Proposal for Airborne Wind Turbines

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Proposal
English 415
26 September, 2012

Wind Energy Solutions
9237 Juliette Dr.
El Paso, TX 65485
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(345) 444-5924
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TO:Mike Molt, Design Engineer Manager
FROM:Bron Herson, Design Engineer Intern
DATE:26 September, 2012
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SUBJECT:Proposal to research airborne wind energy generation to compare and contrast the difference between wind turbine systems and airborne systems.

INTRODUCTION:
Wind Energy Solutions has built the standard for creating clean green wind energy production products all across the continental United States. For the past fifteen years, our company has produced more than 100,000 quality wind turbine products. Recently, local communities have been signing petitions to have wind farms be moved farther away from towns. This is because of the noise produced and depreciated value of the view caused from installing turbines. Wind Energy Solutions is determined to produce responsible clean energy and desires to keep good relations with the public. This means that Wind Energy Solutions needs to rethink how it helps produce energy.

I request permission to research airborne wind energy (AWE) systems, as an energy production product allowing us to add to our production line.

PROBLEM:
With wind turbines we have only scratched the surface of this large and vast renewable resource. The amount of power the wind carries in the atmosphere “is roughly 100 times the power used by all human civilization. Total power dissipated in winds is about 1015W. Total human thermal power consumption is about 1013 W. Removing 1% of high-altitude winds’ available energy is not expected to have adverse environmental consequences” (Roberts 2007). Wind turbines are a great start at harvesting energy from the wind. However, “developers have to consider noise issues, in terms of impact on residential areas; bird issues, in terms of migratory routes and sensitive species; and landscape designations such as National Parks” (Fry 2005). These are only a few issues that wind turbines have caused in energy generation.

For Wind Energy Solutions to spread its influence across the globe, we need to advance our production line to gain more access to the large potential wind energy resource more efficiently, while still considering the general public and environment. We can accomplish this by expanding our production line to another wind energy generation product. A reasonable solution to making a better product than the wind turbine will address the following:

1) The current wind turbines do not draw out the full potential of the available energy in the wind.

2) The wind turbines are not popular with the general public community, because they take up a lot of room and create noise pollution.

3) The aerial wildlife is put at risk from running into the wind turbines blades.

4) Wind turbines have an enormous startup cost, Wind Energy Solutions has to look at other technologies available.

Problem 1: Lower Energy Wind
The wind energy that is currently harvested from the atmosphere by one of our wind turbines is only about 3MW annually, which is harvested from our turbines at about 80m above the ground. In the order for us to get higher energy winds we need to increase the height of our harvesters. “Taller towers reach higher wind speeds because of decreased effects from vertical wind shear (the rate at which wind velocity changes from one elevation to another) due to surface roughness (from trees, hills, buildings, etc.) contributing to higher wind speeds at higher elevations” (Hoffman 2009). However, building wind turbines too high will result in spending more and producing less energy per height of tower built. Therefore, we must consider another alternative.

Problem 2: Public Disputes
Turbines are seen as a nuisance by most local communities....
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