One of my readers (Joseph) correctly pointed out that the energy from wind goes up by the cube of wind speed. This means being able to consistently access winds that were five times faster than current winds would make enable 125 times more power to be accessed.
I also have been emailing with the Kitegen people. A mountain peak in the center of the Kitegen system would get in the flight path of the aerofoils. So one of the better ways to get to higher and faster winds would have to be some kind of elevated plateau. Ironically the coal industry removes mountain tops to get at coal so a similar process could be used to get at the best wind if needed. Alternatively existing plateaus could be found.
The Kitegen system would cut out at 25m/s like other wind generators. However, a Kitegen could go to a lower height and slower wind if the top wind goes over 25m/s. Kitegen could therefore have a higher percentage of its time near the current 25 m/s maximum.
Currently 80 meter wind turbines (3MW-6MW) access winds that are about 4.6 m/s in speed. 20-25 m/s winds would be 70-125 times more powerful than the current wind speeds.
100 MW Kite Gen power plants, not much larger than the illustrated example, are estimated to deliver a cost of energy produced lower than 0.03 Euro per kWh. A Kitegen system that was place at higher elevation could access winds 2-3 times stronger for 8 to 27 times more power than a Kitegen at a lower altitude.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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