WINDSLED OPERATION

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The success of the WindSled is its ease of handling through the use of aeolian energy. No need of any special titles or weeks of learning to become part of the crew or member of the polar  ‘eco -vehicle’.  Its simplicity of construction, sustainability and ease of piloting definitely provides an added value.

Its versatility allows it to move with winds ranging from 6 to 60 km (3 to 37 mi) per hour. In addition, the kites are able to leverage winds that are not going in the same direction as the WindSled, by managing the kites upwards and downwards with different length lines from 150 to 300 meters (492 to 984 ft) long as marked by currents and like hot air, or aerostatic, balloons do.

The kites have only two controls or lines (ropes / dinema) that link to a pulley. The pilot pulls one side or the other, moving the kite’s profile from side to side to prevent a collapse.

Launching the kite is the most difficult moment, depending on the wind and the surface. The 300 m (984 ft) line makes this operation difficult if the territory is rough or if there is little wind; with a standard wind speed of around 15 km (9 mi) / h it is not too complicated to perform.

If the direction to follow is frontwards with downwind, the pilot will be doing “figure eights” by raising and lowering the kite because it will not stop moving. If the direction is at 45 ° from the wind, the kite moves from the laterals in an “s” fashion. It is possible to gird wind up to 80 °. The rear modules also help gird wind. Simply place the kite’s anchor on a corner of the locomotive module to change the direction of the kite and place it in the wind.

A key element in this operation is the pulley, which receives orders sent out to the kite. In the new prototype larger pulleys will be used together with a force multiplication system to facilitate handling when the kite is at its maximum tension.

It is important to determine the wind column at the moment of take off, since on surface there may be  little wind, but wind speed can increase exponentially at very low altitudes. To raise the kite in these conditions requires resistance (wind) to be generated manually with movement. The wind maximum in which the sled sails smoothly is 50 km (31 mi) / h.

To maximize possibilities, the crew should consist of a minimum of four people, operating in two shifts and to be relieved. In this manner full advantage in the use of solar hours, 24, in polar territories.

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