Since the 1880s, engineers have searched for ways to generate electricity using the wind. Global wind energy generation is rapidly increasing, but challenges still remain: infrastructure, extreme weather, intermittency and unsuitable environments all create barriers.
With an exciting view on wind power, Simon Heyes, CEO of Kite Power Systems (KPS), created the world’s first commercial kite-driven power station.
Based in Scotland, KPS developed kites that can be used for in and offshore wind generation, suggesting a cost-effective solution. Their system comprises of two kites flying to resemble the number eight at an altitude of 450 metres.
The advantage is that wind at 450 metres is higher than what available wind turbines currently use. This allows the kite exposure to more consistent higher wind speeds. The KPS technology has been researched and developed since 2011 by a team of highly experienced engineers. This is how it works. Two kites are flown at any given time, with one of the two always generating power. Both kites are attached by tethers to a winch system that generates electricity as it spools out. This technology has the potential to transform the global offshore wind generation market, as it is cheaper to manufacture and requires less construction and installation materials than conventional wind turbines.