A New Star is Born

Ongoing advancements towards commercialisation.

How does Kitepower work? Find out more about the collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Defence

Kitepower was established at TU Delft in 2016 and, like a lot of the university’s ventures, it has continued to thrive. From these unassuming beginnings the ambition and innovation of Kitepower have earned a pioneering position in the airborne wind energy field. Having such a good grounding at TUD has enabled this progression within the industry, achieving notable landmarks such as winning the Ministry of Defence Innovation Competition with the chance to deploy the 100kw system at the Marnewaard and organise intensive training sessions with the militaries as well as benefiting from the precious addition of Henk Hutting to the advisory board of the company. The Innovation Competition and the collection of insightful feasibility studies inevitably reasserted the potentially outstanding technological, economical and ecological impact of the entire AWE industry sector in our society, in other words the great benefits of being clean, sustainable, reliable and cost effective.

AWE is an industry budding with cutting-edge progressions to blast us into the future. Kitepower’s technological achievements highlight this innovation as well as its own maturity by solving the continuous operation challenge through automatic flying, high precision flight tracking, kite control unit self-sustain by means of an airborne wind turbine, flying at night as well as in adverse weather conditions.

Time-lapse shots during a night flight operation of the 100kW Kitepower pilot system deployed in Valkenburg (Leiden area).

These long exposure photographs are a beautiful way of illustrating these innovations, while concurrently acknowledging the creativity that is inherent to advancements such as these. Currently at the forefront of Kitepower research and development is the prospect of scaled up semi-rigid modular wings to be implemented within the systems, when it comes to upgrades depending on the wind conditions the appropriate wing’s size may differ. Kitepower is now in the process of developing new 60m2 and 100m2 kites.