HeliWind is a low-cost Wind Energy Conversion System that will reduce electricity generation costs from $ 0.06 per kilowatt-hour (kW-hr) to $0.034/kW-hr. The HeliWind replaces the blades and tower of a conventional wind turbine with a lighter-than-air helical balloon and lowers the generator to the ground (See Figure).
Compared with the conventional wind turbine, the main advantage of a HeliWind is that a balloon is more economical than blades, a tower and caisson foundation. Another advantage is that it is easier to install, service and maintain a wind system with the generator (genset) on the ground rather than 150 feet in the air. Finally, the HeliWind is silent and eliminates bird and bat kills. The main disadvantages are the fragile balloon envelope, intermittent energy supply, and it is still ugly.
HeliWind Video @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TCW1zJ7GWQ
HeliWind Write-up @ HeliWind Report