Tuesday, June 16, 2009

High as a kite

High-flying kites could power New York

"For cities that are affected by polar jet streams such as Tokyo, Seoul, and New York, the high-altitude resource is phenomenal," Archer continued. "New York, which has the highest average high-altitude wind power density of any U.S. city, has an average wind power density of up to 16 kilowatts per square meter."

Several technologies have been proposed to harvest these high altitude winds, including tethered, kite-like turbines that would be floated to the altitude of the jet streams at an altitude of 20,000-50,000 feet and transmit up to 40 megawatts of electricity to the ground via the tether.

But don't expect the high altitude wind harvesting to begin right away. Th researchers say that a lot needs to fall into place before the technology is feasible for large-scale electricity generation.

(Via KurzweilAI.net.)

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