U.S. AWE "Lead or miss the boat"
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|Oct. 16, 2019 Dave Santos
NREL's novel Technology Performance Level (TPL) Metric in AWE
NREL is now set to be a critical player in AWE R&D, so what new do they bring to the game? On the conceptual level, Technology Performance Level (TPL) stands out as a major new analytic metric, as a compliment to NASA's Technology Readiness Level (TRL) metric. TPL represents improvement over time in basic performance of any evolving technology.
Jochem Weber of NREL seems be the originator of TPL in order to better assess Wave Energy Converter (WEC) technology. There is a natural applicability to AWES technology, as Weber's WEC presentation and paper help show. Weber has already invoked TPL in his initial NREL scope of AWE research. Expect TPL to figure greatly in NREL's AWES overview.
WEC Technology Development and Structured Innovation - Jochem Weber - NREL
Re: [AWES] Re: AirborneMax- US Gov Officially in AWE R&D
Yes, it appears that KiteFAST was a weird reverse-contract where Google-Makani strategically hired NREL for some research. There is of course no "secret sauce" at NREL that could not be had at many a university or third-party aerospace company. This is more of a political affiliation as the US government seeks private cash-matching and private interests seek cozy official advantage. FortF's jump to Makani can therefore be seen not as "jumping ship", but more as early outreach and relationship-building under the "revolving door" public-private employment dynamic. The originally awkward FAA dynamic is being respun the same way.
All of sudden AWEurope's cozy-insider EU gov relationship has competition. Not surprising the US private-public effort snuck up on everyone with scant transparency. Complicating matters is the emerging movement to break up Google, and how the search engine giant for years has cooked AWE search in Makani's favor (outranking Wikipedia in basic AWE search), as documented by us over the years. Cc:ing Fort here, as heads-up that political expediency and private interest rarely match up with best engineering science, and there is still no public M600 Failure Modes Analysis, Mishap Reports, or Flight Logs, even if Waimea leaders need such disclosure.
AirborneMax- US Gov Officially in AWE R&D
Late to the game, official US government AWE R&D is still major news. At AWEC2019, Jochem Weber, Chief Engineer at the US National Energy Research Laboratory, is laying out AirborneMax as an AWE research program that will start by analyzing maximum scaling potential from first principles, followed by major research in best scaling architectures. This is what FortF should have got going at NREL before jumping ship to takeover Makani's premature architectural down-select, not expected to scale well.
A major US AWE R&D center is proposed near Boulder's iconic Flatiron Mountain, not the best place to do AWE in the fluky Westerly-blocking wind-shadow of the Rocky Mountains, but Wyoming's world-class gap wind is a quick hour's drive North. NREL will find itself playing homework catch-up, starting from the obvious Makani-Ampyx architectural "bifurcation", and reviewing TUDelft's stuffy ingrained thinking. Another major AWEC conceptual bifurcation, the rigid v soft wing divide, is not yet on the NREL radar, nor networked kites, and many other critical engineering dimensions known to us.
The US gov giant is waking up...
hypothesis: The AWE technology type with larger per-unit installable
capacity in MW/device will define the winning technology." ~~ Jochem
Reveal and investigate all scientific and engineering per-unit installed capacity up-scaling constraints for the competing Fly-Gen and Ground-Gen AWE types: identify the superior technology.
Quatify the disruptive step change in techno-economic performance of AWE as a true paradigm shift in wind energy.
Innovate and secure IP to overcome identified up-scaling barriers.
Develop follow-on R&D strategy for new NREL and DOE programs and establsh NREL in AWE sector. " ~~ Jochem Weber