A German startup is bringing the lightness of kites into green energy production with small flying wind turbines that use 10 times less material at half the cost of traditional options.
Last June, somewhat muted due to Covid, KiteKRAFT reached an important milestone with a prototype of a wind kite 2 meters wide. On the occasion, the flying wind turbine has its first flight in figure 8, the movement that will provide the system's wind power.
The wind kite is equipped with small rotating wind turbines on board, which essentially act like normal blade tips.
KiteKRAFT aircraft does not need towers made of hundreds of tons of concrete and steel or a foundation to keep the tips of the blades in the air, but uses intelligent algorithms to find the best position in mid-air.
A revolutionary device
Logistics, installation and inspections are much simpler and the kite can easily reach stronger winds at higher altitudes. "Cost savings of over 50% are possible compared to other sources", says the company on your blog.
Another advantage is that a kiteKRAFT system is hardly visible (no towers and no huge blades). This often raises public doubts about such structures in their landscape.
"We are proud to have reached this point in just over a year since the company was founded," says the co-founder and CTO Florian Bauer.
But the birds still take risks
There is something to perfect though: Bauer admits that their KiteKRAFT wind kite system is similar to large wind turbines in interfering with birds.
“That is why we will probably implement a protection system in the short term. The kite will automatically go into standby in the presence of a flock of birds, and will resume gathering energy after it passes. "
Where will the KiteKRAFT wind kite be useful?
KiteKRAFT's mission is to provide small energy grids, otherwise powered by diesel generators and / or solar energy.
Every kiteKRAFT system has quite a few sensors. The wind kite computer leverages algorithms and uses sensor data for autonomous flight and to efficiently generate wind power.
A computer with wings
KiteKRAFT system owners and inspection personnel can access the kite remotely with an app and view the current status or live video streaming from the onboard cameras.
The app will also allow certain commands, such as landing the kite for inspection.
At all times, the kite records important flight and performance data and sends it to the kiteKRAFT servers for analysis by the company's engineers, which improves future reliability.
Since the wind kite is essentially a "computer with wings", a flying wind turbine, its performance and reliability are likely to improve exponentially over the years and we can't wait to see how future versions improve handling of the wind. 'wind power.
Here is the video of the test flight: