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Feb 18, 2016, 09:16 AM
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Question

High-altitude wind power on blimp


Just wondered if any of you have tried or plan to try High-altitude wind power on blimp like so
http://www.wired.com/2009/06/highaltitudewindpower/
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Feb 19, 2016, 05:36 AM
Melbourne, Australia
In general you need a fairly large blimp to carry the line; 40,000 feet is over 12 kilometers of line! And for bonus points you need to carry an electrical wire as well... Mmm... 12 kilometers of copper... and you probably need two for a circuit... and the resistance is hefty, so you need high voltage.

Short version, it's tough as a hobbyist to get to the altitudes these guys are talking about with a ground tether and wires :-(

... should be able to get a scale model to work though!
Feb 19, 2016, 08:29 AM
Registered User
The video clip of the aerostat turning in the wind is one of the proto-types we built for Magenn.

We were a hit at a kite festival they sent us to with a smaller one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=I6ZFcKnP2AM

Dan Speers
Mobile Airships & Blimps
www.blimpguys.com
Feb 19, 2016, 06:47 PM
Potential Future Has-Been
40,000 feet of power line would weigh thousands of pounds, then to have a balloon carrying that much weight be able to go to 40K feet would require a gigantic size gas bag due to how thin the air is at 40K. Then you have this long, invisible bunch of lines cutting through every level of commercial airspace making an impossible to see hazard for aircraft. Now add to that the fact that every thrunderstorm that drifts through these cables is going to send lightening straight down them and vaporize them along with whatever is on the receiving end. Did anyone think this through?
Feb 20, 2016, 03:37 AM
Melbourne, Australia
... actually I did my high school project on lightening powered electrical generators :-). Turns out you can make an 'electrostatic' motor that will work off really high voltage and really low current... so in theory you could use that lightning as well!

I built a working model back in high school... I also electrocuted myself... a lot...
Feb 20, 2016, 05:44 AM
Melbourne, Australia
P.S. @rcguys - The rotating generator is pretty neat!
Feb 20, 2016, 11:39 AM
Potential Future Has-Been
I saw a show where some guys were tying thin copper wires onto black powder rockets and shooting them into thunderstorms. The wire would provide a path of least resistance and the lightening would shoot straight down it. They were getting cool branching structures in the ground at the strike point where the lightening would turn the sand into glass. How could you control that much energy without melting the wire that carries it though? What you would really want is a big capacitor that could store all that electricity.
Feb 22, 2016, 03:52 PM
Registered User
Why is it so many people can't spell lightning? Even those who claim to have done a school project on it.
Feb 23, 2016, 02:10 AM
Potential Future Has-Been
Why did whoever decided how lightning should be spelled leave out the E?
Feb 23, 2016, 05:11 AM
Melbourne, Australia
To be fair, my spelling was atrocious in High School too...
Jan 19, 2017, 08:24 AM
Engineering shenanigans
Hah, I did my MSc on lighting... now try and make people tell the difference between lighting and lightning, especially if they aren't native English speakers

My vote goes for added e, even if some language nazi tells me it's wrong!
Jan 23, 2017, 05:45 PM
Registered User
So if you add an e, how will you make people tell the difference between lightning and lightening? Note the latter word already exists, it is the participle of the verb to lighten, ie to reduce weight; a very pertinent word in the airship field.
Feb 02, 2017, 08:50 AM
Suspended Account
It changes the pronunciation. Won't work.


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