Airborn windfarm soars

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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