1. A radical change of perspective
Kite Gen is pioneering a revolution on how to produce clean energy from wind, with the aim not only to compete within the current wind industry but, as still too rarely happens with renewable sources, to move the battlefield into the territory of fossil fuels.
Today's technology is just capable of scratching the surface, in few favourable points, of the enormous energy field contained into the wind (see Wind data). Wind turbines cannot reach higher and touch altitude wind, they are already close to their dimensional limits: difficultly hubs can be positioned at more than 100 m above the ground, the holding structure grows exponentially heavier, more unstable and above all more expensive with the height.
This situation may be compared with what happened in oil drilling, where only after having found better and better solutions it was possible to move away from the ground - downwards, in this case - and to reach the deepest and most profitable fields. To help visualizing the existing unexploited potential, just consider that the flight prohibited area over a nuclear power plant can easily get to contain 1 GW of wind power, equal to the power of the plant itself.
To reach altitude wind and exploiting its higher kinetic energy, the Kite Gen project starts from a radical change of perspective: no longer heavy and static plants like current wind turbines, but instead light, dynamic and intelligent ones. In the air, to subtract energy from the wind at an altitude of 800 / 1 000 m, power kites, semi-rigid automatically piloted high efficiency air foils. On the ground, all the heavy machinery for power generation. To connect the two systems, high resistance lines transmitting the traction of the kites and at the same time controlling their direction and angle to the wind.
A clear advantage of this technology is visually suggested in the illustration below. The essence of the Kite Gen concept is comparable with a wind turbine, whose most efficient part are the wing tips - in red - where the highest speeds are reached; but only the truly needed components remain, high speed wings and the generator, the latter conveniently moved to the ground. The resulting structure, base foundation included, is much lighter and cheaper. Moreover the operative height can be adjusted according to wind conditions.
2. The Kite Gen power plant
3. Scientific papers
4. Future scenarios