October 19, 2007

Mountain top Kitegen could tap winds 24 times stronger than conventional

The kitegen system could radically improve the situation a promising outlook for wind power. Winds are stronger and steadier at 800meter and up. Building on mountains and hills would provide access to even stronger and steadier winds. Winds that are up to 24 times stronger than current winds at 80 meter altitudes. The Kitegen system would have to be adapted to pull energy from gale force winds on mountains. I believe that the Kitegen system is suitable for using many kites to pull a large ring shaped turbine.

Wind speeds on average in the Himalayas are 75mph (33m/s) and can reach more than 100mph (45 m/s). The windiest place in the world is Mount Washington (1,918m) in New Hampshire, USA. On 12th April 1934 a surface wind speed of 231mph was recorded.

Mountains cover 54% of Asia, 36% of North America, 25% of Europe, 22% of South America, 17% of Australia, and 3% of Africa. As a whole, 24% of the Earth's land mass is mountainous. The Himalayas average 5 km above sea level, while the Andes average 4 km. Most other mountain ranges average 2 – 2.5 km.

Kitegen has wind data showing that at 5600 meters of altitude there are many locations with 15-20 m/s wind and at 10500 meters there is 35-45m/s wind Accessing those winds with kitegen systems on mountains would increase wind power by 3 to 6 times over the four times improvement that 800 meter winds have over 80 meter winds. So 10,500 meter winds are 24 times stronger than 80 meter winds.

A large kitegen carousel system. The track could run around the top of a mountain like a necklace.

Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia

Conventional New Wind Energy Forecast
I believe that Nuclear power can be scaled up faster than wind. However, wind power is doing quite well and it is and will be significant.

73,904 MW total installations as of 2006, expect 90,000 MW by the end of this year (2007). This 2007 total is equal to about 30GW of nuclear installation because of operating load. Germany has over 18,000 turbines with avg size of a little over 1MW. the latest installations are 5MW and 6MW units. By 2010, the World Wind Energy Association expects 160GW of capacity to be installed worldwide.

The 28GW build rate at the end of 2010 carrying forward would add 280GW from 2011-2020. After 2010 the size of new wind turbines will be 7.5-10MW and probably still getting bigger.

Wind past and predicted by industry

MW of installed capacity

2005 2006 latest
1 Germany 18,415 20,622 21,283
2 Spain 10,028 11,615 12,801
3 United States 9,149 11,603 12,634
4 India 4,430 6,270 7,231
5 Denmark 3,136 3,140
6 China 1,260 2,604 2,956
7 Italy 1,718 2,123
8 United Kingdom 1,332 1,963 2,191
9 Portugal 1,022 1,716 1,874
10 Canada 683 1,459 1,670
11 France 757 1,567
12 Netherlands 1,219 1,560
13 Japan 1,061 1,394
14 Austria 819 965
15 Australia 708 817

My previous article on Kitegen

My first article on Kitegen


Anonymous said...

to comparison in wikipedia read that global nuclear power is 366 GW. So in 2025-2030 year wind power will be about the same amount as nuclear power now. Global coal power probably is about 1500 GW?
Here ( ) is wroten, that all wind power on Earth is about 1700-3500 TW and in wikipedia ( ) is written, that all Earth wind power is 370 TW. Interesting what is mean 14 TW? This all human need power including food or only transport and electricity?

Anonymous said...

found some statistic...
In all world:
Nuclear power 366 GW;
Wind power 60 GW;
Coal power 1.5 TW;
Oil power 1.8 TW;
Natural gas power 1.1 TW;
Hydro power 122 GW;
Combustible renewables & waste power 600 GW.

Interesting, that in wikipedia writing, that world hydroelectricity is 750 GW (more than world nuclear power).

Here I hope about world nuclear power ~350 GW ( )

Total consumption world power is about 6 TW. Why writing, that 14 TW? Then wind stations need increase 1000 times and will be possible replace all needed world power.

Joseph said...

Brian, it gets even better than that. Wind power goes up by the cube of the increase not the square. That sounds funny but each instantaneous moment that is 4x as strong (*because twice as fast*) is rated by the square; the number of such instantaneous moments makes up the cube. So 24 times as fast = 24 cubed = 13824 the power.

By the way, I love your blog; it has been all I could do to keep from commenting; I finally gave in.
Joseph Friedlander

bw said...


thanks for commenting.
You are right that the energy from wind goes up by the cube of wind speed. I also have been emailing with the kitegen people. a mountain peak in the center would get in the flight path. So it would have to be some kind of elevated plateau. Ironically the coal industry removes mountain tops to get at coal so a similar process could be used to get at the best wind if needed. Or existing plateau could be found.

The kitegen cuts out at 25m/s like other wind generators. However, a kitegen could go to a lower height and slower wind if the top wind goes over 25m/s. Kitegen could therefore have a higher percentage of its time near the current 25 m/s max.