The altitude winds and currents represent an energy source that is way higher than the world’s current energy needs.
Since 2010, Kitenergy has been innovating in the wind energy field with the introduction of a new way of exploiting wind energy. We use ultralight kites tethered to a ground-based generator at which are transferred the kite aerodynamic forces. The kites operate high enough to not be influenced by the Planetary Boundary Layer. Depending on the tether length, we can operate up to 600 m above ground level. We operate at a higher altitude compared to similar size windmills because the winds are stronger and more constant. This allows us to have a higher capacity factor compared to a same size windmill. The position and speed of our kites are continuously monitored at a high sample rate by the custom onboard avionic devices. Collected data are elaborated by the automatic flight controller that, in real-time, calculates the best trajectories to increase the power output of the machine while satisfying the flight constraints.
THE PHYSICAL PRINCIPLE
The kite’s aerodynamic forces, mechanically transmitted by each tether to its winch, act on the generators at the ground, charging a storage system, feeding a local user or directly supplying electricity to the grid.
THE POWER OF HIGH-ALTITUDE WINDS
The kites can operate well over the 200 m limitations of windmill blades, reaching unexploited altitudes above the ground where stronger winds are blowing worldwide. This means higher amounts of yearly generated energy. Kitenergy can represent one or the only economically convenient solution in many sites where present wind power technology cannot grant the expected return of investments. Scarce wind resources, land or marine exclusion criteria, and complex logistics do not pose a limit anymore.
Islands and off-grid communities
Rural areas with a low-density population
Plug-and-play solution for emergency aid and disaster recovery
Kitenergy’s technology can achieve a higher power density than current wind-farm installations.
On a given site, as a function of wind variations in speed and direction, the energy produced by a wind generator at the nominal power in a single year is measured by its Capacity Factor (CF). The CF is highly influenced by the height at which the wind is captured. Considering that the average operational height of K100 is 200m we can guarantee a CF similar to one of a 5MW windmill. Considering its competitive total cost of installation and maintenance, the economic return with Kitenergy’s technology becomes higher. Such exceptional figures can be achieved based on the increased flexibility in wind farm layout optimisation, such as the possibility of coordinating the wings’ flight at different altitudes, thus avoiding aerodynamic interference.
FLEXIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS
The manufacturing and installation costs of a Kitenergy generator can be expected to be remarkably lower than those of a wind tower of the same rated power.
The key idea behind our technology is to efficiently harvest high-altitude wind energy by minimizing generator structure, cost and land occupation according to circular economy principles. The structure of a wind tower determines most of its cost and imposes a limit on the elevation that can be reached. A Kitenergy generator is way lighter than a wind turbine of the same size and utilizes much less material. Furthermore, most of the value is placed in the ground structure allowing cheaper maintenance costs and installation costs.
This technology has the potential of generating renewable energy, available in large quantities almost everywhere, with lower production costs than those of fossil energy.