Hi I just wanted to point out a few moments of initial consideration on this topic I had back in the 1970's, as a teenager.
had many years of building and flying kites, sailing boats, and
recently (then), hang-gliding as a background. We used to take old bed
sheets & lumber and make sails for our sleds and use them as
iceboats. So I was aware of the power in the wind. And I was aware that
it was stronger at higher heights.
My First Innocent Beginner
Idea: Well having flown a kite or two, starting with my Dad & I had
becoming adept at kite-making in Indian Guides as a craft project, I
"felt the power" of the string pulling my hand. I'd wonder: "How high
can a kite go? Is there any limit?" Since wind energy was making its
entry into the utility-scale electricity market, I also wondered if
kites etc. might be able to eliminate the heavy and expensive towers,
holding those multi-ton gearboxes aloft.
So my first idea, since I
was used to reeling kite string in and out on a reel, was to use
powered reels to have kites go up and down on reciprocating cycles,
taking electrical power from the movement.
Now I had also toured
the Niagara Falls hydroelectric plant, and seen the gigantic generators
- very impressive: these simple rotating machines were powering our
home 70 miles away!
I noted that such large machinery was yet
very simple: A single rotating part in steady-state rotation. This
simplicity and steady-state operation was, I gleaned, instrumental in
maintaining a level of reliability required for a civilization to rely
on this exclusively for its electricity.
I also noted that the
parts of a wind turbine that gathered power were relatively
lightweight, while the electrical part (generator) was heavy. So I
sought a design that would not loft the generators, as such designs as
promoted by Shepard specified, but instead use the heavy components as
anchors. Hanging a wind turbine from a blimp was too obvious to even
count as a real idea, in my young mind. If something that simple worked
economically, people would already be doing it, I mused. Whether that
is correct or incorrect I do not know to this day. (However I will say
that hanging Superturbines from a kite or blimp would eliminate the
gearboxes making the whole thing lighter.)
So my first reaction
to my first and quite obvious idea as a kid: taking power from reeling
a kite in and out, morphed into what is now called "laddermill" , as I
sought to make my up-and-down kite system into a steady-state machine
without a reciprocating cycle.
I also had a book that showed
all types of wind turbines known at that time, with their good and bad
points, and realized then that drag-based machines were highly
inefficient, that reciprocating cycle machines were worst of all, and
that my early version of "laddermill" , where I literally imagined the
same bedsheets on wooden frames we had used for making our sleds into
iceboats, being airborne, traveling in a downwind-upwind loop,
constituted a machine that was yet largely drag-based. Since the power
cycle traveled with the wind, the relative speed was reduced, reducing
power. I saw that one needed to "hold one's ground" against the wind
and travel ACROSS the wind. Having working surfaces traveling downwind
is like giving up in a fight and retreating. The relative windspeed is
reduced, reducing power available. To travel downwind is to lose the
Well I considered making the bedsheet sails more
aerodynamic with a shape using ribs (battens) like hang gliders were
starting to use, but still, compared to the nice and clean,
steady-state operation of the generators I had seen at Niagara Falls, I
knew this idea was still lacking. I imagined how ridiculous it would
have seemed to have the generators at Niagara falls powered by systems
of pulleys reeling in and out (how long could it last?), and could
plainly see I was looking at a "cluster-bleep" compared to the
steady-state machinery already powering my desklamp 70 miles away.
the laddermill idea, having a more steady-state operation, was a step
ahead of reeling lines in and out, but was still largely drag-based and
still had potential for lines tangling in gusty winds etc. It was still
a cluster-bleep. It would still never last. It was still a paper-only
solution. In essence it was only the seed of an idea, which often look
like fully-formed ideas when seen on paper where everything goes as one
draws it, but in real life the drawing collapses into reality and
doesn't always work as planned at all.
Well, seeing the problems
with the reeling lines, and with the more steady-state "improvement" on
that: laddermill, I went back to my book on wind energy and decided I
had to use lift and airfoils, and that a circular path across the wind
was by far most efficient, and the best way to gain a steady-state
operation with any hope of sufficiently simple operation to be reliable.
R): That was when I decided that a series of propellers on a very long
and lightweight driveshaft would be the best way out of the problems I
had identified with the previous two ideas: Kite-reeling and
laddermill. Using a series of rotors on a drievshaft that could be
elevated by a kite, a blimp, by the rotors' own aerodynamic lift, (or
towers, or hills) it seemed to me, was the best way to skin the cat in
question. Having the heavy components (generator & gearbox if
needed) at ground level, with the lightweight components in the sky,
along with simplicity, steady-state operation, and good efficiency,
were all achieved.
Additional benefits to Superturbine( R) technology:
lower blade weight: rotor mass is a cubic function of diameter, whereas
swept area = power is only a square function, therefore smaller rotors
gather hundreds of watts per pound versus only 10's of watts per pound
for large blades;
2) smaller blades spin faster, eliminating the
need for a gearbox. Yet Superturbine( R) can sweep the same area of a
large rotor, by combining the rotation of many small rotors using only
a single moving part - a true breakthrough, and how simple could one
ask for a new invention to be? A spinning driveshaft with propellers,
properly spaced and properly aimed. A miracle of simplicity!
Superturbine( R) technology is a leap ahead of today's large turbines,
in the sense of using less material and being simpler and potentially
Superturbine( R) today: Is a robust and proven
concept having garnered a Popular Science "Invention of the Year"
award, and two Discovery Channel segments, is patented worldwide and
can be used as a component in any wind energy system, whether
land-based, terrain-enabled, or airborne. Superturbine( R) is a
registered U.S. Trademark.
Any system such as Makani or Shepard
SkyWindPower can be enhanced by inclusion of independently- tested and
worldwide-patented SuperTurbine( R) technology.
I have done this
all myself with no funding from Google or any other corporate or
business entity. The California Energy Commission did fund $75,000 to
build and test a Superturbine( R) by a professional wind turbine
testing organization, so we have independently- measured data that
anyone can see if they read the California Energy Commission
Independent Assessment Report:
LINK to CEC report on Superturbine( R):http://www.energy. ca.gov/2007publi cations/CEC- 500-2007- 111/CEC-500- 2007-111. PDF
welcome the assistance or collaboration of any group or company to help
save the planet using the Superturbine( R) Breakthrough on the land, on
the sea, undersea, or in the air.
Selsam Innovations / Superturbine Inc. / USWINDLABS
2600 Porter Ave. Unit B
Fullerton, CA 92833
714-992-5594http://www.selsam. comDoug@Selsam. comhttp://www.USWINDLA BS.com
That's all for today! :)