skip to main content

Makani Power Wind Turbines - 18th March

Makani Kite

In 2013, Google purchased Makani Power and began developing the energy kite; “a new type of wind turbine that uses lightweight electronics, advanced materials, and smart software to generate more energy with less materials”.

This new energy kite is more aerodynamically effective than conventional wind turbines and will fly at altitudes between 80m – 350m where they can access stronger winds. This will enable them to capture more energy, more efficiently and it is predicted that they will generate approximately 50% more energy than conventional methods. The kites also use 90% less material, meaning lower costs for a higher generation of energy.

The kite itself consists of four parts: the kite, the tether, the ground station and the computer system. The kite is launched into the air from the ground station and flies in a large, 145m diameter circle on the end of the tether that is connected to the ground station. As air moves across the rotors on the kite, they are forced to rotate, which drives generators and produces energy. This energy travels down the tether to the grid. Each kite has a rated power of 600 kW and spans approximately 84-feet.

The turbines were tested in one of the windiest places in North America; Pigeon Point in Pescadero, California. Here, the wind speed can change by 20 mph in a second and alter its angle by 90o. Astro Teller who oversees Google[x] stated that the flight was successful and no turbines were damaged or crashed in the extreme winds.

The development of this technology exemplifies the capacity we have to generate huge amounts of energy from the wind.

For more information on this story, please click here.

Back to News

  • © 2014 Community Windpower Ltd
  • Company Registration Number: 04588923
  • VAT number: 845 147 422
Visit our BeGreen Website