kiteKRAFT – affordable wind power plants based on tethered electric aircrafts

Medium close-up of the three founders of NÜWIEL, which offers smart cargo trailers for bicycles, enabling environmentally friendly last-mile delivery.

kiteKRAFT developed a power-generating kite (tethered, autonomous electric aircraft), which is flown in figure eights or circles and is like the blade tips of a conventional wind turbine.

These generate the majority of the energy as they sweep the largest area. Instead of a large generator on a tower, the kite is braked generatively by small onboard wind turbines – which are flying wind turbines.

A kiteKRAFT power plant therefore only uses the most effective parts to generate energy. In particular, the tower of conventional plants is replaced by a light tether. Electrical power is transmitted by electrical cables integrated in the tether. The kite takes off and lands like a helicopter by reusing the onboard wind turbines as propellers. A kiteKRAFT power plant can generate energy cleanly and cost efficiently, also more economic than fossil alternatives.

kiteKRAFT started as a research project at the Technical University of Munich. Four co-founders of various disciplines now make the research results available to the public through kiteKRAFT products. The team is led by Florian Bauer, an electrical engineer and graduate student with more than five years experience in flying wind power technology. Co-founder Max Isensee is responsible for business development. He was a startup consultant at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and already has founding experience. The co-founders Christoph Drexler and André Frirdich are mechanical engineers with a strong background in the areas of flying wind power and rotor aerodynamics. The four co-founders are supported by a team, including Andreas Graf for the electronics and microcontroller software and Dr. Ing. Ing. Markus Schütz as calculation engineer.

The team is looking to launch it in the next few months and plans to sell its kiteKRAFT equipment as early as 2020 with additional services such as inspections, upgrades and training. Together with Munich Re and ERGO, the founders want to develop insurance solutions that include vandalism, damage caused by malfunction and bad weather or yield losses due to mispredicted energy yields.

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