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Also known by the acronym AWECS, this is a broad class of technologies designed to harness high-altitude wind power (HAWP), through concepts such as "wind kites" or airborne turbines. Conventional designs harness wind power using three-bladed, horizontal axis wind turbines, with vertical axis turbines ("wind belts") making up a small remainder. To convert wind energy into electricity, these designs must convert the horizontal motion of wind into rotational motion via a shaft connected to a generator. In order to not simply blow away, each model must maintain static force against the wind by some method, necessitating rotors mouted rigidly on towers, close to the ground. These designs are reliable but are expensive, require large amounts of structural material, are generally confined to collecting energy from winds blowing only in one direction, and do not reach the much stronger winds in the troposphere or stratesphere. Airborne wind energy systems attempt to overcome these problems. Saul Griffith of Makani talks about the history of kites, and their potential uses as energy producers today. Credit: TED: Ideas Worth Spreading AWES technologies employ a variety of tether and cable designs in order to reach high altitudes, flexibly collect kinetic energy, and once this energy is harnessed, to plug it into an energy distribution grid in the air or on the ground. First conceptualized in 1833 by John Etzler1 , and then again in 1980 by Miles Loyd2 , high altitude wind power is a more powerful source of energy than surface-level winds. Most conventional windmills reach into winds about 250 feet from the ground, where wind speed is approximately 16 feet per second. At around 2,600 feet, wind speed rises to about 23 feet per second, providing potential to generate considerably more energy.3 Winds at altitudes around 32,000 feet have the highest wind power density (a measure of how much wind energy would flow through a wind turbine4 ). When launched into these altitudes, an airborne wind energy system would be high enough to interact with jet streams flowing more than 10 times faster than surface winds5 , and with much more constancy. Thus, harnessing the energy from jet streams would provide both more energy, as well as more constant energy, solving the intermittancy issues that surface level wind farms face. Airborne Wind Energy Systems are a fast-growing technology, with the first HAWP industry conference being held by the Cleanteach Innovation Center of Oroville, CA on November 5th and 6th in 2009.6 Innovative designs have been awarded Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards.7 Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the web-search company, invested $15 million in 2007 in a US based kite company called Makani, as part of its Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal program.8
Mechanics and Implementation
Various airborne models exist to convert the horizontal, linear motion of high-altitude wind into the rotational motion needed to drive electrical generators. Key to most of these designs are complex computer models and control mechanisms designed to maximize the power generated
The balloons move alternately: one balloon with an open sail uses wind energy to move downwind.from kites. Aerodynamic designs rely on the wind for support in the air. As the .16 Blimps Magenn's Air Rotor System (MARS) design is an aerostatic. ground-based generator design involving a tethered.13 The Laddermill operates by utilizing a number of kite wings connected to a cable.11 The windmill would float instead of fall. The resulting force difference between the two ends of the cable drives the wheel to which the cable is attached. to a set of batteries for later use. professor of sustainable engineering and a former astronaut. ground-based geneartor design concept pioneered by Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands under the leadership of Wubbo Ockels. If the generator is located on the ground. since lift generated by wind would overcome the craft's weight. while its rotation generates the "Magnus effect.10 The apparatus would initially get into position under its own power by being pushed skywards by motor-powered propellors which would revert to generators once in position. Connecting this wheel to a generator produces electricity. as with an airplane wing. 2007. Designs can be further classified by ground or airborne generator. with one balloon using a sail and the wind to pull the other. This generates electrical energy via motors at the attachment-points to its tether.17 This electrical energy is transferred down the 1000-foot tether for immediate use. while those on the other side are angled to produce only enough lift to support themselves in the air. then the airborne turbine will not have to support the generator mass or use a conductive tether.18 Balloons Twind Technology's uses an aerostatic.14 Wings on one side of the loop are angled to produce maximum lift. If the generator is aloft.9 Designs are classified into two categories: aerodynamic and aerostatic. 29. Wind causes upward lift on the wings. airborne generator design. then a conductive tether must be used to transmit energy to the ground. connected pair of balloons with sails attached. drawing the other balloon upwind. the system was successfully tested on Aug. while aerostatic designs rely on buoyancy to support airborne elements. The motion then reverses. airborne generator consisting of a helium blimp with with Savonius-style scoops which cause the apparatus to rotate around a horizontal axis.12 Laddermills The Laddermill is an aerodynamic. and by changing the wing's angle of attack these forces can be either amplified or diminished.15 After extensive modelling. while also generating power. or to the power grid. consisting of a tethered rotor craft. Helium keeps the device in the air. Flying Windmills Sky Windpower's uses an aerodynamic. This enables it to adhere to Federal Aviation Administration guidelines." providing additional lift and keeping the MARS stabilized within a controlled and restricted location. forming a giant loop of ascending and decending kites.
Magenn Air Rotor System Source: http://gas2. Barriers Inconsistency . more constant output. or a continental . Author: Gas 2. the wind can be expected to fail about five percent of the time. Permission: Creative Commons Share Alike.org/2009/08/18/magenn-wi. Even over the best areas.Even jet streams fail.ine-in-the-sky.balloons move. massive amounts of energy storage. Benefits There are a number of potential benefits of these technologies. Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology points out that though " there is enough power in these high altitude winds to power all of modern civilization. the tether cable turns the shaft of the ground generator to produce electrical energy or perform other necessary works like pumping or grinding. This means that you either need back-up power.0..Electrical Storms . namely: increased energy output. at any specific location there are still times when the winds do not blow..
Manufacturers SEE update list: Stakeholders 2nd Generation Wind 3Tier Advanced Rotorcraft Technology AeroEolica AEOLICARUS Project Aeroíx Airbine AirborneWindEnergy AirPlay Alstom (Switzerland) Altius Wind Energy Altaeros Energies Ampyx Power Atena Engineering Gmbh Austin Technology Incubator Avian Energy Baseload Energy CMNA | CMNA Power CyberKite Dave Lang & Associates DESERTEC project EnergyBird Energy Potential AB . numbers and visibility. although some wind farms are now being outfitted with radar technology designed to anticipate bird flying patterns and shut down wind turbines accordingly. If they are. though it should be noted that certain blimp designs pose a much smaller threat to birds than rotating-blade designs.”19 Safety falling kites/airplanes?(Blimp designs overcome most of these) Interfering with major bird migratory patterns This is already a problem with wind farms. So. Inc that is able to detect approaching birds up to four miles away.20 Similar radar detection technology is also being tested for airborne wind energy designs. while high-altitude wind may ultimately prove to be a major energy source. it requires substantial infrastructure. operated by the Spanish firm Iberdrola Renewables. A new farm.or even global scale electricity grid to assure power availability. the turbines will automatically shut down and restart when the birds are a safely away. uses radar technology developed by Florida based DeTect. and analyze weather conditions to determine if they are in danger of flying into turbine blades. assess their altitude.
Nature Transport System (NTS) NAWT Netherlands OrthoKiteBunch (OKB) Pavana Dynamics (formerly Red Kite Wind Energy) Peter Lynn Kites.) of Washington Free Rotor German Airborne Wind Turbine Hardensoft International Limited HeliKites HeliWind Heli Wind Power ROTO Project HighestWind Honeywell Isentropic Joby Energy KiteEnergy Kite For Sail.R.I. Ltd.EnerKite GmbH Fatronik Festo Flight Research Institute (F. CA KiteMill KiteNav Kitenergy (no double "e") KiteSailing KiteShip KiteTech Energy Systems Limited KiteTug KitVes k Power Laboratori D'Envol Laddermill LEDshift Magenn Power Makani Power Modelway NTS Energie. Los Angeles. LLC Kite Gen Research KITEnrg Kite Power KiteBot KiteGen KiteLab (Europe) KiteLab. School of Tethered Flight . Ilwaco. WA KiteLab.
without labor.June 1980. The paradise within the reach of all men.Seedwings Selsam Sequoia Automation SkyWind Sky WindPower SkyMill Energy (USA) SkyMill Power (Italy) Davide Fantinelli SkyMill. by . Volumes 1-2 By John Adolphus Etzler 2. High-altitude winds: The greatest source of concentrated energy on Earth BY CHRISTINE BLACKMAN for the Stanford Report .. Vol.111. 4 No. Miles L. Journal of Energy. 3 pp. Inc. 3.. May . 106 . SVMtec Tech Ranch Austin (AWE Biz Incubator) TEKS Tethered Airfoil Research and Development group (TARAD Tethered Airfoils Tethered Aviation Tethered Flight Tethered Flight School Tethered Flight Technology Consortium Tethered Turbines Tethered Wings Twind® USWindlab Velocity Cubed Technologies WindLift WindMapper Pro WindMueller Aerology Lab Xerces Blue ZapKites Footnotes 1.. Loyd. "Crosswind Kite Power''..it (Italy) SkySails Soaren SpiralAirFoil. Giant kites to tap power of the high wind by the UK Observer 4.
com/index../2005/04/67121 0..html Google.com/science/planete.. http://www..5. http://www. http://www.h-giant-kites/ 14.alternative-energy-news.d:Ladder_Mills 15.worldchanging..d:Ladder_Mills 17. http://www.php/Directo.html 13.com/index.org/ 7.magenn.alternative-energy-news.i. http://peswiki.h-giant-kites/ 10.om-wind-farms/ 0. http://www.com/archives//004052.i.html 18. http://www.html Resources http://www.stanford.ds-062309. 6. http://www... HAWP conference http://www.d:Ladder_Mills 16. Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards 8.php/Directo. http://www.com/archives//004052. http://news....html 12.com/ 19. http://www.com/index.hawpconference..worldchanging.bove-new-york/ 20..i.com/watch?v=LguEk06Wb-U&feature=player_embedded ..ude_Wind_Power 11.i.edu/news/2009/j...Org projects 9.php/Directo.wired. http://www.worldchanging. http://peswiki.org/projects.youtube.alternative-energy-news.com/archives//004052.php/Directo.....com/index.google. http://peswiki...alternative-energy-news. High-altitude winds: The greatest source of concentrated energy on Earth BY CHRISTINE BLACKMAN for the stanford. http://peswiki..
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