Mike Fallwell shares with us:
My esteemed friend Dr. Paul Curto recently ran his own numbers on my project.
Paul has among other things, worked as a NASA patent adviser.
These are his results;
To whom it may concern:
My colleague, Mike Fallwell, has produced an extraordinary invention that
shows great promise as a breakthrough in wind energy technology. His
idea of using a glider flying on a tether at near right angles to the
wind, much as a sailboat tacks at an angle to the wind, takes advantage
of the flight characteristics to amplify the power extracted from the
air mass. Simply stated, a typical windmill is slaved to a cross
section of the air mass limited by the diameter of the blades. An
aerial wind system, running on a tether, is limited by the product of
the wingspan and the length of the tether that is used to traverse the
Typical wind turbines, like those from Vestas, have a
diameter of 80 meters and produce 1.8 MWe. They take up nearly a square
kilometer of land and rise nearly 110 meters in height. Most of the
components are built abroad and shipped for assembly here to the US
from Vietnam, China, Denmark, and Germany. Each one costs well over $4
million. The energy costs, without subsidies, range from 4 to 12 cents
per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
The commercial scale version that would
compete with wind farms might have a one kilometer flight range and a
40m winsgpan. Such a system would produce 4 MWe at 8 m/s (~15 MPH)
average windspeed). This may sound unremarkable, but the actual ground
speed of the wind would be half that of the wind at the altitude of the
glider. The standard wind turbine would be stuck on the ground, where
the windspeed may be below 4 m/s, and is only producing at a few
hundred kilowatts at the same time.
In production sufficient to
build just one typical wind farm, the 4 MWe Fallwell Flyer
configuration would cost probably less than $400,000, or $100 per
kilowatt. Its annual output at a typical wind site would have a much
higher capacity factor than a Vestas system, at least 60%. It would
average over 5000 hours at peak power each year, or 20,000 MWHe
Therefore, its capital cost would be 20 times less
than a Vestas and its energy cost as much as 40 times less -- less than
two-tenth of a cent per kWhe.
Alvin Weinberg once bragged that
nuclear power would be too cheap to meter. This time, it may be true,
but the creator is Skypower -- The Fallwell Flyer!
--Dr. Paul A. Curto
CCLLC Senior Consultant
Potomac, MD 20854
web site: http://paul20854.110mb.com