Now this may sound like something dreamed up in a mad scientist’s laboratory, but a few wacky researchers at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute have come up with an idea of using a giant kite pulling a ship at sea to create hydrogen.
How this is proposed to work is that a 6 1/2 million sq ft. parafoil will be deployed upwards of one mile skywards towing a catamaran-like vessel. This ship will basically be dragged through the water by the huge kite.
Underneath the ship will be mounted a hydroelectric turbine that will turn as the vessel makes its way through the water. The turning of the turbine will create electricity, which in turn will be used to electrolyze seawater into hydrogen. The H2 will then be stored upon the vessel for later use (to run through a fuel cell on land to create electricity or as hydrogen fuel for cars).
In the past I’ve talked about high altitude wind energy hydrogen production from kites. I’ve also mentioned the WindHunter ship that uses wind turbines upon a vessel at sea to create hydrogen from seawater and store it on the boat.
This Korean Aerospace idea seems to combine both other ideas into one kite-ship-hydrogen generation package. This is one idea that is just so wacky it may just work. I think over the weekend, I’ll have to rent the movies “Kite Runner” and the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” and watch them at the same time.