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Energy kite promises a new way to harness wind power (video)

JacksinPA

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https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/video/...a-new-way-to-harness-wind-power-1433286723625

Makani, a company under the umbrella of Google X lab, has designed an energy kite that can fly at altitudes of about 1,000 feet and gather wind power even in the aftermath of natural disasters.
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Average wind speeds increase with altitude, which explains why most wind turbines are usually mounted on top of 200-foot tall support towers.

This kite, which is moored to a ground station via a cable, flies autonomously at altitudes about 1,000 feet, generating electricity by the wind blowing on its 8 rotors fixed to generators. Light weight & portable, it could be used to supply electricity in areas without power following a natural disaster.
 

DaveFagan

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https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/video/...a-new-way-to-harness-wind-power-1433286723625

Makani, a company under the umbrella of Google X lab, has designed an energy kite that can fly at altitudes of about 1,000 feet and gather wind power even in the aftermath of natural disasters.
============================================
Average wind speeds increase with altitude, which explains why most wind turbines are usually mounted on top of 200-foot tall support towers.

This kite, which is moored to a ground station via a cable, flies autonomously at altitudes about 1,000 feet, generating electricity by the wind blowing on its 8 rotors fixed to generators. Light weight & portable, it could be used to supply electricity in areas without power following a natural disaster.

It better be rugged. If you've ever flown kites, you know that every now and then the wind causes a dive that nose dives your kite to terrestial impact. Tethered to a racheting dynamo (DC Motor) would produce votlage to charge batteries and then use inverters to power 120volt AC devices. A large sail on a tall pole attached to a racheting dynamo can do the same thing, but probably not at the better altitude of 1000 feet. Nevertheless, the larger the square footage of the sail, the more power generated. I'm estimating that a 30' x 20' sail would produce about 20 horsepower.
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JacksinPA

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It better be rugged. If you've ever flown kites, you know that every now and then the wind causes a dive that nose dives your kite to terrestial impact. Tethered to a racheting dynamo (DC Motor) would produce votlage to charge batteries and then use inverters to power 120volt AC devices. A large sail on a tall pole attached to a racheting dynamo can do the same thing, but probably not at the better altitude of 1000 feet. Nevertheless, the larger the square footage of the sail, the more power generated. I'm estimating that a 30' x 20' sail would produce about 20 horsepower.
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I haven't seen the details but by 'autonomous' I would assume they have a guidance package of gyroscopes & accelerometers on board that control the ailerons & the rudders. So nose diving into the ground would happen only in case of a failure in the guidance package.

The electric power generated is fed to the ground by the the cable & not by a ratchet generator on the ground. The kite does not fly in circles but with the prevailing wind.
 

JacksinPA

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As a side note, your smart phone & tablet contain microcircuit gyroscopes & accelerometers, so the guidance package I mentioned is inexpensive & off-the-shelf hardware.
 

Deuce

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*ahem*

STOP MAKING MORE THINGS FOR ME TO DODGE IN THE SKY GODDAMNIT.
 

JacksinPA

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*ahem*

STOP MAKING MORE THINGS FOR ME TO DODGE IN THE SKY GODDAMNIT.

I would think you would need to file for a NOTAM from the FAA at the very least if you intended to deploy such a kite. And there would be existing restrictions on operating them in controlled airspace.
 

Deuce

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I would think you would need to file for a NOTAM from the FAA at the very least if you intended to deploy such a kite. And there would be existing restrictions on operating them in controlled airspace.

You would. And the people who fly drones have similar rules applied.

And yet every week we're having to shut down major airports because of idiots with drones.
 

JacksinPA

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You would. And the people who fly drones have similar rules applied.

And yet every week we're having to shut down major airports because of idiots with drones.

Yes, the people (primarily in China) who are mass producing these things for the retail market have let this genie out of the bottle for sure. Even though you are supposed to register these after you buy them, I doubt many do.

The larger ones are capable of carrying multiple laser pointers & even explosives. Some have sophisticated guidance systems that depend on GPS signals & that can be programmed to get in the way of larger aircraft. And they are easy to conceal & therefore difficult for local police to monitor & enforce Federal regulations that they might not be aware of. Drones are a growing problem in search of an elusive solution.
 
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