Kite Hybrid Power Plant (Retrofit Notes)
The Forum is aware of a wonderful potential to retrofit
existing power plants as kite power hybrids. More notes-
In principle any power plant based on driven generators can somehow be
made to accept kite power on its generator shafting. Industrial megascale
COTS components are available for most of the added hardware.
Some situations are more ideal, others marginal. Favored plants are those
whose legacy power can be throttled & banked as the wind blows, especially
where fuel is limited by supply or price. Good potential exists for gas
turbine & hydroelectric where water conservation is urgent. A nuke, by
contrast, only needs a boost during infrequent shut-down.
The .5 to (soon) 1 Gigawatt single generator class shows greatest economy
of scale; this is the ultimate market for kites to enhance. The kite
hybrid concept works at all scales with similar mechanical designs.
Existing capital investment in generators and distribution is leveraged.
Kite Hybrids is an ultra low capital cost (by unit energy) strategy, with
fast pay back possible.
New Kite/Gas-Turbine Hybrid plants look promising for adding new capacity.
Kite arrays will be located almost invisibly high over populations, if
safety is high, whereas wind towers are mostly banished to remote
unpopulated sites, raising distribution capital cost and transmission
loss. 2025 is a good timeline to real HAWE
The hybrid concept only works well with kite Super Density concepts that
minimize sprawl. The AWECS of choice is quite open, ranging from arrays of
semi-captive varidrogues to rotors and kiteplanes rated around 1MW.
All other AWE concepts involve high capital investment in new generators
and transmission lines, at far smaller capacities.
The kite power retrofit generally involves adding mechanical input to the
legacy generator shafting. A sprocket clutch added on the shaft is turned
by a drive chain to provide about an 8 to 1 step-up stage & allow the
power to be brought into the plant by the chain passing thru the wall.
Disconnecting rotating parts or mixing power from the legacy source is a
Wire rope cableways rated at about 10Mw each are proposed to aggregate
power from surrounding kitefarm cells to an array of spragged bullwheels
on the chainwheel axle. Bullwheel gearing at the kite field would be
another ~8 to 1 stage and be the wire-rope loop interface to UHMWPE flying
line. The kiteline could be a continuous power loop or pulse sprags.
Kite Power regulation would mostly be done by kite modulation. Flywheeling
of the the ground based aggregation should be enough for a plant's need
for smooth input.
Power can be designed to run both ways & the power plant could drive the
"winch-towing" of kite arrays in tight patterns to persist aloft thru
calms, eliminating dedicated anchor winches.
Single membrane wing-mills 300 m long could potentially approach 10 MW
capacity and directly drive cableway fan-in the the power plant. Other
known concept units seem scale limited to a couple of Megawatts, and so
would be needed in greater numbers, but the best ROI AWECS principle is
Specific MegaScale kite-array concepts and considerations will be treated
~Dave Santos April
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