Magenn Power Inc., www.magenn.com

SolidWorks Corp., www.solidworks.com

Watch a video of how the turbine works, tiny.cc/blTuD

Airship manufacturer Magenn Power in Ontario used 3D CAD to build an easy-to-deploy wind turbine that solves the problem of generating electricity from an unpredictable energy source. The company says SolidWorks 3D CAD helped in the design and simulation of the turbines.

The Magenn Air Rotor System (M.A.R.S.) turbine is filled with helium and floats 600 to 1,000 ft above the ground, where constant air currents rotate the device about its horizontal axis to generate electricity. The electricity feeds down the tether attaching the unit to a grid or battery array. The 120-ft turbine operates in 4 to 60-mph winds and generates up to 100 kW-hr.

“The first ‘high-altitude’ wind turbine suits remote areas, disaster areas, and countries with limited infrastructures, as well as more conventional applications such as cell towers, exploration equipment, and backup power for natural gas mines,” says Magenn CEO Mac Brown. “SolidWorks lets us experiment with different turbine designs and compare electrical outputs. The software also helps us cut costs because we no longer need to outsource turbine simulations.”