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Gardline is supporting Kite Power Solutions (KPS) to characterise the low level wind environment at the KPS test site at West Freugh in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

By - 04/10/2016 13:55

Gardline is supporting Kite Power Solutions (KPS) to characterise the low level wind environment at the KPS test site at West Freugh in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Kite Power Solutions is developing a novel Airborne Wind Energy system that uses kites to harness the energy from the wind. The KPS technology has the opportunity to halve the Levelised Cost of Energy of offshore wind compared with existing Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines. KPS is currently closing the investment to fund the development of a 500kW product and complete the design of a 3MW system for onshore and offshore deployment for demonstration in 2019.

Gardline Geosurvey Limited, headquartered in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, is a leading marine contractor specialising in geophysical, hydrographic, environmental, oceanographic, meteorological and geotechnical surveys. The company provides a wide range of science services, mostly linked with the marine environment and was established during the oil and gas boom years of the 1960’s. The company has since grown and spread to create a global network of marine science services which it offers to clients such as Oil and Gas, Renewables, Governments and Submarine Telecoms.

The KPS HQ is in Burnham-On-Crouch in Essex, close to Gardline. After seeing an article about KPS on the BBC 1 “One Show” in February 2016 Adam Nicholls, Gardline’s Metocean Business Manager, approached KPS offering to loan a Leosphere Wind Cube 2.0 LIDAR system to support their technology development through its ability to measure winds up to 200m in altitude.

KPS have subsequently deployed the LIDAR at the West Freugh test site to gather baseline data before the 500kW system deployment. The data being collated is being used to validate several years of local wind anemometer resource data and to characterise the low level wind environment to support the modelling of the kite system’s automated launch and recovery phases.

David Ainsworth, the KPS Business Development Director stated “Gardline approached us with this incredibly generous offer out of the blue. At the time we had limited funding available to us and there was no way that we could have afforded to lease a LIDAR, although we knew that the data it could provide was invaluable to the development of the technology. Gardline’s kind offer was very timely, just after we had agreed the lease for the West Freugh site and at a time when we needed to acquire high quality low altitude wind data to feed into the 500kW system design process to help mitigate our overall technology programme risk.”

Adam stated “We’re very pleased and excited to be able to help KPS and this new emerging technology in its early stage of development. We were looking for alternative uses for the LIDAR and as soon as we saw the potential of using kites to generate energy from the wind on the BBC we knew we wanted to be involved with KPS somehow and offering our state of the art wind measuring device was the perfect fit.”

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