Renewable wind energy harvested from an altitude of 500m
A new method of garnering renewable energy is being explored and it’s not from wind turbines.
A Dutch start-up company, KitePower is creating a system to produce green energy from Kites. In collaboration with the Delft University in the Netherlands, the approach consists of a generator on the ground that is connected directly to a cable winch that has a steered kite attached. The kite pulls the cable up-ward by flying in a figure-8 pattern creating a strong tractive force with the ability to reach heights up to 500 metres. When altitude is achieved the cable is retracted (using very little energy) and the procedure is repeated.
The device offers an attractive alternative to diesel generators and wind turbines. In comparison the kite needs less material for construction, is more mobile and can flexibly use winds up to 500m. Of particular benefit to secluded communities, military camps or remote islands the first commercial version is due for release at the end of 2018.
Maxon motor is one of a few companies assisting KitePower. Maxon’s expertise is in developing the control unit for the steering movement of the kite. This included integrating DC motors, different sensors, transmitters, receivers and batteries while considering extreme radial forces on the gearhead. The device uses maxon’s Ec-i 52 DC motor with planetary gearhead and encoder. This combination is usually found in robotics applications for its high torque and compact design.
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