Airborne Wind Turbines

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Earlier today, I passed by people building what looked like a lengthy flat board…and I thought it was part of construction for a monument for the Convention Center.

Much to my surprise, I passed by the same place after lunch and the lengthy flat board turned out to be this larger-than-life wind turbine! This turbine by Makani Power can fly in the air like a kite, harvest wind up in the stratosphere, and is then transmitted back down to earth as electricity through a high-strength tether surrounded by conductors, which carries the traction force of the wing and transmits electricity back to the ground.

For perspective, the lengthy flat board is the size of one turbine blade of a typical ground wind turbine. Wind turbines may look elegant from afar, but seeing just one blade in person is humbling.

It’s like a kite made for giants.

Their airbone turbine flight video reminded me of  jet packs.

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