Kites to produce electricity

Kite connected to an EnerKite truck

The electricity production from wind energy is a technique now well known and increasingly used in many countries of the world. The method consists in transforming the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy, which in turn will be transformed into electrical energy.

Wind turbines are large structures up to 150 meters. Also the wind turbine captures the winds on the ground which can be slowed by the reliefs of the earth. It turns out that the stronger, faster, and more regular winds are at very high altitudes.

So various researchers around the world have thought of flying kites to recover wind energy that is far beyond what wind turbines can reach. This is called airborne wind turbines.

This system of energy production can be created in different ways with generators in flight and generators on the ground very variable according to the recommended technologies. Some are exploring the avenue of a carousel type ground generator that could hold several kites.

The vision of KiteGen, an Italian energy company driven by kites
The carousel

Others believe that it is relevant to be able to move the generator to the ground to become a carrier and distributor of energy in more isolated areas. For this, obviously kites must be retractable to store them during travel. Many value the retractable aspect to store the material if for example the winds are not very intense.

Today, many companies are trying to develop the best system and the challenges are many especially from the point of view of the wear of the materials used due to the strong force of the winds at altitude.

Anyway it is obviously a technology that seems respectful of the environment and that can produce a lot of energy. Considering the climate issues we face, it is certainly a technique of electricity production that should not be neglected.

Interresting links:
Un cerf-volant modernepour produire de l’énergie avec du vent [fr]
Le cerf-volant la piste innattendue pour une énergie propre? [fr]
Les folles sources d’énergie, le vent [fr]

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