Ampyx Kite Power
[source] Wind energy kite “airstrip”. After the kite is airborne it will continuously fly an 8-shaped trajectory and generate electricity. The foundation needs to be far less robust than with conventional wind turbines that can weigh 1000 ton or more.
So you thought that wind power technology has matured and that the three blade rotor is the alpha and omega in harnessing the energy contained in air flows? Think again. There is a promising alternative for these conventional giant machines and their massive towers: fast moving kites. The promoters of this new technology believe that kites with a span-width of 28 m could be a much cheaper alternative for the thousands of planned North Sea offshore mega machines of 8 MW and more. Alternatively these gliders can be operated from floating platforms as well, making the technology suitable irrespective of sea depth.
Richard Ruiterkamp of the Dutch company Ampyx Power says that the first test phase has been successfully completed with two 5.5 m prototypes. Now a last test phase is planned with a AP3 prototype of 12 m span-width and 250 kW power. The Dutch authorities refused to give permission for a test site located in the Dutch North Sea dunes, so Ireland has been chosen as an alternative for test scheduled for next year. The project began in 2004 and meanwhile 22 million euro have been burned. The AP4 will be the first commercial energy kite with a span-width of 28 m and 2 MW power.
The source of energy is not a propeller but the winch that alternatively rolls out and in. When the kite rises more energy is generated than required to roll up the winch cable during descent.
[ampyxpower.com] – More detailed explanation here
[trouw.nl] – Nederlandse stroomvlieger neemt het op tegen Google