Thursday, June 18, 2009

Energy starved New York

High-flying kites could generate enough wind energy to power New York.

The energy starved world of today is looking for possible ways using which the maximum amount of renewable energy could be generated that could not just power a city block or a small town but the largest cities in the world and probably the entire world as well. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution and California State University have identified New York as one of the prime locations where high-flying kites can be used to convert high-altitude winds into energy.

Unlike winds close to the surface of earth, winds in the upper regions of the atmosphere preferably those which make the jet streams can be harnessed to produce tens of times of output than conventional wind turbines that are used on the surface. Ideally, the turbines, which would be high-altitude flying kites tethered to the surface, would have be placed at a height of around 30,000 feet.

Jet stream winds are generally 10 times faster than winds near the ground and most importantly they’re steady as well. More wind speed means more energy, which made scientists at these universities believe that they can power entire cities by flying these kites, a process which looks simple on paper but might get complicated if actually planned. These scientists predict up to 40MW of electricity can be generated by the current designs and transmitted to the ground via the tether, which is about four times the output of current designs used on the surface.

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