KiteLab Group

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Dedicated to Rapid Open Source
Development of Kite Energy

Plenary presentation abstract for AWEC2011 at KU Leuven:

Toward Gigawatt-Scale Kite Energy

Kite stacks, trains, & arches are dense-array models for aggregated capacity with enhanced safety & reliability. Testing these methods led KiteLab Group to an Airborne Latticework concept validated in numerous scale-prototype experiments. Dense-arrays mitigated cubic-mass scaling penalty, boosted stream-tube efficiency, & maximized energy extraction by volume, with reduced surface sprawl & integrated control. "Minimal-mass-aloft" by ground-based actuation & avionics favored high-altitude operation, persistence in calm, & inherent stability. Persistent flight was shown by phased radial tugs or towing. Launching & landing succeeded by self-cascaded sequences. High L/D kiteplanes & turbines resisted mishap flown semi-captive in arrays. Self-oscillating power wingmills on ganglines & halyards "fired" in passive synchrony; a means to drive the largest generators. Hotswapping, depowering, & "killing" elements was shown. Arrays were assembled mid-air & towed into place. No critical barrier seems to prevent scale-up of kite energy, even legacy power plants retrofitted as kite hybrids. Aviation regulations offer a basis for large automated operations supervised by a Pilot-In-Control & Visual Observer, rotated in watches. Utility airborne energy in 2025 will involve Super-Density Operations (SDO) in NextGen Airspace.

Experiments (Media Files)



Looping Foil under a Pilot Kite

Spragged Generator Groundstation

FlyGen Turbine under a Pilot Kite

Scrap Kites

Crosswind COTS AWECS

BlueFin Model
"Chariot" Turret

Aggregate Stability (Kite Arches)

Lightweight Fairlead

Surf Zone Power

Fire Fighting Kite Experiment


Dutch-Roll Power Tandem

Lever-Based AWECS

Cableway Turbines

Slow Current Hydropower