Shell invests in KitePower

Shell invests in KitePowerShell is investing 5 million pounds in UK startup KitePower Systems, which develops pilots to produce wind energy.

The kites can be a game changer for renewable energy, according to a spokesman from Shell in the Financial Times.

Other investing partners are EON and Schlumberger.

Video KitePower

Geert van de Kite from Shell Technology Ventures is expecting a lot of the kite technology.

“Traditional wind power is less efficient because it requires a lot of steel infrastructure, of which only the tip of the blade is really harnessing energy.”

2 Kites

For the pilots less material is needed. The design of KitePower Systems includes two large kites, of about 70 square meters, with cables attached to a turbine on the ground.

  • When one goes up (up to 450 meters)  the second one goes down.
  • The movement of the kites is running as a turbine and is generating electricity.

There are more companies which designed similar concepts.

With the investments from Shell, Schlumberger and EON the company wants to build a pilot of 500 kilowatts in Scotland. The company wants to bring the kite systems on the market in five to six years, according to the Financial Times. At that time, the capacity should be larger to 3 MW.

Design features of the technology

  • Patented twin kites system that shares one foundation and one power generation/grid connection system
  • Patented active control surfaces to minimise drag and maximise yield
  • Ability to control the kite flying height above high ground wind shear to maximise energy yield
  • Grid compliant electrical generation within the system package with no need for external power conditioning
  • All serviced components at low height for ease of maintenance
  • Robust design for easy maintenance in remote locations

Advantages

  • Much lower Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) than conventional wind and other renewables
  • Energy capture can be optimised by flying at the height with the the strongest wind
  • Low operational and maintenance (O&M) cost and high availability
  • Fully grid compliant
  • Environmentally benign

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