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Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Marine Electricity from High Altitude Wind with Kite (MEHAWK)

EPA Grant Number: SU835355
Title: Marine Electricity from High Altitude Wind with Kite (MEHAWK)
Investigators: Zhang, Hong , Bhatia, Krishan , Fitzpatrick, Kyle
Institution: Rowan University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: August 15, 2012 through August 14, 2013
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2012)
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy



Pollution from boats or yachts are often overlooked comparing to the pollutions from land vehicles. However, the accumulative effect of idling boats can be significant. In this project, we plan to develop a secondary wind-based power source. It will

  1. Provide extra power during regular operational time.
  2. Reduce pollution by completely shutting off the motor in idling time.
  3. Provide peace of mind in sea-going adventure.
  4. Extend the distance or duration of a trip.
  5. Help the students understand the importance of sustainability and learn how to protect the planet and environment using their knowledge and expertise.
  6. Make boat and yacht owners more sustainable.
  7. Educate millions of boat renters and passengers to be more aware of the pollution and appreciate the potential of the sustainable technology.


We plan to use a new technology at an ancient format to provide electric power to a marine vessel. That is, we will outfit an extra sized dynamic kite with a robotic controller and a set of power generating devices. The kite will be released to the higher altitude (>30m) to tap stronger wind there. In the past years, we have developed a series of land-based kite power systems. In this project, we will modify the existing devices and use them on a boat or a yacht.

Expected Results:

We currently have a functioning land-based prototype in field test. In this proposed project, we would like to build and finish a working prototype that can fit to a small boat. It will be launched from the boat and generate electricity that can at least light up a light bulb or charge a marine battery. If successful, we will refine the design in the second phase and contact renewable or boat industry to commercialize the device.

If the project is successful and is commercialized, it will provide millions of boat and yacht owners an opportunity to become more sustainable. It will also educate millions of boat renters and passengers to be more aware of the pollution and appreciate the potential of the sustainable technology.

Supplemental Keywords:

High altitude wind, marine, pollution prevention;

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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