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(Scotsman)   Kites could generate power of conventional power stations. Yeah, that'll fly   (news.scotsman.com) divider line 117
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8597 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jan 2005 at 1:11 PM (9 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2005-01-02 11:01:29 AM
Wow, talk about your hazards to aircraft navigation.
 
2005-01-02 11:30:06 AM
It sounds like the validity of this is still up in the air.
 
2005-01-02 11:41:38 AM
I tried to fly a kite with my family last spring. Two kites.....little airtime......mangled by trees and trips to the ground.

If you were depending on my skills we would all be cooking by flame
 
2005-01-02 12:00:41 PM
And after that, we'll completely dome the moon, so no one will have to wear a spacesuit there.
 
2005-01-02 12:10:40 PM
And we can ride there in a mono-rail type train system that goes on a cable. And everyone will dress like Barbarella

Run Logan run,
 
2005-01-02 12:29:39 PM
Will this create a new category for BASE jumpers?

BASKE?
 
2005-01-02 01:00:24 PM
Some will consider the following trolling, but it is not. It's seeing farking nonsense like this article.

Someday, those of us that are objective and scientifically minded, will rise up and throw down the reigning religions of willful ignorance and environmentalism.

Then nuclear power will takes its rightful place generating most of our electrical and hydrogen needs almost endlessly and at very low cost.

I can make this flat statement with no doubt of its veracity: If you are against nuclear power, you are either ignorant or the enemy of man and need to be removed.
 
2005-01-02 01:15:46 PM
brazil:

"I can make this flat statement with no doubt of its veracity: If you are against nuclear power, you are either ignorant or the enemy of man and need to be removed."

While nuclear power is the most environmentally friendly source of electricity that is currently in large scale use, there are several other technologies known to be economical right now that can do better. The only problem is that they're restricted by local conditions and therefore cannot be used on as large a scale.

For example, where good conditions exist wind and hydro power cost substantially less than nuclear, and are more sustainable. There's also a new type of solar power (well, not exactly new as prototypes have been opperating for decades) that's cheaper than nuclear, can scale up to high capacities and provide power at night.

I forsee a future where these other technologies are supplemented by nuclear where necessary.
 
2005-01-02 01:17:14 PM
Ben Franklin jokes in 5...4...3....
 
2005-01-02 01:17:31 PM
Ummm. Doc Oc surrenders?
 
2005-01-02 01:19:47 PM
 
2005-01-02 01:20:43 PM
Yes, it's a windmill that can only be used on fair weather days, that falls to the ground and gets dirty when there's no wind, and relies on a complicated device to keep it running. That'll catch on quick.


/I get all my electricity from hydropower
 
2005-01-02 01:22:33 PM
Honestly, first pass on reading that, I thought it said "Kitties will provide power.." There would be a lot of sore wrists out there...
 
2005-01-02 01:24:39 PM
I like the references to all of the evil,
"polluting power stations" as if making power were just a side effect of producing pollution.
 
2005-01-02 01:25:02 PM
ArbitraryConstant:

For example, where good conditions exist wind and hydro power cost substantially less than nuclear, and are more sustainable.

Not true.

Without willfully ignorant and environmentally religious people interfering, nuclear power supplies are virtually infinite, cheap, and safe. Better than all competitors.

The cost of building plants is due to regulation designed to kill nuclear power. Also, the inability to reprocess fuel via breeder reactors is short sighted and just plain stupid.

Additionally, the constraint that any radioactive waste be placed in containment facilities that are stable for 100,000s of years are also designed to make such storage impossible and/or prohibitively expensive. Such storage goals defy rational sense.

All designed to kill nuclear power. All stupid.
 
2005-01-02 01:26:29 PM
Who here can really fly a kite?
let me see some hands..



oh come on, is everyone's arms glued to the table or something???


thats right...


Nobody gives a flying fark about kites, I'm still tramatized from trying to fly a kite as a kid
 
2005-01-02 01:29:54 PM
I'm kind of interested in the equal and opposite force required to keep the kite in place and extract the wind energy. If it's miles of cable connected to the ground that can withstand the tension created by this 100 megawatts, wouldn't the whole thing weigh so much that most of the energy would have to used to keep the thing at altitude?
 
2005-01-02 01:34:58 PM
Is it just me, or does Brazil sound a lot like the TimeCube guy?
 
2005-01-02 01:35:59 PM
I don't understand why environmentalists have such a bad reputation, especially coming from people who consider them ignorant and stuff. (This is only coming from reading fark threads and dealing w/ republicans...) This is not trolling, but I am really curious why people look down upon people who are desperatly trying to find other ways to power a growing, energy hungry planet.

I didn't RTFA btw. I'm sure kite power isn't very promising, but I think renewable resources as a whole are a very good idea.
 
2005-01-02 01:36:49 PM
You DUNCES!!!!!! The answer to free energy is CLEAR:

 
2005-01-02 01:37:41 PM
Professor Ockels says a few hundred of the installations, each requiring some 400 kites with 27ft wingspans, could generate enough electricity to supply the needs of a city the size of Seattle.

Assume "a few hundred" means 300. That's 120,000 kites just to power Seattle. Since the kites rotate, they must be separated by at least 13.5 feet otherwise kite A will strike kite B's line and vice versa (this assumes that the kite heights are staggered and their positions are stationary). That's going to occupy quite a bit of space.

In practice, though, the kites likely won't be stationary. They're going to move around. How do you keep the kites from getting tangled? Sounds like a maintenance nightmare.

Neat idea but not at all practical.
 
pkp
2005-01-02 01:42:32 PM
Hi -

May I join the praise of your wonderful product?

When I was young, I always wondered why clippers couldnt work with a vacuum the way your product does. When I first saw your ad, ten years ago, I thought: Wow-somebody figured it out! I ordered, mostly out of curiousity, but when I got the it in my hands and saw the clever design, I knew at once that it would work. And it did!
 
2005-01-02 01:52:40 PM
brazil:

"Without willfully ignorant and environmentally religious people interfering, nuclear power supplies are virtually infinite, cheap, and safe. Better than all competitors."

All of the alternatives I mentioned can provide power in perpituity for less than $0.10/kwh. As nuclear power costs on the order of $0.35/kwh, I doubt a reduction in regulation would bring down costs sufficiently to make it preferable to those alternatives.

"The cost of building plants is due to regulation designed to kill nuclear power. Also, the inability to reprocess fuel via breeder reactors is short sighted and just plain stupid."

I agree about the restrictions on breeder reactors.

"Additionally, the constraint that any radioactive waste be placed in containment facilities that are stable for 100,000s of years are also designed to make such storage impossible and/or prohibitively expensive. Such storage goals defy rational sense."

What do you propose as an alternative?

Obviously some regulation is needed as there have been a number of incidents where loss of life has occured. Without regulation, this would happen more.

"All designed to kill nuclear power. All stupid."

Do you realize that nuclear power is heavily federally subsidized in the US through caps on liability in the event of accident? If plant operators had to purchase insurance for the damage they could cause, they would all be out of business.

I'm not religiously environmental, but I've looked into it and the alternatives I presented are cheaper. If they're cheaper, why avoid them?
 
2005-01-02 01:53:44 PM

Still nowhere near the 1.21 jigawatts I need!
 
2005-01-02 01:53:51 PM
Alternatives are fine, but I've seen models for tidal generators that appear to have a lot more promise than filling the sky with thousands of kites. I would be willing to bet the idea to shoot satellites into orbit using a huge cannon and then have them collect solar power and microwave it back to earth is more reasonable than this idea.

We might as well teather huge zepplins to the ground and put wind turbines on them. At least they will stay in the air if the wind dies down. Think of how many people would be needed just to re-launch these kites every time the wind patterns change.

Nuclear fission is the really the best way to go unless someone cracks the fusion problem tomorrow.
 
2005-01-02 01:54:29 PM
I think they're gonna' need a bigger kite. And Kevlar lines.
 
2005-01-02 01:54:56 PM
Actually, you could provide unlimited amounts of power using a very simple perpetual motion device.

The perpetual motion device would be a cat with a slice of buttered toast strapped to it's back.
 
2005-01-02 01:55:37 PM
Great idea, but we have have to weigh the risks:

 
2005-01-02 01:55:46 PM
 
2005-01-02 01:56:31 PM
I don't know if any studies have been done to evaluate this as a possible means of power generation and distribution, but I wonder what benefits a more peer-to-peer power generation and distribution system might have. Obviously a large installation such as a power plant could provide for much better pollution control and resource utilization than something like a million individual homes with generators, but I bet if everyone had some solar panels, a wind turbine or two, etc., in their home to provide power for themselves, the excess could just flow to the grid to others and we wouldn't need any additional large-scale power plants. It may just be a dream, but I would think that it could be practical.

Also, I'm pretty sure most consumer electronics and other things could be made a lot more efficient. A combination of green technologies, waste reuse, etc., could probably cut down on energy costs a good bit. For example, utilizing the near constant temperature of the ground to facilitate much of a home's heating and cooling needs as opposed to using air conditioners with power-hungry compressors, heaters, etc. Just a thought.
 
2005-01-02 01:58:42 PM
I love reading brazil's post in any thread because he has the art of "if you don't agree with me you are wrong" attitude down to a T. Any thread involving his opinion he goes straight to condemming the other person or shouting them down, looks like someone learned Ayn Rand pretty well. Don't worry that objectivism ranks right up their with scientology in the amount of bs you can pack into something and pawn it off as intelligence. The weaknesses that many people see in Ayn Rand is the same I see in almost every post of yours brazil.
 
2005-01-02 02:00:23 PM
ArbitraryConstant, with regard to the storage of nuclear waste... if I'm not mistaken, if the plants are run properly and all technologies are utilized, there's virtually no waste. Most every radioactive by-product of fission can also be used in a fission reaction. I could be mistaken, though I read this in several places not too long ago. We all know if it's on the internets, it must be true! :D
 
2005-01-02 02:01:35 PM
(Shrugs)

Once oil supplies run out, we're going nuclear, I hope we can find something to do with the waste until then.

That said, we should still try to find other methods, there's only so much radioactive material out there, and we haven't figured out fusion yet.
 
2005-01-02 02:06:04 PM
Why not just use one of these?

 
2005-01-02 02:06:06 PM
supaxi:

"Nuclear fission is the really the best way to go unless someone cracks the fusion problem tomorrow"

No, the answer is sustainable technologies where conditions make them economical, supplemented by nuclear power where necessary.

I honestly don't understand objections to things like wind power. Sure, there are a limited number of places in the world where wind power makes sense and I am not saying these conditions exist in enough places to make it a major source of power, but when it does make sense it's typically very cheap (like $0.05/kwh amoratized over 20 years). That's cheaper than any fossil fuel technology, and cheaper than nuclear fission. Put simply, where reliable winds exist, wind power can undercut everyone else easily.
 
2005-01-02 02:06:33 PM
"Get a horse, Henry!"

"It'll never work, Orville!"

Let's give it 10 years and see what he comes up with, neh?

~Rick
 
2005-01-02 02:06:41 PM
brazil:

The cost of building plants is due to regulation designed to kill nuclear power. Also, the inability to reprocess fuel via breeder reactors is short sighted and just plain stupid.

Having done work with contractors on nuclear facilities in the past, I'm very happy about some of these regulations... for instance using 3 redundant lines at all valve and sensor points.

I'd hate to die in a meltdown because some dude over at Honeywell was a little hungover on the assembly line.
 
2005-01-02 02:07:11 PM
ArbitraryConstant,

I assume you drive. Do you have enough liability insurance to cover ALL the damage you could possibly do, or just what you are required to carry? I just checked mine: bodily injury of 100k per person, 300k total, property damage of 50k per occurance. If I wreck your (hypothetical) Ferrari, my insurance aint going to cover it entirely. The government has said I dont have to buy insurance to cover EVERY POSSIBLE EVENT that could occur.

This is also true of every regulated and unregulated industry. Not nust nuclear power.
 
2005-01-02 02:10:05 PM
mystic1423:

"ArbitraryConstant, with regard to the storage of nuclear waste... if I'm not mistaken, if the plants are run properly and all technologies are utilized, there's virtually no waste. Most every radioactive by-product of fission can also be used in a fission reaction. I could be mistaken, though I read this in several places not too long ago. We all know if it's on the internets, it must be true! :D"

There's a number of technologies on the horizon that would make waste more radioactive (and thus radioactive for a shorter period of time), but the economics haven't been worked out yet.

I wouldn't be all that surprised if cheap space travel happened first and we could just dump all the waste into Jupiter and forget about it.
 
2005-01-02 02:12:40 PM
Am I the only one who read this as "Kitties could generate power of conventional power stations."? Solve the energy crisis with boobies links!
 
2005-01-02 02:12:48 PM
Cute headline. Props, submitter.
 
2005-01-02 02:13:20 PM
brazilWithout willfully ignorant and environmentally religious people interfering, nuclear power supplies are virtually infinite, cheap, and safe. Better than all competitors.

"At the current rate of consumption (35,000 tonnes per year) and prices, known uranium resources of four million tonnes represent about 65 years consumption at current rates" -- http://www.magma.ca/~jalrober/Chapter14c.htm

And that's from a pro-nuclear site...

Unless of course you meant fusion too :)
 
2005-01-02 02:14:44 PM
Enigmamf,

Breeder reactors, reprocessing, and more breeder reactors extend that 65 years by a huge amount. It also uses up the big piles of depleted U lying around.
 
2005-01-02 02:15:35 PM
ArbitraryConstant:

I wouldn't be all that surprised if cheap space travel happened first and we could just dump all the waste into Jupiter and forget about it.

We could shoot it into the sun with current techonolgies... wouldn't even need good guidance systems... the sun has a huge gravity well.

That said, would you want to risk it exploding on the launch pad?
 
2005-01-02 02:17:44 PM
Enigmamf:

""At the current rate of consumption (35,000 tonnes per year) and prices, known uranium resources of four million tonnes represent about 65 years consumption at current rates" -- http://www.magma.ca/~jalrober/Chapter14c.htm"

Breeder reactors would allow currently useless isotopes of Uranium (and I think Thorium?) to be used. For all intents and purposes, this would give us unlimited power.
 
2005-01-02 02:19:24 PM
the whole problem with nuke power is it isn't cheap, both socially and economically. Just trying to find a place to store the radioative waste has been a nightmare for the US and other countries.

Ontop of that, building the reactos and structures and keeping them mantained is not economical, as it cost more to run plant, then to not. hense the high prices, and little use for them. The government, before the public outcry, acctually substidized nuclear power plants, and even them the faced the same problems.

Infact, the whole idea of using nuclear technology for peace was a huge PR campaign started by the government in the 1950's to put a "niceness" on nuclear research because of the history of only using it to make bigger bombs. They wanted to change the idea that all it was good for was destruction, to allow more money to be put into research programs for weapons (which could lead to peace time uses). After 3 mile island and chernobal, public outcry killed the PR campaigns efforts, and effectivly put nuclear power plants in a bad eye, as they should be.

the risks are just too great, for something more costly then oil and/or alternative clean air ideas.

I do like the idea of beaming microwaves from space back to earth thou, it seems like a good technology that could produce cheap energy. Theres also plans (not aproved yet) to build space elevators, which use this techonogy for power. The space elevator would have more cargo room then the shuttle, and could drop payload prices down to $10/lbs making putting satilites in orbit much cheaper. making the costs of this energy idea much smaller then originally were.
 
2005-01-02 02:20:39 PM
The main issues with nuclear power are o do with spent fuel and the like. Not everything can be done by reprocesing and the FBRs, and there are always dangerous by-products that need to be stored safely for extended periods of time. A lot of the discussion regarding the cost of nuclear power takes very wide liberties with the safety costs and restrictions. What the industry claims are safe limits and what independent experts claim are safe limits are wildly different, with attendant differences in cost factors.

Ultimately however, we have to err on the side of caution when dealing with something that is as dangerous as nuclear power when it operates within the only biosphere we currently have available to support human (and all other) life. We can't afford to be wrong.

That said, I do think there are situations where Nuclear power is advantageous over alternative forms of energy. Far space explorations (beyond Mars or the asteroid belt) pretty much mandate nuclear power, to start with. Surface based nuclear power has massive advantages with regards to power-grid drain factors and instant respose to energy demands.

I don't think that nuclear power is advisable as the sole energy source for the planet for one single reason: it is bad practice to put all of your eggs in one basket on something so important to (modern) life as this. This is the same reason I likewise think that a pure Wind, Hydro or Solar solution is the optimal respose to the issue. Instead, I think that a combined power source strategy is the best course to aim for, as the redundancy factor in case of accidents and emergencies makes for a much more stable power infrastructure.

Cost is not the only issue to be considered. All posible forms of energy production really need to be investigated so we can make a balanced strategy to go forward.

On the subject of these kites (yes, the actual article), it occurs to me that this could be conceptually similar to the theory from a few years ago that 'dipped' parts of orbital facilities into the upper atmosphere (in the case of the proposal I am think of, it was part of a transport system). If my understanding of orbital mechanics is correct, you could anchor an upper atmosphere kite rig not to the ground, but by a counterbalance in an orbital path. In the event of a line break between the orbital facility and the kite, the orbital facility would go up, and the kite would burn on a re-entry path.

Of course, the problem with that is that it would need an ultra-hard material like spun carbon.

Interesting idea though.
 
2005-01-02 02:21:42 PM
Tjos Weel:

"I assume you drive."

No. I'm a penniless student and had to choose between my parents basement with a car and an apartment without. But I'll respond anyway.

"Do you have enough liability insurance to cover ALL the damage you could possibly do, or just what you are required to carry? I just checked mine: bodily injury of 100k per person, 300k total, property damage of 50k per occurance. If I wreck your (hypothetical) Ferrari, my insurance aint going to cover it entirely. The government has said I dont have to buy insurance to cover EVERY POSSIBLE EVENT that could occur."

The difference is that the vast majority of accidents result in much less liability than the amount of insurance that you carry.

One meltdown or significant release of radioactive material can cause the essentially permanent destruction of an entire region, with an economic cost that could easily go into the trillions and liability that probably exeeds the gross world product. We know this can happen, so the insurance would be astronomical.
 
2005-01-02 02:22:54 PM
Professor Wubbo Ockels (correct)

I love the fact that they felt it necessary to say 'Yep, that's really his name. It's not a typo.'.
 
2005-01-02 02:26:19 PM
FUBuddy,

Its nice to see somebody else shares my contempt for Ayn Rand.
 
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