Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Green Energy from Energy Kites

Today is January 6,2016. Eight days from now, on January 14th, the festival of Makarsankranti will be celebrated across India. In this festival kites are flown across the nation. The sky is filled with kites of different colors. But this simple kite, that has been flown by people for centuries for recreation and sport has a potential to change the world. However the kites that I am talking about are going to be more advanced than the kites that are used on Makarsankranti.

Kites fly by harnessing the power of winds. Earth is covered with a gaseous layer known as the atmosphere. Due to pressure variation in different parts of the atmosphere, air flows from an area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure. This is flow if air is known as wind.

The speed of Wind varies at different places on the surface of earth. Wind has been utilized for a long period of time as a source of energy. In ancient times Europeans used windmills to grind wheat and lift water from wells. After dynamos and electric generators were made, engineers and scientists realized that the windmills can be used for electricity generation as well. So many windmill towers were set up for energy generation. The windmills started getting taller to harness more and more energy. However it is not possible to economically generate wind energy from every part of the planet.

Setting up the wind tower involved huge initial costs. Also there is a limit to how high a tower can go. Now, it is a well known fact that the higher we go, the speed of wind increases and that is the reason why windmill towers were made taller to generate more and more energy.

However engineers and scientists have come up with more cost effective ways of generating electricity using the power of wind. They are trying to tap into the power of high altitude winds using kites, that can rise up to heights of 800 - 1000 meters. At this heights wind speeds are high enough for economical generation of electricity almost everywhere in the world.

In this blog I have already discussed technologies that are focused on harnessing the power of high altitude wind like Alteros BAT(Buoyant Airborne Turbine) and Google Makani kites. However they are not the only ones who are trying to tap into the energy provided by High Altitude Winds there are others as well here is one more :-

The energy kites don't require any expensive and heavy tower, so the amount of material needed for construction of such energy kites is way less than that of a wind tower. The energy obtained from such energy kites will be very cheap.

In the 50s,60s and 70s arrogant things were said, like "Pollution is the price that humanity has to pay for development". We know today that it is not true. There far more green energy available in nature than the polluting energy from fossil fuel. 

Many countries are forced to support oil rich Middle East nations because of their need of oil. This technology can liberate nations from such dependence. There is enough energy nature has provided for all, only thing we need to learn is to tap it economically.

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