Thursday, August 07, 2008

Would Giant Kites be preferential to wind farms for the Islands of Malta & Gozo?

The quest for renewable energy that every modern nation on the planet is trying to harness, for the greater good, the benefit of our wallets and most important of all the benefit of the environment, Malta and Gozo are no different.
One particular path that is being pursued here is wind energy, and the same arguments are coming up here as they did in the UK. The benefits of wind farms and monster wind turbines destroying the landscape views, and you would need so many to make a significant difference. Could kites be the answer?

While deciding how to capture wind energy, scientists from the Netherlands went out and flew a giant kite. The 10-sq-meter kite was attached to a generator and managed to produce 10 kW of power. With the success of this kite, they’re planning to test a 50 kW version of the kite, dubbed Laddermill, and if that succeeds, they’re proposing a multi-kite version that could get as much as 100 MW - enough for 100,000 homes.

The kite generates energy by pulling on its string on the way up. When it gets to the end of the string, it’s pulled back down and then sent back up for another flight. The amount of energy captured is maximized by flying the kite in figure eights, and bringing it down in a fall like a glider.




video


Considering how easily the kite takes off in the strong wind – no running, jumping, or Peter-Pan-wishful-thinking involved – I can imagine that a whole lot of power could be generated. Google thinks so too, having invested $10 million in a US kite project last year.

The Dutch scientists believe they could generate power comparable to the price of coal, and 50% cheaper than wind turbines. Now, like most renewable energy endeavors, all these researchers need, is the funding to back the project.


"The goal of life is living in agreement with nature". Zeno

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