CoolIP index                                                          Most recent edit: Saturday February 15, 2014              SearchSite

* See legal note below.

Kite as Energy Storage Device
  • See the several posts in public forum for several different avenues for "kite as energy storage device" in itself.
  • See also Pumped-Hydro AWES Concept

Notes and essays regarding "kite as energy-storage device" would fit in this topic thread.
The kinetic energy of a kite's moving wings is ready to do work. Such energy is stored until converted into other form's of energy.

Have a kite system be integrated with masses that are beyond simple kite; operate the kite system to lift those masses to 1000 m altitude. Such system at altitude stores substantial potential energy. Put that energy to work in various ways.
~ JoeF

Does this deserve a stand alone entry? Wind power in general is used extensively to pump up hydropower storage systems. This is used a lot in Scandinavia. AWES in themselves are not a method of storing energy but of supplying energy. Just a thought from an amateur!   MarkB

Hi Mark,
Yes, conventional energy storage topics deserve topic threads dedicated for them, and mostly in other forums that specialize in those energy storage methods. AWES may be employed to store water at altitude (even when pumping from deep underground to ambient ground levels, etc. Specializing engineers will play their parts when AWES are up for hire to do the pumping. AWES forum invites getting the AWES ready for doing the pumping (and other energy conversions). Our forum is not missioned to replace water-handling engineers, we invite them to look to AWES for prime movers.
   Then, specifically, a topic thread on just how kite systems store energy is with a mission to deepen the awareness of kite as well as its dynamics and statics and as well as its various plays. Store energy and use it later. How much later depends on the nature of the storage and the purposes. Just what one will do with a mastery of kite as energy storing device is a future thing; the masters will have a rainbow of story to tell. Getting to the mastery level on this topic will take some time; one day a book will be written just on "Kite as Storage Device" and its readers will be few or high count.
So, this topic thread would leave to elsewhere the kite as prime mover for pumping water to reservoirs or prime mover for driving an electric generator in order to store energy in an chemical-energy battery or ultracapacitor array; such conventional storage means will be standing fairly ready to receive AWES inputs; this forum is to get AWES going to do inputs to grids and various energy storage devices as well as to perform tasks, many of which will save from having to use fossil fuels. Mark, indeed, even to be a converter of energies, there are transitional storings going on in the kite system; storage is transient and important and worthy of investigating; such transient storage of energy for quick use to format next steps in the whole process are to be understood for mastery, I propose. Just how the system momentarily stores energy in order to use the energy for the next step could be key matter as to efficiency, wear, strain, fatigue, and effects on system. Each transient storage matter may become a "storage" topic fit for this topic thread.
So, to continue the topic with another step:
    Lifting humans to high altitude points stores energy converted by the kite system upon interacting with the wind. Such stored potential energy may be stored for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, etc. Then there are options to use that stored energy. The human may sky-dive from the altitude, wing-suit from the altitude, parachute from the altitude, hang glide from the altitude, pilot a powered aircraft from the altitude, enter other aircraft and go elsewhere, enter cable-transport ways at altitude. One would thank the kite for having stored the energy until the practical use of that energy was made. The kite may store the mass of entire airport or troop for later use. The kite may store at altitude an ounce of food or a ton of food for later use by occupants of the lifted living quarters or for later delivery to needy points in the sky or on earth's soil or at sea. Thank you, Kite, for storing such things until later use.   ~ JoeF

Over-a-century-old kite-as-storage-device is in focus at the moment in this post. In light winds let out line gingerly as the wing set gets some distance from the anchoring arrangement; gradually wing set carries out considerable length of line, sometimes even letting the line touch earth or sea surface in the line sag. The system is storing minimal amount of energy as the wing set and line are not gaining much altitude and is being let downwind. Then the next step: take energy from the powered anchor set and haul in the let out line some; haul in at a rate that causes an apparent wind on the wing set that is used to have the wing set and line climb rapidly to higher altitude where winds are commonly stronger and more consistent than near ground or sea surface. The wing set and line store energy in such a process. A next step could be to repeat a similar cycle, but in the next step the stored energy of the wing set and line set are used for a gliding action that can result in the wing set and line set going even greatly further downwind for a net result of getting more and more line out. The new longer line out will then permit another climb cycle where even more energy may be stored in the wing set and line set, as there is more line to be used to permit the wing set and line set to reach even higher altitudes than in earlier cycles where perhaps even stronger winds might be reached. With such storage and use cycles, an AWES system may be launched to some working altitude, perhaps important for special works. Thank you, Kite System, for being able to be a storage device in such activity which may be a launching activity or a transport activity or a missioned storage activity or some specially characterized activity.
      The above storage-of-energy activity was used by George Simpson in launching his AWES from the deck of a fishing trawler in 1905. He used a steam engine to operate the hauling-line device; in weak winds he would use the above described method of storing energy in the wing and line set in order to get his AWES to better upper winds. ~ JoeF

Kite system as energy-storage device.A specific focus may be to have kite system store energy in the wing and then fully release the entire wing to use the stored energy for gliding, dropping, transport, delivery of people and goods, impact energy, etc. An example of this energy-storage story was in the kiting of huge wings that carried troops; sometimes the troopers would exits while still under kiting; but other times the wing would be released from tow and the wing would glide a further distance when then the troopers would exit by parachute. Another use of such energy storage that gained significant use was in the kiting up of wings for release to glide for experimenting with spacecraft-recovery devices. Similarly, the sport of the "Kitemen" used the stored energy to be used after release from being kited to altitude. Just how far this method of storing energy and use of the energy by the released wing set is up to the creative powers of humans.  ~ JoeF

Kites and lines are potential fuel stocks that can be stored in large outdoor piles and self-transport as extended kite trains. Classic kites are biofuels and modern UHMWPE is essentially long-chain paraffin-kerosene (~10kWhr/kg). A flying "pipeline" might simply be a cheaply-made rope that feeds a fuel cycle. A series of pulleys held up by kites is a simple way to levitate the line XC. The line might pump as it travels, to power the kites to lift in zero wind.

For wide use, the price of making rope would have to continue downward, otherwise the flying-rope fuel technique would remain a niche option (like operating an IC-engine within the scope of a flying rope supply). Decommissioning kite matter at the end of its service-life could also be done by flying to a fuel or recycling center.  ~ Dave Santos

When a kite system holds parts that rotate, then the rotational kinetic energy or  angular kinetic energy is a form of stored energy. Flywheels, turbine blades, rotating disks,  and gyroscopic rings are examples. Gyrokites and flipwings have some stored angular kinetic energy. Some flipwings add stabilizing rotating disks that do not play to lift, but play to stabilize; such disks store angular kinetic energy.    ~ JoeF



Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here and in the linked files and forums.     
All, send notes, links, drawings, papers, videos, plans, safety-critical findings, and photographs!

  • Terms and aspects:   XC  cross country
  • Related links and concepts:  
    • Energy/Storage/Kite/
    • and
    • and
    • Step-pumping energy into wing set and line set to increase net energy stored in wing and line sets.
    • Kite as fuel
    • Kinetic energy of the wing set and line set is stored energy in the kite system. Angular kinetic energy or rotational energy contributes to the total kinetic energy stored in a kite system.
    • Integrated mass, say water, lifted by kite system may be seen as the net kite system itself; such net mass provided enhanced gravitational potential energy
  • Commentary is welcome:


*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.