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Suggestion: wind energy will make gliders cheaper



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 11th 05, 11:49 PM
RichardFreytag
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Default Suggestion: wind energy will make gliders cheaper

Sailplane designers,

Modern wind turbine blades are strikingly similar to glider wings.
They are now now coming out in sizes approaching 50 meters. The market
expansion for wind energy is expected to grow rapidly. The ensuing
economies of scale from mass produced wind turbine blades just might
offer significant cost advantages to glider manufactures.

I realize the "flight" regime of a glider wing and turbine blade are
not exactly the same but the cost advantage could be so significant
that the compromise is acceptable; you decide. Also many requirements
ARE the same: lightweight, long, strong, and low maintenance. Back to
cost reduction, economies of scale can reduce manufacturing costs for
things like CRTs factors of 1,000th to 100,000. Imagine a glider
market with wings costing 100th of what they cost now (would we throw
away wings like razor blades when they start crazing - crazy?).

Used as wing turbine blades would require regulatory approval (or do
they if used on an ultralight?). That could kill the idea right there.


In fact this idea is just CRAZY so don't bother telling me its crazy
and why it can't work. There are dozens of reasons not to consider
this. Nonetheless, I'm tossing this out so that some glider designer
might have in the back of his/her mind and some day pursue it in case
there is one way it might work.

Here is a list of the current wind turbine manufacturers in order of
2005 market sha
1. Vestas Wind Systems (Denmark)
http://www.vestas.com/uk/Home/index.asp
2. Gamesa Corporation Tecnologica (Spain)
http://www.gamesa.es/gamesa/index.html
3. LM Glasfiber (Denmark)
http://www.lmglasfiber.com/DK/home/default.htm

Largest US manufacturer:
GE Energy - wind arm (USA)
http://www.gepower.com/about/info/en/windmill.htm

Have fun,
Richard

Ads
  #2  
Old April 12th 05, 12:03 AM
Alan Baker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article . com,
"RichardFreytag" wrote:

Sailplane designers,

Modern wind turbine blades are strikingly similar to glider wings.
They are now now coming out in sizes approaching 50 meters. The market
expansion for wind energy is expected to grow rapidly. The ensuing
economies of scale from mass produced wind turbine blades just might
offer significant cost advantages to glider manufactures.

I realize the "flight" regime of a glider wing and turbine blade are
not exactly the same but the cost advantage could be so significant
that the compromise is acceptable; you decide. Also many requirements
ARE the same: lightweight, long, strong, and low maintenance. Back to
cost reduction, economies of scale can reduce manufacturing costs for
things like CRTs factors of 1,000th to 100,000. Imagine a glider
market with wings costing 100th of what they cost now (would we throw
away wings like razor blades when they start crazing - crazy?).

Used as wing turbine blades would require regulatory approval (or do
they if used on an ultralight?). That could kill the idea right there.


In fact this idea is just CRAZY so don't bother telling me its crazy
and why it can't work. There are dozens of reasons not to consider
this. Nonetheless, I'm tossing this out so that some glider designer
might have in the back of his/her mind and some day pursue it in case
there is one way it might work.


The idea won't work for one very simple reason: twist.

I wind turbine blade has twist to compensate for the varying apparent
wind angle, since the blade is moving much faster across the wind at its
tip than it is at its root.


Here is a list of the current wind turbine manufacturers in order of
2005 market sha
1. Vestas Wind Systems (Denmark)
http://www.vestas.com/uk/Home/index.asp
2. Gamesa Corporation Tecnologica (Spain)
http://www.gamesa.es/gamesa/index.html
3. LM Glasfiber (Denmark)
http://www.lmglasfiber.com/DK/home/default.htm

Largest US manufacturer:
GE Energy - wind arm (USA)
http://www.gepower.com/about/info/en/windmill.htm

Have fun,
Richard


--
Alan Baker
Vancouver, British Columbia
"If you raise the ceiling 4 feet, move the fireplace from that wall
to that wall, you'll still only get the full stereophonic effect
if you sit in the bottom of that cupboard."
  #3  
Old April 12th 05, 12:12 AM
Marc Ramsey
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Default

RichardFreytag wrote:
Modern wind turbine blades are strikingly similar to glider wings.
They are now now coming out in sizes approaching 50 meters. The market
expansion for wind energy is expected to grow rapidly. The ensuing
economies of scale from mass produced wind turbine blades just might
offer significant cost advantages to glider manufactures.


Nice idea, but among other things, a turbine blade is designed to cope
with the fact that the effective airspeed of the inner portion of the
"wing" is always somewhat less than the outer portion. If you look at
one up close, you'll notice it has a good deal of twist. They also use
differing airfoils along the length of the blade. Finally, I suspect
they are a good deal heavier than what we would need.

By the way, one of the oddest things I've seen on the tracks through the
waterfront in downtown Oakland (California), was what turned out to be a
train load of large unassembled wind turbines headed somewhere up north...

Marc
  #4  
Old April 12th 05, 12:18 AM
RichardFreytag
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I was curious who would come back within 14 minutes to confirm what a
crazy idea I had so I typed 'Alan Baker' into the Google Groups search
field. Interesting reading.

You're right Alan, using wind turbine blades on gliders just can't
work. grin

Cheers,
Richard

  #5  
Old April 12th 05, 12:26 AM
Bill Daniels
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The blades themselves are not useful as glider wings but some parts of the
manufacturing base that makes them might be adapted to produce wings.

"RichardFreytag" wrote in message
ups.com...
Sailplane designers,

Modern wind turbine blades are strikingly similar to glider wings.
They are now now coming out in sizes approaching 50 meters. The market
expansion for wind energy is expected to grow rapidly. The ensuing
economies of scale from mass produced wind turbine blades just might
offer significant cost advantages to glider manufactures.

I realize the "flight" regime of a glider wing and turbine blade are
not exactly the same but the cost advantage could be so significant
that the compromise is acceptable; you decide. Also many requirements
ARE the same: lightweight, long, strong, and low maintenance. Back to
cost reduction, economies of scale can reduce manufacturing costs for
things like CRTs factors of 1,000th to 100,000. Imagine a glider
market with wings costing 100th of what they cost now (would we throw
away wings like razor blades when they start crazing - crazy?).

Used as wing turbine blades would require regulatory approval (or do
they if used on an ultralight?). That could kill the idea right there.


In fact this idea is just CRAZY so don't bother telling me its crazy
and why it can't work. There are dozens of reasons not to consider
this. Nonetheless, I'm tossing this out so that some glider designer
might have in the back of his/her mind and some day pursue it in case
there is one way it might work.

Here is a list of the current wind turbine manufacturers in order of
2005 market sha
1. Vestas Wind Systems (Denmark)
http://www.vestas.com/uk/Home/index.asp
2. Gamesa Corporation Tecnologica (Spain)
http://www.gamesa.es/gamesa/index.html
3. LM Glasfiber (Denmark)
http://www.lmglasfiber.com/DK/home/default.htm

Largest US manufacturer:
GE Energy - wind arm (USA)
http://www.gepower.com/about/info/en/windmill.htm

Have fun,
Richard


  #6  
Old April 12th 05, 12:41 AM
Shawn
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

RichardFreytag wrote:
Sailplane designers,

Modern wind turbine blades are strikingly similar to glider wings.
They are now now coming out in sizes approaching 50 meters. The market
expansion for wind energy is expected to grow rapidly. The ensuing
economies of scale from mass produced wind turbine blades just might
offer significant cost advantages to glider manufactures.

I realize the "flight" regime of a glider wing and turbine blade are
not exactly the same but the cost advantage could be so significant
that the compromise is acceptable; you decide. Also many requirements
ARE the same: lightweight, long, strong, and low maintenance. Back to
cost reduction, economies of scale can reduce manufacturing costs for
things like CRTs factors of 1,000th to 100,000. Imagine a glider
market with wings costing 100th of what they cost now (would we throw
away wings like razor blades when they start crazing - crazy?).

Used as wing turbine blades would require regulatory approval (or do
they if used on an ultralight?). That could kill the idea right there.


In fact this idea is just CRAZY so don't bother telling me its crazy
and why it can't work. There are dozens of reasons not to consider
this. Nonetheless, I'm tossing this out so that some glider designer
might have in the back of his/her mind and some day pursue it in case
there is one way it might work.


I thought of something similar in the recent past. Wind turbine
manufacturers could probably build glider wings pretty easily. The
turbine blades themselves are wrong for aviation use, but I suspect
their aerodynamics, engineering, and fabrication techniques are very
similar to a gliders. Google found this:
http://www.compositesworld.com/hpc/issues/2004/May/450
Turbine blades are made big and in big numbers (The GE site said they
have nearly 3000 1.5 MW turbines out there. That's 4500 gliders worth
of wings!), but it's a young industry. The glider manufacturers would
do well to cross pollinate with the turbine manufacturers, and may do
well "borrowing" some of there manufacturing capacity.

Shawn
  #7  
Old April 12th 05, 12:41 AM
GM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


RichardFreytag wrote:
Sailplane designers,

Modern wind turbine blades are strikingly similar to glider wings.
They are now now coming out in sizes approaching 50 meters. The

market
expansion for wind energy is expected to grow rapidly. The ensuing
economies of scale from mass produced wind turbine blades just might
offer significant cost advantages to glider manufactures.

I realize the "flight" regime of a glider wing and turbine blade are
not exactly the same but the cost advantage could be so significant
that the compromise is acceptable; you decide. Also many

requirements
ARE the same: lightweight, long, strong, and low maintenance. Back

to
cost reduction, economies of scale can reduce manufacturing costs for
things like CRTs factors of 1,000th to 100,000. Imagine a glider
market with wings costing 100th of what they cost now (would we throw
away wings like razor blades when they start crazing - crazy?).

Used as wing turbine blades would require regulatory approval (or do
they if used on an ultralight?). That could kill the idea right

there.


In fact this idea is just CRAZY so don't bother telling me its crazy
and why it can't work. There are dozens of reasons not to consider
this. Nonetheless, I'm tossing this out so that some glider designer
might have in the back of his/her mind and some day pursue it in case
there is one way it might work.

Here is a list of the current wind turbine manufacturers in order of
2005 market sha
1. Vestas Wind Systems (Denmark)
http://www.vestas.com/uk/Home/index.asp
2. Gamesa Corporation Tecnologica (Spain)
http://www.gamesa.es/gamesa/index.html
3. LM Glasfiber (Denmark)
http://www.lmglasfiber.com/DK/home/default.htm

Largest US manufacturer:
GE Energy - wind arm (USA)
http://www.gepower.com/about/info/en/windmill.htm

Have fun,
Richard



Intriguing idea, except that all the large wind turbines I have seen
usually turn in one direction. They make only either left or right
wings.

Uli Neumann

  #8  
Old April 12th 05, 12:52 AM
Bob Kuykendall
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Posts: n/a
Default

During the 2003 Sailplane Homebuilder's Association Western Workshop at
Tehachapi, I got to tour the Tehachapi facility of GE Windpower
(formerly Enron Windpower). In the tour group with me was Gerhard
Waibel, arguably one of the best sailplane designers and developers in
the world.

I think both of us were impressed with the size and effectiveness of
the blades we saw, but I don't think either of us saw any direct
application of windpower blades to sailplane manufacturing. The blades
we got the closest look at (which, by the way, we were specifically
instructed not to photograph) weighed a couple tons each, and had very
deep sections in terms of T/C. And they were designed for turning
flight of the spins-and-plummeting-only sort.

Energy economics being what they are, all of the heavy development
effort in wind turbines is currently concentrated on very large units,
with rotor diameters coming up to 100m or so. They tend to give the
best bang for the buck, and tend to kill the fewest birds doing it.

But, yeah, if we were playing some sort of Junkyard Wars game, and
there happened to be 15-meter diameter wind turbine rotors in the yard
in both clockwise and counterclockwise rotations, we might be able to
cob something together that might sort of fly and might sort of sustain
2g or so of loading. But beyond that the very specialized requirements
of effective soaring flight make it unlikely that there is any
technology cross-over except in terms of basic materials and
manufacturing techniques.

Bob K.
http://www.hpaircraft.com/hp-24

  #9  
Old April 12th 05, 12:53 AM
dhaluza
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

So, in addition to the structural, left/right, and twist problems
previously mentioned, turbine blades have an airfoil optimized for a
narrow angle of attack range. Glider wings need to operate over a very
wide angle of attack range (landing to high speed cruise). So there is
very little direct application of the technology. The possibiity of
cross polination is interesting, however.


RichardFreytag wrote:
Sailplane designers,

Modern wind turbine blades are strikingly similar to glider wings.
They are now now coming out in sizes approaching 50 meters. The

market
expansion for wind energy is expected to grow rapidly. The ensuing
economies of scale from mass produced wind turbine blades just might
offer significant cost advantages to glider manufactures.

I realize the "flight" regime of a glider wing and turbine blade are
not exactly the same but the cost advantage could be so significant
that the compromise is acceptable; you decide. Also many

requirements
ARE the same: lightweight, long, strong, and low maintenance. Back

to
cost reduction, economies of scale can reduce manufacturing costs for
things like CRTs factors of 1,000th to 100,000. Imagine a glider
market with wings costing 100th of what they cost now (would we throw
away wings like razor blades when they start crazing - crazy?).

Used as wing turbine blades would require regulatory approval (or do
they if used on an ultralight?). That could kill the idea right

there.


In fact this idea is just CRAZY so don't bother telling me its crazy
and why it can't work. There are dozens of reasons not to consider
this. Nonetheless, I'm tossing this out so that some glider designer
might have in the back of his/her mind and some day pursue it in case
there is one way it might work.

Here is a list of the current wind turbine manufacturers in order of
2005 market sha
1. Vestas Wind Systems (Denmark)
http://www.vestas.com/uk/Home/index.asp
2. Gamesa Corporation Tecnologica (Spain)
http://www.gamesa.es/gamesa/index.html
3. LM Glasfiber (Denmark)
http://www.lmglasfiber.com/DK/home/default.htm

Largest US manufacturer:
GE Energy - wind arm (USA)
http://www.gepower.com/about/info/en/windmill.htm

Have fun,
Richard


  #10  
Old April 12th 05, 04:32 AM
Alan Baker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article .com,
"RichardFreytag" wrote:

I was curious who would come back within 14 minutes to confirm what a
crazy idea I had so I typed 'Alan Baker' into the Google Groups search
field. Interesting reading.


How exactly did you know to type 'Alan Baker', hmmm? g


You're right Alan, using wind turbine blades on gliders just can't
work. grin

Cheers,
Richard


--
Alan Baker
Vancouver, British Columbia
"If you raise the ceiling 4 feet, move the fireplace from that wall
to that wall, you'll still only get the full stereophonic effect
if you sit in the bottom of that cupboard."
 




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