mar 10, 2015 #5
    It is an interesting concept, but I do have concerns that this may have planetary scale weather effects. There are also issues of getting large wind turbines to high enough altitude that can produce a reasonable amount of power. And lets not forget taking that power and transferring it to the ground. There are some floating wind turbines in existence today, though I do not know much about them.
  7. Mar 11, 2015 #6
    Floating as to floating on water or levitating in the air?-----http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airborne_wind_turbine
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