Kite Power Technology Demonstrator - first impression with a surf kite
Scope of project
'Crosswind Kite Power' or 'Airborne Wind Energy' is the idea of using a light, controllable
aerodynamic device (commonly referred to as a kite), flying in a crosswind pattern to create
power which is transmitted to the ground via a tether (high-strength cable).
The focus of this project is two-fold. First, a Kite Power technology demonstrator will be
designed and constructed by FHNW to prove the feasibility of the concept. A novel kite design
will be pursued at EMPA, with the goal of creating a kite optimized for power production. The
automation of the system will be studied by ETH Zurich with the vision of having fully autonomous
power generation. Both the kites and controls will be tested on the technology demonstrator to
quantify their performance and reliability. Second, a thorough investigation into the basics of the
technology will be conducted. The focus of which will be to develop a vision of what a kite
power plant might look like, focusing on issues such as power production principle, scalability,
operating altitude, safety, suitable locations and cost of energy.