Bringing the Text to Life
It’s one of the most promising forms of renewable energy, but it can be notoriously difficult to catch. One of the problems is that the best winds don’t tend to move at ground level. Instead, they do their blowing six miles up in the air, at the height of the jet stream. At that level, the winds are stronger and blow more consistently, carrying up to a hundred times more energy.
But how can humans harness this power? Conventional turbines on towers won’t get us close enough — the tallest to date is just over 200 meters in height.
According to The Economist magazine (June 9, 2007), a company called Sky WindPower has developed a flying generator, one that looks like a cross between a kite and a helicopter. Picture an H-shaped frame with rotors at the ends of the four points, tethered to the ground by a long cable. The rotors provide lift, like the surface of a kite, and as they lift the frame they also turn dynamos that generate electricity. This electricity is then transmitted ...