Executive Briefings

Offshore Kites Ready to Transform Wind Technology

Kite Power Systems of Scotland has secured a £2m ($2.5m) equity investment from the Scottish Investment Bank for its offshore wind generation kite.

The investment follows an investment by E.ON, Schlumberger and Shell Technology Ventures, who announced a combined £5m ($6.4m) investment in the company in December 2016.

Kite Power Systems' power system features two kites which fly up to an altitude of 1,500 feet. Both kites are attached by tethers to a winch system that generates electricity as it spools out. By achieving flight speeds of up to 100mph (45m/s) in 20mph (9m/s) winds, the kite's tether tension causes the line to rapidly spool out from a drum, which turns a generator producing electricity.

The technology has the potential to transform the global offshore wind generation market, as it is cheaper to manufacture and requires less construction and installation materials than conventional wind turbines, says the company. It can reduce the capex of conventional offshore turbines by as much as 50 percent, because its patented power system doesn’t require large quantities of steel or specialist installation vessels.

Kite Power Systems has been flight testing its current 40kW system there over the past few weeks and has secured planning consent to deploy the new 500kW power system, following delivery of the completed model during August 2017. This will lead to a planned onshore demonstration array of multiple 500kW systems within the next few years, elsewhere in Scotland. Thereafter, Kite Power Systems will develop a 3MW onshore system at the test facility and then deploy a similar sized power system in offshore waters.

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The investment follows an investment by E.ON, Schlumberger and Shell Technology Ventures, who announced a combined £5m ($6.4m) investment in the company in December 2016.

Kite Power Systems' power system features two kites which fly up to an altitude of 1,500 feet. Both kites are attached by tethers to a winch system that generates electricity as it spools out. By achieving flight speeds of up to 100mph (45m/s) in 20mph (9m/s) winds, the kite's tether tension causes the line to rapidly spool out from a drum, which turns a generator producing electricity.

The technology has the potential to transform the global offshore wind generation market, as it is cheaper to manufacture and requires less construction and installation materials than conventional wind turbines, says the company. It can reduce the capex of conventional offshore turbines by as much as 50 percent, because its patented power system doesn’t require large quantities of steel or specialist installation vessels.

Kite Power Systems has been flight testing its current 40kW system there over the past few weeks and has secured planning consent to deploy the new 500kW power system, following delivery of the completed model during August 2017. This will lead to a planned onshore demonstration array of multiple 500kW systems within the next few years, elsewhere in Scotland. Thereafter, Kite Power Systems will develop a 3MW onshore system at the test facility and then deploy a similar sized power system in offshore waters.

Read Full Article