Skip to main content

Harvesting Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) using Rigid Kites

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - AWE (Harvesting Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) using Rigid Kites)

Reporting period: 2020-10-01 to 2021-09-30

October 2019 Kitemill started a project called AWE cofounded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. Kitemill plans to commercialize its technology through a minimum viable product (MPV) approach and stepwise upscaling of the kite turbines (20 kW/100 kW/350 kW average cycle power). Kitemill has secured a customer for the world's first demonstration park of five 20 kW units that will be built during this project at Lista (Norway). The overall success criterion for this project is to establish demonstration parks and accumulate operation hours on the kite system, as this is a key enabler for commercial introduction. The market opportunities are abundant; as an example, our kites can replace thousands of decommissioned conventional wind turbines offshore where the foundations are no longer certified to carry heavy loads. If successful, the business is easily scalable and the turnover may reach €97m by 2024, while at the same time mitigate greenhouse gas emissions at low investments.
During the past period Kitemill have conducted technical development, build up a supply chain, establish production processes, gain progress in the customer pipeline as well as improved the IP and administrative processes. Tools to verify the quality of the subsystems have been implemented and are used to verify supplies from the manufacturing partners. Kitemill has employed more staff and successfully moved a production processes inhouse. After acquiring all IP from the competitor KPS Kitemill have become the centre of a necessary consolidation in the AWE field. The world’s first kite park is under planning at Kitemill’s test site in Lista Norway. A critical milestone has been completed as Kitemill has secured permits to build the first array of kites for it’s customer. Kitemill published a report about permission work which in details explains the permitting requirements in Norway and how Kitemill become a certified operator of drones.
During the project period 4 granted patents have been secured, 3 by acquisition and approval of 1 own patent in EU. The patents will be used to secures freedom to operate. Kitemill’s test and demo site has been improved and is state of the art in the Airborne Wind Energy sector. The impact of the technology have been studied further. AWE can become the most suitable renewable energy technology to replace diesel consumption with more than twice the availability of solar. The small footprint compared to solar, and the 90% reduction in mass compared to conventional wind turbines, makes will make it easier to install and possible to relocate the capacity during its lifetime. Diesel consumers often have a temporary need for energy or lack ability to take large up-front costs, both of which can be solved with assets which can be moved cost efficiently. Further wind OEMs of conventional wind turbines see the opportunity to combine new large wind turbines with kite turbines to improve energy yield, the increased wind resources in higher altitude allow production to continue when near surface winds are low and the main production halt, this is typically when the energy prices are peaking. Shared infrastructure cut cost and makes the business cases compelling, and the niche serving as a promising entry market to utility scale deployment.
Kite during automatic launch from the start and landing platform
Kitemill's improved testsite at Lista, Norway.