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Kite Energy Systems

High Altitude Wind Power

By Christoff Muller

What is Kite Energy Systems?

High Altitude Wind Potential


Typical wind turbine: Rated power at 12m/s at sea level need about 1 kW/m2

Optimal wind power density (left) and optimal height (right) that was exceeded 50%, 68%, and 95% of the time during years 1979-2006. Taken from "Global Assessment of High-Altitude Wind Power" by Cristina L. Archer and Ken Caldeira

High Altitude Wind Potential

Optimal wind power density (left) and optimal height (right) that was exceeded 50%, 68%, and 95% of the time during years 1979-2006. Taken from "Global Assessment of HighAltitude Wind Power" by Cristina L. Archer and Ken Caldeira

High Altitude Wind Potential


Typical wind turbine: Rated power at 12m/s at sea level need about 1 kW/m2

68% of the time most of South Africa has more than 1kW/m2 wind at between 8 and 10km high 95% of time, southern tip has more than 0.5kW/m2 at a meagre 2 to 4 km high! Much higher average wind speeds Much more consistent (greater utilisation factor) Potentially capable of supplying base load! Wind might be too strong too often? Wind speed control by controlling operating height

Optimal wind power density (left) and optimal height (right) that was exceeded 50%, 68%, and 95% of the time during years 1979-2006. Taken from "Global Assessment of High-Altitude Wind Power" by Cristina L. Archer and Ken Caldeira

Crosswind Kite Power


Concept of sweeping large area of wind by flying a high L/D wing was described by Miles Loyd in 1980

Identified two method of crosswind power extraction: Drag based (eg generators on wing) Lift based (eg wing pulling on the tether line) Much smaller airfoil can capture much more power Tether angle cannot be very verticallimited altitude, but can still reach heights 500m+

Safety
Air traffic: need dedicated airspace zones airband radio warning make use of locations far from air traffic (eg. Karoo/offshore) Danger in case of failure (heavy parts falling from the sky)

Environment

Must automatically survive: Very high winds (storms) No wind (auto land & launch system) Big systems could have humans in the loop Lightning!

Lighter than air systems


Flies in no wind Big & expensive per kWh MAGENN AIR ROTOR SYSTEM (M.A.R.S.) Claims under US$0.20 per kWh Plans initial commercial from units of 100kW http://www.magenn.com/index.php Rated power from 10 up to 23m/s wind

Reel-in/Reel-out Systems: Crosswind- lift type

Not Continuous power generation- use multiple out-ofphase units Loss of autopilot is catastrophic Designed for crosswind operation- limited altitude Small size /kW Lightweight, low cost kite Simple kiteline

Flying Generator: Crosswind drag type


Jobi Energy

Heavier system (not good for light wind) Loss of autopilot is catastrophic Designed for crosswind operation- limited altitude Small size /kW Onboard generators act as motors for launching/landing Durable materials

Continuous Loop Systems


Generator on ground, powered by a long continous loop of kiteline turning it

Continuous Loop Systems

Continuous Loop Systems


Generator on ground, powered by a long continous loop of kiteline turning it

Continuous power generation from each unit Can easily scale up to use high altitude winds Difficult to adjust height/ retrieve autonomously

Super Turbine
More smaller turbines gives higher rpm (smaller gear ratio or direct drive) Mass-produce turbines Easily mounted on unique structures held up by kite/blimp (offshore) or between mountains/ buildings

Thank you