The generation of energy through “kites”
The production of clean energy remains a big issue. Existing stations are not enough to cover the need of mankind for electricity. Therefore, companies try to figure out how to make wind energy more efficient and compact. Among other things, Makani Power startup, which belongs to X lab, but moved to Alphabet, work on this issue. Its unique idea – water gliders for wind energy. This project is carried out in cooperation with the producer of shell fuel and is designed to simplify the generation of electricity from wind energy.
Obtaining wind energy in a more compact way
Flying wind turbines from the manufacturer Makani Power are able to produce 50% more electricity than conventional, ground turbines. The finished structure is raised to a distance of 300 m above the water and secured with a rope.
The unit is equipped with eight propellers, which actually lift the structure into the air, and then act as turbines, generating energy. The glider flies around the territory in a circle, and the accumulated energy comes through the cable to the ground, and then it enters the power grid. The first tests of the structure took place on land, but after obtaining good results, Makani Power wants to test the production of wind energy on the water, because the air flow is stronger there. According to the Director of the company Folk Felker, gliders will be located above the coastal waters.
If it implies a depth of 50 m, then it is more profitable than using conventional windmills, for which building a foundation and mounting the turbine on the platform are needed. The proposed concept of Makani glider does not require expensive equipment. Flying construction is needed to tie with a special buoy, similar to the table – the developers call it a milestone. The finished device is compact and has a minimum weight, making it possible to hundreds of kilograms of iron light electronics and flexible software. Thus, companies will be able to save significantly.
This system will be tested in Norway in 2019, and while this has not happened, the developers hone their skills on the ground “kites” in Hawaii. The company will install wind turbines in the sea together with the oil and gas Corporation Shell, which has already invested a large amount in the project, which, however, is not disclosed. Previously, Shell has already done business with the British company Kite Power Systems, which uses a similar approach to obtain wind energy using flying power plants.
According to technological media reports, Makani Power withdrew from laboratory X and finally got to Alphabet. Some time ago, two more energy projects – Dandelion and Malta were disconnected from the laboratory. The first is engaged in the development of geothermal devices for changing temperatures, and the second in the storage of energy in the molten salt.
About a month ago, Dandelion also received $ 16 million investment from Comcast Ventures and GV funds, formerly owned by Google. Thus, it can be concluded that large corporations are more interested than ever in startups that offer unusual solutions for development, accumulation and