Airborne Wind Energy

 

 

Windenergy for an affordable and secure supply

Harnessing high-altitude winds: Doubling the output whilst saving 95% of resources per unit energy yielded.

A secure energy supply is representative of wealth in a developed world. Knowing that only renewable energy will secure the well-being of our planet, we at EnerKite are developing more efficient wind energy systems for the needs of the future.

Today's wind turbines supply their nominal output less than a quarter of the time and continue to uphold the price of environmentally friendly energy. At inland sites the gondolas are lifted on expensive, ever-growing towers in order to reach the more persistent high-altitude winds. Offshore systems on the other hand cannot convince due to high grid connection and foundation costs.

When it comes to harnessing the steady and strong winds above the hub heights of conventional wind turbines, onshore as well as offshore, kite wings display unique potential. Cutting-edge control technology and efficient wing design allow for savings on the foundation, tower and blades. One day wind energy from EnerKites could become more economical than the fossil fuel alternative.

How does it work?

EnerKites are novel wind energy plants aiming to produce energy up to 90% of the time, aggregating more than 4000 full-load hours per year. This is made possible by harnessing the persistently strong winds at heights of 100 - 500 m. The system becomes highly economical through extremely efficient material usage, optimal use of airspace as well as low assembly and transport costs. EnerKite leads the field of dynamic airborne wind energy controls and efficient kite wings having already demonstrated this in the field.

EnerKites work in two phases according to the so-called reverse Yo-Yo concept. During the power phase the wing flies cross-wind, unfurling the lines with optimal force and speed. During the recovery phase the wing returns to the starting point as fast and smooth as possible with minimal energy expenditure. The ground station generates electrical power from the torque of the unfurling lines whilst steering the wing using differential drum drives.

The path leading towards the development of a megawatt-class EnerKite is comprised of several intermediate steps that are economically interesting in their own right. The 100 - 500 kW plants for mobile or stationary off-grid power supply represent a solution in rural areas or those that are difficult to reach. Especially in the MW class EnerKítes reveal their future potential.

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EnerKite research and development efforts are supported by federal as well as regional funds granted by the state of Brandenburg.

   

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