Will the Netherlands rule high altitude wind?

Airborne wind generator. Wikipedia

The country has three key ingredients: good technology, a cooperative government and really bad weather.

High altitude wind uses tethered kites or planes at very high altitudes to generate electricity. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But so did solar and wind power in their infancy too.

A Dutch company, DSM, plans to use their Dyneema fabric to fashion the tethers. It is 15 times stronger than steel, resists corrosion, and “will never show fatigue.”

The European Space Agency employed a 32-kilometer cable fashioned from Dyneema to tie two satellites together. Kitesurfer Alexandre Calzerquez set a world speed record of 94 kilometers an hour with a Dyneema cable. SkySails, the German company that rigs cargo ships with sails to cut fuel consumption, uses the material as well.

Ampyx Power, another Dutch company, has successfully tested a 10 KW tethered plane and plans a 1 MW device by the end of 2012.

Ampyx Power high altitude tethered plane


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