Untethered airborne wind energy systems

Gábor Dobos, as a visionary thinker in energy; conceived a wind plant comprising “…energy producing flying units, and one or more receiver ground-stations…”, and using wind shear (in high altitude or close to mountains or to some obstacles or to the sea) to take energy by using dynamic soaring like albatrosses. The problem to solve is the storage in flight.

The basic principle of dynamic soaring is explained below:

I suggest the “ground-stations” would be our homes, according to an individual use. Thus a small VTOL like a small Lilium would be completely automatised. As the flights could be short the storage in flight issue would be lesser. It would fly ten minutes then feeds the home then begins again. As there is no tether, several people could have and use it in their own space.

Another possibility is reloading planes by dynamic soaring.

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Possible in theory but useless.
It’s just a very difficult way to generate energy.

The same can be said about tethered AWES. There is no significant production in spite of years of R&D and investments.

Does look better in theory though.

The big difference is that a lot of people believe in such systems. If they believed in tetherless they would try that also.

Tetherless is interesting for super low power stuff. For instance 24/7 airborne surveillance. They are not very interesting to me personlly due to the limited impact such systems could have

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The tether makes an underestimated problem for a massive implementation, due to the land and space use above all for large crosswind kite systems.

A use for individuals should be studied as I mentioned.

Without untethered AWE, there would be no soaring birds like condors nor albatrosses, nor such great bird migrations, nor thriving soaring sports, nor billions of pounds of aviation fuel savings (5%), all by playing tailwinds and updrafts.

There is tremendous applicable R&D progress across many aerospace sectors, from the imaging and prediction of air motions, to flight automation, to new aircraft types like solar-aircraft, that naturally leverage solar energy with wind energy, for optimal performance.

There is the long aeronautical tradition of RAT (ram-air turbine) auxiliary power devices along with better batteries and fuel-generation options, including cryogenic factors based on the thermal altitude gradient. Even just making ice might pay someday.

Gabor Dobos understood the optimal soaring scale unit to be small, but understood large swarms of small units as the logical scaling basis. There is active research in autonomous flight of swarms of sUAS. Current AWES R&D as such is terribly limited in scope.

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