Wind Turbines May Be Flying In The Future
According to its website, Kitekraft is developing a flying wind turbine generator.
The flying wind turbine is tethered to the ground and rests on a perch when not generating power due to no wind, maintenance, or storms.
When generating conditions are present, the flying wind turbine will remain tethered to the perch and will take off. During take-off, the onboard electrical machines are used to hover the kite in the air—like a drone. While hovering away from the ground station in a downwind direction, the tether is unrolled from a drum. The same procedure–simply reversed–is used to land the kite. The kite is landed during wind calms, or for inspections.
Once the tether is completely unrolled, the kite initiates a vertical acceleration. With the increased speed, the wings start to generate lift. Once it has reached sufficient height and speed, it enters figure-eight flight mode.
This is the flight mode the kite will be engaged in most of the time. Flying figure eights in a down-wind position from the ground station, the kite's wings generate lift and push the kite forwards like the blade-tips of a conventional wind turbine. The onboard rotors are now used as wind turbines and generate electrical power.
The power is transmitted to the ground station via the tether. Here it can be stored in batteries or fed into the grid. Kitekraft provides detailed drawings and explanations of the technology on its website's Technology page.
According to Kitekraft, its flying wind turbine is substantially cleaner than traditional wind power cutting the carbon footprint of wind energy by 90%. The company claims a flying wind turbine requires only a fraction of the materials compared to conventional wind turbines but has the same life span.
Kitekraft flying wind turbines could be a solution for locations previously unacceptable for conventional wind turbines. The kite systems are compact and can be packed in standard shipping containers. Further, the systems do not require heavy equipment for construction and maintenance like conventional wind turbines.
However, the flying wind turbines have a ways to go before they are able to complete with conventional wind turbine generators in regards to capacity. According to a story by Interesting Engineering, the company just announced successful flight tests, which it describes as a "major milestone towards our first 100kW product." Most conventional wind turbines have the capacity to generate ten to thirty times that amount.
Kitekraft is still developing its technology. Kitekraft recently posted a video of its flying wind turbine on its YouTube channel.
Will wind turbines fly in the future? We will have to wait and see.
For more information on Kitekraft visit their website at www.kitekraft.de.
Wind Farm Accident Attorney
The Morgan Legal Group represents clients who have been injured at a wind farm. I am a wind turbine accident attorney. I spent well over a decade working in Wind Energy prior to attending law school and founding the Morgan Legal Group PLLC. Many of my family members and friends still work in sustainable energy. The Morgan Legal Group supports sustainable energy and fights for sustainable energy workers to ensure that sustainable energy is sustainable for everyone—including those who work in the industry.
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