Offshore wind kite farm

At higher altitudes, the wind blows stronger and more consistently. Whereas windmills have yet to exceed 200m in height, wind kites are reaching 800m in the air. To produce energy from wind kites, the rope is connected to a generator on the ground or surface of the water. The kite then deflates as a motor reels in the kite closer and the process is repeated.[1,2]

Kite systems can be installed in ultra deep waters using a tethered and floating system, allowing them to be situated further offshore than conventional windmills.[3] Having the generators on the surface will make them more convenient to install and more easily accessed for maintenance and repair. However, the cost of producing energy through this emerging technology is currently double that of conventional offshore wind.[2,4]

Next stage improvements include automated launching and landing, and flight optimisation for maximizing energy harvesting.[2] Meanwhile, zoning and location concerns still need to be addressed by regulators.[2]

When will offshore wind kite farms become a viable alternative to offshore windmills?

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References:
[1] Kitenergy (2020),Automatically controlled wing to harvest high-altitude wind energy
[2] Mann, S. (2019), An Introduction To Airborne Wind
[3] Galluci, M. (2019), Alphabet's Wind Energy Kites to Fly Offshore
[4] Renews (2019), Offshore wind costs 'drop 32%'
More information:
Wired (2006), Generating Power From Kites
Skysails (2020), Skysails Group
Cherubini, A. Papini, A., Vertechy, R. & Fontana M. (2015), Airborne Wind Energy Systems: A review of the technologies

By Matthew J. Spaniol