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Jet Stream Powered Kite Turbines + Power Beaming

Electricity too cheap to meter?
  [vote for,

This idea is to have a large number of power generating atmospheric satellites, each of which is an untethered aerostat, each one located just outside of any of Earth's jet streams.

Each aerostat generates it's power using a pair of counter- rotating kite turbines, one kite turbine inside the jet stream, the other outside the jet stream.

The kite turbines would be similar to those designed by "Windswept and Interesting Limited", except that both "lift kites" would be of the steerable variety.

Most of the power produced by the turbines would be turned into a beam of radio or microwave energy, which would be transmitted to a terrestrial rectenna, to be turned into electricity and added to the grid. The beam might need to be bounced off of one or more relays, if the beam generating aerostat is too far from the nearest rectenna.

Some of the power produced by the turbines would power a heat pump, which would be used to heat the lifting gas. If the lifting gas is hydrogen instead of hot air, there would be an atmospheric water generator and electrolysis device to replace however much hydrogen is lost to diffusion.

Each wireless energy relay would be kept aloft by it's own aerostat, with power for station-keeping provided by a rectenna which steals energy from the main beam.

The steerable "lift kites" supporting the two kite turbines would be automatically aimed in opposite directions relative to the aerostat, with the lift and drag balanced such that they won't pull the aerostat completely into or completely out of the jet stream.

It has been suggested that the earth's jet streams have 1.7 petawatts of harvestable power, and humanity needs slightly more than one hundredth of that.

I'm not quite certain how much power any one of these devices could produce, but the wind, at least, is sufficient for however many of them we are willing to build.

Comments welcome. Criticism welcome. Flames will be used to help heat the lift gas.

goldbb, Apr 28 2022

Similar Air_20tethered_20kite
by you, even! [neutrinos_shadow, Apr 28 2022]


       So if I'm understanding correctly you're tapping the difference in velocity between the jet stream and the air outside that right? How far away from the jet stream to you have to be before the air slows down? I assume it's a gradient, not a hard line meaning you'd need the elements to be pretty far apart.   

       Any chance you could generate a rough sketch? Not sure I'm picturing it correctly. Bun pending.
doctorremulac3, Apr 28 2022

       It appears that many large nations are pursuing a solar version of this. In terms of your new kite-based version, it differs from your old version in that it now requires a more expensive satellite. Maybe you've decided that the costs to put satellites into orbit have dropped adequately, since payload costs are frequently sited as reason against space-based power generation.   

       In any case, it appears that the benefits comparison between collecting solar vs. wind energy may be similar in terms of limits to energy transimission rates and safety. You appear to be describing a microwave, not a laser transmission system. Microwave transmission has been used to transmit 10 kw in 1992, but I think microwave is less directed somehow and would not achieve linearly increased transmission rates by laying out an array of (very large) receiving dishes.   

       Using laser transmission methods may change the maximum limits on energy transmission, but in terms of collection, I suspect that Solar would still be more reliable, more widespread and require less maintenance than these kite-based turbines. One energy estimate mentioned in Wikipedia claims that harvesting the jet streams would actually be environmentally dangerous.   

       I am plainly uncertain about the benefits of the jet stream versus solar approaches, especially if a satellite is required. My bun is sitting in the oven, waiting to be heated.
4and20, Apr 28 2022

       I'm a little worried about simply beaming this much power through the atmosphere at whatever the kite is aiming at at the moment. But then again, I do have some enemies that Dial-A-Smite never seemed to take out despite my repeated calls.
RayfordSteele, Apr 28 2022


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