CoolIP index                                                          Most recent edit: Tuesday January 01, 2013

* See legal note below


Airborne Wind-Dams

The Wind-Dam concept began as "terrain-enabled" (terrain-suspended) rather than a true airborne technology. Our contribution to the idea is to extend it, as a flying machine, into true aviation.

Lets define Airborne Wind-Dams as aerodynamically self-supported fabric barrier-walls that operate predominantly in drag mode. Recalling Loyd, Drag Force in AWES design is comparable to Lift Force; a key fact overlooked by many designers. This is a new category of aviation, with precedents in barrage kites. New materials and designs enable us to think megascale. Mothra rope-loadpath geometries already act in wind dam modes. The fundamental technology is cheap and simple, and can scale to 10km high by many more across, even within current UHMWPE performance specs.

To dam (or divert) wind for energy is just a start. Many other barrier roles are worth pondering, such as guiding bird migrations around no-go zones, and passive defense against drone warfare. Wind-dam structures could perform precise local weather modification, present CO2 absorbing media to wind flow on a megascale, and other novel uses. Someday dynamically deployed wind-dams might steer hurricanes away from cities or block atmospheric Tropical heat transfer to Arctic latitudes.

A wind-dam creates an artificial mountain effect on wind flow, with a comparable micrometeorological field around itself. We can thus envision applying the same hot DS physics that already enable model gliders to exceed 400mph. Hot looping foils could range around the wind dam, popping powerfully in and out of the wind flow, just as they do with natural mountain ridges.
Lets claim as "obvious" in our open-circles any sky-kite idea "flown" underwater, ahead of patents claimed on such a basis.


Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.       
All, send notes, links, drawings, and photographs!

  • Terms and aspects:   
    • mega-kites rather than terrain-suspension
    • Wind-dam launching
    • Wind-dam depowering
    • Wind-dam dousing
  • Related links and concepts:
  • Commentary is welcome:
    • Domina Jalbert made it clear to the world that any sky-kite system has its obvious analogue in water, and thus obvious to those skilled in the arts.   ~JpF   1Jan2013      
    • Laurie Chetwood's initial wind dam is a "blocked" venturi; its fabric wall is too square to the wind to get a proper venturi acceleration effect. A 30 deg. inflow cone is considered near ideal in traditional aeronautics, which is not very dam-like. Can such "windsock" proportions pay with large fabric WECS? Perhaps a "trumpet horn" geometry is the trick.

      We have considered wind dams made up of a "fabric of turbines," as a flygen scaling method. The mysterious Salient White Elephant, an anonymous blogger with many AWES ideas, has a similar wind-dam wall concept, but it is not airborne.

      Wind-dam launching, depowering, and dousing are important considerations. A lifting kite component can serve in a pilot role, simplifying the dam component job.               ~DS, 1Jan2013
    • v

*Legal Note: coolIP is hereby defined as a Creative-Commons Unported NonCommercial Share-Alike License,
so now we are integrated with the latest standard cooperative IP model, but "coolIP" remains a nice shorthand.
CC BY NC SA is similar; ask Dave Santos.