Scaling in numbers rather than size

I was thinking today: most talk about utility scale AWE talks about scaling up to get costs down.

Could we scale in numbers instead? Producing large amounts of commoditized, self-running AWE rigs may be another path to getting large scale, even if each wing is only, say 20 square meter.

Cubic law rule dictates that the weight penalty for large wings is very large.

Smaller wings are easier to handle.

Many smaller wings could share a more expensive taxi drone for takeoff.

The only other scaling law (except cost) that could counteract this is the square root scaling of tether drag. This dictates that we need ideally a single tether connected to a gigantic kite to get to high altitudes. But high altitudes can be obtained through other means also such as concave tether configurations (eg Y kite pairs being the most common scenario) and also supporting downwind pull through tether networks or helper kites…


@Rodread seems like someone wants a pitch for kite networks.^^

Large kite networks are not quite what Im thinking about. Rather many smaller separate units working in coordination

If they are all in a single network, there is not much difference in complexity compare to a single large wing


SkySails (North Sails) 600m2 power kite is the default economy-of-scale unit. 20m2 is a good scale-prototype size.

A train of 17 Gayla toy delta kites made it to almost 10km altitude in '60s. One big kite is not as good, under cubic mass scaling. DE train made 10km record a century ago. Modern single kite record is about half that.

All scales and network classes should test against each other, rather than the guesswork approach single developers are forced into. Waiting for any location to host the sort of broad AWE research needed, with adequate investment.

I dont think it’s as easy as just calculating which configuration is optimal. You also need to know where to look for solutions. If you are questioning normal assumptions (eg why must we scale in size rather than number) then you could discover a new avenue of possible solutions.

Testing everything against eachother kind of assumes that you know all valid configurations up front. I dont think that represents real life very well

Testing “everything” means not presuming to know where the design process may go.

“Scaling in numbers rather than size” approach should test/model against scaling in numbers AND size. We can all agree that even with large unit-kites, we’ll need a few million to power civilization. Lets test if 20m2 unit-kites is the numbers-scaling sweet-spot, and ship-kite derivatives prove not preferred by size.

A side-by-side operational and LCOE evaluation of 30 20m2 units to 1 600m2 unit would tell a lot. The sweet spot may be around 200m2; who really knows until testing decides.

Testing is always aspirational. Its the opposite of a-priori armchair confidence. Of course we do not know ahead of time what AWES configurations are ideal, but broad parametric testing with small kites reveals paths forward that narrow venture down-select bets cannot.

Scaling in numbers has always been presumed, since a few kites can’t do the job of replacing fossil fuels.

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Tether mess could be more prejudicious than tether drag, excepted with some configurations to find.

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For example I think about the system described by Tallak on Power to space use ratio.

Yes, Pierre, a bunch of individual small kites cannot fly to our 500m FAA designated resource without large field separations, or they will tangle and cutaway. That’s why we came up with “metakite” kite-of-kites concept, like teaming animals up to pull large loads without fuss.

Many individual kites in a farm is “brush topology”. Tallak, you seem to be betting active digital autopiloting beats the many-connected passive-control approach to mastering many kites in the tightest practical airspace. Reliable active control, at best, will take quite a few more years to prove. That’s exactly why its valuable test both a larger number of smaller faster-turning kites against the same area of fewer larger slower-turning kites, to compare both choices, and test in both active and passive use.

Again, everyone in Kite Networks agrees on “many kites” already. The open questions to settle in testing are how much to constrain them passively, and how large is an optimal utility-scale unit-kite (??).

Interesting how this guy talks and talks about extracting energy from “kite networks” but refuses to show how to extract power from a single unit kite. Wouldn’t it start with a single kite, or just a few? THEN ramp it up to laarge numbers, once you have shown how it works in principle? Is citing “huge numbers of kites” just his latest excuse for never showing any power production? Folks, I think you can safely ignore all you read below. What I had jokingly described as “The Professor Crackpot Syndrome”, as it is turning out, was not nearly sufficient to describe what you’re seeing now. Placing a Savonius windmill into a too-small wind tunnel and citing it as a breakthrough is like a kid with a cap-gun compared to a fully-armed urban assault vehicle spewing a poorly-aimed anti-aircraft fusillade of nonsense at the persistent reality of the actual world, in an internet-only attempted defense of his ill-defined defensive perimeter of his 100% self-constructed, self-confirmed, dog-chasing-its-tail fantasy-world.

Just a few weeks ago, this poster announced his “latest breakthrough” in the form of a kite repeating a “dutch roll”. The common self-guided figure-8 flying behavior of two-line kites was noticed and suddenly became “the answer”. I asked him to show how it could be used to generate electricity, the obvious next step. He said that was indeed the next step, promising “You won’t be disappointed”. “Sure” I thought, “like your concert that never happened”…

Since then, he has quickly backed off that promise, suggesting he should never be asked to produce any power, placing himself above that pedestrian task, more recently claiming his “research” is limited to “physical” stuff. Oh, nice dodge. “We don’t do electrons, only “phonons””… Well, that didn’t take long, now did it? So now, after 12 years of claiming to be “testing everything” (the monkey at the typewriter approach), the basic theme in wind energy of providing a power curve or cumulative output figures has been entirely abandoned for a world of complete fantasy, where this person pretends mastery of virtually any branch of pop-physics, quantum physics, etc., pretending it applies to wind energy, pretending to be unfolding the future of wind energy, within a self-constructed world only He can understand, with the idea of ever producing any power at all, ever, seen now as a mere annoyance interrupting his fantasy. I can’t think of any previous wind energy crackpot having ever having departed this far from the real world the rest of us live in. Completely “off-the-rails”. Take it seriously at your own risk.

Is the topic becoming a Crackpot network topic?
I expect @Windy_Skies will split our last posts by soon.:wink:

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Doug’s error in logic is to think that energy production by a single kite is not well enough established for anyone who wants to think about kite networks.

That’s like arguing we should ignore Etzler’s AWE intuition simply because he did not also make an AWES. : “VISION
At Kiteswarms, we are developing the future of wind energy. We are building vertically ascending kites that are interlinked and rise together to a great height with consistent wind conditions. This allows us to constantly harvest wind energy in abundance, compared to conventional wind turbines. We develop a disruptive technology in the energy market, to make our global energy needs green, safe and available for everyone.”


I would add: scaling in size rather than weight.

Daisy is Scaling in numbers rather than size.

The figure 21.14 shows numerous kite rings with hundreds kites. Now Daisy has three kite rings. As a way to grow @Rodread could add a kite ring in each fundraising of a pre-market plan for scaling.