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 WindTower Kite-Hybrid AWE

 A HAWT windtower (upwind turbine type) can potentially greatly boost its capacity factor by flying a power kite from its nacelle into upper wind. The same generator would serve both turbine and kite, singly or in combination, to match a wider range  of load and wind conditions.  A kite-rig combo can potentially allow the generation of useful power when the wind is too weak at the tower level; and the tower turbine can continue operation in storm conditions requiring the kite be stowed.

Flying a kite from a "free" tower is advantageous for early launch and to clear surface clutter. The addition of kites, reels, clutches, and other kite-side gear can be accommodated in the nacelle space within practical design-limits, but the kite system must be robust and never foul on the turbine blades upwind of the tower.

This seems a kludgey solution, but it may pay nicely in marginal niches where demand is great and siting, capital, or wind resource limitations dictate. Add this variant to the list of possible "kite-hybrid" plants, such as legacy coal or gas power plants.

A variation of this idea would be for a flying turbine to also operate docked at the masthead in high wind.

CoolIP                       ~Dave Santos            14Oct2011      AWE4472   

Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.       
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Commentary is welcome:

  • When an extant tower is being decommissioned, the AWE option might fit.
  • When an extant tower is being repaired, the AWE option might fit.
  • Cables between towers in a wind farm might hold cross-winding sails or karts driven by kites.
  • Cables between towers might hold multiple rotors driving torque casing.