High Altitude Wind Harvesting

Another of Saul Griffith’s great talks about his interesting work. I’ve seen him speak and really enjoy his style he always brings something on the bleeding edge of innovation while speaking very frankly about it. Check out this TED talk, not new just relevant to this post.

High altitude wind harvesting has become a growing trend. Researchers have found these winds to be twice as powerful as those closer to the ground. With this in mind two key companies trying to harvest these high altitude winds are Magenn Power and Makani Power. Both companies appear to be creating solutions to operate at 1,000 ft.

Makani Power has created a kite wing that looks a lot like a kiteboard kite. This structure has a mechanism that rotates the wing to keep it airborn while generating power. I couldn’t find any images of Makani’s prototypes on the above video there is some video.
Magenn has created a blimp, pinwheel, like my description. It is a blimp structure that channels the wind and rotates around a horizontal axis. See how the ribs channel the wind to rotate the blimp around the horizontal axis. Once this power is generated it must travel down the cable 600 to 1,000 ft.
There are some interesting things being done in the wind harvesting arena. I look forward to seeing these devices in use one day soon.

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