What happens when the wind isn’t blowing?
The minimum wind speed at which a kite power system can generate electricity (i.e., the cut-in wind speed) is comparable to that of a wind turbine. In case of no wind, the kite will be fully retrieved and docked at the ground station. On windless days, visual impact of the kite power system will therefore be zero.
What happens in case of extreme weather conditions?
In case of extreme weather conditions such as (thunder) storms, the kite will be fully retrieved. To protect the kite and cables against sudden wind gusts in otherwise normal weather conditions, a torque limiter is used to reduce the cable tension. The probability that the kite or cables will be struck by lightning are low because they are made of non-conducting materials.
How long will kite and cables last?
Soft-structure kites wear out quickly due to mechanical strains and UV radiation, resulting in excessive kite replacement costs. Therefore, e-kite has developed a strong, light-weight wing, which will last for years and enable profitable operation of the kite power system.
The cables of e-kite’s system are made of Dyneema®, one of the strongest polymers available. Furthermore, the ground station has a minimum number of pulleys, which reduces cable wear. With these measures, e-kite expects that cables will need to be replaced only once a year.