Philip Rocker
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Oct. 26, 2019           Joe Faust

Philip Rocker

Hi Joe - thanks for your message - and interest! I'm not sure that I have that much original to share ... I've been thinking about airborne turbines for a good few years - back in the day when peak oil and the long-term need to replace finite fossil fuel resources  were the issues, rather than the more pressing climate change concerns. I'm not an engineer! - I've not got anything more than math and physics A levels - I was teaching in FE and doing some tutoring before decamping from London to Northumbria 3 years ago where I have a bit more space to potter about.

I don't tend to spend a great deal of time on the internet, and I hadn't realised until a few years ago that there was much interest in AWE. My original thoughts were along the lines of hoisting horizontal axis turbines into the upper atmosphere by balloon/kite - there's a video on my You Tube channel from a while back. (Sort of a static version of the Makani concept). I've since rather gone off the idea of having to hoist such a weight of generator and having it flying overhead (even if this was out at sea or over desert/tundra) and this led to thinking about a more VAWT design. Since the biggest  problem with VAWTs is supporting the tower (with guy ropes), being able to provide the support from the top instead by means of kite/balloon seems to follow.

Ideally one needs to eliminate compression and buckling from one's structure - ie. all but the smallest components should be in tension - and those elements which are naturally in compression should be inflated/pressurised - basically along tensegrity/tensairity lines. My futuristic vision is of large inflated turbines moored out at sea - (in the case of Europe one has a 2000 + km arc stretching from Shannon to Greenland with depths of under 500m where one could intercept a significant fraction of the North Atlantic airflow). However, lacking the facilities (or finance) to produce inflated models I do what I can with plastic bottles, estate agent signage and rubble sacks!

That's probably enough for the can have a look at what I've got on You Tube and get back to me if you want to chat further. (I'll see about joining the group).
All the best,