Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Funding boost for kite power firm

Testing of the kites

A British company’s efforts to generate electricity using kites has been boosted with a £1M grant from the government’s innovation agency.

Innovate UK pledged the cash to a consortium led by Kite Power Solutions, which is aiming to deploy floating offshore kite arrays by 2021.

New Civil Engineer reported last summer that Kite Power Solutions had designed a kite-based energy generating system for deep water offshore locations where more traditional wind turnbines cannot be built.

Initially the company had wanted to create a 100kW demonstrator and was seeking £10M from investors. It has since decided to skip this step and aim straight for a 500kW model, which means it only requires £5.6M.

The £1M from Innovate UK takes total funding to £4.6M, so it only needs to raise another £1M.

 “The calibre of the consortium members and the grant support being given by Innovate UK underlines the massive market opportunity that exists for kite power worldwide,” said Kite Power Solutions business development director David Ainsworth.

“Over the past three years, we have successfully demonstrated the potential for kite power generation, and with our business partners we now have the opportunity to accelerate the technology’s commercial development so we can deploy low cost, deep-water, offshore wind energy on a global scale.”

Kite Power Solutions’ power system involves two kites flown on a 500m to 750m long man-made fibre tether. The tether is attached to a winch system that generates electricity as it spools out.

By achieving flight speeds of up to 45m/s in 9m/s winds, the kite’s tether tension causes the line to rapidly spool out from a drum, which turns a generator producing electricity.

Watch footage of the system being tested here.


Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.