Super Density Operations (SDO) of AWECS
Its proposed that "Super Density Operations" (SDO) of AWECS is required to
maximize airspace, that systems incapable of close formations will not be
competitive for utility scale AWE. Most of the ideas needed for SDO
already exist in fun kiting & have been mentioned on the forum. This post
adds more detail, particularly advances in recent decades.
Classic kiting has long included trains & arches, either for pure delight
or to aggregate power in a manageable way. The stacked train, as seen in
Chinese Dragon Kites, is probably the oldest method. Eddy popularized
branched trains 120 yrs ago. The two types are comparable in power, but
very different in handling & flight character. Branched arches, basically
a branched train bent across the wind, have existed for over a hundred
years, & are used by modern kite shows to pack the most kites into a small
A new kind of arch emerged in the 80's when Etienne Veryes invented the
Skybow, a ribbon-like arch. There were two enabling tricks- curving the
overall ribbon in plan so that the trailing edge was slightly longer &
spacing cross-battens along its length. Meanwhile Eiji Ohashi found he
could take a train stack of diamond kites & bend them over into an arch,
with half the kites flipping face. It was not perfect, as the kites in the
center tended to interfere with the line. Then Gerhard Blattert found that
an arch could be made by removing the horizontal spar of the diamond kite
& running the arch line in its place. This removed the defect of the
ribbon arch, that it does not gracefully adjust AoA everywhere along its
span. This is the arch that has become popular at kite festivals: its so
easy to make & flies quite well. There is nothing to stop such arches from
being many kilometers wide.
A variation is to set several arches concentrically from the same anchors
into a "rainbow". Here we finally see a close approximation of what AWE
SDO might look like if it is to truly tap the most power from a given
volume. No monstrous single kite can compete with the scalability of this
approach. Combining Ohashi elements at the sides & Blattert elements along
the top would be a superior hybrid arch. Blattert's diamond pattern can
double-up into an Allison Sled plan, or multiplied even further, but
without reverting to a Veyres arch. Such structure is well suited to host
membrane wingmills or turbines underneath to harvest wind energy, or even
to lift "architectural" payloads.
Thanks to Kay Buesing at the World Kite Museum for key research assistence.
Kay is one of the key folks that made Long Beach Washington the "Arch &
Train Capital of the World". Also thanks to the many masters who shared
their train & arch expertise with me- Jim Patton, Iqbal Hussein, Terry
Mcpherson, David Gomberg, & so on.
~Dave Santos ,
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
All, send notes, drawings, and photographs!
Terms and aspects:
Commentary is welcome:
- Re: Phonons/// You can get a milliwatt or two from a singing
kiteline by using a piezo-bimorph, but lets agree such an unoptimized
AWECS is not impressive. It takes a real engineering imagination (like
Wayne' German's) to see that we can fill the sky with cheap wings and
ultimately create terawatts of power. Interestingly, all AWE schemes
with mechanical cycling are highly "phononic", but the frequencies are
super-low infrasonic, so most folks will not recognize them as an
The newest frontier in AWE thinking is vast kite-based lattices that
exhibit powerful bulk harmonics to tap, sort of like turning a portion
of sky into wiggling Jell-O. A gigawatt scale AWE plant on this
principle would fit into a volume roughly 1 km x 1 km x 1/2 km high---sing
a monstrous song.