In high altitudes, the wind speed is higher. Generator kites prototypes have been built for using the energy of high winds.
How generator kites work?
Almost all projects have kites that resemble a parachute.
The generator kites fly at hundred of meters in altitude. Are locked by cabled connected to reels, whose shafts are linked to electric generators. When the wind moves the kite, traction is generated in the cable, the reel spins, and electrical energy is produced. To push the kite and repeat the process, the generator becomes a motor and consumes part of generated energy to move the reel.
A computer in the Control Center calculates the best angle and position to get the strongest winds, in addition to determining optimal trajectory. The Kite Control Unit receives wireless commands from Control Center and steers the kite. Also communicates with other control units to avoid collisions between kites. The ground station has Battery Module to power the central computer and power electronics.
Thanks to Kite Control Unit, only a part of generated energy is used to move the reel. A unit uses two generator kites, while one is going down, another is being lifted by the wind. In this way, power generation is constant.
Advantages in relation to wind turbines
The advantages of generator kites, in comparison with the well-known wind turbines:
- Requires fewer materials and they can be lighter. While wind turbines need structural reinforcement and a bigger foundation to stand strong winds.
- Generator kites can resist more violent winds.
- Can generate the same amount of energy in a smaller space. According to Italian Kitegen, this company’s kite stations occupy an area of 800 meters in diameter and generate the equivalent of 150 wind turbines. The latter would need a 40 km² area for the same energy quantity.
- Lower environmental impact, because reduces accidents with birds.