Random Engineering, Physics, ..., Concepts and Ideas

Yes I have indicated my approval of this concept and the implementation seems solid so far. No group selfies. Just a simple, well-thought out, hopefully well-constructed machine. Wow look how fast that water is moving, I’d hate to be stuck in that tide in a rowboat! Assuming the numbers make sense, this looks like the beginning of something big to me.

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LTA windpower | Technology would be a similar concept but for AWE. I doubt it would work that well.

I had a similar thought, Pierre. Just one more example of how nobody tries even (especially?) the simplest ideas in AWE.

In the air, unlike in the water, the mass and the weight are big concerns. To carry the turbines, a kytoon plus a lot of helium are required.

I dont think this looks very promising. We have Helium/H2 issues, large vessel not doing work, still need lots of downwind pull to be counteracted, weight of cable, no crosswind motion except prop rotation etc. I think I rate this a bit lower than a HAWT, except maybe for capacity factor, but it can surely not be the cheapest means to get that

The aerostats are large fabric envelopes filled with helium, and can rise up to an altitude of 15,000 feet (4,600 m) while tethered by a single cable. The largest lifts a 1000 kg payload to an operating altitude providing low-level, downward-looking radar coverage. The aerostat consists of four major parts or assemblies: the hull and fin, windscreen and radar platform, airborne power generator, and rigging, and tether; they are kite balloons obtaining aerodynamic lift from relative wind as well as buoyancy from being lighter than air.

1000 kg payload, so one or two small wind turbines (150 m² both) for a potential of about 100 kW at 15 m/s wind speed. The altitude could be limited to about 200 or 300 m, the turbines becoming larger thanks to the tether saving. After all why not?

Rotary AWES are underexposed in mainstream academic literature
I think we need this guy to explain it

Bonus points for whoever manages to turn that device into a working AWES part

Another version by Daniel Piker https://twitter.com/KangarooPhysics/status/1426237401123405825?s=19

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YouTube playlist

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I like that golden ratio distribution video.
Gave me an idea for how you might deploy a great number of kites on a rotor…
Say you start with a solid ring with a few kites on it,
The ring tethered to a PTO wheel upwind and a lift kite downwind.
Let the ring start turning (slowly for now and tilted into wind for some lift)
You have a bunch of single kites with a programmed tethering and connection patterning which can be fixed a bit further outwards onto the ring and tethered to the PTO as it turns.

As long as you can keep adding kites…
You’d end up with a well spaced set of blades making a huge network rotor

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The Tesla AI day kind of opened my eyes.

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Let me expand: Tesla lays out how it built the AI system to provide full self driving. It occured to me that some thibgs also apply to AWE in the Yoyo form at least; humans have trouble flying the thing due to information overload and processing and response time. Musk touches these issues in the Q&A session. It seems clear to me that for AWE, keeping the kite airborne is a huge and real issue. For instance, a person cant deduce the apparent velocity at the kite, the wind speed, the angle og attack at all. On the other hand, an AI pilot would have access to all of these and more values. And be able to act in microseconds. And the world of an AWE kite is initially very simple: just the ground, the winch, the tether, the wind and the kite.

I think if someone put just a little effort into an AI pilot, these kites would fly themselves to a larger extent, thus making it simpler to keep it airborne and gather flight hours.

It could also solve the issue when a gust causes the kite out of the planned path, and no preprogrammed routine exists (ie freestyling). The top priority would be never hit the ground, then keep flying speed over a minimum, tether tension below a maximum etc etc.

In the end figuring out where to fly is probably a lot simpler than parking a car at an airport with heavy traffic

I feel that there is a big difference between control of a crosswind power kite and a lifter kite. The lifter kite must normally maintain a fixed position and only the launch and land procedures must be controlled.


Good point Gordon. I’ve always thought the huge promises made in AWE were weird, considering no one had even developed a simple kite able to take off and land by itself.

Adam Savage’s Favorite Tools: Electric Cast-Cutting Saw!

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Well I’m not sure about scalability
but here’s an easier to deploy and less carbon intense wind turbine…

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Below are links to a few articles covering a recent huge wind turbine & tower collapse in Germany. You can see in the photos, the failed tower appears to be made of flat panels in an octagonal configuration. Reinforced concrete? Wood? Details in the articles are lacking, and nobody is stating a cause, but whatever happened, it looks like maybe the choice of an alternative to a regular tubular steel tower could be at fault. If anyone finds out more info, it would be nice to know.


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Unrelated, but kind of interesting: Investigation Report for the Collapse of a Nordex Wind Turbine at Screggagh Wind Farm.pdf

18 (ish) Mechanical Design Tips and Tricks for Engineers Inventors and Serious Makers: # 093


lt-2197-brochure-design-guide-for-bonding-plastics-volume-6-2011.pdf (3.0 MB)

SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Topology Optimization

Michell, A. G. M. (1904) The limits of economy of material in frame-structures , Philosophical Magazine, Vol. 8(47), p. 589-597.

Kite plane designers might want to get in touch with Ole Sigmund: [10:46], [34:37]

EML Webinar by Ole Sigmund on the topology optimization

EML Webinar on 21 Oct 2020 by Michael Mcalpine on 3D Printing Functional Materials and Devices

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WAVE POWER: Hi Guys just ran across this article on ocean wave power.

$25 million spent, and now looking for more millions to test one. Really? You couldn’t build and test one for $25 million?
Anyone out playing in the surf cannot help but be impressed with the immense power of waves, especially when they knock you on your arse and smash you into the water. Out surfing, big waves seem like a freight train tipping over on you. I have always been intrigued by the concept of wave power, but, despite the apparent simplicity of the challenge, I noticed there did not seem to be any actual compelling solution. At this point I do not expect one to emerge. It seems to be one more case of “chasing the dragon”. I don’t know exactly why. I guess it would have to start with how much energy is actually there to collect, then how to collect it efficiently. Never seen anything turn out to be promising, yet.