Google blows

No, really. You may have heard of their foray into the energy and broadband sectors, but take a look at one of the actual projects. They’re helping fund Makini, a wind power startup. Damn is this thing cool. Instead of capturing air the way standard static turbines do with a single prop, their Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) kite wing captures the constant flow of air found at altitude significantly higher than a turbine. The thinking is that 25% of the blade tip of current turbine blades produce 75% of their energy output. With the AWT, the entire wing mimics that tip surface, resulting in a more efficient use of energy. Daisy chaining a bunch of them together will produce even more energy.

But you’re really wondering: Does it harm wildlife? Glad you asked. This may be the coolest info graphic you see all week. Who knew that cats by far were more of a threat to birds than a wind turbine (per 1,000). The speed of the AWT kite is on par with that of existing wind turbine props which are supposedly easy for birds to navigate around.

And you thought Google was just for search.


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