A rotary wing rapidly deployable aerial wind turbine
This design is an inexpensive and rapidly deployable alternative to installation of wind turbines. Although wind energy is the least expensive of all the alternative energy sources, nonetheless the installations of wind turbines are inherently expensive (5-6 times more than conventional hydrocarbon powered generation facility) due to the wind turbines’ requirement for a massive foundations (nearly 3000 square feet in area and 6 feet deep of heavily reinforced concrete) and large supporting poles (20-30 stories tall). Also the ground based wind turbines are rated for 12.5 meters/sec (28 miles/hour) wind, since the wind typically does not blow at this speed, a power factor of 40 -60 percent is not unusual, meaning that ground based wind turbines will only operate at their rated capacity 40% to 60% of the time.
As an alternative we propose to airlift the wind turbine to a height (550 meters) utilizing a towed autogiro and keep it aloft by means of a tether to the ground. Because the wind is consistent and steady at these heights, both the autogiro and the generator will remain aloft indefinitely. The proposed configuration will operate at 100% power factor and will have a productivity 40 to 60 percent higher, and an acquisition cost of substantially less than ground based installations.
The autogiro (a predecessor of helicopter) is a simple and inexpensive mechanism capable of lifting objects weighing up to twenty tons. Within the envelope of the autogiro lifting capacity, wind turbines with ratings up to 15 Mega Watts may be airlifted. Should the construction of the prototype and testing prove successful, the cost of acquisition and generation of wind power will further be reduced through the alleviation of both the foundation and the supporting pole and the lack of the need for strategic placement of wind turbines which is in mostly inaccessible windy corridors where the geography of the area provides for semi-consistent wind.
A 5.5 kW prototype aerial generator is proposed. The mechanism will weigh nearly 350 kg. It will be capable of being launched in tow in less than 100 meters and will gain working altitude within 5 minutes of launch and it will operate at 100% of it rated capacity while aloft. The construction of the proposed aerial generator and its testing will not be complicated because there is almost 90 years of knowledge and experience since the first autogiro made first debut and more than a millennium of experience in construction of wind turbines. The combination Autogiro and Wind Turbine has never been tested together. Should the testing prove successful it will espouse many new industries ranging from simple inexpensive grid energy production to water treatment and water desalination or affordable production of hydrogen as alternative fuel due to both reduced acquisition cost of and also due its higher productivity.