This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
Flying electric generators
Take a new form which doesn't have the "tether" problem.
Well at least not between the Air and the ground. Now they completely ignore the tether problem between the ship and the shore. I suppose the answer will be rectenna farms...
There seems to be the usual confusion by the writer, who appears to think that a megawatt is a quantity of electricity than can be stored.
Not so, Frank & Brad. The article clearly says the power generated will be used to electrolyse water and store the hydrogen. So far, so sane. What they seem to have done is skated blithely over the slight matter of cryogenic storage of said hydrogen (unless they're planning merely to compress it), but either way I'd guess it'd take a major part of the power generated. Why not just put useful cargo in the ships and get a free ride?
I'm having a problem with the scale of benefits.
So far kite flying has yielded reductions in fuel used. In other words, the amount of wind energy available is sufficient to reeduce the amount of fossil fuel burned.
These guys are suggesting not only enough to power the vessel but surplus energy to provide electricity to electrolyse water. They do this with a turbine which, of coursee, create drag.
So lets say they can rig the vessel, it is towed through the water by the kite, the turbine does generate energy which does create hydrogen from electrolysis - but at what rate? How fast will it generate enough hydrogen to be useful? will it be cost effective?
On the face of it, it seems like a workable idea. At least, th e basic conceept is reasonable. But like all such ideas, how well will it work in practice? Economically it may never get poff the ground.
Incidentally, the idea of kite flying was first attempted by Admiral Lord Cochrane in the early 1800's.
They will need to burn some of their hydrogen to get it to port.
Who wants a floating hydrogen storgae vessel coming into port?
Why are thy now revisiting the idea of nucclear powered mechant ships (not a good idea oin my mind considering some of the problems with demanning and deskilling, ship maintenance and so on... I'd guess again the cost is going to be a huge factor.)