Energy is generated mostly from fossil or nuclear power plants today. This has a number of serious shortcomings: (1) Fossil fuel resources are limited, and therefore alternatives must take over – sooner or later. (2) The environmental impact of fossil fuels is rather large. (3) Nuclear energy carries great risks and produces nuclear waste.
Indeed, the situation is dramatic: Humankind has only a few decades left to reduce CO2 emissions down to zero, to achieve the "2 degrees Celsius target" and thus prevent the tipping of our planet's climate, see e.g. this news article by Spiegel. That is realistically only possible through improved renewable energy technologies and their massive expansion.
Our planet earth is the only place in the entire universe that we know of, where we humans can survive. Should we not handle it with much more care?
...exemplified with the 20 kW kiteKRAFT system.
The kiteKRAFT technology includes a number of innovations, which result in three key techno-economical advantages:
With our patent pending technology, even a short circuit anywhere in the system – even in the tether – is no harm.
A small “kite” already makes huge “KRAFT” (power) – kiteKRAFT! This is achieved by a boxplane structure and a specialized airfoil.
The kite power plant can be built at low costs for both, small series production and mass production.
Besides that, we have two more strengths:
One kiteKRAFT team member (see below) wrote his Ph.D. thesis about kite power (see below) and two further kiteKRAFT team members wrote their M.Sc. theses about kite power. Many airborne wind energy concepts were investigated with scientific neutrality and precision. The most promising concept is selected and optimized: The result is the kiteKRAFT technology.
kiteKRAFT systems are developed in Munich, with good access to infrastructure, academia, and qualified workforce.
The following information give an impression on kiteKRAFT systems.
|Nominal Power:||20 kW|
|Cut-In Wind Speed:||6 m/s|
|First Power Point:||12 m/s|
|Second Power Point:||20 m/s|
|Cut-Out Wind Speed:||25 m/s|
|Ambient Temperature:||-20 °C to +50 °C|
|Wing Span:||4 m|
|Wing Area:||1 m²|
|Rotor Diameter:||0.4 m|
|Number of Rotors:||8|
|Total Rotor Area:||1 m²|
|Length:||100 m to 150 m|
|Voltage:||± 400 V DC|
|Structure:||10 ft ISO Container|
|Installation Altitude ASL:||0 m to 2,000 m|
AC 230 V/400 V, 50 Hz
or AC 120 V/210 V, 60 Hz
Atmospheric Electric Field
|Flight & Power Control:||Fully Autonomous|
|Flight Pattern:||Inside-Down Figure Eight|
|Flight Altitude AGL:||0 m to 80 m|
|User Interface:||App & Web|
Levelized Cost of Electricity:
as low as 0.10 EUR/kWh
All values are preliminary and are subject to change without notice.
Wind speed values refer to the reference altitude of 80 m AGL.
The tether length, ground station electrical connection and levelized cost of electricity depend on the deployment site.
The 20 kW kiteKRAFT system is designed for own consumption and island grids. A potential customer of a 20 kW kiteKRAFT system is a farmer, a company branch in a rural area, a surface mining company, an island grid system provider or -operator, an innovative utility company, an NGO or comparable, or a private enthusiast. If you decide for a kiteKRAFT system, you gain the following advantages compared to your alternatives (which may be your local electricity provider, a conventional wind turbine, a photovoltaic system, or a diesel generator):
You help to transform our economy towards 100 % sustainability. – Power generating kites are obviously cleaner than fossil energy technologies, but they are also cleaner than a conventional wind turbine and a photovoltaic system, because much less construction material is required, from which only little is energy intensive material.
With such a power plant you can visibly demonstrate to your own customers that you are innovative and support renewable energy technologies.
A kiteKRAFT system decreases your dependency on third parties such as utility companies or fossil fuel companies. You are less affected by their price increases. You can bridge a blackout with your kiteKRAFT system – even if the wind is not blowing due to the anyways installed batteries in the ground station.
If you need the kiteKRAFT system for some time at a certain site and later at another site, this is easily possible. This can be useful for farmers (crop rotation) or surface mining companies. The kiteKRAFT system may also be used just temporarily e.g. for festivals, disaster response by NGOs, or as emergency generator. Because of the mobility and because of the low footprint, the system can be transported, installed and uninstalled quickly and flexibly, even if there is no or only limited road infrastructure.
The kiteKRAFT system works completely autonomously at all weather scenarios. If required, you can also command the kite to land just with the push of a button in a smartphone app. In particular, there is no need to think about any fuel, i.e. no ordering, transporting, storing and regular refueling of diesel is required.
Depending on your deployment site and utilization, the kiteKRAFT system can generate electricity at lower costs compared to all alternatives. After the amortization time, electricity is even for free.
You can imagine more applications? Please tell us!
The 20 kW system is only the beginning. A main purpose of it is to fully demonstrate the technology and its economy.
To really contribute to the global energy transition, larger systems are required, which generate electricity at very low costs. The kiteKRAFT technology has an excellent scalability: Due to nonlinear aerodynamic effects, larger systems are more efficient and the levelized cost of electricity is the lowest compared to any other technology. A kite power plant can become the standard choice of power plant investors and utility companies. This also opens up global energy markets with a market volume of hundreds of billions of euros per year.
Read more about our development approach in this blog post.
The 20 kW kite has a wing span of 4 meters.
– It will look tiny compared to the bigger kites planned. –
With only 20 meters wing span, the nominal power is already up to 2 MW.
– Such kites reach grid parity, i.e. 0.05 EUR/kWh or below. –
The innovations of the kiteKRAFT technology are a result of research conducted at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Listed below are our publications, which present many of our research results. You can dig deeper into the science behind power generating kites and learn why our approach has so many advantages.
We are a team of electrical, mechanical, and environmental engineers with a passion for technology and environmental protection. We are specialists in our fields of expertise as well as generalists. All competences required to develop kite power plants are covered by our team, partners, and advisors.
Florian is an electrical engineer and Ph.D. candidate at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has 5+ years experience in kite power research, and is the inventor of the patent-pending kite powertrain. He is a co-founder of kiteKRAFT and is responsible for the systems engineering and the kite autopilot.
Christoph is a mechanical engineer. He wrote his master thesis on the “Design Optimization of Multi-Element Airfoils for Drag Power Kites” at Technical University of Munich (TUM). He is a co-founder of kiteKRAFT and is responsible for the airframe and kite power plant mechanics.
André is a mechanical engineer. He has a strong background in rotor aerodynamics, wrote his master thesis on the “Design Optimization of Rotors for Drag Power Kites”. He is a co-founder of kiteKRAFT and is responsible for the kite's aerodynamics developments.
Max is an environmental engineer with a focus on sustainable energy and entrepreneurship, he co-founded the climate protection organization Protect Our Winters Germany, and worked as start-up consultant at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He is a co-founder of kiteKRAFT and is responsible for business development, (pilot) customer projects, and financials.
Andreas is an electrical engineer and has 4+ years experience in electronics and micro controller software at a major semiconductor manufacturer. He supports kiteKRAFT in the development of the kite power plant electronics hardware and software.
Markus is a mechanical engineer and has 8+ years experience in mechanical engineering, measurement equipment, and business development (he co-founded etersys GmbH). He supports kiteKRAFT in the development of the kite power plant mechanics and business development.
You are a business angel or VC and you can imagine investing in us? We would be pleased to send you further information! Please send us a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us via +49 89 289 28499.
You have land and you are interested to let us test a kiteKRAFT system on your land or you are interested to become a (pilot) customer? We would love to get in touch with you! Please send us an email to email@example.com or call us via +49 89 289 28499.
You are a talent and you want to contribute to the kiteKRAFT project? You are welcome to send us your CV and motivational email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You want to read about news from us? We are happy to keep you up to date with our kiteKRAFT Info Mail, which we send every two to three months.Subscribe kiteKRAFT Info Mail!