Why did Google take over Makani Power

Google invests in flying wind turbines

Google X, home of the notorious "X Labs", in which secret long-term projects are often pursued, has taken over the wind turbine manufacturer Makani Power.

Wing 7, the flying power plant

The special thing about Makanis turbines: They fly and deliver their electricity by cable to the relay station on the ground. As reported in the press, a prototype called "Wing 7" was launched at the end of 2011, which could generate up to 20 kilowatts.

In 2011 "Wing 7" operated at a height of up to 400 meters and is capable of both vertical and horizontal flight. The performance level mentioned is achieved at wind speeds of around 35 km / h. The carbon-based construction weighs around 58 kilograms.

Versatile and inexpensive

Future expenses should reach greater heights and provide more energy. The goal set at the time was to create a marketable product by 2015 that could generate one megawatt at a height of 550 meters. Wing 7 can now climb up to 600 meters.

The advantage of the technology lies in the possibility of using it in areas that are difficult to access conventionally. In addition, the construction of a turbine kite costs considerably less than the construction of a conventional wind power plant. A Fraunhofer expert told pressetext that the long cable and the risk of falling, with potentially expensive consequences, were rather problematic.

"Opportunity for the energy transition"

As The Verge writes, Google has been one of the company's investors since 2007. The purchase - the sum of money has not yet been made public - is a strong indicator that the tech giant has made significant progress and sees great potential in the flying power plants.

Makani's chief technician describes the technology as nothing less than an opportunity for the energy transition: "If we are successful, we can make ourselves independent of a large part of fossil fuels."

Other well-known companies also come from Google's X-Labs, something the project with the aim of establishing self-driving cars. The preliminary work for "Glass" was also done by the experimental arm of the group. (gpi, derStandard.at, May 23, 2013)

(Video: Test flight of Wing 7)