With the kiteKRAFT project, we are developing an improved wind power technology: a power-generating kite (or tethered, autonomous electric aircraft). It requires 10x less construction material while reaching higher altitudes with stronger winds. Therefore, it has the potential to generate electricity cleaner and at lower costs than any other technology.
Through research conducted at Technical University of Munich, an optimized and highly robust kite power plant design has been developed. With the planned spin-off kiteKRAFT, the technology will be made accessible to the public. The photo above shows the kiteKRAFT team holding the first 5kW kite with 2.4m wing span in their hands.
The kite has a boxplane airframe which allows for a high strength and a high aerodynamic efficiency. It has eight rotors, each connected to a brushless motor-generator and controlled by a power electronic converter. The photo above shows details of one of the powertrains. The kite has DC-DC converters onboard for a bidirectional conversion of the low voltage of the motor-generators to 800V. This allows to transmit electricity with high efficiency in thin electrical cables inside the electro-mechanical tether, shown in the photo below.
In the coming months, we will test the system intensively, optimize its design and control software. The 5kW kite shown above will be able to generate electricity, but its main purpose is to serve as a development and test platform. With the results of the test program, a larger kite will be built with a wing span of 4m. This is planned to be the first commercially available system designed for self-consumption and off-grid use.
The kiteKRAFT project is supported by the Technical University of Munich, the UnternehmerTUM, the XPRENEURS accelerator, the Climate-KIC accelerator (Munich Re and ERGO side call), and the Initiative for Industrial Innovators.
For further details and updates you can check out our website www.kitekraft.de and follow us.