Digitizing Energy Generation

Posted on
June 14, 2020

We are proud to announce that Kitekraft is a winner of the “Gründerwettbewerb Digitale Innovationen” (a startup competition on digital innovations) awarded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Kitekraft's competition winner video (German; also posted on Twitter):

Kitekraft develops flying wind turbines which consist of a tethered electric aircraft, a.k.a. kite. The kite has onboard (“flying”) wind turbines and flies figure eights to generate electrical energy from the wind. The kite is essentially like the blade tip of a conventional wind turbine, which is its most effective part. It does not need hundreds of tons of concrete and steel for a tower and foundation to hold those blade tips in the air, and instead uses smart algorithms. In that sense, Kitekraft digitizes the energy generation itself: The kite is merely a computer with wings. Logistics, installation, and inspections are much simpler and the kite can easily reach stronger winds at higher altitudes. Cost savings of over 50% compared to other sources are possible. Another advantage of this “digitization of concrete and steel” is that a Kitekraft system is hardly visible (no tower, no huge blades), which simplifies public acceptance. Below is a photograph from one of our recent test flights. Can you spot the kite? — Pictures and animations of the Kitekraft principle are shown on our website www.kitekraft.de.

Photograph of a Kitekraft kite flying during a test over a field near Munich, Germany. May 2020.

Every Kitekraft system has a number of sensors. The kite computer executes algorithms and uses the sensor data for autonomous flight and to generate power from the wind efficiently. Kitekraft system owners and inspection personnel can access the kite remotely with an app and view the current states or live video stream from the onboard cameras. The app also allows certain commands, e.g. to land the kite for inspection.

Kitekraft app for kite owners and inspection personnel (left), and Kitekraft engineer display (right).

At all times, the kite logs important flight and performance data and sends those to Kitekraft servers for analysis by our engineers. The multitude of sensors with which each system is equipped, enables also for future performance and reliability enhancements. As the kite is merely a computer with wings, its performance and reliability is mainly determined by the software algorithms it runs. Kitekraft system owners are entitled to receive free, live-long, over-the-air software updates and benefit from improvements of the algorithms long after the system is delivered. In future, the kite performance may even be enhanced by emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.

For inquiries or questions, you are welcome to drop us an email info@kitekraft.de.

Posted on
June 14, 2020

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