Mobile Wind Energy
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Laddermill Patent by Wubbo Ockels1998
Research in kite power generation was initiated by Wubbo Ockels in 1993, followed by a patent application for the Laddermill technology in 1997 which was granted one year later in 1998. Wubbo Johannes Ockels (28 March 1946 – 18 May 2014) was a Dutch physicist, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut as well as the first Dutch citizen in space (1985). Ockel’s pioneering vision on soft wing technologies has been crucial in inspiring big part of the current Kitepower’s engineering team, who had the chance to collaborate with the professor at the very early stages of this enterprise.
Research Group was Founded at TU Delft2004
The kite power research group was established in 2004 by Wubbo Ockels and comprises researchers, students and international affiliates. The research group has been founded in order to support scientific challenges such as automatic flight control, structural dynamics and aerodynamics of tethered inflatable membrane wings, with a second focal area in the design of efficient motor/generator units. The group submitted their first joint publication to the European Wind Energy Conference held in London in 2004.
Starting with a 5 kWp System2006
At TU Delft the kite power research group starts its prototyping with a 5 kWp system. At this stage hardware experimentations are the main focus of the research project. The group starts to envision ways to improve the control of a flying kite.
The First 20 kWp Kite Power System Demonstrates the Proof of Concept2007
The kite power research group carried out crucial tests which finally led to demostrate the proof of concept behind the soon-to-be Kitepower: Remotely controlling surfkites for wind energy generation.
Evolving with a 20 kWp SystemSeptember, 2010
The TU Delft based kite power research group keeps testing on the field with a 20 kWp kite power system. At this stage of experimentation the project is being carried as partnership between 'ASSET', 'ASTI' and the Frisian companies 'Viaferro' and 'SMI'. An early version of the Kite Control Unit gets designed and a demonstration of the system could take place on a farm close to the Frisian village Jirnsum on the 9th and 10th of September 2010.
Automatic Pumping Operation 2-20 kW2012
The pumping kite concept, which provides a simple yet effective solution for wind energy conversion at potentially low cost, is being tested with successful results. The focus is on the innovative and scientifically challenging aspects such as the implementation of a supervisory control and data acquisition system designed for automatic operation.
Kite Power 2.0 was initiated as a joint project between Delft University of Technology and Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. The goal was to systematically improve the reliability and robustness of the technology as well as achieving continuous automatic operation. Hereby a new level of technical improvements begins.
The to-be founders of Kitepower kicked off their ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ project REACH, which is funded with 3.7 million Euro by the European Horizon 2020 programme. The goal? To ensure cost-effective renewable energy with a low environmental footprint by using kite power systems.
Kitepower B.V. is FoundedJanuary, 2016
Kitepower was founded by Johannes Peschel and Roland Schmehl as a spin-off from the TU Delft's pioneering kite power research group of ex-astronaut Wubbo Ockels. Along with the company a new challenge is established: Becoming the market leaders in airborne wind energy.
The YES!Delft LaunchLab is a unique programme developed specifically for start-ups with a technical idea. In 2016 Kitepower won the audience with the presentation of its tech idea, market potential, business model and launch customers' scenario.
Kitepower won the Innovation Competition of the Dutch Ministry of Defence themed "Energy for Operational Action" endowed a prize of 200.000 €. The Dutch Defense is a major energy consumer and abroad still largely dependent on fossil fuels. Kitepower offered therefore an environmentally friendly solution able to dramatically optimize energy consumption.
Building a 100 kW SystemThroughout 2017
At the moment Kitepower is developing a 100 kW commercial system. The company's objective is to provide systems deployable with outstanding ease by remote communities, outdoor events as well as industrial compounds all accross the world. To achieve this target, system components got revised and redesigned, control algorithms had been made fault-tolerant and adaptive to the changing wind environment.
Kitepower celebrated the arrival of the new 100 kW ground station with a showcase event at the TU Delft Aerospace Engineering Faculty.
Kitepower joins a full time business growth program offered by YES!Delft, Europe's #4 leading technology incubator.
100 kW Kitepower System Development and Fine-TuningOngoing as you read
The Kitepower team is further developing the 100 kW system and growing a supply chain able to serve the target market in the upcoming years.
Horizon 2020 Deadline2020