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Tethered Wing Outfitted with Turbines to Harvest Wind Energy

makaniThe Makani airborne wind turbine (AWT) converts wind energy into electricity using a tethered wing outfitted with turbines. Like the tip of a conventional wind turbine blade, the wing flies across the sky at many times the speed of the wind. Power is extracted by the wing-mounted turbines and transmitted to the ground through an electrically conductive tether. As the wing is not constrained to rotate about a hub, it can fly at a higher altitude where the wind is stronger and more consistent. This results in a system that can deliver twice the energy of a conventional turbine of equal power rating. Furthermore, due to its low wind performance, the wind regimes in which Makani’s AWT can be economically deployed occur in all 50 states and over 80% of US land area, compared to only 15% for conventional turbines.