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Kite Carousel Mechanical Design

The well-known KiteGen Carousel concept involves teaming up multiple stacks of "pumping" phased power kites to turn a giant turntable. There are two major challenges to resolve; first there is the need to keep the kites clear of each other & the ground, for if they foul a terrible mess can result; & second, the "grunt" power of kites & a slowly moving carousel is far from the high-speed rotation practical electrical generators require.

Both KiteLab & the Guangdong AWE group have figured out that one can run radiating cableways from a central location to allow properly spacing any number of kites to all contribute power together. In particular KiteLab envisions a sort of central sunken crank-&-wheel carousel, like a giant unicycle laid on its side, with many kite-driven cables fanning-in from acros the kitefield to drive the crank. The carousel would turn with great power, but at low rpm. The rim of the carousel wheel would carry large generators turning at high rpm as "planetary gears". One might make such a super wheel as a cheap earth-banked high-speed circular train track with circling COTS TGV (bullet train) engines in regenerative-braking mode (motoring to get up to speed), or large industrial generators custom-set as planetary wheels, the rim driven by torque transmitted by wire rope spokes from the hub & crank, just like the unicycle model. The crank would be built like a large steel-truss side-drawn bridge.

What a sight such a carousel in operation would be! This concept also applies to tapping coastal ocean currents & scales to the very limits of civil & mechanical engineering, to multi-gigawatt output comparable to the largest power projects.

CoolIP                       ~Dave Santos             Jan 3, 2010        M2827

PS Carousel Note- A large carousel can be cheaply made with a reverse-banked circular road for wheeled vehicles. Steel cables like bike spokes can connect the vehicles across the hub and maintain spacing. The need for expensive fabricated megastructure, like a large rigid wheel, cantilevers, or elevated track, is avoided.
The ultimate simplification is a kite field of fixed anchor points where every kite cell sends phased tugs to a central generator crankshaft, the generator and gearing being the vestigial carousel, but at the largest industrial scale for those components.        M3932      Aug.6, 2011

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