Generating green energy from flying jet using Makani Airborne Wind Turbine ( AWT )

About Makani Airborne Wind Turbine ( AWT )

The Makani AWT is a tethered, autonomous wing fitted with onboard turbines for power generation. Flying at 1,000 ft, the system mimics the motion, and speed, of a conventional turbine’s aerodynamically effective blade tips.

The Makani Airborne Wind Turbine is a tethered wing that generates power by flying in large circles where the wind is stronger and more consistent. It eliminates 90% of the material used in conventional wind turbines, and can access winds both at higher altitudes and above deep waters offshore — resources that are currently untapped. Company's goal is the utility-scale deployment of airborne turbines in offshore wind farms.

How does it work?

The Makani Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) is a tethered wing outfitted with turbines. It flies between 250 and 600 meters (800 and 1,950 feet), where the wind is stronger and more consistent. Makani is developing a 600 kW AWT, for utility scale generation at a cost below conventional solar and wind.

The Makani AWT operates like a wind turbine. Air moving across the turbine blades forces them to rotate, driving a generator to produce electricity.

Due to its speed, the tip of a conventional wind turbine blade is the most effective part and is responsible for most of the energy produced. The Makani AWT takes advantage of this principle by mounting small turbine/generator pairs on a wing that itself acts like the tip of a traditional turbine blade. The wing flies across the wind in vertical circles, fixed to the ground by a flexible tether.


Makani has developed hybrid rotors with symmetrical, uncambered foils that let them generate energy as a turbine or apply thrust like a propeller. The rotors are used as propellers to keep the wing aloft during short lapses in the wind, allowing the wing to stay aloft if the wind dies.

Why Airborne Wind Power?
Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) can create inexpensive energy, in more locations than traditional wind turbines, because it flies where the wind is stronger and more consistent.

The Makani AWT can transform wind power:

Produces power at up to half the cost of traditional wind turbines
Accesses the stronger and more consistent winds at altitude
90% less material than a conventional turbine, it is less expensive to build and install
Opens up large new areas of wind resource, including the vast resources offshore above deep water
Allows for deployment outside of visually or environmentally sensitive locations

The Makani AWT is a practical solution:

Requires no more space than conventional turbines
Capable of handling large, sudden shifts in wind speed and direction
Redundant, fault tolerant design
Lightning hardened

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