|Key people||Saul Griffith, Corwin Hardham, Don Montague, Damon Vander Lind|
Makani Power was 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. According to other experts and analysts, the early selected method of high complexity has severe problems.
Makani was founded in 2006 by Saul Griffith, Don Montague, and Corwin Hardham. It received funding as part of Google.org's Renewable Energy cheaper than Coal (RE<C) initiative. "Makani" is Hawaiian for "wind." One of the founders, Corwin Hardham, died in 2012 at age 38.
Mechanical progress for their kite system
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 ; many of Makani Power competitors have generators kept on the ground, like KiteGen, Italy. The electricity is transmitted to the ground via an electrical cable within the kite's tether. Several patent applications have been made; some have been granted.
- Kirsner, Scott. "A generator that’s lighter than air — and relatively light on the wallet". Boston Globe.
- Barnard, Mike (30 Oct 2013). "Google’s Makani airborne wind generator flies a bit lower when you look at it closely".
- "Company History". makanipower.com.
- "Investing in a cleaner energy revolution". Google.org.
- Wagner, Eric (7 December 2012). "High-altitude Wind Power". Conservation. University of Washington. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- Miles Loyd, 1980: http://homes.esat.kuleuven.be/~highwind/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Loyd1980.pdf
- AWES Museum http://www.energykitesystems.net/AWESMuseum/index.html || KiteGen http://kitegen.com/
- Harper, Ben (21 March 2011). "Start-ups are devising kites to turn wind power into a cheap source of power". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- "Google acquires kite-power generator". BBC News. 23 May 2013.