High-flying energy; WPI team builds device to harness wind power.Byline: Jean Laquidara Hill
Kite-flying students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester Polytechnic Institute - (WPI) A well-regarded, small engineering college.
Address: Worcester, MA, USA. aren't waiting until they graduate to start changing the world. A team of 11 juniors and seniors has formed the WPI WPI - Worcester Polytechnic Institute Kite Power Team with associate professor David J David J. Haskins (b. April 24, 1957, in Northampton, England) is a British alternative rock musician. He was the bassist for the seminal gothic rock band Bauhaus. Life and work . Olinger to provide nonpolluting power to parts of the world where grid-generated electricity is unavailable.
"The primary goal is to provide electricity to rural areas in developing nations where the grid can't access. Electricity is desperately needed for people who don't have the ability to provide electricity for themselves," said Gabriel P. Baldwin of Brooks, Maine Brooks is a town in Waldo County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,022 at the 2000 census. Geography
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 65.0 km² (25.1 mi²). 63.3 km² (24.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.7 km² (0.7 mi²) of it (2. , a WPI senior and Kite Power Team member. "By providing a new form of cheap electricity, we can help raise the living standard of the world. "This is a small step toward producing a non-carbon-emitting energy system," Mr. Baldwin said as he explained the team's purpose.
Since last fall, the Kite Power Team has planned, designed and built a kite power demonstrator dem·on·stra·tor
1. One that demonstrates, such as a participant in a public display of opinion.
2. An article or product used in a demonstration.
1. that produces electricity.
The contraption, which resembles a supersized catapult with electrical panels and battery attachments, will be unveiled this month at the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. The kite has been tested and flown at a height of 100 feet in Rutland, and the team expects, in time, to get it to fly as high as 500 feet, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Mr. Olinger. Because of space limitations and uncertain winds, the kite will not be flown at the demonstration in Washington; however, students will demonstrate the device by moving the arm to which the kite would be attached and providing electricity to multiple light bulbs, said Mr. Olinger.
The kite power machine converts the up-and-down motion of a massive tethered Attached to a data or power source by wire or fiber. Contrast with untethered. kite into electrical energy, using a power converter mechanism and generator on the ground, according to WPI students. They will permanently install the kite power demonstrator at Heifer HEIFER. A young cow, which has not had a calf. A beast of this kind two years and a half old, was held to be improperly described in the indictment as a cow. 2 East, P. C. 616; 1 Leach, 105. International's Learning Center in Rutland some time between June and October, according to Mr. Olinger, who teaches mechanical engineering.
The next stop will be Namibia, Africa, where the team expects to provide electricity to a small settlement in 2010 with a 1-kilowatt power kite A power kite or traction kite is a large kite designed to provide significant pull. They come in two main forms: foils and leading edge inflatables. There are also rigid-framed kites and soft single skin kites. and wind measurement system. One kilowatt can power 25 40-watt light bulbs.
The WPI Kite Team and another WPI team whose project is capturing trace elements Trace elements
A group of elements that are present in the human body in very small amounts but are nonetheless important to good health. They include chromium, copper, cobalt, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc. Trace elements are also called micronutrients. from the coal combustion process are among 58 college teams nationwide that were awarded grants to develop innovative designs for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's P3 Awards, a national student design competition for sustainability focusing on people, prosperity and the planet.
The teams will compete for the award at the fourth annual National Sustainable Design Expo April 20-22 at the National Mall National Mall: see National Parks and Monuments (table). in Washington, D.C.
The top six will be awarded up to $75,000 each to further develop their innovations for the public good.
In a nutshell, the WPI Kite Team is converting wind energy into mechanical energy to be used as electrical energy in developing nations and rural areas. The wind power is harnessed by the rise and fall of a massive kite. As the 100-square-foot kite goes up and down, it moves a rocking arm on a large wooden structure. The electrical system converts the arm motion to electricity and stores it in the batteries.
"Using kites, instead of wind turbines, has the potential to give more people in the developing world access to wind power since kites are economical in lower-speed Class 2 wind regions, whereas turbines are not," according to the WPI Kite Power Team. The kite power machine also avoids other concerns related to wind turbines such as bird kills and noise and visual pollution, according to the team.
Because of the structure's size and the team's intention of building one in a developing country, it worked with Heifer International Heifer International is a non-profit charitable organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas, dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty. It provides gifts of livestock and plants, as well as education in sustainable agriculture, to financially-disadvantaged families around Learning Center in Rutland this school year, where it tested the kite power system. The farm was chosen for its elevation, among other reasons. It is also in a Class 3 wind zone, where the wind speed is on average 14.5 to 15.7 mph, according to the project.
After fine-tuning the system and permanently installing it at Overlook Farm, the team plans to build one in Namibia, where WPI has a project center.
At a recent team meeting, students checked off items on their to-do list such as a fly wheel operations, copper couplers and reversing alpha values. They described kite power as theoretically simple, but complex to get up and running. Working with Mr. Olinger, the students consulted an innovator early in their planning process: The man who proposed kite power 30 years ago, Jitendre Goela of Rohm and Haas Rohm and Haas Company (NYSE: ROH), a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based company, manufactures miscellaneous materials. A Fortune 500 Company, Rohm and Haas employs more than 17,000 people in 27 countries. The annual sales revenue of Rohm and Haas stands at about USD 8.2 billion. in Woburn, provided the team with some technical advice.
Still, a myriad of problem-solving tasks spill into social and sleep time, with students willing to sacrifice free time to ultimately provide electricity to some of the 2 billion people living without it throughout the world.
They describe kite power as more practical than windmills and other wind turbines because kites reach higher elevations, where the wind is faster and can produce more energy for conversion to electricity. For example, at a height of 30 meters, New England New England, name applied to the region comprising six states of the NE United States—Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The region is thought to have been so named by Capt. wind speeds range from less than 10.1 mph to more than 19 mph. But at a height of 100 meters, wind speeds range from less than 12.3 mph to more than 21.3 mph, said WPI. (One meter is equal to 39.37 inches, or a little more than 3 feet.)
Because the kites can be used to harness wind power at higher elevations, electricity could be produced in areas where the wind speed is too slow at 100 feet, but is fast enough at higher elevations to provide needed power, said Christopher M. Colschen, a senior WPI student from Ledyard, Conn. In the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , federal regulations limit the maximum height of a kite to 152 meters or 500 feet, but most developing countries have few or no restrictions on kite height, said WPI.
The kite also costs less to produce than wind turbines that use "big, expensive blades," Mr. Olinger said.
"I think another important thing about this project is just bringing attention to sustainable energy
Sustainable energy sources are energy sources which are not expected to be depleted in a timeframe relevant to the human race, and which at a smaller level," said Kite Team member Ryan P. Buckley, a senior from Rehoboth. He said people think about renewable energy Renewable energy utilizes natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished. Renewable energy technologies range from solar power, wind power, and hydroelectricity to biomass and biofuels for transportation. on a grander scale, like powering a city, and shrug off the idea because of startup costs. This system, he said, is on a much smaller scale, so perhaps people will start thinking about renewable energy one house or one neighborhood or one business at a time.
"If we can power a household in a developing nation, people will see it can be done," said Mr. Buckley.
Contact Jean Laquidara Hill by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other examples of kite power
A mobile prototype of a kite wind generator The kite generator is a new wind-power concept under development in Italy.
The kite wind generator can be envisioned as a giant merry-go-round, solidly anchored to the ground. , developed by KiteGen Research of Milan, Italy, was tested at a height of 800 meters last year. The KiteGen system would look like a giant merry-go-round generator with kites unfurled from tethered lines.
In January, a cargo ship harnessed kite power to help propel it from Germany to Venezuela. Flown from a telescoping mast, the large towing kite was designed by SkySails GmbH & Co. of Germany, which says that a ship's fuel costs can be reduced by 10 percent to 35 percent on an annual average, depending on wind conditions.
WindLift LLC (Logical Link Control) See "LANs" under data link protocol.
LLC - Logical Link Control of Madison, Wis., is developing a low-cost pumping engine a steam engine and pump combined for raising water. See Steam engine.
See also: Pumping , powered by kites, for pumping water. Robert Creighton, president, said the goal is to develop a "low-tech, low-cost device for people in developing countries. Our next push is for a fully automated device that could be used in the United States for larger applications."
Makani Power Inc. of Alameda, Calif., is developing high-altitude wind energy extraction technologies; Google has invested $10 million in the company.
CUTLINE: (1) The Kite Power Team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, under the direction of associate professor David J. Olinger, has developed a kite power machine that produces electricity. Christopher M. Colschen, a senior WPI student from Ledyard, Conn., is shown with the catapult-like device, which is powered by a large kite that moves the large metal arm up and down. The electrical system converts the wind-driven arm motion to electricity and stores it in the batteries. (2) Nick Urko, left, a WPI student on the Kite Power Team who did graphic illustrations of the device, talks with Mr. Olinger. (3) Peter Bertoli, a WPI student working on the Kite Power Team project, demonstrates a model of the device. The full-scale device is behind him.
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