Kite Based Wind Power Generation

Harvard Gazette photo
saul_kite.jpg
If you’re confused why something tagged “Winds-day” is being posted on a day other than Wednesday, let me remind you that the universe isn’t tied to your homeworld’s orbital position. Not by a strong force anyway. Moving on. . .

Although the great Saul Griffith talks about global warming a lot, his Instructables site, MAKE magazine, HOWTOONS, Squid Labs, Potenco and other fantastic projects are worthy of admiration by even the most militant AGW skeptic.

Just because Piltdown Man was a complete scientific fraud doesn’t make evolution, a theory accepted even by the Vatican today, invalid. Similarly, the climate gate irregularities may ultimately result in a bulletproof AGW model that will find greater acceptance.

I lean against the “warm mongers” position (as J. Neil Schulman calls the alarmists), but realize I could be wrong. There are plenty of other environmental threats that make emitting lung killing particulates a bad thing. Also, economic collapse and war over scarce resources should encourage development of domestic energy sources, especially when the answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Griffith’s Makani Power site declares a goal of harvesting high altitude wind energy.

“Capturing a small fraction of the global high-altitude wind energy flux could be sufficient to supply the current energy needs of the globe. Makani is developing high-altitude wind energy extraction technologies aimed at the most powerful wind resources.”

This excerpt from a Harvard Gazette report makes the project seem credible.

“Making kite-mounted power plants requires only off-the-shelf technology, and the physics is straightforward. The same wind that flows over a wing to keep the kite aloft can be captured as energy by wing-mounted turbines.”

Here’s Dr. Griffith at TED, in a video of his talk titled “Kites as the Future of Renewable Energy.”

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