Research into power generation using kites is currently focussed primarily on the exploitation of high-altitude wind. Here, kites have shown potential in being able to exploit the higher, more consistent wind resource, at a lower cost than conventional wind turbines. One such concept is that of the kite carousel. Here, a ground based generator would be rotated by a number of attached, controllable kites.
This project will investigate the potential of large scale offshore kite power, using a water-based system. In this case the generator would be placed on the ocean floor, and the kites would be powered by an ocean current. The project aim is to produce a validated model that proves the potential of such a device in the evolving offshore renewable market. This model will be a simplified representation, such that it is computationally efficient, while still providing an accurate indication of the system. In order to validate the models and calculations done at various stages, physical models will be built and tested; First for the basic kite model in air, followed by a submersed model in a flow tank.