Why you, KiteGen, developed such ambitious energy technology, when wind turbines and Photovoltaics are already available and mature?
We suggest to read this extensive article:
How large is a KiteGen power plant and coul be installed offshore?
It depends of the configuration. A wind farm of 9 KiteGen Stem, with a total nominal power of 27 MW, has a total footprint of 1000 square meters, it require an area of 9 ha and a reserved area of 1 square km of land free from infrastructures, woods, pasturage or agricultural field are suitable. In the Carousel configuration the generator ring of a 1 GW power plant has a diameter of 1,800 m.
the 5 GW Carousel is a double ring of 4km of diameter with a flying height of 4000m, the rope full extension could reach 7km intercepting a wind front of 20 square km, the installation site could be deep offshore and must provide a specific natural wind power of almost 250W/sqm corresponding to a mean wind speed of 4 m/s @ 50m AGL.
How much energy does a KiteGen power plant produce?
It is estimated that a 100 MW power plant composed by 33 KiteGen Stem and limited at 1500 of altitude AGL can produce approx. 680 GWh yearly.
in other words the capacity factor is 6800h, when limited at 1500m AGL in most of the world potential sites,
What is the cost of the energy produced by a KiteGen power plant?
The GW class Carousel power plants are estimated to deliver energy for less than 0.003 Euro per kWh, some IEEE scientific papers on KiteGen arguments this forecast.
The Stem configuration powered by the composite and high efficiency KiteGen power wings, shows a cost (LCOE) is around 0.02 € per kWh, this figure is highly reliable because the pre-production machines at industrial scale are done, validated and analyzed in detail.
The very small and early research prototypes of 40kW already produced energy at 0.9 €/kWh including the CAPEX mortgage and the fabric kites maintenance and substitution, at the moment no national institutions offered to KiteGen Feed in Tariff or subsidies in order to pave the way to the technological and economical learning curve starting from such research small machines, so KiteGen is obliged to start deliver industrial machines only when already competitive in the current electrical markets.
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, explosive or chemical facilities). 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 and performing an alternate and transverse navigation. 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.
A video on youtube could offer the precise elements to better understand the KiteGen Carousel dynamic, the video initially shows the Carousel offshore, an animation of the concept and then enter in a simulator page that follows and autopilot one single kite of the Carousel with the display of all the real time parameters.
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?
Regarding the ground generator risk is the same of any other steel structure, a good connection to ground avoid harmful consequences, during thunderstorms we occasionally experienced data link devices and camera damages but never involving servo drives and alternators.
The flying wing and cables instead are insulating devices, being made of composites and polymeric fibers, they doesn’t offer any preferential path to the discharging current of the lighting.