United States

United States

Makani makes kite-based wind-power data available

Makani releases open-source code, flight logs, technical videos and a non-assertion pledge for the free use of its worldwide patent portfolio

An early Makani prototype being tested in California (pic credit: X)
An early Makani prototype being tested in California (pic credit: X)

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Kite-based wind-power systems developer Makani is making technical materials, including its technological development and insights, available to the public on an open-source basis.

The collection of information includes open source code repositories, flight logs, technical videos and a non-assertion pledge for free use of Makani’s worldwide patent portfolio.

Makani invites airborne wind developers and researchers, aerospace experts and engineering students to apply its data to their own technical challenges.

It had been part of X - the new technology investment arm of Google’s Alphabet conglomerate – since 2013.

Makani established itself as an independent company with backing from oil and gas giant Shell in 2019. 

That year, it ran the first demonstration flights of its 600kW carbon-tether kite from a floating platform off the coast of Norway.

However, it conceded that further tests were needed before it could focus on reducing the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) and making the technology commercially viable.

Alphabet dropped Makani earlier this year, while Shell has also decided not to take the investment forward, leaving Makani without the financial backing to reach commercialisation.

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