Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Good funding news both side of the Atlantic

Ampyx, Makani secure governent support

Two more sets of funding have been announced this week, Ampyx Power, the Dutch spinout from TUDelft, who have been working on their rigid wing, ground based power generation concept (see pic) since '08, today announced new EU funding, to continue their autopilot development and the scaling up process.

image property of Ampyx Power BV.

 Makani power, the Alameda CA based flying generator startup, also have been announced as recipients of c.$3m of ARPA-E funding, see their announcement for details.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Another University Project, Cool Skysails Video

No time to write much today but here's a video from the group at Rowan University:

The kite doesn't appear to be instrumented and I can't see a camera so i'd guess that the control is either passive or manual? I'll update this post if/when I find out.

On an ever so slightly larger scale, here's a video taken from a small airplane of a Skysails system in operation. The scale of the kite is seriously impressive. I'm not sure I realised how close-in the pod is kept to the kite. For some reason the kite is being flown at a higher angle than I would normally expect, maybe the ship is turning/tacking...

Either way, a glimpse of things to come I'm sure!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Windlift Progress, new student project

Still have about 10k words to go on the thesis but the end is in sight and seeing as the wind hasn't picked up enough yet to go testing I thought it might be time for a quick post.

Here's a video showing the new prototype from Windlift, which is a departure from their old sled system to a reel based device. The test shows power peaking at 3kW at 8-12 mph though I'm not sure how high that wind measurement was taken or the size of the surf kite being used. Either way it shows some great progress over the last year. The base seems to be passively rotated and its inertia means that it's not following the direction of the kite too closely, (we had this same issue on a proto system here at Sussex) but it's not going to be too hard to sort that out.

I also found this website for a student project that I hadn't seen before at the Ecole Centrale de Lille, also for a kite based system. I saw this graphic of the system concept and was impressed to hear that they had built it.

This video shows it being tested. Having seen the scale, You can see how it was affordable as a student project! They have an interesting way of doing the steering at ground level.

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I finished my PhD on Evolutionary Robotics in Airborne Wind Energy applications in 2010. Since then I have been working in industry in the area.