Brian H
Great. Visual and real estate pollution by \'renewable\' off-again on-again hi-price power pseudo-sources has now reached the skies.
Just think! In optimum conditions, a GW of capacity will only require 50,000 tether-towers and kites. How many square miles did you say that would cover?
Jerome Thomas
I would sooner have the blimp fall on me than this 128lb weight! jt.
Dave Andrews
I hadn\'t even thought about the mobile implications of this until I watched the video. It could easily and quickly be brought to locations in emergency situations or remote locations to provide power where it otherwise would be difficult or impossible.
As far as Brian H\'s comment goes... I\'m not surprised. People CLAIM to want clean, renewable energy, but bitch and moan without end every time a genius new idea comes up. For Jerome\'s comment, a blimp would weigh far, far more than 128 pounds and would be more likely to hit you because it would cover so much larger of a space.
This concept has massive implications, especially in those situations where other energy sources are too slow to build or impractical.
Dave, put me down as a bitcher and moaner, I guess, but \"genius\" new ideas are generally partly baked at best. For this one you have a major intrusion into the national airspace system and no mention of the logistics of accommodating it. 1300 feet puts you into class E airspace where planes are allowed to fly IFR (on instruments) Each time you put one of these up a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) will be required and adequate time for it to be posted into the system. Disaster zones are generally areas of high airspace occupancy so the idea of putting one of these things up there is just asking for an accident to happen.
How many Birds are gonna die Flying into the Tether?, This looks like a REALLY STUPID way to make Electricity.. I looks like Sky Pollution to me. ~impractical, obnoxious, and environmentally disastrous concept alert~
Brian H - I think your assumption is off. This is a prototype, and no one\'s suggesting laying out 50,000 of these things. The megawatt version would require 100 towers to produce a GW. Keep in mind you framed production as a GW, most large windfarms top out at 500 MW. So we\'re only talking 50 towers for a major wind installation.
Tomsonone - Wind installations already have to complete comprehensive environmental impacts. The flight path of a single tether is likely to reduce bird strikes as compared to a traditional turbine.
Lsaguy - Completely valid point, a couple square miles of large wings like this flying around in circles in is going to cause waves with the pilot community.
Mark Evans
I really think air born wind generation is ONE of the ways we will replace fossil fuels. 20KW won\'t do it for utility\'s but would be great for emergency workers etc.
Everything is about scale, several high altitude units producing 25MW each would start being viable for taking the load off utility\'s.....
but then there are the hazards to aircraft..... over time it all will be worked out.
Whoops :D Multiply those numbers by 10.
Would it not be easier to just have this plane act like a kite and be stationary with the propeller blades turning an onboard generator? If it just did that then it would be genius. The only thing you would have to manipulate would be the elevators. The plane would face the wind automatically because of it\'s tail, just like a windmill. Instead, this plane flies in a vertical circle to mimic a wind turbine. I sort of imagine it like putting a feather on the end of a string. If you blow on it, it buzzes around in a circle. But it\'s not reliable, so they had to waste time and money to program it to fly in a circle. Why? KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Yakov has it right,there is no reason for the kite to \"harvest \" the whole sky. A tethered ballon with an improved vertical turbine suspended beneath it would be much simpler and much less to go wrong with it. mount the generator in the basket, the turbine beneath, the power leads follow the teather back to the base. You could launch it in remote locations, mountians, valleys, rooftops during flooding with helieum to keep it aloft (wind is unreliable) the entire package could be airdropped in problem areas. You could even use it in woods or jungle once you get it through the canopy. It could even be used on ships at sea in need of emergancy power. But the kite is un-needed.