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Kites as main propulsion systems for ships

OCEANERGY has designed a kite propulsion system for ships – as the main propulsion system. Our kite propulsion systems allow to fully navigate ships on all wind courses, upwind and downwind, including changes of direction. The traditional combustion engine is only used as an emergency back up and to navigate close to harbors.

Advantages of a kite over other means to harvest wind

Kites have several advantages over other means to harvest wind energy, such as for instance sails, which are attached to masts, or Flettner rotors or rotating wind turbines.

a) One advantage is that a kite can make use of higher wind speeds of higher altitudes. A kite can harvest wind at 100m – 800m altitudes and more. Wind turbines harvest averaging at 80m – 120m. Sails and Flettner rotors even less.

b) Kites develop no torque to the point to which they are attached. Therefore there is only little heeling to a ship’s hull. The torque, which sails exert on their base, such as a ship hull, often limits their size. Kites do not have this problem, which means that the size of the kite is not limited by this factor.

c) A kite can actively fly through the air. The surface on which a kite flies is also called the flight envelope or the wind window. An actively flying kite increases the true air speed at the kite.

In summary a kite is much more effective than alternative methods to capture wind energy and therefore superior to harvest wind energy.