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Can spinning kite turbines power your home?

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Amid an innovative tapestry of energy solutions, Shetland-based engineer and inventor Rod Read has emerged with an unconventional thread… or kite string. Read has transformed soaring kites into clean energy-generating kite turbines.

Could spinning kites like these become the heartbeat of an average home’s power needs?

Read’s company, Windswept, is aiming to have a fully autonomous 50kW turbine on the market by the end of 2024. Via the BBC News:

“His experiments have generated enough electricity to charge an electric car and still have power left to boil the kettle for a cup of tea.

“Rod says that his kites, run continuously, could power an average home and that the technology could scale up to take more advantage of the wind than traditional wind mills currently do.”

Created with a lifting kite, a set of kites that spin, and a generator ground station that turns the spinning into electricity, these “flying wind turbines” can potentially use more of a landscape’s air column.

“They can scale to sweep through large areas of sky and be really powerful that way, and make cheaper electricity by using very lightweight systems… and therefore have much less carbon impact on the cost of energy…

“Kites can achieve altitudes of 10 kilometers and still, you know, still be worked. The scalability of the system really means that we could be addressing multiple energy needs… We could be looking at farms. We could be looking at large industries offshore. We could be looking at fishing boats and tankers, and such.”

Learn more about kites, clean energy, wind, and wind turbines with these handpicked videos on TKSST:
• Understanding tether dynamics through kite flying
Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba story
• How to make a wind turbine, a science experiment
• How do wind turbines work?
The physics and engineering of windmills in The Netherlands
• The 1,000 year old windmills of Nashtifan

Bonus: How did John Magiro build a mini-hydropower station for his neighbors?

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