FAQ

By admin, August 8, 2009 3:14 pm

How large is a KiteGen power plant?

It depends of the configuration. A wind farm of 9 KiteGen Stem, with a total nominal power of 27 MW, cover a square area of 2,5 ha. In the Carousel configuration the generator ring of a 100 MW power plant has a diameter of approx. 1,000 m.

How much energy does a KiteGen power plant produce?

It is estimated that a 100 MW power plant can produce approx. 500 GWh yearly. This is the amount that 86,000 Europeans consumed in 2003 (see International Energy Agency – IEA Statistics Division. 2006. Energy Balances of OECD Countries, 2006 edition).

What is the cost of the energy produced by a KiteGen power plant?

A 100 MW Carousel power plant is estimated to deliver energy for less than 0.03 Euro per kWh, which is cheaper than fossil fuel-based generation. Even lower costs are to be expected from bigger and more powerful plants. In the Stem configuration the foreseen cost is around 0.05 € per kWh

How is wind power calculated?

Wind power is measured in W/m² (Watts per square meter) of swept area and is equal to ½ ρ v³ (where ρ is air density in kg/m³ and v is wind speed in m/s).

How does wind power change with altitude?

As altitude increases, average wind speed increases (and remember that wind power grows with the cube of wind speed) and air density decreases. Wind power decreases linearly with air density, but even at 1000 m air density is reduced by only about 10%. Wind power therefore always tends to grow from ground up to approx. 10,000 m of altitude, see Wind data page.

What is the risk of collision with airplanes?

A KiteGen power plant must obtain permission from the competent authorities (usually the national administration for civil aviation) for the needed flight restrictions on the airspace above, where airplanes and any other kind of airborne vehicles should not be allowed to enter. Such restricted areas are subject to international agreements and are already granted for other kinds of civil installations (for example nuclear power plants, oil refineries). A typical P (Prohibited) Area, where no flight is allowed and the risk tends to zero, has an altitude above the ground of 5,000 ft (equal to 1,524 m) and a radius of at least 1 nautical mile (equal to 1,852 m); thus the resulting cylinder has a volume of 16.4 km³ (equal to approx. 579 billion cubic feet).

How can power kites pull their steering units along a circular path in the Carousel configuration?

Power kites fly in the wind maximizing lift (like a glider) against drag (unlike a parachute). For this reason they can be faster than the wind and are able to sail against it, not only succeeding in pulling the steering units along circular paths but also maintaining almost all the time an effective tangential traction.

How can power kites produce energy when cables reach the maximum lenght in the Stem configuration?

When the cables are completely winded the production phase ends, the wing is positioned in a condition of minimum resistance to the wind and the cables are rewinded, with a minor energy consumption, for the lenght necessary to start another production phase. The cycle then repeats (“yo-yo” cycle).

Is there a lighting risk?

The risk is the same of any other structure on ground. The cables that link the wing to the generator are not good conductors, being made of plastic fibers.

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