Just saying, the original theme was eliminating towers, which could reduce costs. It does sound silly today to think that the towers are the main cost or “the big problem”. But that was how this all started.
Tower cost accounted for 20% in my book which is probably already 20 years old. The tower is just a steel tube, dead simple stuff. Removing the tower is not enough…
I think this angle of AWE optimism though also takes into account that the more inefficient inner swept area is not present in AWE.
I think this could add up in a nice way contributing to reduced costs, but then we must also not add other expensive elements.
For me the question is rather; can it be done? Only then will we be able to say if «that» could make business sense.
AWES were originally designed to massively harness the more powerful and steady high altitude winds. Their main chance of success is to meet the initial goals.
My take is that maybe you dont need something better on a logarithmic scale. Maybe is just has to be in the ballpark as good as HAWT. Then maybe slightly better over time. Or just better for some sites.
Its nice to be super good, but that kind of says that HAWTs are bad, which I think is a dangerous assumtion to make
There is little chance that AWES will replace HAWT for the same wind ranges. HAWTs are more efficient, more reliable, and take up much less land use.
On the other hand, AWES could be more suitable for winds that are difficult to reach with HAWTs, as the amount of energy exploited could compensate for their weakness (space use, efficiency, reliability) if they can harness much in a limited zone.
Hi Pierre - yes you are right there. I think that original “Jet Stream Dream” degenerated to “just replacing towers” as people began to calculate tether mass and drag for stratospheric placement.
Hi Doug, tether drag and weight are no longer a problem if we consider that the longer the tether is, the larger the (networked) kite is. I mentioned several times the required huge dimensions of the kite(s) compared to tether length, and Dave Santos and John @AweEnthusiast well understood this:
100% in agreement with you Tallakt.
“the best possible AWE design will not look like a flying HAWT. It will contain some «debunked» elements to the design”
Look at Makani et al.
Does this not tell that Flying Turbines in AWE may not be the way to go considering its #scalability?
That tends to leave us with #Groundgen #AWE, doesn’t it?
John3:8a - " The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: …"
Let us summarize this reasoning by imagining Doug around 1955:
Standard vehicle on wheels:
We, in standard vehicles on wheels, experience an endless parade of supposed improvements on the already-minimalist “standard vehicle-style on wheels", which is literally the result of thousands of years of refinement. See the date when the wheel was invented. The same basic “standard vehicle on wheels” form serves many uses, both for moving road and rail and to takeoff for aircraft. Obviously, the “standard vehicle” form has turned out to be very useful, and has in fact become “the way” to accomplish transfer from a place to another place.
The rocket is a curiosity that has been around for over 700 years, in which time there has been no compelling use-case found for it.
So, without going into all the details, it would seem unlikely that a standard vehicle device without wheels would turn out to be advantageous.
We know what happened after 1957, starting with Sputnik.
Now, let us be serious: none of the AWE solutions exist in traditional wind energy: there is no reeling system, no flygen of course, but also no tilted rotor, and no kite or Magnus balloon to sustain the wind turbine. Current wind turbines don’t fly.
So you have two possibilities:
- You always try to demolish each of the proposals, arguing that such an AWE proposal is not aligned with current wind turbines, which is a nonsense since both AWES and current wind turbines are not identical;
- You try to see the propositions, READ them, try to understand then comment or not.
Interesting you picked the wheel as an example.
I was thinking the same thing, except in reverse:
Imagine someone comes along with a square wheel for better traction offroad (probably already tried).
Now let’s say it turns out the ride is too bumpy.
After a few cars are ripped apart and a few people have lost their teeth to vibration, the idea is bypassed.
Darn, back to the good ole’ round wheel!
As far as the viability of ANY reeling AWE system, I’ve mentioned the following proposal for a project:
- Create the best, most economical reeling system you can possibly come up with. No kite, no sausage, JUST the reeling system itself.
- Engineer and build a powered pulling system for the cable (tether), without regard to cost, that can operate the reeling system either on the ground or, preferably on a tower or slope to get a realistic angle of the tether
- Demonstrate economical power production from this reeling system for a few years, without regard to the cost of the pulling apparatus, nor the power provided to operate it, just show that the reeling system itself could provide reliable, economical, long-term power generation.
The above is a project that will never be done. Why? because dreamers would rather remain with one foot in fantasy-land, and would never want to risk disproving something that is generating so much fun (and bankruptcy) for so many people.
I have also mentioned a thought experiment of using a standard wind turbine rotor for reeling:
- Mount a standard wind turbine rotor (no generator), on a standard tower, on rails, downwind of a reeling system.
- Use pitch control to control the rotor, while the turbine on a tower, rolling on rails, is allowed to first pull downwind for a few hundred feet, then reverse for “a recovery phase” where the turbine is pulled back upwind, using power.
- Show this generates power more efficiently and economically than a standard wind turbine.
Another experiment that will never be done!
Why? Because it would take people out of fantasy-land!
This would be the ground-based version of “kite-reeling”, except perhaps more efficient.
Even so, it appears absurd on its face. Why?
Too “Rube Goldberg” (inappropriately complicated).
Too much space used,
too much matwerial,
Once again you find yourself forced to compare a supposed improvement in wind energy, with the standard wind turbine.
People new to wind energy (or in some cases, perpetual newbies) ALWAYS try to avoid a comparison with real wind energy. But that is itself absurd, since we know real wind energy works well.
Take a vertical-axis machine, maybe an H-rotor.
At a glance you can prove any of the 3 blades uses enough material to build a regular wind turbine rotor.
At another glance you can show
less swept area, and
a lower TSR, and
reversing forces twice with every rotation, guaranteed to rip the machine apart
for the vertical-axis turbine
The developer won’t listen, they just cover their ears and go “la la la I can’t hear you!”
But, all you have to do is directly compare it to a regular wind turbine.
I often use a peanut can as an exaple.
The can itself represents the swept area of the blade of an H-rotor vertical-axis turbine
The plastic lid of the can represents the swept area of of a regular wind turbine of about the same diameter and power.
It is easy to see that the vertical-axis turbine must “sweep” 3.14 times its intercepted area!
The regular wind turbine sweeps 1 times its intercepted area.
So the V-A machine is less than one third as efficient of a use of blade material, as a start.
But no matter how obvious this is, people still go on building vertical-axis wind turbines that then fail!
Develpopers cite the ability to harness wind from any direction (the old “urban turbine” myth).
The first “improvement” is to make the blades react with variable pitch in response to the wind direction!
You can’t make this stuff up!
The field of “improved” wind turbines is just full of dreamers, schemers, and people who can;t think their way out of a paper bag! Always has been, always will!
Doug, in my previous comment I described your way or thinking, replacing the Magnus effect (no propeller, so it is bad) with the rocket (no wheels, so it is bad).
Concerning your answer just now, this is a series of sophisms, starting with square wheels, continuing with “just the reeling system itself”, still continuing with the example 1000 times repeated of a standard wind turbine in reeling mode…
By inventing absurd premises, you are virtually guaranteed to end up with something absurd, allowing you to call AWE conceptors “idiots, idiots, idiots”.
Aren’t you tired of repeating such nonsense? If not, I’ll tell you that I’m tired of reading it.
You’re entitled to think that AWE isn’t viable, but in that case you should play it straight, like Mike Barnard who is unambiguous about it, and stick to 3-bladed HAWT.
My way of thinking is I know wind energy as a simple and effective working concept, and so I recognize overly-complicated garbage masquerading as wind energy solutions when I see it.
I realize it is hard for some people to accept.
Newbie wannnabes can’t stand knowledgeable veterans in wind energy.
Mike Barnard has his opinions - to me, he is a newcomer, he makes sense in general, but I don’t agree with his hopeless absolutism. I’m pretty sure I was debunking whacky wind ideas long before it ever occurred to him. But unlike Mike, I also keep an open mind. I have wind energy ideas far beyond anything anyone has ever contemplated, completely new ways of doing it, but i will refrain from yakking about it til I get some proof.
I’m also far past the point of getting upset over comments on the internet over the general AWE garbage pile floating around out there, pretending it is an economically viable wind energy solution.
I have a life beyond comments about peoples’ wind energy fantasies on the web, where anyone can say anything, whether it makes any sense or not.
Hi Doug, then you must be very unhappy that in an AWE forum (whatever it may be), we only discuss projects or sketches, including mine, which have only a tiny (or zero) chance of leading to viable energy solutions.
Do you know any people from the traditional wind energy sector (three-bladed HAWT), the one that works, who are interested in AWES? There may have been some fifteen years ago, but I challenge you to name any, and you’re not one of them, even when your knowledge about wind turbines can be far higher than those of traditional (!) AWE people. I have never seen any post about AWES, on any AWE forum, from a wind energy veteran.
Well, maybe zero is a good number for some stuff floating on this forum, even most of my own stuff maybe. But the main point in this forum is not stating a single truth but rather exchange opinions. In this way, if the chance of eventually succeeding is non zero, I believe taking part in these discussions is progressing AWE. Maybe just a little, but still.
I think also in the way @dougselsam says he is tired of reading about «idiots» of wind, you @PierreB are tired of endless arguments which are not to the point, and lack general desire to actually understand what is being said and give constructive feedback. But @dougselsam actually has a good answer for this, dont care so much. This is the internet. In a forum you make many connections, and maybe the ones you sometimes make are not the ones you are looking for. I think thats ok
I’m not sure I ever said I was “tired of” it. More of a neverending challenge…
I don’t agree that my comments are not to the point, but rather that they are exactly to the point, but people don’t want to hear the voice of experience and common sense. Once you’ve had equipment out there being destroyed over and over until you find a way to prevent the destruction by adjustments and unplanned modifications, IF you EVER get to that point, you BEGIN to understand how wind energy works. It comes down to whether you have useful, productive,strong winds or not. If so, your shit will be blown to smithereens many times before you get it right, if not, you will be dabbling in light winds and never make good power, never realizing how delicate your apparatus is until you realize you have to put it away if it gets windy.
What is your solution: sustaining a conventional wind turbine with a kite (something like Kiwee)? Other? Or rather using the same 3-bladed wind turbine by on a tower as usually made?
Reeling, flygen, lifting a wind turbine or a Kiwee-like…
What would be a less bad AWE solution that would not be debunked in the first place? Perhaps The Pyramid?
Debunking would mean proving that something is not viable. That is different from not thinking something is viable. Just saying
In my opinion, there are three types of AWES:
- those I think they will not work;
- those I don’t think they will work;
- those I don’t think about.