04 November 2010 11:00 GMT
17 October 2011 11:39 GMT
By Darius Snieckus in Bristol
Thursday, May 23 2013
Makani is fine-turning a 600kW turbine-outfitted "tethered wing" concept that generates power while flying between 250 and 600 metres above the ground.
The developer says the Google acquisition "formalises a long and productive relationship between our two companies,and will provide Makani with the resources to accelerate our work to make wind energy cost-competitive with fossil fuels".
The California company says the "timing couldn’t be better", given the recent completion of maiden autonomous all-modes flight with its Wing 7 prototype.
"We look forward to working with our new colleagues at Google[x] to make airborne wind a cost-effective reality."
A report last year by consultancy GL Garrad Hassan identified 22 companies that are developing high-altitude wind turbine prototypes, including kites, kytoons (a kite-balloon hybrid), aerostats, and gliders or sailplanes with turbines or airfoils attached.
These turbines are based around a flying tethered object that uses a mechanical system to harness kinetic energy from the wind anywhere from 200 metres to 20km above the Earth.
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