How “Sea Dragon Kites” Generate Electricity

Forty metres beneath the waters of the Faroe Islands, two dragonesque shapes lurk with a single purpose, one that is far from malicious: to generate hydro-electricity for the inhabitants of the Danish archipelago.

Designed by Swedish engineering firm, Minestro, they are aptly called “Sea Dragons” – specifically, they are underwater “kites” or gliders that absorb energy generated by the movement of the tide.

With a five-metre wingspan, the tethered kites swim in a figure-of-eight position along with the tide. Its onboard control system and rudders allow them to push against the perpetual water flow; its turbine then diffuses power to a generator, which sends electricity via cables in the tether up to a power station on land.

Each Sea Dragon can power up to 70 homes on the Faroe Islands, which hopes to reach its target of net-zero emission energy generation by 2030.

Martin Edlund, chief executive of Minesto, hopes that by 2022, more kites will be in operation in the archipelago, albeit with bigger wingspans and the ability to generate more power.

He said: “We believe an array of these Dragon-class kites will produce enough electricity to power half of the households in the Faroes.”

We can only but hope!

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