Makani Power

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Makani Power
Type Private
Industry Wind Energy
Founded 2006
Key people Saul Griffith, Corwin Hardham, Don Montague, Damon Vander Lind
Employees 20+
Slogan(s) High Capacity Wind
Website / Google.com/Makani

Makani Power is an Alameda, California-based company that developed airborne wind turbines with the support of Google and the U.S. Department of Energy office of ARPA-E. According to some experts in the field, Makani is currently the world leader in the development of airborne wind power extraction systems.[1] Makani was founded in 2006 by Saul Griffith, Don Montague, and Corwin Hardham.[2] It received funding as part of Google.org's Renewable Energy cheaper than Coal (RE<C) initiative.[3] "Makani" is Hawaiian for "wind."[4] One of the founders, Corwin Hardham, died in 2012 at age 38.[5]

Mechanical progress for their kite system[edit]

In order to meet its goal of producing low-cost renewable energy, the Makani kite-energy system uses autonomous tethered wings which fly in a circular path and generate electricity via wind turbines mounted upon the main wing, a method already in public domain; expert Miles Loyd in 1980 analyzed that for large scale purposes flying the generators will be disfavored because of the need to fly the mass of the generators;[6] many of Makani Power competitors have generators kept on the ground, like KiteGen, Italy.[7] The electricity is transmitted to the ground via an electrical cable within the kite's tether.[8] Several patent applications have been made; some have been granted.

On May 23, 2013, Makani Power was acquired by Google and will be folded into Google X.[9]

References[edit]

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