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 How to make a KiteLab Ducted Turbine APU (RAT)

Groundgen systems need Auxiliary Power Units (APU) to power signal lights, at a minimum, and potentially to power actuation, sensing, and other applications at altitude. These power requirements are a small fraction of rated power, and wind is the obvious source of aux power, so a small wind driven APU make great sense. A traditional aviation method is the Ram Air Turbine (RAT). Especially with kites, a housed aux turbine is the most practical solution to avoid mishaps.

To make a KiteLab style RAT find a suitable DC fan first, like a computer muffin fan or personal battery operated fan. The best such fans for this use have unswept symmetrical foils whose camber can be oriented for good turbine operation.

Next wade through a plastic recycling cache and fit the lightest possible duct as closely as practical to the fan. You may even find a fancy venturi shape. Mount the fan securely in the tube. Make provision for the RAT to be securely mounted in an AWECS or hung in stable flight (with fins) (commonly as a Nav Marker).

Connect contacts to a suitable voltage regulator, upconverter, etc.. The simplest circuit is a diode/capacitor combo connected to a battery or other load.

Photos of such AWE APUs are part of a pending KiteLab mass-disclosure soon. Expect RATs to find a large market as AWE APUs.

CoolIP                       ~Dave Santos            Sept. 21, 2011            AWE4276

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  •  APU
  • RAT

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