S-type loadcells to capture high altitude wind energy

Omnidea uses Zemic S-type loadcells, assembly and transmitters in her project H.A.W.E. (High Altitude Wind Energy). This project focuses on a high altitude platform for wind energy conversion capable of varying the altitude at which the energy is produced. Also having no fans of any type in use; it produces energy from the aerodynamic forces acting upon an airborne airfoil-like craft. If connected to the ground through a tether cable, this apparatus can convert wind energy into electrical energy, in a completely new and innovative way. This type of construction allows a significant price reduction per unit of power installed as well as an easier implementation of the concept in off-shore applications (regardless of water depth). Omnidea is committed towards technological evolution and innovative thinking from state-of-the-art scientific knowledge.

The quality / service and price ratio from Zemic Europe convinced Omnidea to use the H3G S-type loadcells, S-type assembly such as hook and eye bolts in combination with a tranmitter to convert the mV/V signal into a 4-20mA signal to measure the pulling force of the HAWE Balloons.

Zemic & Omnidea

  • Force sensor know-how and wind energy (HAWE) experts
  • Transmit mV/V signal to 4-20mA using a transmitter
  • Best quality / service / price ratio of S-type force sensors
  • Fast and reliable deliveries

How Omnidea uses S-Type loadcells.

Omnidea uses the S-type loadcells to measure the pulling force of the balloon on the cable. 

Until now electricity production from wind has been derived exclusively from wind turbines, using only low altitude winds. Wind power is limited at low altitudes, as only 2% of the entire potential of windpower is used, as power density is much higher at greater altitude. H.A.W.E. offers a radical new alternative to current wind generators. 

Pedro Silva is a mechanical engineer at Omnidea:
“The aim of this aerial platform is to capture winds at high altitudes. It should be able to extract the wind energy, and send it down to the ground station. This structure is filled with helium. When the balloon spins, it generates a huge aerodynamic lift force. As you can see, it’s well pressurised! With this, we can go as high as 2 kilometers above the ground. At that altitude, the wind energy is 8 times stronger, and the air streams more steady. So we can get more energy with this system.”


S-type loadcell integrated in Omnidea Wind energy solution

With the H3G Loadcells, Omnidea is able to measure the pulling force of the High Altitude Balloons. 

Alloy steel IP67 S-type load cell.
Specially developed for tension and compression applications like this wind energy solution (HAWE).
OIML approved
Top-Sensors Transmitters

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Magnus Effect 

The Magnus effect.

Electric motors spin the module both to stabilise it in the air and to produce a physical phenomenon known as the Magnus effect, which greatly increases the lift force. This prototype generates 30 kW. The next goal is to stack multiple balloons together in a single airborne system to produce several times more power.

While the balloon rotates, as a consequence of the friction, it pulls the air around. This makes the air flowing with higher speed on one side of the balloon and with lower speed on the other side. Tiago Pardal (Omnidea CEO): "The spinning in the presence of wind generates an aerodynamic lift force, similar to what’s created by aircraft wings. The balloon rises, pulling this cable which rotates the drum coupled to the electric generator. So the electricity is produced right here.”

    Omnidea engineering team 

More about Omnidea.

Omnidea is a group of engineers, actively engaged in the pursuit for “next generation” energy conversion systems. Reaching this goal requires:

  • - extensive work in the development of airborne structures,
  • - knowledge of unconventional means of propulsion
  • - a thorough understanding of energy transfer forms. to accelerate plant research all over the world with unique products.

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