CoolIP index Most recent edit: Friday October 11, 2013 SearchSite
* See legal note below.
Stratospheric Thin-Film Solar AWES
It is a popular synergistic idea, that a kite's surface might double as a solar panel. The big problems are that solar power is far more diffuse than good wind, and a kite's inherent wind orientation and optimal solar orientation only rarely align. Then there are issues like excess capital cost per unit-energy, added flight weight, and so on. The idea seems limited to low aux-power aloft.
What if a vast solar farm could be could be made to fly like a delicate veil in the middle stratosphere in the form of a vast graphene thin-film, with networked conductors and loadpaths. The middle stratosphere generally has gentle winds in calm conditions well above storms. Just like Bucky's flying city sphere, the translucent film could be buoyed up by its own greenhouse-lift. Kites and other aircraft types could keep the solar veil stretched out and in place, even from below. A dynamic network of conductors to the ground, or even cryogenic fuel production, could be employed.
The solar veil described could wander across global grids. It would have to be continuously recycled as it wears. Creating shade on a large scale and reflecting excess solar flux spaceward are possible applications. Ultimately, the veil could span the world, with embedded utilities and even communities sustained aloft. Its just as if a Bucky's sphere were to contain the whole earth. There is a relentless historic trend of world-changing technology. Big ideas are an unstoppable train. Lets hope that stratospheric superstructure as presented here would help heal the world, or at least be benign.
At its simplest, for now, a solar thin-film can be flown as a "cape", a sort of damped horizontal flag, under an ordinary kite, for a predicted improvement in solar-kite hybrid performance. Level solar orientation with neutral self-lift is a good start, but opportunistically tilted and riffled versions are possible.
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Support our editor.
(Legal Note: Open AWE CC sharing and claims rest on "artist's moral rights", under the Berne Convention.
Inventing is a true creative Art, by long tradition.
The intent in Open AWE is to make the widely emerging new form of CC IP voluntarily accepted and fairly valued,
as AWE's professional best-practice standard. Comments invited.)
Note: coolIP is hereby defined as a Creative-Commons Unported NonCommercial
so now we are integrated with the latest standard cooperative IP model, but "coolIP" remains a nice shorthand.