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Clean and Green Technology of the Future: Kite Energy - Sarper Göksal

Energy production has become highly possible thanks to wind roses and tribunes; however, the altitude is limited to 200 meters for the energy produced from the wind. The wind is much stronger as the height increases, and the desire to generate energy from above 200 meters gave rise to the idea of creating kite energy, an entirely different type of renewable energy and a new green energy option.

Although renewable energy types are clean and modern, they are costly and not easy to access. However, unlike other alternative energy sources, kite technology is a low-cost renewable energy solution being developed. When comparing renewable energy technologies with kite technology, high-altitude wind from kite energy has the most energy per square meter. According to research conducted in the Netherlands, a kite dropped at 800 meters can generate 10 kW of electricity. In short, the wind power at 800 meters is four times stronger than the wind turbines operating at 80 meters above the ground and produces more electricity.

Even during an energy and climate crisis, humans produce approximately 12 trillion watts of energy from fossil fuels. According to former Vice President of the United States Al Gore, generating at least 10 trillion watts of clean energy within 30 to 40 years is vital to solving the energy and climate crisis to avoid 12 trillion watts of energy from fossil fuels. The wind is the second-largest renewable resource after the sun. According to Australian-American inventor Saul Griffith, it is possible to produce 3600 terawatts of wind energy, which is 200 times more than the energy needed by humanity. It means that much more than the energy obtained from fossil fuels is possible with wind energy development. However, most potential to generate wind is at much higher altitudes, above 100 meters. The technology that can reach winds above 100 meters is not yet available. It can be argued that it is the rebirth of kites, which aims to produce energy from high altitudes, solve the climate crisis, and be used as toys and for a visual show.

Kitepower, a Netherlands-based start-up company, has developed a kite energy product that is economical, environmentally friendly and aimed at high efficiency, and can collect high-altitude winds. Three essential elements make up the Kitepower system: the first is a light and high-performance kite; the second is a load-bearing rope and a ground-based electric generator; and finally, the control software, which is the kite control unit and will steer the kite remotely. For energy production, the kite is driven by a mechanism called pumping cycles, which are sequential with the winding. During winding, the kite creates a sizeable pulling force which is used to pull the string from a drum attached to the ground and connected to the generator in crosswind maneuvers; At this stage, electricity is produced. In summary, the kite connected to the generator on the ground turns around itself, connected to the ground with a maximum of 700 meters cable, as the wind accelerates as it rises in altitude. Thus the wind is transmitted to the generator by the cable. Electricity is also obtained from the cable that turns the generator. This structure, which seems highly complex, does not contain about fifteen components with different functions, such as a brake, gearbox, control unit, wheel, and tower, like a wind turbine. On the contrary, it is more functional than a wind turbine with the correct application of three different components.

As a result, the kite, a childhood memory of many people, now emerges as a clean and modern alternative energy source used to generate wind energy. A kite is an object that rises with the resistance of surfaces made of light materials against the wind. Although a vehicle is installed and operated with a straightforward mechanism, a new generation energy source is defined in the renewable energy sector. It is expected to reach approximately 2 trillion dollars in 2030 by producing electricity using wind energy.

Airborne wind power promises to be a competitive solution to solar power in terms of cost and efficiency. Airborne wind energy technology makes it possible to reach higher altitudes using less material than wind turbines because the foundation and towers in wind turbines are not included in kite energy. On the other hand, technological systems of kite energy are much more mobile in terms of location and much more economical in construction than wind turbines. However, the robustness and reliability of the flying wind energy system make the integration of kite energy difficult.

In short, kite energy has a chance to be integrated into our lives as the cleanest type of wind energy, as well as having the power to generate electricity much more efficiently at a much lower cost than wind turbines and to turn fossil fuels upside down. However, in the first stage, reliability and durability problems should be solved to transform kite technology into electrical energy using wind. Starting to produce electrical energy by systematizing kite energy through technology means the development of scientific literature and patents, and thus the spread of kite energy is accelerated.

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