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Kite wind farms?

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dirkydiggler
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Kite wind farms?

Postby dirkydiggler » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:59 am

I know there are some techies on this site that hopefully can explain this to me. I drive by some windturbines every day and I don't understand the design of these things. The windmills have long slender arms as opposed to something with more area. I know that there are some issues with breakdown of materials and upkeep using something like kites, but wouldn't this be a more effecient way to harness the energy contained in the wind? It seems to me that if you hooked up a kite that would loop in the wind that you would generate massive amounts of energy. Again, I'm no engineer, just want a few reasons why its done the way it is, so when I see those windmills it will make more sense to me.
Thanx,
Digg

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spork
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Postby spork » Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:28 am

Actually there are some designs being kicked about to use kites instead of windmills. There are several advantages, like getting them up in the smooth strong air, not having the bird-strike problem, less wake interference with one another (because you can stagger them vertically as well as horizontally).

But there are also some pretty big problems to contend with as well. The material wears out, really long lines are surprisingly difficult to deal with, getting them all launched and keeping them up there. And the most basic problem of all is that kites are basically designed to give static pull. You can only get electricity from the "machine" if you pay out the lines while the kite is pulling on them. Pulling on a static line does no "work", and therefore provides no energy. So if you pay the lines out you then have to depower the kite and pull it back in. There are also carousel approaches and such, but basically the kites have to move to do you much good.

Looping the kite is a fine idea, but again that line tension has to be converted into motion to drive a generator.

Will they do it? Maybe.

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Trant
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Re: Kite wind farms?

Postby Trant » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:41 am

dirkydiggler wrote:The windmills have long slender arms as opposed to something with more area. I know that there are some issues with breakdown of materials and upkeep using something like kites, but wouldn't this be a more effecient way to harness the energy contained in the wind?
I'm no engineer, but I reckon I can have a stab at this.

Bigger surface area just allows to windmill to reach max velocity quicker, but does not increase the max velocity.
Whereas a smaller surface area gives less drag, thus allowing a faster max velocity (although it takes a bit longer to get there, but negligable in the grand scheme of things)

I'm sure Spork can correct me :)

turboJerre
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Postby turboJerre » Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:34 pm

I rode an article about this topic a few weeks ago. A few engineers from Belgium, Holland and Italy are putting this idea in reality in a few years.
With kites flying 1km high because there is always 6 bft up there.
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