High-altitude kites or drones could be used to harness dependable wind power and could revolutionise approaches to renewable energy generation, scientists believe. A research team at the University of Madrid are using the giant aerofoil kites used in kitesurfing to experiment with on-board energy generation, in the form of small wind-turbines mounted to the aircraft. The power generated is then transmitted to the ground via a cable tether which also keeps the kite in place. In comparison to expensive traditional wind-turbines, airborne wind energy systems (AWES) present low installation and material costs. They would also operate at high altitudes of over 500 metres, where they present a low visual impact and where winds are more intense and less intermittent. The researchers said the technology’s easier transportation make them suitable for producing energy in remote and difficult access areas. Therefore they could be deployed to provide temporary power generation in remote areas or disaster zones.
Independent 20th Feb 2019 read more »