kiteKRAFT – affordable wind power plants based on tethered electric aircrafts

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Munich-based Startup kiteKRAFT tackles the challenge of inefficient energy harvesting of wind.

Affordable wind power plants based on tethered electric aircraft

kiteKRAFT has developed a power generating kite or a “tethered” electric aircraft that flies autonomously in circles or figure eights, similar to the blade tips of a conventional wind turbine rotor. Small onboard turbines on the kite generate energy and replace expensive wind towers. The kite takes off and lands like a helicopter by reusing the onboard turbines as propellers. Such a kite power plant holds the potential to generate clean and cost-efficient energy and is a more economical alternative to any other wind technology.

kiteKRAFT started as a research project at the Technical University of Munich. Four co-founders of different disciplines and with a “deep-tech” background now make the research findings accessible to the public through kiteKRAFT products. The team is led by Florian Bauer, an electrical engineer and PhD candidate with more than five years experience in kite power technology. Co-founder Max Isensee is responsible for finance. He was a start-up consultant at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and already has founding experience. The founders Christoph Drexler and André Frirdich are mechanical engineers with a strong background in kite power systems and rotor aerodynamics. The four co-founders are supported by a larger team, including Andreas Graf (electronics and microcontroller software) and Dr.-Ing. Markus Schütz (calculation engineer).

The team aims to start operations in the coming months and plans to sell its kite power plants with additional services such as repairs, upgrades and trainings as early as 2020. Together with Munich Re and ERGO, the founders strive to develop suitable insurance solutions for their customers that cover e.g. vandalism, damages resulting from malfunction and bad weather, or loss of earnings due to incorrectly forecast energy yields.

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