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Drones/Quad copters are amazing. We have one and have used it for production purposes. Phantom is what we have. It is pretty amazing. It practically flies itself. It doesn't take very long to become proficient with it. You can get about 10 minutes of flight time with one battery. I believe whole heartedly in drones being very useful tools. I won't touch the "opportunity" of creating drone networks for energy harvesting.
Maybe someone here saw the piece where energy was transferred successfully at 5,000 meters wirelessly with a greater than 50% efficiency.
I don't think there is any shortage of funding agencies who are keen on handing out taxpayers' money for renewable energy research and development. So I'd say that a renewable energy company start-up that is having to seek 'crowdfunding' (public donations) must be pretty sub-standard, as they are likely to have been turned down for taxpayer funding.
I'd say the New Wave Energy UK project is a 'non-starter' just from basic red tape considerations. From checking the website of the relevant UK regulatory authority, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), these are the basic regulations for drones:
There is little restriction on drones which have a weight less than 20kg (but it looks like you still need operating permission from the CAA). I would have thought that anybody using drones to produce electricity would need to go well beyond the 20kg weight limitation, but the heavier drones are treated by the CAA as being the same as manned aircraft, requiring things like airworthiness certificates. So I would say that to do this project 'seriously', it would require an aircraft design company to do it, and New Wave Energy don't look as though they are capable of designing aircraft, or doing much technical stuff at all, from a quick perusal of their website.
There was a news story today about what happens when drone enthusiasts try to build more substantially sized drones without really knowing anything about designing aircraft. A bunch of Doctor Who fans built a full size polystyrene 'Tardis' held up by twelve mini helicopter type propellers, and it crashed on its maiden flight.
The article quotes the Tardis box as weighing 25 kg, and I would guess the total weight including the mini helicopter attachments might be 40 kg or more. I suspect they haven't bothered to comply with CAA regulations for drones which have a greater weight than 20 kg.