"Airborne wind energy is finally ready for lift-off"

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Misleading article.
None of us is immune to erroneously repeating the bullshit of others.
It can happen to anyone.

AWE was considered further along in 2009 than now.
Back then, AWE was “just around the corner”.
But once that talk turned to testing, most every design turned out to be totally wrong.
Turned out the would-be practitioners were clueless the whole time.
Everything they had told us was wrong.

Every pronouncement of powering X hundred homes in remote location Y by date Z was untrue.
And we’re still, to this day, being told about a system running in Mauritius, powering 50 homes.
I will say yet again, I believe this is an outright lie.
My belief is the system shipped to Mauritius sees little, if any, use at all.
If it were in regular operation, don’t you think that would be publicized? Don’t you think we would see videos of it running? Videos of the power meters? Videos of people using the power? Sometimes the lack of any information says a lot in itself.

Oh and I just read that Altaeros powered 50 homes in Alaska. A 3-kW turbine powering 50 homes, huh? Cool, 60 Watts per home if the wind blows 30 MPH. I’m pretty sure that balloon was too frail to even be flown in a 30 MPH wind. It was easy to see why they “just gave up”…

The main question for each of us to ask ourselves is:
“How gullible are you?”
and maybe
“What is the limit to how improbable or ridiculous a lie must be, before you begin to doubt its veracity?”

Interesting article, with the courage to point out certain limits:

In reality, AWE will likely complement rather than compete with traditional renewables, as the large airspace required for each device limits the amount of power they can generate at a utility scale.

My answer is that a talented architect can maximize the space and draw phenomenal power from a gigantic sweep of more powerful and regular high-altitude winds.

But the rest is:

Instead, they will be best employed in remote locations where it is impractical to set up other renewable energy technologies. “For example, in many mountainous locations it is not feasible to transport or build a wind or solar farm,” says Archer. “With this, you can quickly truck in a system, throw the kite up and start generating electricity on demand – beats using diesel generators.

Perhaps then a set of AWES gradually increasing its power capabilities could be installed.

Watt, kW, MW, GW class of AWES. Automatic control for anything remote is a must.

Auto land and launch will ironically be easier for rigid wings (think a roomba dock). Soft wings will have to be folded inside each AWES.

This may not be on topic but is there any information about a successful roosting system for kites?

No, it is about SkySails. From the article:

Although each design has its advantages and drawbacks, the only one currently deployed commercially is a pumping AWE system set up by SkySails off the east coast of Mauritius in 2021. The kite harvest winds at 300m, delivering around 100kW of electricity – roughly enough to power 50 homes.

Skysails are actively engaging customers in training

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It can be on topic since SkySails, being central here, did it, if it is what you mean:

Hmm how do they re-attach the line on the leading edge to roost the kite? Did you notice it’s magically attached towards the end?

Besides that, this is the closest I’ve seen to a self landing soft wing. It would still need to be deflated and packed during adverse weather. I don’t know what their plans are for that…

After how many years of pretending the system was running?
I’m not buying any of this…

Hi Pierre: I was talking about a different article I found, when trying to google any more info on this story.
it was a recent article, declaring Altaeros had powered 50 homes.
This seems to be all AWE is about: One exaggeration gets repeated until people take it as fact, never understanding the simplest aspects, like the Altaeros turbine was a Skystream, originally from Southwest Windpower.
Here are the specifications:

Model: Skystream 3.7
Rated Capacity: 2.4 kW
Weight: 205 lbs (93 kg)
Rotor Diameter: 12 ft (3.72 m)

OK so, max power, 2.4 kW. divided by 50 homes = 48 Watts per home.
So now, because we’re in an AWE fantasy-land bubble, where the most basic facts are simply discarded as a mere annoyance that would ruin a nice-sounding story, readers are supposed to accept that 48 Watts PEAK POWER (NOT average power) is enough to “power a home”. What next, a spark from static electricity on a doorknob powering a small city? Sure, why not? Might as well add 3-D printing, cryptocurrency, a drone, and Artificial Idiocy - er, um, I mean “intelligence”…

And by the time you are reading about AWE being able to produce hydrogen and ammonia - this is called changing the subject. Nevermind that hydrogen is the least efficient form of energy storage ever conceived, and ammonia will never catch on as a fuel, it’s all about fantasy-land for idiots who will believe anything as long as it has a certain kind of tone.

It goes from “Is this idea better?” to “Well, we could make hydrogen!!! or Ammonia!!!” And people will just eat it up, never realizing they are being bamboozled with complete nonsense, masquerading as a story about improved technology, which it is not.

Just to explain a little further, if you think back, the ORIGINAL “news” that started all this “Mauritius” stuff, was that AWE had reached an important new milestone, of a factory producing and selling AWE systems.

:Mauritius" per se, was supposed to have been just a minor detail of the main, bigger story of an AWE system in mass-production at a “factory”, enjoying worldwide sales.

I remember being chastised by someone for not properly appreciating this “milestone”. While I remained skeptical (typical of me), I was told something like “Hey Doug, in case you didn’t know it, there is a FACTORY producing AWE systems, and they are SELLING them worldwide.”

Yeah, as though suddenly an AWE “story” is going to turn out to be true? Geez, after what, 3 or 4 years, we’ve still got one (1) system shipped, and it’s still not even running? I’m telling you, people will believe anything, but one thing they will never believe is the difficulty of coming up with an improvement in wind energy.

The Mauritius shipment was to have been just the first of many systems shipped from this “factory”. That was the “full story”.

Knowing how easy it is to get overly excited about stories of future success, I was asking whether this was in fact the beginning of mass-production and wide adoption, or if, instead, it was just more eager-beaver excitement over managing to achieve a single “sale” of some kind.

Usually the only way to “prove” that these “news” items are false is to wait for the “stories” to flesh out (or NOT), but by that time, all anyone is interested in is the NEXT fictional “story”. :slight_smile: