IP protection

 

1 Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?
Capitalizing on wind power by means of the currently applied wind power plants does not come close to exploiting the potential of this source of energy. The reason is that the surface winds are of low energy density. Gigantic wind towers are necessary to produce significant amounts of energy, which is obviously a dead-end street. 100 m rotor-diameter is not unusual today. What is the limit of enhancing sizes? Furthermore, the capacity factor of the conventional plants is only about 20-30 % because of the fluctuation and intermittency of surface winds.  These problems put stress on the power grid, because system reliability requires the loads and the inputs to be balanced at all times. Since it is impossible to predict these fluctuations, wind energy is not dispatchable. These are the problems which hinder the enhancement of the ratio of WPP-s in the energy system in most countries.

 

2 What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to?  How was it addressed before?
There are several known conceptions of wind energy production utilizing persistent and high intensity, high-altitude winds. These devices have some common feature namely they are floating in the air, tethered to the ground and  the harvested energy is forwarded  to the ground by means of electrical or mechanical transmission cables, arranged parallel with the tether. All these devices are in an experimental stage, though the idea is known since the thirties of the past century. The reason of the fiasco lies probably in the problems, caused by the tether. 

Unlike other concepts for utilizing high altitude winds, the solution in issue is an autonomous un-tethered device. That is, it is not fastened to the ground; therefore, it can follow the advantageous atmospheric occurrences. There is no other WPP capable to do so.

The invention utilizes dynamic atmospheric occurrences e.g. updrafts and wind shears for harnessing wind energy, in a way similar to sailing birds, especially the albatross. This technique is called dynamic soaring.

 

3 What is the potential for further research?
It has to be a multidisciplinary project, and contribution of several trades is needed to implement a working pilot plant. The constituents of the system can have also an independent life. I think e.g. that the anticipated results in reaching high power to weight ratio of electric motor-generators will find a field of application not only in our flying energy harvesting units, but also in electric vehicles, just only one example to mention. 

 

 

4 What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (Patent, license, trademark etc.)
All the constituents of the invention are well known technical solutions, and are used on other fields of everyday life. On the other hand, the International Search Report of the WIPO did not find any documents considered to be of particular relevance to the invention. That means that the individual parts of the solution are not new, but the synthesis of the single parts results in a patentable novelty that possibly causes a paradigm shift in wind energetics. 

The research of several details will result in new technical solutions and new patents that are related to the original invention. This means that the IPR-protection has to be solved partially in the course of the project.  (See the next section too.)

 

5 What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?
The invention is protected by a Hungarian patent (registration number 227 468). The PCT patent application (International Application No: PCT/2010/000028), was published under WO 2010/106382 A3. The International Search Report of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) did not find any documents considered to be of particular relevance to the invention, meaning that there is no other invention applying the same principle. There is a pending patent application in India and there is the plan to file the application in Canada as well. The 41 months deadline of launching the national phase of the PCT application in Canada is 16 Aug 2012. (Costs: 1365 USD) 

They could not finance the national phases of the PCT application in more countries, and we did not succeed to find investor(s) to do so. Therefore the further IPR-protection is planned by means of industrial secrets and or know-how-s, since there are several findings which can hold as a secret.

 

6 What is you overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?
While examining problems of their particular fields, researchers often forget to consider their findings as part of a larger picture. E.g.: The updrafts are traditional energy sources of sailplanes. No one doubts that sailplanes harness energy from the surrounding air. Nevertheless, this knowledge of pilots and flight-experts has not been used before for energy production with a flying wind power plant, – except covering of its own energy need. On the other hand, wind power plant experts cannot get rid of the tether. All their concepts for harnessing high altitude wind energy have a common feature: the tether. 

 

Seeing this, it is sure that they have found something interesting or perhaps something significant. Talking with several experts, it seems so, that not the scientific maturity of the invention is questionable (thought there is of course a lot to do jet), but that of the scientific- industrial- financial- as well as governmental surrounding.

 

 

KEYWORDS QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT (0-5).

Please put X as appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5
Scientific maturity x
Synergies x
State-of-the-art/innovation x
IPR-potential x

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