HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Video: Are Drone-Powered Power Plants Coming to Your Airspace?

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Drone Power
Elizabeth M   12/17/2013 5:41:00 AM
NO RATINGS
Hi, FeynmanFan, no, it's not a typo. It's part of the plan of the company to harness wind energy as well, as the drones will be built with wind turbines on them.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Drone Power
Elizabeth M   12/17/2013 5:24:57 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, LetoAtreidesil, the concerns you raise also are valid and worrying. It's true this design team has a lot of things to think about to ensure this type of system not only works but is safe. It will be interesting to see how they fare.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Drone Power
Charles Murray   12/16/2013 8:38:23 PM
NO RATINGS
I don't know if it it's sci-fi, but this idea has been out there a while. I remember the design school at Illinois Institute of Technology proposing this idea as far back as 1989. The bad news is that nothing ever came of it; the good news is that no one has been able to eliminate it from consideration in the ensuing 24 years.

FeynmanFan
User Rank
Iron
Re: Drone Power
FeynmanFan   12/16/2013 7:47:57 PM
Elizabeth,

In your original post you said "New Wave Energy wants to deploy a network of drones at a high altitude to harvest solar and wind energy".  A drone cannot harness wind energy unless it is tethered.  Are New Wave claiming to harness wind energy or was this a typo or your part?

78RPM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Drone Power
78RPM   12/16/2013 4:25:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, I do think the drone part at high altitudes is possible. I hear that Google has a project in research to make balloons that will tack into the wind with no propulsion power (think of a sailboat) and stay over one spot on earth for the purpose of providing internet access to remote and under developed locations.  The part that concerns me about power plants is the idea of microwaves beaming megawatts of energy.  Microwaves are absorbed by biological organisms and I don't wish man or beast to wander into a high energy beam orders of magnitude greater than my microwave oven.  Lasers present a similar problem.  So, then, is there another energy tranfer technology we don't know about?  Nicola Tesla was reportedly onto something in energy transfer but big money interests muscled him out.

I believe energy should be free, or nearly so, and that means we need to get past carbon fuels.  Let's all think how it can be done.

Zippy
User Rank
Platinum
Some considerations...
Zippy   12/16/2013 10:40:17 AM
NO RATINGS
This snippet from Wikipedia should give the development team pause in their consideration of a rotor-powered aircraft at 50,000 feet:

 

"On June 21, 1972, Jean Boulet of France piloted an Aérospatiale Lama helicopter to an absolute altitude record of 12,442 metres (40,820 ft).[38] At the extreme altitude the engine flamed out and the helicopter had to be (safely) landed via another record breaker — the longest successful autorotation in history.[39] The helicopter had been stripped of all unnecessary equipment prior to the flight to minimize its weight and the pilot was breathing supplemental oxygen."

 

In addition to hiring an aeronautical engineer for the team, I also recommend a physicist to explain how you can hover in the wind while simultaneously harvesting the wind and not use more energy than you generate.

 

Not to be cruel, but I am reminded of the joke about the team that was planning to fly a manned rocket to the sun.  When asked about how it would handle the extreme radiation, they replied that they planned to go at night when it was dark...

LetoAtreidesII
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Drone Power
LetoAtreidesII   12/16/2013 9:11:36 AM
NO RATINGS
interesting idea, I love to see Sci-Fi of old come to life.  Bigger worry than the microwave or laser link frying planes or the ground is maintaining a fleet of these in the air.

What happens when:

    the link dies and now you have a drone sitting up there on its own uncontrolled.

   power fails and now a drone is falling from 50k feet.

   radiation levels at 50k feet are far higher how well will the electronics hold up.

I think I will put my money on space based power generation.  A failure there is less likely to come crashing down without warning. 

Good idea though and who know they may overcome all the design hurdles.

 

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Drone Power
Elizabeth M   12/16/2013 6:08:41 AM
NO RATINGS
I think I am a bit confused about where this thread is going. So what is it that you doubt, far911? That the microwaves would cause a hazard for aircraft or people? Or that this technology is viable?

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Drone Power
Elizabeth M   12/16/2013 5:52:55 AM
NO RATINGS
Also a good point, Lou. I think everyone who commented here is right about some of the technology issues that arise with this sort of deployment, and that perhaps there might be better alteratives. Maybe the team developing this system will also realize this as they are working on this project.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Drone Power
Elizabeth M   12/16/2013 5:50:31 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, jhankwitz, I agree that this project is going to take a serious leap in technology. This isn't something that's going to happen tomorrow, but I think it can happen at some point and would have a lot of benefits. I do think a lot about safety concerns, though, and this system better be foolproof before it takes to the air.

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Researchers have developed a new flexible fabric that integrates both movement and sensors, introducing new potential for technology-embedded clothing and soft robots.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 1 - 5, An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service