Makani’s Energy Kite Completes First Offshore Flight
Makani’s airborne wind power system has completed its first flight offshore from a floating platform in the North Sea.
The kite completed two flights at the Metcentre in Norway, with the first being a quick one including a launch, hover away from the perch and an autonomous landing.
The second, longer-duration test, demonstrated crosswind flight as the kite flew following commands from the flight controller. However, Makani said that it did not successfully land on the platform and the flight ended with the loss of the energy kite.
The process was executed by transporting the airframe on a flatbed trailer, using a mobile boom crane to lift the kite onto its perch, and installing the kite and spar offshore at a water depth of 220m using two coastal tug boats.
According to Makani, the next steps include additional offshore flights in Norway and onshore in Hawaii, with a focus on flying in a range of environmental conditions, perfecting the landings at sea, and refining the remote operations.
The company added it will work with Shell to optimize the floating platform and mooring system, minimize the need for personnel to access the kite at sea before or after flight, and connect to the grid.
To remind, Makani and Shell partnered in February to cooperate on bringing energy kites to offshore environments.