Kite Power wins Ministry of Defence innovation competition
Delft Startup Kite Power has won the Ministry of Defence innovation competition themed "Energy for operational action”. The startup thus wins a prize of € 200,000. The armed forces is a major energy consumer and largely dependent on fossil fuels, which brings risks and limitations. Kite Power offers an environmentally friendly solution, by generating wind power with kites. The high power kites are easy to use and quick to install in an operational environment. Therefore, the jury of the Ministry of Defence chose the Delft startup as the winner. The spin-off of the Delft University of Technology will use the prize money for their future product development.
Harnessing the power of the wind to generate renewable energy is done through ground-based wind turbines, both situated at land and at sea. These wind turbines use low level altitude wind and require large and heavy steel frames and foundations, which makes them costly to build, transport and install.
At the height of 500 meters above the ground, wind is more powerful and abundantly available. Kitepower develops a power generating kite systems for this high density source of renewable energy. Their kites are quiet, quick to install, easy to deploy, light weight, and do not require special and heavy transport to distribute. Kitepowers use 90% less material than ground-based turbines and take less than an hour to set up. Their kites sweep through a large section of the sky and will fly in formations, resulting in high effective wind speeds. The kite power systems are connected to the ground by a tether.
Kitepower’s first target markets are off-grid locations and disaster relief areas. People in these areas mostly rely on diesel generators, with a high dependency on costly and logistically challenging diesel supplies. Kitepower provides a more sustainable, flexible and cost-effective solution. With its logistic flexibility, Kitepower offers an excellent alternative, when conventional power supplies are down. Kitepower is currently attracting launching customers with the Dutch Ministry of Defence as a first option.