Makani Technology
1.0

Makani's airborne wind energy technology integrates advances in aerospace engineering, materials science, and autonomous controls.

1.1

Technology designed for large generating capacity

  • Model: M600
  • Year: 2016
  • Wingspan: 26 m
  • Rated Power: 600 kW

M600 view from below

M600 view from below
A

8 rotors are spun by the wind in crosswind flight. Each drives a permanent magnet motor/generator that generates electricity onboard.

B

A tether sends medium voltage power to the kite to get it into flight, then transfers generated power to the grid during crosswind flight.


M600 detailed view

M600 detailed view
C

Direct-drive generator units of high power density are supported by the strength and aerodynamic leverage of the 26m carbon fiber wing.

D

1200VDC silicon carbide motor controllers handle high voltages efficiently with minimal mass.

1.2

System designed for autonomous flight

  • Model: M600
  • Year: 2016
  • Wingspan: 26 m
  • Rated Power: 600 kW
System designed for autonomous flight
A

The 0.5-kilometer-long flexible tether anchors the kite to the ground.

B

Asymmetrical bridle design facilitates continuous looping flight.

C

Triple redundant flight computers control the kite’s flight path. The inertial navigation system provides position, velocity, and attitude estimates to the controller.

D

Measurements from sensors including GPS, barometer, and magnetometer deliver real-time data to the controller. All systems work together to keep the kite on track.

1.3

Kite designed for multiple modes of flight

The kite rests on a ground station.
A

The kite rests on a ground station.

Kite designed for multiple modes of flight
B

The kite climbs to a desired altitude and positions itself downwind. The rotors initially consume a small amount of energy to produce thrust.

Kite designed for multiple modes of flight
C

The kite then transitions into crosswind flight. Aerodynamic lift allows the wing to fly autonomously in loops optimized for maximum power generation by our flight controller.

Kite designed for multiple modes of flight
D

Wind propels the kite around the loop. The rotors spin, driving onboard generators to produce electricity that is transferred back to the ground via the tether.

2.0

Wind has the potential to power the world 100 times over, but only 4% of the world’s electricity today comes from wind.

More wind energy
2.1

More wind energy

Makani believes that it's possible to unlock additional wind resources that aren’t accessible or cost effective today. Our low mass opens up new possibilities for wind power in deepwater offshore sites. We continue to design, prototype and test energy kites so that more people around the world can have access to clean, affordable wind power.

Meet the team