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The kite system collects wind energy at an altitude of 400 m

The German company developed a wind power generation system consisting of a 150 m2 wide kite that flies automatically, which can approach strong winds at high altitudes.

Tie kites can reach higher than traditional turbines to access strong winds.  Photo: SkySails Group

Tie kites can reach higher than traditional turbines to access strong winds. Image: SkySails Group

German company SkySails Power has developed a unique system to harness wind energy with kites, Design Boom on 11/5 reported. Wind power is one of the most economical, abundant and environmentally friendly energy sources, playing an important role in people’s transition to renewable energy. However, traditional wind power technology cannot exploit this energy source where it has the most potential, which is at high altitudes.

SkySails Power believes they have found the key to unlocking this potential through autonomous electric kites that can harness wind energy at an altitude of 400m. In 2021, its electric kite becomes the world’s first commercial aerial wind energy harvesting system.

“Now our solution is ready to scale. SkySails kites are light-weight, highly efficient and will dramatically change the influence of wind energy in achieving mobility. global energy transition,” said SkySails Power.

SkySails Power’s Aerial Wind Energy System (AWES) can capture wind energy at altitudes up to 400 m. Unaffected by surface friction, the wind at this altitude is much more secure than the wind near the ground. Therefore, AWES can give good results even in places that are generally considered to be less windy.

Surface friction reduces wind speed near the ground. Meanwhile, air moves comfortably at higher altitudes. Depending on location and time of day, wind speeds can be twice or even tripled. Electric kites can also work in stormy areas because they can be easily dismantled and stored away before a disaster occurs. Moreover, the simple transport and installation make the electric kite possible to deploy in hard to reach places.

SkySails Power’s system works thanks to a kite about 150 m2 wide. There are no turbines in the air and the wiring is not electrical. Instead, power is produced underground, from the pull on the rope. The software automatically steers the kite in a figure 8 to get the strongest possible traction and generate power. The system then changes the kite’s flight pattern to return it with minimal drag and requires less energy to fly again. This process repeats itself, producing much more energy than it consumes.

It took experts about seven years to perfect the flight software, especially so that the kite could land safely and launch automatically, according to Stephan Brabeck, chief technology officer at SkySails. As of March, the company has produced and sold 5 electric kite systems, of which the first system went into operation located in the island nation of Mauritius.

Thu Thao (According to Design Boom)

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