Sailing ships in Forbes - also Skysails

Was attempting to verify the claims of Santos that “Skysails 100” is in operation. Googleized it. Found this article in Forbes:

Sounds good - more “news of the future”. What do you think? Is a “Golden Age of Sailing” about to emerge? Will these sails become mainstream?
Most of the ideas presented are not AWE, just advanced designs for faster, taller sails. There’s a mention of “rotating cylinders”. But that concept is long-disproven, using more energy in rotation than the “sails” provide in propulsion. It was determined that the extra energy was better applied to the existing propellers. But does that stop them? No, like another squirrel trying to figure out how to get into the very desirable Squirellinator™ trap, they want to use a proven bad idea. Same trap, different day… Some things never change.

What I find striking with regard to AWE is how little knowledge these outsider, third-party, supposed “experts” have, showing absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Reminds me of articles still promoting Magenn long after it had become a laughingstock, or presenting the Altaeros Flying Donut, as current, cutting edge info, years after it had already been abandoned.

By the way, I was an early proponent of kites pulling ships, back in the 1980’s .
Ever notice how all airborne wind energy “news” is always “in the future”?

OK here’s some more “News”:

It says Skysails has to outperform the failed Makani project, with their future project on the island in the Indian Ocean.

By way of explanation, it also delineates two (2) symptoms of “The Professor Crackpot Syndrome” that they now figured out afflicted McBlarney:

  1. Going too big, too fast, believing people won’t take it seriously unless it is way too big for an early prototype;
  2. No overspeed protection.

One of my slogans for the past couple of decades, even before the current AWE hype cycle, has been:
“Overspeed protection is not the main thing, it’s the ONLY thing.”
This has been resolutely resisted and denied by well er um “certain people” who will go unmentioned but you can guess.
Sounds like Makani figured that one out with the help of an actual experienced wind person: Fort Felker

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This particularly applied to the Makani wing because the secondary turbines were already spinning at a critical speed under normal circumstances.

On the other hand, yo-yo systems (SkySails and KitePower as examples) are less prone to this problem, having moreover a parry by the depower of the wing which is used in each cycle. Moreover, they did not fly long enough to be faced with this problem.

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The common strategy for many AWE is to land… This is not possible with traditional HAWT

Landing can take too long and is applicable when a change in wind intensity is announced. Sudden and unpredictable wind swings require other immediate means (depower? depower + landing?).

A recurrent theme in wannabe wind energy is “we don’t need overspeed protection - we’ll just “shut 'er down” whenever strong winds are anticipated!”
But this is not always practical. The most productive times, when you can expect full-power, are those times when the wind speed will often exceed the desired 25-30 mph as it cycles like waves breaking on a beach.
So you miss the times when full output could occur.
Utility-scale turbines feather the blades in real time to address these excessive wind gusts. Smaller turbines often furl. Turbines are categorized by how they address overspeed. Often there is regular overspeed protection, then a second layer of emergency shutdown potential just in case the winds get too strong for the first layer to be effective, or if it fails. So I do not have all the answers, but just saying you will shut the apparatus down in response to strong winds is the typical answer given by newbies who don’t know any better.
It is always possible some new system will make this approach possible, but that is the info from real wind energy as developed so far.

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