Kite flying may be the perfect leisurely summertime activity, but it could also help charge your devices as well. Swiss company TwingTec has developed an incredible energy harvesting kite that collects wind power while sailing the skies. Resembling the vintage box kite made famous by the Wright Brothers, the kite is connected to a ground station, which collects the wind energy through tension reels.
TwingTec’s Twing device can soar to heights greater than the tallest wind turbine-about 330 feet higher. Supported by the Swiss Kite Power Project (comprised of EMPA, the University of Applied Sciences Northwest Switzerland, the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne), the rigid and durable Twing can reach the most powerful winds, high above traditional turbines.
While reaching new heights, the device is connected to the ground station through tension lines. As the kite is carried higher and higher with strong winds, the tension lines set the reels in the ground station in motion, creating movement that is converted to electrical energy through an electromagnetic induction process. When the kite rises to its maximum height, it is pulled down again, so the process can start over, creating a chain of rising and falling that is transformed into energy.
TwingTec is still working out the kinks, but the strong and rigid kite has already proven its capacity to produce usable energy.