Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Giant sail-kite rope pulley powers electric generator
  [vote for,

Verdict: Baked. But the discussions are interesting. So please do not mfd.

[Edited: Limited investment offer and corrected budget to a range up to double of the original one]

Investors please contact me with this username at gmail. This is my best and simplest idea yet. Offer open till the end of November, or till I get a nice investment.

The GenAirator can probably make 1 MwHr for 100- 200K$.

An idea a bit different from the existing kite generators that are being worked on: IE the "8" shape turning kites, and the elevated turbines.

In this case the dynamo is on the ground, powered by a pulley winding on the pull of a long rope, connected to a very large tethered sail.

The giant sail kite is brought up to height by a pair of small blimps - that aerodynamically push away from each other pulling a pair of ropes between them, with the sail tied to these ropes.

The rope would typically roll out for 10 minutes before the sail folding and the rope pulled back in.

Once the wind is down, or when the rope reaches its end, the sail can then be folded -- there are many real easy ways to do this by pulling ropes, or using wind power, or even with a small RC electric motor. And the rope is pulled in.

The system is plausible because today there are kites working as sails for ships and boats, and as a fact they work, pulling tons of weight.

pashute, Oct 23 2012

This minus the blimp http://www.kitegen.com/en/products/stem/
[MechE, Oct 23 2012]

exact idea without constant height http://www.youtube....watch?v=kjtzURMh6To
choice of music is dubious but the vids are quite self explenatory [pashute, Nov 02 2012]

Another similar one http://www.gizmag.c...e-wind-power/24843/
[AusCan531, Nov 06 2012]


       How is this better than a tethered windmill held aloft by blimps? Are you sure the extra capacity from the faster wind at height pays for the extra moving parts? Why not just put a windmill on a particularly tall tower?
Voice, Oct 23 2012

       How is the rope pulled in, and what offsets the energy consumed in doing so?
Alterother, Oct 23 2012

       //How is this better than a tethered windmill held aloft by blimps?//   

       The eternal question.
ytk, Oct 23 2012

       //1 MwHr for 100K$.//   

       I can get that for like $150.
FlyingToaster, Oct 23 2012

       The lifting device capable of suspending a 1MwH mean- output turbine airfoil would exceed $100,000 all by itself. The wind farm turbines on top of those huge poles only rate 3- 5MwH m/o, and they weigh 15-25 tons and cost millions. Even an airfoil 1/10th the mass of the blades on those units couldn't just dangle from a couple of weather balloons.
Alterother, Oct 23 2012

       As windmills are to birds, so kite-generators will be to passenger airliners.
lurch, Oct 23 2012

       [Alter], The turbine doesn't get lifted, it's stationary on the ground.   

       That being said, my link shows exactly this idea (less the starting blimp), and their predicting 3-5MW per full size unit, and of course it's intermittent power.   

       Assuming the idea is for 1MW, not 1MWhr, as near as I can tell, just the generator portion is going to run you a hundred thousand or so. Add in land, structure, liability insurance, etc. It's going to add up.
MechE, Oct 23 2012

       //As windmills are to birds, so kite-generators will be to passenger airliners.//   

       You mean absolutely no problem unless you happen to stick a farm directly into a popular flight path?
MechE, Oct 23 2012

       Tethered windmills or towers: You have to get the heavy generator up into the air, then to get the power down through heavy lines. AND it is complex to control the whole thing. VS the GenAirator which has all the heavy parts on the ground, and an extremely simple mechanism in the air. Basically a controlled kite and balloon. -- Youtube for "kite pulled by balloon" to see a kid doing just that.   

       Prices: No it wouldn't. A 700 meter parachute should not cost more than 10K. The two small blimps and all ropes another 40K. The magnetic dynamo or alternator 50K.   

       Birds: Implement the idea in Iran, they could use it in remote areas with no planes flying over them.   

       Flying toasters generate electricity?
pashute, Oct 23 2012

       And next time I'll look at the links before the annotations.   

       MechE! Thanks!! Your correct, kiteGen do exactly the tethered idea, except without the blimps, which promise a more robust operation and from any location.
pashute, Oct 23 2012

       I know that the turbine stays on the ground, but you still need an airfoil in the sky to drive the turbine, and an airfoil of any shape or design sufficient a 1MwH turbine is a weighty thing indeed. Not to mention pricy. I'm not refuting your idea, only your projected budget.
Alterother, Oct 23 2012

       $50,000 is a lot of money. Can 500 meter length x 10 meters width cloth cost more than that? On Alibaba.com Parachute Fabric is $1.20 per meter.   

       Even at double my projected budget, its nothing close to what is needed (field + equipment) for a solar collector field, or the expensive giant wind towers, put up only in places with mountains and ruining the view.   

       If megacities would adopt this, along with airborne airports so that planes don't have to circle the city and land, and electric transportation systems, their would be crisp clean air in Boston and Chicago, Tokyo and Rio,   

       and from my home I wouldn't see the black line painted above Tel Aviv and our coastal cities, the same line that disappears only once a year, when all air and ground transportation voluntarily stops on our national holiday.   

       I looked up on Alibaba the price for giant advertising blimps (30$ a piece). And that gave me a great idea: Use the blimp for advertising and get extra income!!   

       I know a helium canister refill costs about $100, and that should have enough lift to raise 38 grams per square meter x 5000 square meters. A refill would be needed every two weeks. Peanuts in the cost offset. (Or could use hydrogen created on the spot by electrolysis - see other idea of mine on a safety- solution for that)
pashute, Oct 24 2012

       [MechE] //You mean absolutely no problem...// I mean a problem rumored much more than experienced.
lurch, Oct 25 2012

       //How is the rope pulled in, and what offsets the energy consumed in doing so?//   

       What about black hot air balloons? The sun heats the balloon and it rises. A relatively small amount of electricity drives a motor to cover the balloon in something white. Heat is lost and balloon sinks. Uncover the black surface to start again.
TomP, Oct 25 2012

       Helium is a precious, and limited, resource. The cost has only been kept down by the slow sell off of the US strategic helium reserve. I would not include it's use in any sustainable/renewable energy plan.   

       Hydrogen is a much better option for combined cost, sustainability and lift.   

       That being said, you're better off just making an inflatable kite instead of separate blimps. That way, whatever you do to trun the kite out of the wind will minimize the drag from the lifting bodies.   

       Still going to cost more than $100k though. If you actually have a source for a 2 MW dynamo (needed to sustain an average 1 MW output) for less than that, please provide a link.
MechE, Oct 25 2012

       You see? Mean output, that ol' bully, he just comes along and kicks over your 1Mw sand castle every time.
Alterother, Oct 25 2012

       //The turbine doesn't get lifted, it's stationary on the ground.// No, the generator / alternator stays on the ground. A turbine is a spinny-aerofoily thing. This idea doesn't have a turbine - the aerofoils are linear rather than rotary.
spidermother, Oct 27 2012

       [Spidermother] thanks, correct. There is no turbine and the generator is left on the ground.   

       [Meche] (and [TomP]
a. the helium was just to show the concept vs price. Of course once I have this thing running, I'll use hydrogen and solar balloons for lowering costs and being more eco-friendly.
b. On Alibaba a 500 kw wind generator goes for 22 k$. So 44 for one MW. or use two 500 kw. As I said, at most, double the budget. Your still WAY lower than solar or gasoline.
pashute, Oct 28 2012

       Princeton guys did it! Except they give it a very short recovery phase. See link
pashute, Nov 02 2012

pashute, Nov 09 2012


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