Makani assets auction + related discussion + eWind progress

Here is one article talking about floating HAWTS LCOE trends

Of course floating HAWT have not been around long enough to prove anything, but there was a small array which came online earlier this year of the coast of Portugal so the viability is being demonstrated as we speak.

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There’s always time for a bit of humour @PierreB
Why suffer? Let’s enjoy. …
One valuable outcome from this auction - A super computer which worked on kite design - well that’s already pre-programmed to work on string theory.


That supercomputer would surely run Grashopper like theres no tomorrow…


I see mockery facing a big competitor on the ground, not humour. Excuse me for not laughing.

In offshore environment the advantage of consistent winds at high altitude is lesser, and also the cantilever effect of floating HAWT can perhaps be mitigated until some point.

Given all the parameters, AWES will find it difficult to impose itself against HAWT, unless a new design maximizes space and allows to provide tens of MW / unit.

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No, that’s Windlift out of North Carolina. They had worked with the military but may not be currently. eWind is funded by the US Department of Agriculture, so the closest thing they could offer is a big combine/tractor…LOL
Electric van sounds very cool - yes, get the kites up and generate some power!
Makani has some nice equipment and we’ll be following the auction. We could use a few pieces from their collection. The auction is 3 days and we’ve purchased equipment in the past from this particular auction house. The kite museum is a good idea. If you’re going to put the Makani kite on the wall of a pub, it better be a really big pub.


Utility scale power generation from airborne devices remains unknown. We’re getting traction and having success producing power with our small scale system (compared to most of the others). We’ve had decent winds to field test regularly in the past couple months and are consistently able to produce power and a power curve - woohoo! I’ll post videos as everyone likes to see where others are in development.
Our prototypes are “crude” in comparison to others, BUT, they fly and produce power. Unfortunately, the investment world is looking for power producing systems measured in Quads. We’ll keep plugging along as there is a space for this sized system.


Future funding for utility scale AWE projects is potentially under threat as the niche market where utility scale AWE had potential was floating offshore, but with floating HAWT’s coming of age big energy companies like EOn, Shell spending lots of money developing AWE must surely make less sense as a utility scale device seems to be a long way off. The biggest investors in AWES, and specifically utility scale projects have been EOn, Shell and Google/Alphabet: EOn and Shell both dropped KPS, Alphabet and Shell dropped Makani leaving only Ampyx funded by EOn. There of course may be other big investors funding utility scale AWE that I don’t know about but there is a trend emerging in the type of investor and type of project that has been dropped. All speculation of course.

@katieschaef I would love to see your video.

The file is too big so will cut it down and post a link here.

This is a good new for wind energy.

I would not count on these investors knowing exactly which AWE projects are worthwhile

@tallakt ,
These investors especially Shell and EOn are very much focused on utility scale projects, competitive LCOE numbers and nothing else, to the point that they try to dictate the natural technology development path to the companies they fund, which is fair enough its their money; and a worthwhile investment is to them is a company which tells them what they want to hear. Your right what is most worthwhile to AWE research and development is not likely to be at the top of the list of the people making investment decisions within these big companies. Of course saying that killing funding to utility scale development at this stage is probably a good call as the concepts put forward are not ready to go big; the correct concept for competitive utility scale product has not been researched enough and may not exist at all.

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That is an excellent way to doom an investment. A new entrant can’t survive if it’s slightly better in one metric, like LCOE, if it’s worse in all others. It should try to find a metric where some buyers appreciate that it is an order of magnitude better than other solutions in one metric, and doesn’t care too much if it is worse in others. Over time and with money coming in from the sale of its system it then can hopefully improve the other metrics to become an overall better solution to be able to compete in more markets.

If you want to start a new business, and you want it to be successful, and you think you can beat the incumbents by making better products that you can sell for better profits to the competitor’s best costumers, they will kill you.

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A post was split to a new topic: Floating HAWT LCOE

eWind Field Test Ft Stevens 03 06 20
ground wind 11mph
wind at 300ft 17mph
gusts to 35


Katie, I did not remember which company was yours, so I googled you, and found ewind solutions, read an article with the ewinds story, and am pretty impressed. Your company is now my favorite of the kite-reeling efforts. Working at a reasonable scale for a new technology, targeting a product to power one site sooner, rather than “hundreds of homes” later, in some nebulous distant future that sounds great but never arrives. I read about your husband’s years at Xerox. Well You can tell him I grew up in the Rochester, NY area where Xerox got started, and spent a lot of time with Robert Gundlach, Xerox’s head of research, as a teenager. I was friends with his kids and we all went skiing, camping, etc. They had one of the first Xerox machines in their basement - took up half a room, and required a lot of manual shaking of trays etc, to produce the images, giving the opportunity to control the process, and was used for art projects. I spent a lot of time in that basement. We even had some out of control parties with all the troublemakers in our high school there. Bob Gundlach, who won an award for having more patents than anyone in NY State, told me on a camping trip when I was in high school he thought I was a natural inventor. Ironically after he was retired he contacted me here in California to ask me how to file a patent. At Xerox, he had other people to handle all that paperwork. He just had to come up with the ideas.
Anyway I wish your effort success, and I would love to see whatever latest power curve you could possibly share.
:slight_smile: - Doug Selsam


Hi Doug,
Thank you for the kind words and support. We’re trying to be strategic in our approach. Start small - we can always scale. I think part of our success to date comes from the experience David garnered at IBM and Xerox. Produce a minimum viable product and stick to the TRL matrix.
Very cool you are from David’s old stomping grounds. He graduated from RIT and has many stories about basement parties. What else is there to do when there is 5’ of snow on the ground? wink wink. We had a later version prototype printer and we had to keep it in our garage as it could heat the entire house! Gundlach certainly was a huge contributor to Xerox’s success.
I should restate my former comment on the power curve. I’m not an engineer so need to be careful when I throw information out there. We have power curves for various wind conditions and not a complete power curve (as you’d have with a traditional wind turbine). The key difference is we don’t produce steady power at a specific speed so the power varies within our power stroke at a given wind speed.
We’ll be out testing at the coast this weekend (weather permitting) and will have more data and video.
Fingers crossed for continued success!
Katie Schaefer


Hi Katie
Wow I spent a lot of time at RIT too. My best friend’s dad, Robert Gilman, was a Chemistry Professor at RIT and we would go there to hang out, swim in the pool, etc. I even took a summer art class there as a teenager, and had friends who were students there later. Dr. Robert Gilman eventually moved out here to Southern California, and was our roommate in Huntington Beach (Surf City) for a few years. Good luck testing this weekend, and hopefully it isn’t raining!

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This video allows to see the whole system. Congratulations for the progress and the video!

@katieschaef you wrote “start small”. But this AWES is already hundreds of meters! It covers almost half a km².

On the video we do not see anyone under the tether, and for good reason (unless it is pure chance): any secondary use is difficult if it is even possible within an area used by a crosswind AWES even “small”. I am surprised to still be the only one who thinks that the space occupied is a real problem. To whom can we sell a wind turbine producing a few thousand watts for an occupied area of ​​half a km²?

The length of the tether should be more or less proportional to the dimensions of the wing, in other words 5 to 10 times shorter to start really small, knowing that the flight requirements may not allow it.

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Land Use Under AWES Operations