Slow Chat

Thanks, @Rodread for sharing this. Perhaps @dougselsam will now get it.

Hi Doug, please read the information on the comments. Concerning SkySails data tests were published and were reported at least two times in this forum: "Autonomous Airborne Wind Energy systems: accomplishments and challenges" and Metrics or equations? Power curves or simulations? - #5 by PierreB

I put again and again the references of the published curves:, pre-print on

Figure 15 page 19: average power 92 kW, 12 m/s wind speed. And at hundreds of meters high, not few meters.

My comment: it is by far, and hopefully temporarily, the best AWE MEASURED and PUBLISHED DATA. A flexible kite was used, and reeling (yoyo) method was applied.

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@PierreB if some of the above comments on SkySails contain new info maybe you can repost that in a relevant topic, or move the comments? You have a regular badge so you might be able to.

@Windy_Skies, there is no new information. Simply I must periodically remind the facts to @dougselsam about SkySails, quoting the same document.

I will still quote this document in Skysails Power System installed topic.

100 kW average, 400 kW peak? ouch… but good results regardless, as a stepping stone to something better

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Certainly not as shown in figure 18 on page 22 of the same paper, except perhaps when control of the device is acquired…

Thank You Pierre:
Reading on to the next page (20) of the same document, we find:

“Besides power generation, the company has shown that ram-air kite technology can be used for traction of large marine transport vessels (58) using kite sizes of up to 400 m2, proving the scalability of this flexible-wing technology. Moreover, for the application of Yacht propulsion, SkySails has successfully developed and commissioned a system (68, 69) on the marine vessel Race for Water (Race for Water | A foundation to preserve water). The system has been handed over to the customer and several hundred hours of automated kite flight have helped to propel the yacht, showing the high TPL achieved.”

Sounds good, except the company has now sold off this division. Why? If all these positive accolades are the whole story, why does the original meme, ship-towing, not catch on? Seems like there must be reasons.

I was initially impressed with the numbers from kite-reeling, thinking the advantages could overcome the disadvantages. But over time, I noticed things didn’t seem to be progressing according to the optimistic promises. Progress seemed to have stalled years ago.

I will say, to select excerpts from various papers, it can easily look like we have a winner in AWE. However, my impression is the concept is awkward, subject to wear and operational issues, and may never pan out as an economical wind energy solution, at least anytime soon.

We have many ways to analyze things. Some ways are numerical. Some are structural, some operational. We also have vast reserves in our brains that we do not even understand, but just use, all day every day, that allow us to deftly negotiate complex situations based on vague impressions whose origins we are not even aware of. These impressions can take the form of a nebulous feeling of “I’ve seen this movie before”, whereby people can keep throwing numbers at you, but leave you still wondering
“Where’s the beef?”

The years roll on, with still no statement of cumulative energy generation or routine daily operation by a customer, that I have seen anyway. At some point, I’m left with these vague impressions of something that “sounds great”, but I remain unconvinced.

After 14 years of “sounds great”, I’m not falling for more hype.

Doug, 92 kW average power, it is one of the best current AWE results, and it is notified in the paper. This is also 1/100 power amount of a large offshore wind turbine. To be successful an AWES should not generate 100 times less power than a conventional wind turbine, but 10 times more considering the space occupied and the more uncertain operation. This means that the chances of success are more than random.

What is in your quote does not say that ships are towed by kites, but that the ram kite has scaling possibilities: “…can be used” does not mean it is do.

Also regarding kite-reeling, it may not be a good solution, but the best actual result (92 kW) is well obtained by a kite-reeling.

Hi John: Yes, wasn’t that 100 kW figure about 5 or more years old? Maybe older? Seven years? I’ve been waiting for something to develop based on that for, it seems, at least half of the current 14-year-old AWE hype-cycle.

As far as the recently re-introduced concept of “a flyoff” and the idea that the lack of “a flyoff” is the main thing holding back AWE progress, this is an old discussion that I thought had been talked to death years ago. The “flyoff” idea reminds me of Santos’ famous “concert that never happened” - a talking-point that developed a life of its own in his mind, but while announced, no steps were taken to make it happen. Later we heard many excuses including, at one point the statement that people playing with kites on a beach had brought a radio to listen to, and that fulfilled the obligation. Yeah, sure…

What I kept telling your friend in response to his incessant insistence about some nebulous “flyoff” idea was this: There is already a “virtual flyoff” in place. There always has been. The internet makes it all the more so. If we want to go back down that “Wright Brothers” road, you could say there was a “virtual flyoff” even way back then, before the internet. Langley was trying. The Wrights were trying. Others were trying. There was no specific reason any of them had to be in the same place at the same time. It was sufficient that each group was trying, and one group succeeded. Note that the group that succeeded was self-funded and did all their own fabrication. They didn’t need to raise millions of dollars and hire an HR department just to handle all the people needed to populate their renting of “office space”. Nope, they just built an engine, built a plane around it, and flew it. I believe it was "Scientific American that disputed their flight after the fact. To this day, the world of “science” cannot even agree on the theory of how a wing develops lift! That was a recent article in Scientific American. We think we’re so darn smart, but evidence of our ongoing ignorance abounds. Flyoff or not, with news a bit slower before the internet, the world eventually got the word that airplanes were working, and the Wrights planted the flag.

Anyway, years later, your friend did start parroting the term I had introduced: “virtual flyoff”. Maybe some days he remembers that, and some days he forgets. It is only obvious that there is no specific need for various “teams” to fly their attempts at AWE at the same place and same time. The logistics of moving a system to such a site at a given time may not in all cases make sense, and to schedule such an event ahead of time might easily place it in an unexpected time of calm. No the more sensible approach would be for any team to take some data at their own test site at their own convenience and publish it for others to see, which has already been done by multiple teams… And so there is your “virtual flyoff” - already in place and ongoing. The main thing that separates the person insisting on “flyoff” is he has not participated in the existing “flyoff” which is always there, like a 24-hour Walmart or 7-11 store - go at your convenience - go at midnight - go on Christmas - the doors are always open. Same with the virtual “flyoff” - the door is always open, Come one, come all, fly your stuff and show everyone how it works! Tke a video. Show power meters. If you have anything working, the world is eagerly waiting. Then again, if all you do is talk and have no results and nothing to show the world, well then I guess you might be so distracted you keep talking about progress being stalled by the lack of a “flyoff”, but I think the real story is the flyoff has been in place for 14 years, and some people participate, while others don’t. :slight_smile:

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This moment of clarity is something we should all aim for. The «virtual flyoff» is probably one of the most fundamental ideas to come across this forum. Thx @dougselsam

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Sounds like @tallakt is going off to the computer to develop an AI AWES combat training stadium.
Enough random kixels in the air it’ll come up with something effective and scalable.

I’ll decline an opinion on the document


If the Wright brothers are remembered, it is also because Boeing developed their invention on a large scale.

The AWE field already has its Wright brothers, but is waiting for its Boeing.


Meh. The Wright brothers of AWE will be known only after some design goes massively commercial. Most likely history wil paint anyone in AWE as a «professor crackpot». That is if AWE never takes off. If anyone should succeed though, their name in history will match their contribution’s importance, unless, also likely, someone else takes the credit

This follows almost naturally from the first sentence of my comment:

As a result, we possibly will know who are Wright brothers in AWE field but only if Boeing (utility market) happens:

So currently we cannot say who are AWE Wright brothers, and if they will be remembered.

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I think this discussion maybe better taken on reddit or twitter or similar general purpose forums.

If you have specific problems you would like to address, I suggest reading up on history then being specific, and also preferably communicate in private messages to not do our laundry in public… [for the sake of the individual users]

Despite their denials, the group you represent, who ran the previous forum, were responsible for deleting many many messages. Their censorship, and their habit of lying, and our protests over it, were an ongoing topic, so significant it strains credulity for them to now deny it. The only “funny” thing about this situation is they had me so upset over their censorship I would wrack my brain wishing they could somehow see how it felt to put your heart and soul into attempted communication about wind energy, only to have some person unable to grasp even the basic of wind energy, just delete all you wrote with some lame-ass excuse based on their ignorance. To this day I do not remember seeing any significant electrical output from anything they have been associated with, which, by this point, is par for the course. So on the one hand I agree with their sudden switch to being against censorship instead of being the censors (despite their ongoing lies) , on the other hand it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. If they had anything to show anyone, they should build it, run it, and put up a video showing output on meters…


Hello John: don’t feel obliged to be the spokesperson of we-know-who.
We are waiting for your own AWE ideas and concepts.

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