Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands recently tested a free-flying, 10 square meter kite to a generator to produce 10 kilowatts of power (enough energy for 10 homes). They are currently planning to scale the experiment with a 50 kilowatt kite and a 100 megawatt array called the Laddermill that could potentially power 100,000 homes. The promise of kite power lies in its inexpensive materials and its potential to harness enormous amounts of power, since high altitude winds can carry hundreds of times more energy than those on the ground. Airborne kites produce power by pulling on a ground-bound generator, which reels the kites back once they reach their maximum height. Also, unlike a field-full of wind turbines, kite power requires a minimal amount of land use.
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