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Virging Flight of a Mobile Airborne Wind Power Plant
The successful virgin flight of the EnerKite 30 kW test facility took place in Pritzwalk, Brandenburg, on March 20, 2012. In various operating altitudes at wind speeds of 3.5–7 m/s the pilot safely navigated the 15 square meter PowerFoil with lines up to 120 m at various altitudes and flying eights.
The first flights confirmed expectations in terms of loads, power output and system performance. More than 10 kW of electrical energy was generated, at rather moderate winds. Launch, control and load limitation succeeded at first go. Offering upmost dynamics and precision with the actuator the EnerKite EK30 demonstrator qualifies for of automated operation soon. The EnerKite EK30 represents a mobile off-grid wind power plant including a 50 kWh battery. EnerKite herewith sets new standards in the field of airborne wind energy converters.
The Enerkite Team operates automated and autonomous kite systems since 4 years. Smaller amounts of power were generated and several hundred hours of flight experience were gained so far. The new EK30 airborne wind power plant primarily serves research and development in the field of automated control, optimized energy production and wing design in the frame of a granted R&D project. Future upscaled commercial airborne wind energy converters will harness the winds in 200–500 m altitude. They will deliver rated power at more than 4000 hours per year at lower cost than conventional wind energy converters.
Footage of the virgin flight at: www.enerkite.de