Drones Harvest High-Altitude Wind Energy

Wind energy being harnessed to produce electricity is common knowledge. Researchers are now exploring the use of tethered kites and drones to harness the stronger and more consistent high-altitude winds. The main challenge is the intermittency of flowing wind currents, which makes this form of renewable energy unreliable. A 2012 study from California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found that high-altitude winds alone could provide 100 times the global energy need.
Udo Zillmann of Daidalos Capital says, wind turbines have been getting bigger and bigger in a bid to access winds at high altitude, but that means huge, expensive towers. So hi-tech drones and kites are now becoming accepted, lower-cost supplements, he argues, explaining further he says, Airborne wind energy is a minimalistic version of a turbine, incorporating only the necessary elements: a blade and a tether measuring a few centimetres in diameter, adding, these systems require between 1% and 10% of the materials used to construct a turbine and can also be grounded if required, for example to ease the passage of migrating birds.

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