Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

REACH Report Summary

Project ID: 691173

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - REACH (Resource Efficient Automatic Conversion of High-Altitude Wind)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The first official year of REACH is now turning to an end. This report provides an overview of the current Kitepower team and their industry partners, what they have already managed to achieve, which goals they have set themselves for the future and which milestones will reached in order to achieve these.
In this relatively short time the founder of Kitepower, Johannes Peschel, has gathered around him a variety of expertises in a variety of different fields from electrical and software engineering to project coordination and business management which together will bring kite energy to the market.
In the year 2016 new versions of the main kite power system components have been designed and manufactured in collaboration with old and new industry partners who joined the project. The team keeps gathering information and experience with monthly system tests, where constantly new challenges are being faced and solved: Night flights, fully autonomous power cycles, automatic take off are some of the experiments that have been run during flight tests.
Parallel to the above technical improvements, resources have been allocated for business development, networking and market validation. Thereby, Kitepower ensures that when the system is ready for market entry, customers segments are already known as well as the selling strategy. This is in order to finally reach a sustainable business independent from external investments and public grants.
From a larger perspective, interest in airborne wind energy technology is constantly growing. On the European level this is confirmed also by the AWESCO research program currently founding 14 PhD’s across Europe, thereby creating a bridge of collaboration between universities and industry. This research focuses on long term goals, promoting airborne wind energy technology innovation.
In the meantime, industry competitors around the world are getting closer and closer to entering the market with their systems while receiving substantial founds. This makes competition more dynamic as well as exciting and time critical than ever. It is already emerging that in the near future airborne wind energy technology will play an important role in the world energy market.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In line with the Description of Action (DoA), the project aims for the commercialization of an airborne wind energy system (AWES) which enables supply of remote communities or off-grid areas with reliable and clean electricity. It will be cost-competitive compared to existing state-of-the-art technologies such as diesel generator sets (DG). The first commercial product will be the e100 with a rated electrical power of 100 kW. Kitepower/enevate participated in a 3 month business model development and validation program (LaunchLab) at the incubator YES!Delft at TU Delft. As a successful program completion Kitepower won the audience price. Additionally Kitepower secured pilot projects with the Studio Roosegaarde („Social design lab for interactive art, fashion and architechture“, Netherlands) and the Dutch Ministery of Defence. The consortium agreement has been signed, two consortium meetings have been held and the coordination runs smoothly. All partners have built or are building components for the 100 kW system using or expanding their current supply chain keeping in mind (small) series production starting in 2018. Through the Defense Innovation Competion 2016 there was exposure on the Internet and media (newspapers, nu.nl). Several fairs have been attended: WindEnergy Hamburg, Festival van de Toekomst, NIDV Fair. For the kite an initial controller was implemented, which enables the kite to fly via virtual points in the airspace. Monthly field tests of the prototype components listed in the other work packages as preparation for the complete system assembly are carried out. Model A of the commercial system is ready for testing Q1/2017. Contact with other players in the field to have initial ideas and contact with our industrial partners to learn from their specific industry segments.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

During this year, Kitepower/enevate and its partners have build within the REACH project the biggest ground station of a Kitepower system in the world. This is a milestone for airborne wind energy and Kitepower/enevate in particular.

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