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Lets go fly an airborne kite

Dec 08, 2018

Written By

Stephen Wright

Business Development Manager

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Flight of fancy or blue sky thinking?

1752 and Benjamin Franklin flies a kite and is struck by lighting. 2019 and we may look to 'kites' to generate electricity. Scientists and entrepreneurs are putting their efforts into designing not just airborne kites as we may imagine them but underwater kites that can harness the untapped potential of non-tidal currents.

There are many different variations of airborne kite power and each have their own unique set of pros and cons but the most recent innovation seems to be multiple wind turbines attached to an aerodynamic wing that will 'fly' at high altitudes using the airflow of the moving kite to spin the turbines to generate large amount of energy. Many large companies including Google's parent company Alphabet are investing in this are of tech and the results are looking promising so far. A potential downside to this is also something it relies on quite heavily, the weather. Hail, heavy rain, cold temperatures are just some of the challenges these high altitude wind turbines face.

Underwater kite technology is similar to the above but instead of being airborne the kites use underwater currents to spin the turbines attached to a wing. The difference with currents is although most are low-velocity they are almost constant which makes this tech innovative and different from tidal as tidal has peaks and troughs that aren't as efficient.

Other kite innovations are the use of what we know as traditional kites tethered to a spool on the ground, as these kites move in the wind they spin a drum which acts like a generator. Usually there will be two kites and as one descends the other rises allowing for continually generated electricity.

Unfortunately ENSEK don't currently offer kites in our portfolio of products but what we do offer can be found here.

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