AirborneWindEnergy: For More Power From On High (Luke1:3KJV)

60 Terawatt Unicorn- Upper Wind and Polymer Kite Networks (

Our entire civilization currently only draws ~20TW, but there is far power over our heads in the form of Upper Wind. Power kite networks accessing this power will usher in a new era of energy superabundance. The revolution has begun.

Saturation wind power potential and its implications for wind energy

Mark Z. Jacobson, Cristina L. Archer, 2012

"Total extractable power in the wind at all altitudes , estimated broadly as 450–3,800 TW "

201208993 15679…15684 (

Dutch Astronaut, Dr Wubbo Ockels: “Extend your hand above the horizon; the space behind your hand could power all of Europe”.

Another view of the astounding power density-

10km crosswind x 10km high x 10kW = 1TW


Future Global Energy Prosperity: The Terawatt Challenge

Richard E. Smalley 2004

Materials Research Society

“For accomplishing our energy goals, what we need to do is to find the “new oil”—a basis for energy prosperity in the 21st century that is as enabling as oil and gas have been for the past century. Innovations and advances in materials science (will) transform our vision of plentiful, low-cost energy into reality…developing new technologies…in the brave new energy era…everybody gets to play.”

june05_MatMat.qxp (


“The Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) industry has been looking for a cost-effective solution for a while. Some believe that turning carbon dioxide waste into polymers holds lots of promise.”

Plastics From Carbon Emissions and Potential Carbon Credits

Common polymer precursor: pure vodka-

Ethanol - Wikipedia

“UHMWPE is odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic…strength-to-weight ratios eight times that of high-strength steels”

Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene - Wikipedia


Welcome to the forum John.

To complete your post, there are Advanced Kite Networks and Preprint on "Concept for the Giga-Wind Institute "Plan Humboldt" Chapter" topics.


Hello To John O., speaking for Dave S.: John, one of the hallmarks of wannabe wind energy efforts that go nowhere is to talk of the vast power available in the wind, as though such an observation confirms the notion that the method being promoted is automatically capable of economically extracting that immense power.
It is as though wind energy is not already an established art, and the promoter needs to convince an ignorant audience that wind energy is even worth pursuing. I see no evidence or indication that the Jalbert triangles of fabric are in any way relevant to wind energy, and we already know the promoter is against measuring output, but instead hopes people will just take his word for the idea that whatever his latest fixation is once again “the answer” to wind energy. Given the track record, I don;t think there is any real reason to take any of this seriously, but nice to see your smiling face here. :).

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Wait a little longer, DOugS. It won’t be long anymore.

Thomas only needed a week’s wait to see the living proof he sought.

Higher heights,


Thanks, PierreB.
Glad to re-connect with you here.

8 posts were merged into an existing topic: Slow Chat

Single-unit-kite concepts were not properly conceived to reach high altitudes. The proper way to fly highest is by multi-unit kite trains. The principle is precisely the same as multi-stage rocketry to achieve orbit; each stage carries the next higher.

Train Record 9740m 1919, over a century ago.

Lindenberg - historical world attitude record in 1919 (

For efficient Kite Trains today, we need to ask ourselves: who are current KiteMasters in our midst? This is where @Rodread and David Santos Gorrenna Guinn come to mind. Apart from being a veteran Aeronautic Roboticist with known connections in NASA; DaveS (USA) has had the honor to learn kite train practice by the greatest historians and practitioners of our time during a 7yr residency at the World Kite Museum (Patton, Diem, Busing, Hassan, etc.). He got to know Walter Diem, Germany’s greatest kite historian, at Fanø.

He affirms and I concur that: "Train topology was the standard method for scaling kites to altitude. Layered AWES can once again work at 10km, by the same principle-

Inline image

One can scale horizontally as well with many-connected topological stability.

10km high? Of course, we can get there, harvesting AWE at every level in between. Our super-polymers are 10x lighter for the same strength than the piano wire that did it long before. Graphene will be 10x better still."
DaveS had always maintained from earliest Makani days that ‘Kite Trains’ is a critical AWE research direction being neglected by industry members, some of whom have burned through much investment (Makani, the lion’s share), but will never fly high, because they don’t practice multi-stage AWES.

Can sincere full disclosure of AWE R&D accidents show that no life has been lost to date in mishaps? More people may yet be saved in the course of AWE R&D through optimal research design.

My sincere appreciation goes to @Windy_Skies for this opportunity to rework my earlier version of this post.
Best lifts.

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I am glad that the moderators have graciously agreed that this topic maintains its own thread. Please I welcome questions, ideas, and further contributions from all.
First, my sincere apologies for the seeming lack of focus on topic as pointed out to me already by @Windy_Skies.
My simple point from the earliest paragraphs is this:
‘Kite-Trains’ or ‘Multi-unit Kite Trains’ rather than single kites were the means by which the highest heights by kites were attained way back in 1919. It had also taken multi-stage rocketry with new propulsion taking the rockets from one height to the next at each stage for modern flights to achieve orbit. Should we not look into this in our AWE efforts? AWE is tethered aviation at its best.
If early Kite-trains with weightier tethers could reach ~ 10Km, can modern kite trains with much-improved technology and presumable stronger materials not repeat the same feat if we agree indeed that the higher winds are more powerful?
On my last paragraph: it is obvious that flight is risky and flight technology in AWE must seek to minimize risk. The risk increases in my opinion in direct proportion to the mass aloft hence the need for optimal research designs.

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4879 m in 2014.

4422 m in 2000.

And as you indicate @AweEnthusiast, 9740 m in 1919, so more than twice the altitude reached by a single kite.

Indeed kite altitude is important for AWE, which intends to harness high altitude wind energy.

Always good to remember kite trains. I think we covered this quite a bit, circa 2009 - 2010.
SuperTurbine, Daisy, and stacks of kites, all exemplify this “stackable” paradigm.
Rather than more handwaving and happytalk about the vastness of the wind resource and stratospheric possibilities, while promising impending TeraWatts at some dubious future time, AWE seems to be in need of a cheap, powerful, reliable system at any scale (smaller is easier and more affordable), which could then be stacked, extrapolated, expanded, lengthened, multi-staged, etc. Just reminding us of the existence kite trains is good, lest people forget, but not really new information.

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We are talking about several thousand meters of altitude where the resource is, and that the kites can reach, not a few meters above the ground.

For the moment Skysails seems to emerge clearly (100 kW average at hundreds meters height).

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I think the questions or statements in this topic are too broad or too vague to be useful, and like Doug says in one of the moved comments, not necessary to build something now as you can always add stuff on later.

Narrower questions could be: let’s assume, or not, your kites are all mostly at the end of a very long tether as that is where supposedly the strongest winds are: how do you get the power to the ground? You’d choose one of several options and explore that further. How thick would tethers need to be, how long would they need to be, how heavy would they be and how much total drag would they generate, how much would that drag vary, what are the minimum and maximum wind speeds that the system could operate in, what would the cycle times be if there are cycles, how long would it take to launch and land, how would it launch and land, and so on ad infinitum.

I don’t think it’s safe to assume all kites follow classic rules. What kinda kite is going to be most altitude capable may require significant reconfiguration away from THE RULES.
This is a Daisy

A Daisy chain

These are not your typical diamond on a point at the end of a straight line kinda kites.
These are multiple kites at multiple altitude points up a line

Oh and these ones go sideways, huh look at that.

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I have always been a bit perplexed by the lack of trains in AWE.

There is Zhonglu High Altitude Wind Power Technology - 中路高空风力发电技术, a train of parachute kites, which reached 512 m altitude.

An aligned (not crosswind) AWES like this, or a stationary AWES, would allow to mitigate tether drag which is seen as a limit for the reachable altitude of crosswind kites as specified on the video (from 0:43) of, but more details and calculations would tell the story better.

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Ultimately, all questions cannot be answered here for individual understandings differ. Let interested parties ask their questions where they need further clarifications. Permit me to add though, that we may need the help of others not yet on the forum or perhaps already banned from the forum in the past to now answer some details.
I must further state here that I am not standing in for anyone in particular but I hold a conviction thus: in the quest of knowledge, it is sometimes worth listening to one considered an ‘irritating fool’.
Due apologies for any offence for none is intended here. I have a Biblical illustration in mind but not all men have faith.

No, it is unlikely that all questions will be answered in this topic, but over time a number of them may be become bounded by our greater understanding of conducted experiments, physics, and so on, which we can explore here. The rest of your comment is off topic here, so maybe you can edit that out before it derails the topic. You can put them here: Questions about Moderation - #42 by Windy_Skies

It is questions that form the basis of investigation. On the basis of those we can try to explore the topic further. What is a narrow question that you are interested in, so that we can undertake a more focused exploration?

I think we can and should now properly address this question.
In the early days of AirborneWindEnergy, it was helpful to align the emerging field with the closest technology that will make for the easiest possible comprehension. So, AWE was defined as ‘Wind Energy’ beyond the towers of the traditional Wind Energy technologies.
With a better understanding now, I think it is fairly obvious now to practitioners of this new field that the technologies must differ.
Flying Energy Kites and other aloft power generation AWE models are employing traditional Wind models in AWE. Aloft power generation certainly is safer with sustaining base pillars already reaching their limits in traditional Wind Energy. To fly generators will greatly limit scaling potential and will be more dangerous as they scale, scaring away many an insurer.
Thus Groundgen AWE simply makes for better scaling given the possible mass of generators with driving power transferable from aloft winds and controls as limitations.
In essence, traditional Towered Wind has been carrying generators into the wind, AirborneWind should aim to safely bring the upper winds down to earth for work.

This comment brought in here by Forum moderators was initially posted under its own topic: IS AIRBORNE WIND SAME AS WIND ENERGY? CONSIDERATIONS FOR POSITIONING GENERATORS.
Thank you for your further comments and contributions.

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