Kite Power

June 1, 2010 | 07:48
Kite Power
Kite Power
California based company Makani Power Inc. (Mah kah' nee = Wind / Breeze) is one step closer to developing a prototype energy harvesting kite after recieving a second financial grant . The kite will function as a high altitude wind turbine and is able to generate over 1MW (1.000.000 Watt) of energy. Conventional wind turbines are pretty limited because they are depending on low altitude winds which, compared to high altitude winds, are quite rare. The company believes that tapping into just a fraction of this endless supply of power, we would be able to supply the entire planet with energy. Makani Power is now developing kites that can harvest energy from wind streams at up to 600m altitude. These kites will be flown by robots enabling them to be kept afloat for a long period of time.

In tests conducted at its Maui site, Makani Power flew a piano-sized kite, which president and co-founder Saul Griffith said provided enough power for five average US households. The firm reckons it can double the power generated by a wind turbine while using only one fifth of the material. Just a little more patience, the first fully functional kite will be ready in about 18 monhts.
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