Yes, but it is the people who dare to think something «worse» who can find other than incremental improvements. People who go for inferior solutions, but that turn out to be superior in time.
Before this happens, the design must go through a phase of optimization and further invention. Its a fools errand because most of the time, as you say, it’s a dead end.
So maybe you need to be professor Crackpot to make AWE work. I am learning heaps every day at Kitemill building a solution that many of you guys debunk regularily. And I still think maybe it’s possible. So do the people at Makani and Ampyx and many others, for their respective designs. So did you @dougselsam with the Wind Serpent.
The better approach (and I seem to be repeating nyself here) is to give honest feedback to each others, but not try to say that this or that is doomed, eg:
«@dougselsam, won’t that shaft of the windserpent be extremely heavy with scale?»
«@dougselsam, how will you deal with larger blades rotating slower, thus transferring less energy through the shaft»
«@dougselsam, you should stop thinking about the Wind Serpent, because it’s a doomed project, and further development will only show the concept’s infeasibility. By the way you must be out of your mind to spend time on this, and you clearly don’t understand _____»
Because I believe that if we don’t have guys like you «turning the stones» we will be stuck with ground based wind power for a while yet. I dont want you to use my judgement on your project, rather I want you each to use your own best judgement. Just because you are a different person with different experiences and a different mind.