What is an Energy Kite?
Makani’s energy kite is a type of wind mill which produces more energy within limited and less material.
According to Makani’s Power this wind turbine is capable of generating nearly 50 % extra energy than a usual wind turbine. This wind turbine just looks like a drone and it can fly in air in a circular path, but just like a kite, it is tied to the ground.
The four main components of Makani’s wind turbine are:
- The kite
- The tether
- A ground station
- A computer
The job of the blades of in a conventional wind turbine is done by eight rotors on the kite. As kite flies in air , the air crossing through the rotors operates a generator which produces electricity. This electricity is moves down through the tather wire and is conveyed to the station on the ground.
The ground station for the Makani’s wind turbine covers less space as compared with the ordinary wind turbine and it can be installed even in those areas where the ordinary turbines can’t be installed, e.g. in hilly areas.
An other benefit of the kite over conventional turbines is that it can work at higher altitudes, getting more stronger and steady air.
How energy kites work:
The four main parts of the energy kite work as follows:
Kite is just like the tip of a wind turbine and this part of the turbine is responsible for most of the energy produced. The kite is launched from the earth surface with the help of the rotors. Once the kite starts flying in air, the air entering the rotors keep them rotating which result in driving a generator to generate electricity.
The generator transfers electricity to the ground station through conductive aluminum wires, structured with carbon fibers. These conducting wires help in transferring electricity and both way communications.
The ground station for the energy kite is much smaller than for the ordinary wind turbines. This infrastructure is used as a resting station for the kite when it is not flying, e.g. for cleaning or service purposes.
The Computer System:
A computer controls the trajectory of the kite.Using GPS and different other sensors the computer makes sure the right trajectory of the kite above facing the more powerful strokes of air and generating maximum power.
Energy Production Level:
Makani’s Power Company is checking for a 30 kW trial version of the wind energy turbine (M30). M30 is compatible to work at a height of 110 m. The company is also working on M600 and M5 versions of the energy kites which operate at an altitude of 350-600m. These current versions are feasible for commercial scale use.
Makani’s power is working on lab scale and yet they have not introduced the energy kites in the market. The company yet has no idea that when the energy kites will be available on the commercial scale.