An article I just read mentioned this concept… its the first time i’ve heard of it. Apparently Google.org (Google’s philanthropic arm) is investing $10 million into a company (Makani Power, Inc.) with a proprietary design for harnessing high altitude wind.
The idea here is that with higher altitudes come much stronger winds.
Wind also becomes much more dependable:
The upper side of these graphs, however, seems pretty ambitious. Since the tallest building in the world is about 800m, a terrestrial building wouldn’t even make it to the first tick mark. Instead, it must be some sort of massive kite or blimp.
$10 million isn’t exactly chump change… Google must really see something concrete here. Since its proprietary, no designs are disclosed on the website. Any ideas on what they could be thinking of?
I found a few concepts for kites that people have come up with. Pretty cool stuff.. although pretty far from safe.
That first one has apparently been developed and tested successfully:
List of High Altitude Wind Companies/Concepts:
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