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.
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
All, send notes, drawings, and photographs!
Terms and aspects:
Commentary is welcome:
- When an extant tower is being decommissioned, the AWE option might
- 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