USECASE

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Kitepower logo small

Enabling mobile wind energy with Kitepower

Kitepower logo and kitepower flying in the air
Kitepower logo

Client

Kitepower

Branch

Renewable energy

Location

The Netherlands

Purpose

Operational authorization

About

Kitepower develops a system that uses a kite to create energy. Kitepower offers a mobile wind energy generator that is easy to transport as well as install and only requires small ground space (m2). The system is currently still in the testing/ verification phase however the results are very promising. Kitepower systems can be integrated into existing microgrids, let it be batteries, solar, diesel or grid. Most importantly, Kitepower can deliver electricity >75% of the available time, a way higher efficiency factor than solar PV and conventional wind turbines.

The challenge

At first sight you would think that the Kitepower system is a regular cable kite, however due to changed regulations the system now falls under UAS regulations. But how do you get an operational authorisation for such a special “drone”? Due to the support of AirHub, Kitepower can now operate its systems legally throughout Europe and deliver their plug and play Airborn Wind Energy system to their varied customer portfolio.

Due to the support of AirHub, Kitepower can now operate its systems legally throughout Europe and deliver their plug and play Airborn Wind Energy system to their varied customer portfolio.
Stephan van Vuren, AirHub

Solution

Kitepower has been operating for a long time as a cable kite system, for which national regulations are available in The Netherlands. However, with the implementation of the European UAS legislation from January 2021, Kitepower can now operate their system as a tethered unmanned aircraft up to 400 meters under unified regulations throughout Europe.

Due to the dimensions of the system (>8 meters), the high operating heights (up to 400 meters) and the large ground area under the kite (circle with a radius of 425 meter) the integration into the Specific Category of the UAS regulations was difficult, both for Kitepower and the CAA. That is when Kitepower turned to AirHub Consultancy to help them obtain their new operational authorisation in the Specific Category.

AirHub has supported Kitepower with drafting their Concept of Operations (ConOps), applying the Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) and writing the required Operations Manual and other documentation to fulfill the Operational Safety Objectives for their operation. Through their deep knowledge of the regulations and technical know-how the consultants of AirHub managed to find the appropriate technical and procedural mitigations to obtain the Operational Authorisation for Kitepower within a Specific Assurance and Intergrity Level (SAIL) of II, meaning the risks of the operation are classified as fairly low by the CAA.

Benefits

  • Kitepower can now further develop their system by having a clear set of regulations
  • The Airborne Wind Energy System of Kitepower can now deploy in various countries throughout Europe
  • Kitepower’s customers, like island communities and military organisations can now avoid idling generators and save diesel off-grid.
  • Farmers can become wind power producers and support the transition to sustainable energy without sacrificing large parts of their land