Monday, July 8, 2013

Google X acquires Makani Power for kite-like airborne wind turbines

Google is to acquire Makani Power, a US company that is developing an airborne wind turbine mounted on a tethered wing that generates energy at altitude where winds are stronger and sustained. The company will become part of Google X, the search giant's R&D lab, which has been trying to improve energy efficiency through its investments.
Makani uses tethered aircraft linked to its base that flies between 800 and 2,000 feet above ground. Air moving across the turbine rotors forces them to rotate to produce electricity. Earlier this month, Makani Power tested a prototype capable of generating 30 kilowatts of power. In future the company hopes to develop models that can generate 600 kilowatts.