Underwater Kite Generates Sustainable Energy

Nick Terran
By Nick Terran

Swedish company Minesto introduces Dragon 12, a remarkable underwater kite designed to generate clean electricity with the immense power of ocean currents. Resembling a kite gliding through the sky, Dragon 12 dives beneath the waves, tracing elegant figure-eight patterns to capture the ocean’s kinetic energy.

Dragon 12: Pioneering the Path to Renewable Power

Off the rugged coasts of the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands aim to revolutionize their energy landscape. By 2030, they plan to achieve 100% clean onshore electricity, with Dragon 12 at the forefront of this green transformation. Complementing traditional wind, solar, and hydroelectric systems, this underwater kite is a cornerstone in their ambitious environmental strategy.

The Mechanics of Marine Energy

Here’s how the Dragon 12 turns tidal movements into electrical power:

    • Movement: Mimicking a soaring kite, Dragon 12 flies through underwater currents in a dynamic figure-eight, speeding up the water flow over its wings.
    • Energy Conversion: This accelerated water spins a turbine connected to the kite, transforming the kinetic energy of the tides into mechanical energy.
    • Electricity Production: The mechanical energy activates a generator, producing up to 1.2 megawatts of clean power.
    • Grid Integration: Energy flows from Dragon 12 through submerged cables to an onshore station, where it merges seamlessly with the national grid, electrifying homes, and businesses across the islands.

Minesto’s Commitment to Affordable Green Energy

Under the leadership of CEO Martin Edlund, Minesto envisions a future where renewable energy is both sustainable and economically viable. The Dragon 12’s ability to lower electricity costs could make eco-friendly power more accessible globally, fulfilling Minesto’s mission to democratize energy consumption.

Emerging from aerospace giant Saab, Minesto has been fine-tuning its underwater kite technology since 2007. Holding 92 patents and boasting a successful operational history, Dragon 12 now reliably feeds electricity into the Faroe Islands’ grid, showcasing the practical application of tidal energy.

Challenges and Opportunities in Tidal Power

While Dragon 12 heralds a new era in renewable energy, its journey isn’t without hurdles. The long-term durability and environmental impact on marine ecosystems remain under scrutiny. As Minesto addresses these challenges, the evolution of their technology will significantly influence the future of tidal power.

As the world stands on the cusp of an energy revolution, Minesto leads with innovative solutions like the Dragon 12. More than a mere device, it symbolizes human creativity and our collective commitment to a sustainable future. With its potential to deliver clean, cost-effective energy, the Dragon 12 stands poised to transform how communities worldwide harness the natural forces of our planet.

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