Inflatable Wind Turbines

Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site. Get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts.

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

Shubedobedubopbopbedo
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:38 pm

Post by Shubedobedubopbopbedo »

Maybe. If Polywell works. But it would still be interesting to build a wind ladder just to test the limits of technology.

- Far offshore, deep water.
- One mile altitude
- 20 inflatable turbine units in series.
- Tether technology, a la space elevator.
- Climber technology.

Each inflatable unit might be the size of the Hindenburg, and be a real airship in its own right, able to detach from the wind ladder superstructure and fly to a land-based hanger for maintenance. Each one could have its own built-in helium condenser. Self-contained. Self inflating. That would reduce the need for maintenance every few months due to gas leaks.

MSimon
Posts: 14332
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Life

Post by MSimon »

With pBj you could easily get 40 years life.

D-D might be as little as 4 years given the higher neutron production.

Ultimately - given enough production volume - costs decline to the range of the cost of the refined raw materials (on a per ton basis) plus the cost of the energy required to manufacture.

For what Dr. B. is doing now he has to find producers and deal with each one individually.

For mass production the production machines would be idealized for Polywell production and grouped near by each other.

Once you get a flow going resources including administration decline drastically.

MSimon
Posts: 14332
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

You are starting out at 10 KW and the scaling is unfavorable.

Costs go up with the volume of the balloon while output goes up as (volume)^2/3 (in other works linearly with area). i.e. volume goes up faster than energy output. Fortunately most of the volume is filled with helium.

At best you have a linear relation of materials invested to power out.

With Dr. B's machine Power out goes up as the 3/2 power of the surface area of the machine (or directly with volume). Since it too is mostly empty space you can see that the economics are quite favorable.

MSimon
Posts: 14332
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

Shubedobedubopbopbedo wrote: Each one could have its own built-in helium condenser.
Could you explain how that would work?

The concept is a little unclear to me.

BTW - what is world production of He?

What is the excess capacity?

How many CF of He per MW?

What are the supply limitations?

jlumartinez
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:29 pm
Location: Spain

Post by jlumartinez »

Helium condenser. This world is amazing !!! Why do you need helium in liquid state? Helium is not present in the air, in case of you have any doubt. Therefore it should be refilled periodically.

What about these turbines with strong winds? And the wires? The wind load will be tremendous for those wires...

Shubedobedubopbopbedo
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:38 pm

Post by Shubedobedubopbopbedo »

I was thinking Argon mistakenly, which is much more abundant.

A condenser can obtain distilled water from the air, which can then be electrolyzed into hydrogen. The units can still be self-contained and low-maintenance. The question is, can this be done efficiently enough. I still have to do the math on that one.
Last edited by Shubedobedubopbopbedo on Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jlumartinez
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:29 pm
Location: Spain

Post by jlumartinez »

Is not easier to transport the electricity to the ground, and later get the water electrolyzed?

Shubedobedubopbopbedo
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:38 pm

Post by Shubedobedubopbopbedo »

Conducting the electricity to the ground is the whole idea. A small amount of hydrogen would be produced only for buoyancy. It would not be used for fuel. That would be an extremely inefficient use of energy IMO.

MSimon
Posts: 14332
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

Shubedobedubopbopbedo wrote:I was thinking Argon mistakenly, which is much more abundant.

A condenser can obtain distilled water from the air, which can then be electrolyzed into hydrogen. The units can still be self-contained and low-maintenance.
Lovely idea.

Any idea about static electricity control or how to handle lightning strikes?

This sucker is going to be a lightening magnet.

How do you propose handling a 100 ton generator falling from 1,000 ft?

Suppose it is the top one in the string and causes a cascading failure?

This is going to require a lot more safety area than an ordinary wind turbine.

Other than low output, high cost, and safety issues it is a brilliant idea.

Shubedobedubopbopbedo
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:38 pm

Post by Shubedobedubopbopbedo »

Geez, it's just a concept. But ok, I'll try to rebutt....

1. I guess it would have to have lightning rods or something. Most towers have lightning rods. Personally I don't know what the big deal is about lightning.

2. If an inflatable unit became detached, I imagine it would float away. The Magenn website says their 10kW units are equipped with ripcords that rapidly deflate the unit in case the tether snaps. Obviously a structural failure would be a big pain in the butt, just like any other engineering project.

3. These are drag-type wind turbines, so the tether would almost never be vertical. It would tend to lean a little bit as the wind would push against it. Therefore if parts fall from the top they probably won't hit compenents below. They will fall straight into the water.

4. If the wind ladder is a mile-high, then I suppose it would need at least a mile radius around it to prevent interference with other similar wind ladders. Offshore, space is a non-issue. Wind ladders can be spread out as much as you want.

Shubedobedubopbopbedo
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:38 pm

Post by Shubedobedubopbopbedo »

Collecting sufficient moisture from the atmosphere to electrolyze into hydrogen to maintain buoyancy indefinitely would be quite feasible.

The Magenn website indicates that their 10kW inflatable turbine units contain 32,000 cubic feet of helium, and have a leak rate of 0.5% per month or 160 cu ft/month. Scaling up directly to a 5 Mw inflatable unit we get the following:

5 Mw unit = 80000 cu ft/month leak rate Helium.

However, if we assume that hydrogen will leak twice as fast because it has half the molecular weight, we get the following:

5 Mw unit = 160,000 cu ft/month leak rate Hydrogen
5 Mw unit = 1.75 liters per second hydrogen at STP.
5 Mw unit = 0.078 moles of H2 per second.

Electricity can break the chemical bonds of water and produce hydrogen, a process known as electrolysis.

986.8 kJ/mole H2O bond energy

For the rate that hydrogen would be leaking, we would need 76,970 watts of bond energy to split water into hydrogen. If an electroyzer works at 30% efficiency, each unit would need 256,568 watts total power for the electrolyzer. This is roughly 5.1 percent of rated power for the 5-Mw inflatable wind turbine.

But the water has to be condensed out of the air before it can be electrolyzed. To get sufficient hydrogen each unit would have to condense:

0.078 moles H2O per second, or
1.404 grams H2O per second, or
0.001404 liters H2O per second

An off-the-shelf dehumidifier will remove 1 pint (0.4732 liters) of H2O from the air every 24 hours using approximately 12.77 watts of power. That is about 5.477e-6 liters of H2O per second at that power level. Scaling up to extract 0.001404 liters of H2O per second from air would require a 3274-watt dehumidifier. That's about 0.065 percent of rated power for an inflatable wind turbine.

So, in total each wind turbine would only sacrifice 5.165 percent of rated power to maintain buoyancy indefinitely. The Magenn unit would need to be re-inflated every 4-6 months, but it seems quite feasible that it wouldn't need maintenance of this type if it were so designed. Obviously there are people who prefer the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) approach. But IMO this would be acceptable complexity.

Nanos
Posts: 341
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:57 pm
Location: Treasure Island

Post by Nanos »

That aspect seems perfectly acceptable to me.

Perhaps research connected with;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrage_balloon

Might prove useful to answer such questions connected with lightning/cable issues/etc.

Shubedobedubopbopbedo
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:38 pm

Post by Shubedobedubopbopbedo »

Interesting stuff. I followed your link and found this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tethered_A ... dar_System

Seems they have lightning arrestor equipment, something similar to what is described here:

http://www.harger.com/products/tvss/lak/lak.cfm

I'm not an electrical engineer, but it looks to me like a simple circuit breaker. Maybe it resets itself after a certain amount of time.

OneWayTraffic
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:35 pm

Post by OneWayTraffic »

In my opinion www.skywindpower.com has a better idea. Use the turbines themselves to provide lift and one per line. Sounds crazy, but I can't think of any real physical reasons why it wouldn't work per se. Put them well away from populated areas and restrict airspace.

Roger
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:03 am
Location: Metro NY

Post by Roger »

MSimon wrote: this technology will destroy wind power except for niche applications. Same for solar.
A 100 years from now, sure. If the world struggles for a replacement of oil, then the mega watts that Solar & Wind can provide will be very important over the next 50 years untill fusion can provide the Lions share of energy production in the 2050-2100 time frame.

Building 15 or 20 GW of fusion capacity will take a while, while Solar & Wind already has a jump on fusion.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

Post Reply