CoolIP index                                                          Most recent edit: Monday January 28, 2013

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Rubber-Band Turbines

The toy rubber-band airplane is an interesting device in our AWES context. An elastomer line functions much like a storage-capacitor, storing elastic energy by supercoiling naturally, without the kinking damage of (hockling) over-torquing less elastic lines.

Notice that, in principle, the toy can be driven at high-speed by wind, as a looping kiteplane, and its rotor would then wind the rubber band, as a WECS. As it orbits, the rotor would take energy from the flow during the high-speed diving phase, and give it back during the slower climbing phase. The gravity signal amplitude in the cycle is smoothed out.

Smoothed power can be extracted at the end of the rubber band opposite the rotor. This leads back to our old insight that a simple rotor and rubber band under a pilot-kite can comprise the WECS, with the workload at the ground, solving basic flight-stability/control. We have only explored this "bungee AWES" idea in passing, but need to test it as a simple extension of Doug's SuperTurbine

Its a bigger leap to see that a simple passive rotor on a rubber band can be designed to perform a self-induced AWES spin-cycle, winding up a rubber band for a pumping tug, and unwinding at low drag in a recovery phase. For example, memory polymer can enable a simple passive rotor in its working phase to progressively reduce and even reverse pitch for its recovery-phase. The rotor's working pitch would slowly recover as the "phase memory" recovered, and the rotor would repeat the pumping cycle.

  • CoolIP* and CC BY NC SA        ~Dave Santos         26Jan2013              SOURCEHERE

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*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.