Intelligent Energy

Airborn windfarm soars

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San Francisco start-up Makani Power is piloting its "flying" tethered wind turbines, which generate power by circling around high in the atmosphere.

(Image credit: Makani Power)

Microsoft founder Bill Gates probably had companies like San Francisco start-up Makani Power in mind when he recently called for "crazy energy entrepreneurs." Makani has developed a prototype of a "flying" 30-kilowatt wind turbine that circles around aloft on a tether to capture the ferocity of high altitude winds. Our friend Martin LaMonica posted a photo gallery of the design, which has been in development since 2006. Check out a video of the prototype:

Here's a diagram on how the technology works:

(Image credit: Makani Power)

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Wind power's future may soar with flying wind turbine

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David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure