CoolIP index Most recent edit: Sunday February 02, 2014 SearchSite
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String Variloops Made Easy
Sorry to Brooks for not posting this to JoeF's string variloop thread earlier, but this is a topic i have worked for several years now. The finding is that string variloops are a practical AWE power transmission option.
All you need is a fixed spool that the loop is wound onto over the top of the spool. As the loop is launched the take-up side of the loop is passively unwound off the spool. The turbine capstan or bull-wheel is allowed to roll out the slack return side of the loop as it grows. Once the loop is fully extended & unwound the turbine then pulls the loop powering the groundgen capstan or bull-wheel. To retract the process reverses but the slack side of the loop is now taken up until the loop is fully wound & landed. Interestingly the loop reverses direction each session. A detail is that the loop is reverse threaded on the capstans or bull-wheels each session. One could design to reverse the turbine to rewind.
A string loop requires a splice or connector fitting. To add to or hotswap a loop merely requires adding sections by connecting in. To work on a moving loop is not that hard, may industrial conveyor systems have sidetrack capabilities, think of train yard operations as a mega example.
This is how KiteLab's successful KiteMotor 1 variloop is manually handled & automation seems practical. There are many possible variations in handling variloops & Brooks approach is also workable. Ideas involving many always-engaged pulleys do stink, but Daniel's idea of using terrain suspension to hide long side-pulled sections is cool. A single pair of added split-pulleys suffices & any number of such pulleys can be completely disengaged for zero added friction during power generation.
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
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