Container-based mobile battery hub recharged by kite power
A Dutch startup spun out of the Delft University of Technology has launched the Kitepower Hawk, a wind energy storage solution that's designed to replace diesel generators for small island communities, on construction sites or in agriculture.
"The Hawk is unique as a mobile renewable energy source that can be used completely independently from the grid," reads the press release. It was developed as a relatively small on-site renewable energy solution "that can be flown a few times a week to meet energy needs throughout the week."
The system pairs 400 kWh of Li-ion battery storage housed in shipping containers with an "Airborne Wind Energy System" in the shape of a hybrid inflatable/fiber-glass kite connected to a ground station with a Dyneema tether.
The container-based storage unit is designed to deliver up to 330 kW of peak power output to charge electric vehicles or machinery, and is reported to have an operation time of 10 hours per charging cycle. When a top-up is needed, the kite is deployed from the adjacent ground station.
As the 40-60-m2 kite is reeled out and caught by the wind, mechanical energy is converted to up to 40 kW of electrical power. A sensor unit at the end of the Dyneema line controls the roll, pitch and yaw of the flight pattern. After the reel-out part of the cycle is completed, the ground station uses around 10 kW of that electrical power to pull the kite back in. And the cycle is repeated, with the system producing electricity for around 80% of the time and consuming it for the remainder.
The setup is able to start its cycles at lower windspeeds than conventional wind turbines, and is reported capable of harnessing stronger winds at higher altitudes.
"The system is a perfect solution for smaller businesses in agriculture and construction looking for a sustainable way to generate electricity," said company CEO, Johannes Peschel. "The system is easy to install , can produce day and night, and it is highly efficient."
The Kitepower Hawk has gone up for pre-order, though pricing/availability information has not been revealed.