"Getting airborne – the need to realise the benefits of airborne wind energy for net zero"

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Well I wasn’t inclined to read one more “Captain Obvious” “paper” on AWE. But I did skim it a bit - thanks Roddy. I saw this:
“This is a relatively new generating solution
being developed by both Windswept and
Interesting and aweSOME Labs called a kite
Interesting… I thought Makani was a kite turbine - eight of them.
They don’t mention SuperTurbine(R) was the only working demo at the first High Altitude Wind Power Conference in 2009, having won a Popular Science Invention of the Year. While everyone else was talking gibberish, the system was outside the window, generating power. It’s OK, I’m used to it… :slight_smile:


The SuperTurbines ™ are too well known and widespread to be presented.

And if there is something relatively new, it is because there is something relatively old

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I sent in a picture.
Nobody sensible would trust me with the text

Im used to hearing about this now too. Though in 2009 I was not into AWE, and the AWE landscape was maybe different than today

Hi Tallak: Yes somewhat different, but, as the saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Makani was already running experimental prototypes, although they didn’t bring one or run it at that conference. The discussion over flygen or groundgen was as big then as it is now.

Skywindpower and Magenn were getting more attention then:

Joby was going to nail it. Bu then they “pivoted” to just providing motors for electric aircraft, then went over to developing air taxis, which is where they’re at today.

Altaeros had not started yet. And nobody had wasted a billion dollars yet.

But the backdrop for alternative approaches to wind energy was similar: Lots of inadvisable ideas being thrown around and sometimes built, once in a while, one might even generate some power, or at least generate some excitement.

For people in wind energy, the losing ideas seemed easy to spot. We were already used to “The Professor Crackpot Syndrome”. Usually, back then, the good professor would advocate vertical-axis machines, whether Darrieus or Savonius (like flygen or groundgen?) with occasional demos, often incorporating magnetic bearings, using household fans to spin them in display booths appearing as “comic relief” at otherwise serious wind energy conferences.

Today we still talk of flygen vs groundgen, but instead of Magenn and Makani, we talk of spinning sausages, providing wifi, and substituting solar panels for working wind-energy-producing surfaces. I don’t remember when “disaster relief” became a theme - was it there from day-one? Back then there was a lot more talk of high altitude systems, up to and including “the jet stream”. That fairly quickly reduced to “low level jets”.

Things that are still the same are the cultlike enthusiasm of some, the “preaching-to-the-choir” conferences, the generalized confusion, the nondevelopment of possibly-promising approaches, the lack of a clear winning approach, the Kool-Aid-drinking, repetitive articles by clueless “journalists”, the group-selfies leading to bankruptcy, the pivoting to unrelated projects, and the general lack of forward momentum for any approach.

Don’t worry @tallakt
Miserable cynics had a lot to say about the past back then too

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Oh and how could I forget: trying to tacitly blame anyone who would question “the narrative” for the failure of “the narrative”, by degenerating into name-calling. “Shoot the messenger” - That’s always been there too.