Wind-Dam wins Silver Medal

The Wind-Dam was exhibited at the Innovations Geneva 2018 Inventors Fair, having been invited by the Romanian Ministry for Research and Innovation.

From 11th April until 15th of April the team received a lot of visitors, both fellow inventors and the general public, who showed genuine interest in our idea.

The Innovations Geneva 2018 jury awarded the Wind-Dam solution with a Silver Medal. We also received an official recognition certificate from the Association of European Inventors and another from the Chinese Academy of Engineering academician Zhong Nanshan.

This further recognition, after iENA 2017, where we received a Bronze medal and the above recognition encourages us to continue our work as we know that we are on the right track.

We will continue to exhibit and promote the Wind-Dam, the only viable solution for counterbalancing the depletion of current energy resources. We are looking for interested parties who can help us achieve our vision of making wind a reliable source of energy, despite its intermittent character.

We want to express our gratitude to the Romanian Ministry for Research and Innovation for the invitation to exhibit our invention on their stand at Inventions Geneva 2018.

A Day at the Wind-Dam

Imagine what a day working at the Wind-Dam would be like?

We can build the mega-construction taking into account working and living spaces for the onsite supervision, construction and maintenance crews. It would be similar to actual offshore drilling sites.

Suppose an engineer starts his shift rotation today, he is transported to the offshore site using an environmentally friendly means of transport, by air or by sea. These can be automated drones or boats powered by hydrogen or derived fuels which have a lower carbon footprint.

The towers of the facility could host living, leisure and working quarters built with durable and environmentally friendly materials. Of course, any waste would be 100% recycled and re-used. Why not even consider using space-age techniques to desalinate water, grow bio-vegetables and marine products onsite? There would of course be ample energy available!

The crew monitors the wind, hydrogen and eventual electricity production and its transportation onshore from an Operations and Maintenance center (OMC) onsite. This OMC could monitor multiple sites at the same time or act as a backup for another site. An onshore OMC could be an option for economic reasons.

Of course, the crew is supported by a vast array of sensors, probes and inspection devices (drones) which keep a constant eye on the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of the whole facility.

Maintenance work is mostly done by expendable drones which are supervised by technicians and engineers. As we are working at high altitudes and sometimes in stormy conditions, automated devices like robots and drones reduce the risks run by the staff. The hydrogen producing facilities would have a similar set-up.

Construction work, essentially for further enhancing the facility can also be done by robots and drones, which are supervised by engineers, as we are using pre-fabricated, massive modular building blocks which are prepared onshore and assembled offshore.

Crews rotate in 24 hour, 4-6 weeks shifts, similar to today’s offshore rigs.

However, a major challenge has to be overcome to make working and living in such an environment possible. This deals with the movements and vibrations stemming from a huge number of generators hanging from the large mesh and constantly pulling at the towers. A sensation rather like walking and working on bridges nowadays.

The envisaged technologies could be borrowed from space research and applied to the construction. This could even create sufficient economies to make orbital earth or off earth (e.g. Moon or Mars) travel more affordable.

Would it not be a challenge to participate in the process of such a Mega-Construction? Why not contact us and tell us how you see yourself collaborating with us. We are interested in reading your proposal.

Fostering new service models

How fostering a new way of harvesting wind can create new products and services in the utilities market.

What if we were able to tap into a virtually inexhaustible source of energy?

There is a cost for producing and distributing electricity, but what if we could make it more affordable and accessible for all European citizens alike?

How would a revolutionary way of producing, storing and distributing electricity disrupt the existing marketplace by making it more open and transparent, thus creating new business models? What new innovative technologies, products and services could stem from such a disruptive force?

Let’s start with the way such a new approach could be financed. We could take a classical approach, government – taxpayer’s money to fund such an endeavour. This would need a local player to take the lead. Alternatively, the European Investment Bank could fund the research and piloting of the first Wind-Dam and leverage from the intellectual properties created, co-owning sites or by simply issuing bonds and loans to finance such mega constructions and operations.

Another, perhaps complementary investment could come from individual Government Investment Funds, like the ones Norway/Liechtenstein/Iceland have. Long term investors e.g. Pension Funds could be interested parties and also provide loans or bonds for the long term project risk, co-financing the lifecycle of these large installations.

And why not, crowdfunding and cooperative funding where a group of interested parties invest in return for usage of the service, or the intellectual property against an agreed lower price? This could foster smaller, more innovative aspects of such a huge construction; e.g. the development of smaller, lighter high performance turbines, nanotech based cables and meshes, smaller, optimised hydrogen factories and combustion sites, hydrogen storage and transport, as well as independent systems to maintain the Wind-Dams and other related facilities.

So, let’s assume that the mega-structure would be funded by large public and private institutions, whereas for example, the turbines could be co-owned by communities who have the benefit of using the produced electricity. Imagine a company could invest in one or more turbines in the mesh and use the produced electricity for their business, be it manufacturing or services. We could even allow different utility providers to fund a partial mesh and allow them to sell the produced electricity to consumers, or even factories converting water into hydrogen. The hydrogen, can then be sold on to other consumers who combust the hydrogen for further electricity production or their own consumption.

Any surplus, either hydrogen or electricity, not needed for local or regional use could be offered and brokered on a digital marketplace.

The oxygen released in the atmosphere also has a value. Remaining – potentially needed – polluting players could finance the oxygen release to offset their pollution effect. This marketplace already exists and Europe is a leading player.

We can actually create a whole new ecosystem of small, medium and big players, European, regional and local, all contributing and forming part of a “blue” factory production chain.

Using smart meters enhanced by smart contracts, consumer, private, public or individual enterprises can set policies for establishing these smart contracts to acquire and/or deliver energy to a smart grid.

For example, consumers can decide to buy part of their electricity directly from a wind turbine, at a certain price and when available. They can also decide to get energy from hydrogen combustion via a local provider in which they are cooperative shareholders.

Companies can for instance, buy hydrogen from an offshore provider and have it transported by a pipeline to produce onsite electricity using their own generator system. They can then decide to buy extra energy from e.g. a leased turbine unit on a Wind-Dam. Any excess energy they produce can then be sold back into the grid.

This will require a brokerage system which negotiates prices between all the providers and all the different consumers. A truly open and liberal energy ecosystem could be built which would be regularized by EU laws.

Revolutionary solution for increasing wind power energy production capacity

A revolutionary solution for producing ample electricity and energy capacity, allowing the complete decommissioning of all exhaustible fuel power plants, is presented at the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva. The Romanian Ministry of Research and Innovation booth hosts the presentation of this patented application, which has been chosen from a large number of applications, competing with well-known research institutes and universities.

The most important benefits, medium term results and long term impacts of this revolutionary and visionary way of thinking about wind electricity production are:

  • Total energy independence following the exhaustion of fossil fuels and uranium and avoiding a new Stone Age;
  • Extremely high capacity electricity production, able to compensate for all exhaustible fuel (uranium and fossils) power plants which will be decommissioned;
  • Smart and very cost effective maintenance and technological updating of the wind energy system;
  • Cooperation among countries for choosing potential strategic wind locations for the benefit of all participants;
  • Collaboration amongst private and public companies, and even partnerships and strategic alliances among countries or states/regions for bearing the costs of research, design, construction and operations of the Wind-Dam and energy production system. (Potentially funded by International, European e.g. E.I.B., National or Regional public or private investment vehicles);
  • Implementation of this solution will create a complete new ecosystem covering innovative transportation (drones), power robotics for construction, smart maintenance and monitoring using the latest software and telecommunication technologies (like blockchain and 5G), innovative usage of new materials (based on e.g. nanotechnology, like nanotubes) and many other initiatives and innovations;
  • Increased energy storage development (e.g. hydrogen production, storage, usage and reconversion);
  • Increased transportation development by using hydrogen as fuel;
  • Many other lateral industrial and economic developments related to these areas.

The presented wind energy system, Wind-Dam, challenges the current natural limitations of the existing on and offshore solutions; discontinuity of wind, limitations of construction materials, limitations of existing electricity grids, environmental considerations, maintenance issues and technological upgrades.

We are gradually depleting our natural resources. Offshore oil and gas fields may only have reserves for about another 30 years. What if we anticipate this now and start constructing an alternative solution which would allow the replacement of all exhaustible fuel (including uranium) power plants? Why not plan for the building of a totally new end-to-end energy production chain, based on wind and hydrogen?

The Wind Energy System proposes to create a massive wind energy platform (a wind mirror) which captures kinetic wind energy not horizontally, but vertically. A mega-construction consisting of huge towers would have wind-turbines distributed in an efficient way hanging between these towers. This solution calls for the research and design of smaller and more optimised wind turbines.

Potential modifications to the turbines may include; being able to function at higher altitudes and operate in higher wind speeds, e.g. by borrowing the principles of propellers (airplanes), avoiding unnecessary AC/DC conversions, allowing for more fluctuation in electric voltage output, positioning the turbines vertically and fixing the blades in the middle of aerodynamic nacelles.

Further developments in nanotechnologies would allow for more durable coatings and construction materials as well as stronger meshes (cables) onto which the turbines would be fitted.

By building up very cheap underground hydrogen reserves and then converting the hydrogen into electric energy, using known and emerging technologies, a continuous and unlimited resource can be used to generate electricity.

These platforms should be built in strategic locations, taking into consideration at least three aspects: future hydrolysis plants, proximity to the depleted gas bubbles and oil wells, and the wind potential. When consumption is low or there are excessively high winds the surplus energy is used to power hydrolysis plants to produce hydrogen. This could be partially stored underground safely and cheaply, by filling up the depleted gas bubbles and oil wells.  The old drilling stations can be converted into hydrogen production sites and then the pipelines and onshore facilities re-used to transport and then combust the hydrogen converting it into electricity. Hydrogen combustion, combined with the remaining fossil fuel combustion could produce synthetic fuels (like kerosene) or even be directly used as future fuel for vehicles (boats, trains, heavy trucks) with newly designed/converted engines.

Open for exploring potential cooperation possibilities to implement the solution for producing enough energy to cover all EU electricity needs.

Europe cooperates for its energy independence

Europe sets itself a very ambitious energy objective for 2050. Currently the Energy Union objective mentions Energy Security. Are we sure this objective is ambitious enough?   Probably, but only under the assumption that current limitations, such as energy storage issues and the capacity of the electricity grid, will continue. The following solution goes even further and proposes Energy Independence, by covering all energy needs with European Wind Energy.

The Wind Energy System, Wind-Dam, challenges this objective, and proposes an alternative of 100% wind electricity in Europe. Could this be possible? On top of this, the Wind-Dam project proposes a much shorter project duration, with a maximum of 5 to 10 years.

I envisage Energy Union as a strong cooperation among all EU member states for ensuring European energy independence. This presumes the possibility of financial or in-kind (e.g. knowledge, strategic locations, energy and gas transportation means, etc.) contribution from all member states for building and later operating large wind energy systems, Wind-Dams. The primary wind energy will be supplied into the grid for covering normal consumption, and excess energy, when there are high winds or when consumption drastically decreases, e.g. at night time, could be used to power hydrolysis plants to obtain hydrogen, which could be used as fuel for vehicles designed in the future, or simply stored e.g. in existing depleted natural gas wells. Later the hydrogen will be re-converted into electrical energy, thus ensuring a continual supply of electricity despite wind discontinuity. Of course, the energy obtained will be distributed among EU member states, for the benefit of the whole of Europe.

This is Energy Union.

Adrian Rapas, Inventor

Wind-Dam large but not bulky construction

Wind turbines, especially offshore ones, are becoming mega-constructions.
The largest are rising up several hundred meters and have rotor diameters of two hundred meters or more which can potentially generate upwards of ten MegaWatts.

At higher altitudes there are higher wind speeds hence more wind power to be harvested.

These mega-constructions are still affected by the discontinuity of the wind and the surface density at which they can be implanted has limitations as well (3 to 10 times the distance of the rotor blade diameter).

Instead, what if between two towers, each a couple of hundred meters high and a kilometer or so apart, we could span a mesh and within that mesh hang a set of turbines?

This set of aerodynamic compact high power turbines, the size of an airplane propeller engine, could be optimally spread in a vertical mesh to fully use the wind power at different altitudes, and generate several tens of MegaWatts!

What if we could use such a construction to generate an excess electric output to which we can apply electrolysis, generate hydrogen, then store, distribute, combust it and later reconvert it back to electric energy, and so compensate for the discontinuity of wind?

This is what the Wind-Dam is about.

Why the brakes in a wind turbine?

The wind turbines’ design includes a braking system (mechanical or electric). This means in fact, that the wind turbines stop working in high wind speeds. The higher the wind speed, the higher the energy potential, right? Then, why do all wind mills have an embedded braking system, and literally waste so much potential energy?

Is there anything that can be done in order to take the most benefits possible from the highest wind speeds? There is already a technological solution for that! The one used in airplane propellers! Exactly! They do indeed rotate at very high speeds! Why not apply the functioning principles of airplane propellers to take more advantage of the wind energy and so produce a LOT of energy?

What can be done with this excess energy and how could it be stored, in another post.

Adrian Rapas, Inventor

Affordable Wind Energy

Now that we have handled our revolutionary vision and mission, the Wind-Dam combined with electrolysis, let´s have a look at the infrastructure involved.

First, there is the Wind-Dam itself. Within Europe we believe that such an infrastructure can be viable when located offshore or onshore, maybe in mountain areas, with good wind potential and where the environmental impact would be relatively low. In other regions of the world, plains and deserts could be options.

These Wind-Dams would be built taking into account the principles of economy and effectiveness, i.e. optimisation of costs considering the proximity to oil and gas drilling stations and the wind potential of the respective area. The advantage of converting oil and gas drilling stations and the undersea wells lies in the fact that we can transform the artificial islands into hydrogen producing plants, using the undersea depleted wells as hydrogen storage. We could even consider adding hydrogen burning turbines offshore.

Then we can choose to either re-use the existing pipelines to bring hydrogen gas onshore or transport the electricity via undersea cables and/or embedded in the existing pipelines.

Once the hydrogen is onshore it can be transported across European using pipelines as gas is today.

We could even consider converting gas terminals, like the one in Zeebrugge Belgium, into hydrogen terminals. And what about the ships which transport gas from Algeria to Belgium, why not convert those and export the hydrogen worldwide?

Europe would not only become Energy Self Sufficient, but would also become a leading exporter of energy and electricity.

Of course, it will take European Political Agreement and Economic Unity and years of hard work to achieve this. However, we believe it is worth the effort for the benefit of future generations. Don’t you agree?

A better strategy towards affordable Wind Energy

Europe has a plan to reduce its carbon footprint significantly during the coming decades.

This can be done by reducing our energy consumption, which may prove to be a challenge, by designing more energy efficient products, or by simply producing more energy that is both clean and cheap.

To achieve the goal of both reducing our carbon footprint and increasing the energy supply, we need to consider how to tap into the massive green energy sources available, which are mainly the sun and the wind. Both, unfortunately, are not available in a continuous way and need to be compensated by other available means.

Harvesting wind via a revolutionary mega-facility, which compensates the discontinuity by converting energy into hydrogen is a potential solution. By transporting the hydrogen to onsite or near-site power plants electricity can be produced in high quantities and cheaply.

Such a solution would make it affordable to close current oil, gas and nuclear power plants sooner than anticipated.

Keeping up with technological advances

In order to follow the energy demand, we need to be able to add and reconfigure wind farms quickly and flexibly.

Currently wind farms can only be constructed at a fixed location and on a horizontal plane, which has its limitations. The floating wind approach is a first step towards a modular solution, which still has its limitations.

What if the solution is a structure that is modular and vertically stackable i.e. build towers a few hundred meters high, a few thousand meters apart and stack turbines on top and next to each other on a mesh strung between the towers?

A fully automated facility could be built which puts new turbines in their allocated position or replaces turbines that need maintenance. Drones could be used for visual inspection and maintenance. Sensors could monitor the correct and safe functioning of the whole installation.

This is a truly revolutionary approach which could make massive wind energy production an almost autonomous smart factory.

Europe’s energy needs supplied with wind energy

What if, by applying this new way of optimizing wind turbines, we manage to produce so much energy that classic power plants are no longer needed?  We can the have Europe’s energy needs supplied with wind energy.

What if all of Europe’s, and why not world’s, electricity consumption is supplied only with clean energy? In 2017, approximately 20% of energy consumption was covered by wind sources. What if we aim for 100% of energy consumption in Europe to be covered by wind energy? How stable a solution would that be?

What if, all of the sudden, we don’t need to worry about climate change due to the pollution from producing all the electric energy that is needed? What should our next worry be? What shall we speak about then?

Imagine wind turbines sitting on towers twice as high as the Eiffel Tower!

Would that be possible? If so, is it worth the cost of building such a high tower? For just one windmill, probably not, I agree with you.

That’s exactly why I propose creating a Wind-Dam by attaching an optimal number of wind turbines between two such towers. Most probably the extremely high quantity of primary energy produced off sets the costs of such an impressive construction.

Don’t you agree?

Adrian Rapas, Inventor

IENA PRESS RELEASE 11/17

WAS WIR ÜBER WINDENERGIE NICHT WISSEN
Laut AFP, aus einem Studium einer kalifornischen Universität, stellt sich heraus das die Weltölreserven bis ungefähr 2050 erschöpft wären. Obendrein bleiben die Menschen weiter mehr in Öl, als in erneuerbaren Energiequellen investieren.
Die Mangel an Infrastrukturstudien ist bekannt; wir brauchen eine solide Energiepolitik, für die Ersetzung der Brennkraftwerke durch neuen Kraftwerken; die mit umweltfreundlichen und erneuerbaren Ressourcen funktionieren.
Man muss unbedingt, und schleunigst, ein Plan für die Ersetzung der alten Kraftwerken erstellen, sonst gehen wir das Risiko ein, dass wir plötzlich unvorbereitet ohne Öl bleiben. Einige Studien sagen sowohl dass, wenn das Öl aufgebraucht ist bevor wir neue energetische Lösungen erdacht haben, es möglicherweise noch hundert Jahre dauern wird bevor einige Lösungen realisiert werden. Die weniger entwickelten Länder laufen sogar größere Risikos in einer tiefen energetischen Krise zu enden, eigentlich werden diese durch eine erneuerte Steinzeit gehen.

Konkret, was wird damit gesagt?

Nehmen wir mal an das Deutschland alle Brennstoff-, und Kernenergiekraftwerken mit Kraftwerke ersetzen will die erneuerbare Energie erstellen, wie z.B. Windenergie. Leider ist eine einfache Ersetzung MW zu MW Nennleistung nicht möglich. D.h. wenn auf allen Generatoren, die die Nennleistung von 86,1GW sichern verzichtet wird, und die mit 86,1 GW Windenergieanlagen ersetzt werden, werden wir in einer totalen Krise enden, weil die Windturbinen nur Strom produzieren wenn der Wind bläst. Die Ersetzung durch eine höhere Leistungsanlage ist auch nicht möglich, weil wir dieselbe Situation haben werden, d.h. einerseits wir ein Überschuss haben wenn starker Wind bläst, und deswegen ein negativer Strompreis, und andrerseits eine Krise, wenn kein Wind bläst.

Was konnte man in dieser Situation machen?

Die Lösung ist schon bekannt: ein Überschuss von Energie erzeugen der während des Windbetriebs gespeichert wird, und dann, wieder in das Stromnetz eingeführt wird, wenn es keinen Wind gibt.

Aber wie?

Eine Batterie die die für die längste Windflaute – eine Woche – nötige Energie ganzes Deutschlands speichern soll, kann noch nicht realisiert werden. Letztendlich bleibt noch vor uns: durch Elektrolyse das Wasser zu zerlegen, und der damit resultierenden Wasserstoff in den schon existierenden Erdgaslagerstätten einspeichern, und der Sauerstoff in der Atmosphäre freisetzen.

Diese erwähnte Lösung beinhaltet einen riesigen Energieverlust, und noch dazu, beinhaltet auch 36-mal höheren Kosten als im Fall der MW zu MW Ersetzung, d.h. anstatt 86 Milliarden €, über dreitausend Milliarden € benötigt werden. Weil diese Lösung einzelartig ist, müssen wir die psychologische Barriere bewältigen, und diese schnell umsetzen. Der Grund dafür ist weil in den bleibenden 33 Jahren bis 2050, nicht sicher ist dass eine bessere Lösung gefunden sein wird, und auch wenn es gefunden sein wird, wir nicht genug Zeit haben diese umzusetzen.

Wenn es für Ihnen interessant ist herauszufinden wie wir dieser riesigen Kostenaufwand mit 30 bis 50% reduzieren können und damit Europas energetische Abhängigkeit ausschliessen, dann besuchen Sie uns an iENA Nürnberg, Stand I 22, und sehen sich unsere WindSpiegel Lösung – System von hängenden Windkraftturbinen – mal an.

​​​​​WindSpiegel

Adrian Rapas (dipl. Ing.) erhielt heute auf der iANA 2017 das “Official Certificate in Special Scientific Merit and Excelent International Cooperation” Zertifikat als Anerkennung für seine lebenslange Arbeit als Erfinder und seinen Beitrag zur wissenschaftlichen Entwicklung des “Wind Energy Dam, Large Scale Efficient System For Producing & Storage Electric Energy”
Herr Rapas sagte: “Ich fühle mich geehrt über die Anerkennung, und dies ermutigt mich, weitere Unterstützung von europäischen Instanzen und Institutionen für die Realisierung meines Projekts zu suchen.” Die Erfindung von Hernn Rapas hat als Ziel, Europa von externen Energieressourcen unabhängig zu machen.

Inventika Bucharest and IENA Nurnberg

Where can one test innovative and ground-breaking ideas other than at Invention Fairs?

October 2017, the Wind-Dam concept was exhibited for the first time at a Romanian fair, Inventika. We received some very good feedback and a first contact from a Scandinavian innovation fund.

We then prepared to exhibit at the IENA, in Nurnberg.

Both surprised and proud, the potential of the concept was recognized by being awarded the Bronze medal for the Wind-Dam invention.

Several inventor associations encouraged the team to further seek support to make a feasibility study and find partners.