Makani is developing energy kites that use a wing tethered to a ground station to efficiently harness energy from the wind, generating electricity at utility-scale. As the kite flies autonomously in loops, rotors on the wing spin as the wind moves through them, generating electricity that is sent down the tether to the grid.
Wind energy has the potential to power the world 100 times over, yet only 4% of the world’s electricity comes from wind. The Makani energy kite system integrates advances in aerospace engineering, materials science, and autonomous controls to create a lightweight design that is easy to transport and install.
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The low mass of Makani’s system unlocks wind energy resources in areas offshore that are not economically viable for existing technologies. Harnessing energy from the wind in new places means more people around the world will have access to clean, affordable wind power.
Makani has over a decade of experience designing, building, and testing energy kites. In 2015 they began testing their current prototype which is designed to transfer up to 600 kilowatts of electrical power—enough to power about 300 homes. They successfully demonstrated their airborne wind power system offshore in 2019.