This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
Yes, I start i new thread with yet another attempt to pull money out of unsuspecting people's pockets.
On a related note, I tried to help someone setup their office last week. For $300, I told them they could buy a 500ft roll of 4x cat5e. Brand new cable, that lets you run 4 lines at once. The cable is new and more likely to handle the rigor of stringing. And it is quick to do because you get to do 4 at once. Minimal up front cost, maximum potential savings. The network in any office should have resources dedicated to it.
A british architect didn't get it. He want to string the 300' of old cable.
I could not make a British Architect understand the tradeoff. How much is his time worth? A professional around here charges $95 per pull. This is the type of thing though that you can do yourself without too much pain. It does require the skills of a kindergartner. You have to be able to match the colors. I did manage to avoid calling this architect any names.
But he is the type of person we battle that support the pie in the sky stuff we see in these articles. No attention is made to the cabling. "We can just use wifi". Yep. And so are the 15 other businesses within a 300ft radius and every iPhone that passes you is capable of competing. Wifi is awesome. It will also drive you batty if you have to deal with all the people whose connection isn't great. You can even harvest Wifi for energy... Some of these nuts want to do just that apparently. They always gloss over the losses associated with inverse square/inverse cube.
End of rant
Drones/Quad copters are amazing. We have one and have used it for production purposes. Phantom is what we have. It is pretty amazing. It practically flies itself. It doesn't take very long to become proficient with it. You can get about 10 minutes of flight time with one battery. I believe whole heartedly in drones being very useful tools. I won't touch the "opportunity" of creating drone networks for energy harvesting.
Maybe someone here saw the piece where energy was transferred successfully at 5,000 meters wirelessly with a greater than 50% efficiency.
I don't think there is any shortage of funding agencies who are keen on handing out taxpayers' money for renewable energy research and development. So I'd say that a renewable energy company start-up that is having to seek 'crowdfunding' (public donations) must be pretty sub-standard, as they are likely to have been turned down for taxpayer funding.
I'd say the New Wave Energy UK project is a 'non-starter' just from basic red tape considerations. From checking the website of the relevant UK regulatory authority, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), these are the basic regulations for drones:
There is little restriction on drones which have a weight less than 20kg (but it looks like you still need operating permission from the CAA). I would have thought that anybody using drones to produce electricity would need to go well beyond the 20kg weight limitation, but the heavier drones are treated by the CAA as being the same as manned aircraft, requiring things like airworthiness certificates. So I would say that to do this project 'seriously', it would require an aircraft design company to do it, and New Wave Energy don't look as though they are capable of designing aircraft, or doing much technical stuff at all, from a quick perusal of their website.
There was a news story today about what happens when drone enthusiasts try to build more substantially sized drones without really knowing anything about designing aircraft. A bunch of Doctor Who fans built a full size polystyrene 'Tardis' held up by twelve mini helicopter type propellers, and it crashed on its maiden flight.
The article quotes the Tardis box as weighing 25 kg, and I would guess the total weight including the mini helicopter attachments might be 40 kg or more. I suspect they haven't bothered to comply with CAA regulations for drones which have a greater weight than 20 kg.