Monday, April 18, 2011

Energy via an "air carousel"

The start-up Makani Power generates current from a giant air carousel of kites. Its fully automated version of the kite should be installed by energy suppliers as a wind farm. Simple reason: "Our system pays as a large wind farm and not as a single plant for a community", says the founder.

Google has confidence in this idea and has already invested 20 million dollars in the start-up - as a part of its "RE - C" program which has an ambitious goal: Current is to be generated much more cheaply from renewable energy sources than from coal. The American government also sees potential in the new technology and has supported the project by funding three million dollars. Now Makani Power wants to raise another 25 million dollars to develop its megawatt kite to market maturity.

The company plan sounds interesting:

„Makani Power is developing Airborne Wind Turbines (AWT) to extract energy from powerful, consistent winds at altitude. Makani AWTs will produce energy at an unsubsidized real cost competitive with coal-fired power plants, the current benchmark of the lowest cost source of power.

This website highlights the rigorous small-scale testing program Makani has undertaken to demonstrate core functionality and validate performance expectations for the M1, Makani’s first utility-scale 1 MW system.”

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