Kitemill KM1 Spark Kite progress

The KM1 Spark kite automatic launch and landing
A strong focus of engineering of a more robust kite system pays off with great results in our August 2020 test campaings.

Nice video[0][Tag][id]:5/tags[1][Tag][name]:Nyhet%20Engelsk/tags[2][Tag][id]:6/tags[3][Tag][name]:Testimonials/tags[4][Tag][id]:13/tags[5][Tag][name]:AWE


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VTOL in high winds is harder than it seems on paper. But we have made huge progress… main challenges seem to be the interaction of the VTOL system, tether and the main wing. The tether force must be small but should not go slack. Also one needs to consider each propeller as if it was a helicopter, ie. angle of attack and forward apparent windspeed can not be dismissed. Anyways our system is not yet perfected, but we are using VTOL on a regular basis now in low and high winds. Having VTOL accellerates testing because tow launch is very dependent on wind direction and the space available for launching, which has to be open and free of obstructions, in the direction of the wind.


One thing I always found laughable over the past decade+ of wannabe kite energy attempts was no autonomous launch and landing of any kite, period, forgetting about even trying energy capture.

The team have been working hard and conditions were good for logging power production curves on our biggest kite. 3 flights was done the same day. We peaked 16kw in 4-9m/s wind and in the last flight we flew production cycles for 29 minutes.

The tests reported on the well filmed videos seem to show the opposite.

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Yeah these guys seem a step ahead of the rest.

For the yo-yo mode a great advantage of a rigid wing is the relatively far lower duration of the reel-in phase. So an “energy production for 80% of flight time” is mentioned on the animation video:

This can be checked visually and by sound on the long duration test flight 2018 video:

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After a decade of kite-reeling promises, the field seems to remain in a perpetual standstill, or very slow progress at best. This project looks pretty cool though. At least it can take off and land.
I’d be interested to know the wingspan, and average power output at a given windspeed.
Also the weight.
Maybe a power-curve? Or is that too much to ask of AWE?

I believe the wingspan is just above 7 meter and wing area is 3 sqm. We are aiming for 20 kW average. But in what wind conditions etc, … the details have not been released to the public yet. Same with the weight. One could assume that the design is not optimised at this stage for low weight. We have not released a power curve data yet, I am not at liberty to suddenly share this information as you might understand.

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The first
Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) systems are now commercially available.

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