Under Water Kiting to Generate Electricity

Under Water Kiting to Generate Electricity

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By Wisse Hettinga

Tidal energy plants based on the principle of kiting

Tidal and ocean currents contain a large amount of kinetic energy. SeaQurrent, a startup located in the north of the Netherlands, is developing a completely new approach for 3D-Harnessing this energy. The patented multi-wing TidalKite™ makes it possible to generate clean electricity from shallow (and deep) low velocity tidal and ocean currents with an efficiency rate resulting in a breakthrough of the price of electricity produced from tidal energy.

The system comprises a TidalKite (1) that is connected by means of a (high tech cable) tether (2) to a power take off (PTO) (3). The PTO is fixed to the seabed by means of a Mooring Structure (4) and electricity is distributed to shore by an underwater electric export cable (5).

The TidalKite itself is a single rigid, buoyancy-neutral and hydrodynamic device, consisting of a frame with multiple wings placed in tandem. The kite wings capture the water flow, accelerating the kite through the water. The kite creates a huge lift force that is transferred via the tether to the power take-off. The power take-off comprises a hydraulic cylinder and a hydro motor-generator combination. The hydraulic cylinder is extracted by the traction force of the kite and the pressurised liquid is expanded over the hydro motor-generator combination, where clean electricity is generated. The electricity is transported via an underwater export cable to the grid.

The facts:

– Renewable energy production, 100% predictable 24/7/365

– Wide deployment potential: adaptable to all types of tidal sites

– High energy yield: 3D-Harnessing and the TidalKite’s ability to vary its operating depth to maximise the energy yield, leading to a 3.1 times higher electricity production than current technologies

– Low cost: near-shore deployment (limited infrastructure), unit size optimisation (number of wings and wingspan) to site specific conditions, small vessels for low reduced deployment and maintenance costs in near-shore environments

– Minimal impact: no visual impact, low operating speed lowers sea-life collision risk, no impact on the seabed, use of a biodegradable working fluid.

More information at

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