Makani Power

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Makani Power
Industry Wind Energy
Founded 2006
Key people
Saul Griffith, Corwin Hardham, Don Montague, Damon Vander Lind
Number of employees
Slogan High Capacity Wind

Makani Power is an Alameda, California-based company that developed airborne wind turbines with the support of Google X 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'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 stated that for large scale purposes flying the generators was expected to 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]


External links[edit]