1. How large a KiteGen Stem unit is?
Each unit consists of an igloo-shaped base with a diameter of 13 meters and a height of 6 meters, connected to a semi-rigid kite of 100 Sq. m through a stem 21 meters long.
A farm can contain up to 100 stems grouped together in an area of about 1 Sq. km.
2. How much energy does a KiteGen stem unit produce?
Each unit has a nominal power of 3 MW. The annual energy production depends on the capacity factor. After a technological learning of 2-4 years, the average capacity factor in an Italian site will be of 5000 hours, for a total production of 15 GWh per year.
3. How many hours per year can the KiteGen Stem work?
See question n° 2. The effective capacity factor depends on the characteristics of the site. In less windy areas, the machine will work for less than 5000 hours, while in the windiest areas it will have a much higher capacity factor.
4. What is the cost of the energy produced by a KiteGen power plant?
The short-term goal (3-5 years) is to deliver energy for less than 30 €/MW, but the final cost, at the end of the learning curve, will be of 10 €/MWh. It is important to point out that the final price of energy is established by government bodies and public agencies and not by the producer himself.
5. Is it possible to directly use the energy generated?
Specific laws and regulations determine the use of the electric energy produced. Considering the big size of the machine, a direct domestic use is inconceivable. However, it can directly use by municipalities, big industrial or agricultural plants etc.
6. At what height do the kites fly?
The kites fly between 500 and 2000 meters, depending on the specific conditions of the site.
7. What is the risk of collision with airplanes?
Each KiteGen Stem of farm can be installed only with prior authorization from the competent authorities, as it occurs with every site requiring a restricted flying area. Moreover the kite is equipped with a radio-control system which signals the presence of uncontrolled aircrafts and activates the procedure to rewind the kite. Essentially, the risk remains largely below the most stringent safety standards.
8. Can the kite fall down during the flight?
No, because it is linked to the two ropes. At worst, the rope or the kite could break. (See question n° 9)
9. What happens if a kite breaks?
In this case, or in case one of the two ropes break, both the kite are the rope are no longer subject to huge forces and they can therefore being rewound in total safety through an automatic withdrawal mechanism. It is important to point out that the withdrawal is faster than the free fall of ropes and broken kites.
10. How adverse weather conditions can affect the machine operation?
Even when the kite is at its maximum height, it can be withdrawn within a minute and a half. Therefore, in case of violent storms there is enough time to rewind the ropes and the kite and stop the machine until normality is restored.
11. Could there be any disease for the population living next to the site where the machine is installed?
As pointed out in previous answers, an automatic control system grants the higher safety standards. Moreover, the machines will not be installed next to urban centers or households.
12. What happens if the ropes twist together?
Thanks to the automatic control system, this is unlikely to happen. However, we have expressly cause ropes to twist during the tests, thus verifying that the kite remains under the control of the machine and responds quickly and precisely.
13. What kind of maintenance work requires a KiteGen Stem?
Maintenance is mainly related to flying elements, kites and ropes, which need substitution every 6 months during the initial phase and every year at full performance. The base simply needs the usual maintenance service required by an alternator, that is to say periodic cleaning and lubrication.
If you want to learn more, please contact us:
T. +39 011 3747510