DROMEC Winches builds ingenious renewable for Kitepower

Kitepower, a Delft-based start-up, has developed a revolutionary system for an energy kite. This experiment by astronaut Wubbo Ockels was a dream and became a reality with the vision of Kitepower and is now fully operational in Ireland. DROMEC Winches made a significant contribution to the development of the system by designing and building the winches in the ground stations.

Electric winch system

With a winch specially developed by DROMEC Winches, electricity is generated by unrolling a cable connected to the circling kite. The pulling force of the kite is converted into electricity by the electric winch. With the help of a control system, the kite can automatically take off and land. A sustainable and efficient system. The winches from DROMEC Winches in the ground stations control the kite in a constant cycle up and down.

Kite cycle

In the cycle, the kite generates electricity for 96 seconds, after which it consumes electricity for 24 seconds. The system is powered by a winch system where braking provides energy to the grid. This electric drive has an asynchronous motor with a gearbox. It is equipped with a full-safe brake so that the motor can be switched off in case of an emergency. What’s special about the system are the ultracaps, which compensate for the cycle, ensuring continuous power delivery.

The kite can fly out to 200 to 300 meters with high power and low speed in a cycle of about 2 minutes and a total wire length of 450 meters. Then it is depowered and retracted at low power and high speed. With a start at altitude, the kite always has good wind capture.

Geerart de Vree, CTO Engineering:
‘We are working on a third 100kWh system for Kitepower to further innovate the principle so that we can scale up. With the upcoming projects, we aim to achieve even more flight hours and thus contribute to a sustainable world. Additionally, a new 30kWh system is in the works, which can be flexibly deployed in various locations. We have a great collaboration with Kitepower. It is at the cutting edge of what is possible and feasible. It is a skilled team, and the product is industrial-worthy, even in collaboration with aviation authorities.’


DROMEC Winches provides the control of the winch system. This must work in tandem with the kite control. With this control, the winch system can release energy at a speed of 3 meters per second as energy production speed. The retrieval speed is even around 11 meters per second. Sometimes, the system generates a peak of 200kW at very high wind speeds. With Kitepower, a stable way of generating energy is achieved because they can adjust the kite control to the wind speed and the width of the cycle.

Ahead of the wind

Kitepower is a pioneer leading in the top ten of the best kiters in the world. They are literally ‘ahead of the wind’. Energy kites can also be used as temporary energy sources, for example, in the event of natural disasters. This not only makes it sustainable but also serves a social purpose. Thus, together with Kitepower, DROMEC Winches contributes to a green future!

Read more about this system: https://thekitepower.com/the-hawk/

DROMEC Winches develops umbilical winch for Seatools

Seatools is a subsea technology company that provides high-end solutions for a wide range of underwater challenges. The majority of solutions they deliver are custom-made and cater to markets ranging from aquaculture to offshore oil and gas. DROMEC Winches has developed a special umbilical winch for Seatools.

Umbilical Winch

The depth of the sea is a determining factor for placing offshore wind turbines. Foundations are realized by driving so-called pile casings into the seabed, which generates significant vibrations that can disrupt marine life. These vibrations need to be minimized as much as possible. Using a specially developed bubble curtain, where air is blown into the water through holes, the vibrations are dampened. To supply air to the system, a 150-meter-long hose is extended from the sea vessel. DROMEC Winches has developed an umbilical winch for this application.

Constant Tension

As the bubble curtain descends to the seabed, the electric umbilical winch automatically pays out the hose using Constant Tension. This CT function monitors the preset maximum allowable tension on the hose, thereby preventing damage. With a pulling force of 1500 kg and a hose width of 90 mm, it is a relatively large system. In this project, DROMEC also provided special controls so that the client can remotely operate the machine. In case of unforeseen extreme weather conditions, an “hammerlug” coupling can be used to disconnect the air hose from the winch and float it overboard. Additionally, the winch is equipped with a spooling mechanism to ensure the hose is neatly wound on the drum. An additional spool guide prevents damage to the umbilical hose. The entire system is compactly built within a shipping container frame, making it easy to transport and relocate during offshore operations.

Paul, engineer, says,
“Seatools is a great company, and there is much appreciation for their quality and expertise. DROMEC Winches aligns well with Seatools in terms of mentality, engineering, controls, and assembly, making it a pleasant collaboration!”

Dromec developed & build Kitepower groundstation

Vader Piet, Aruba, 14 October 2021 – Kitepower’s mobile Airborne Wind Energy System (AWES), the Falcon 100kW engineered & build by DROMEC, is the very first AWES to be operated in the Caribbean.

The deployment of the innovative wind energy system has been part of “Caribbean Engineer 2021 (CAEN21)”, a military exercise carried out by the Dutch Defence near the area of Vader Piet on the island of Aruba.

The ongoing operation is the follow-up of a five year long collaboration between the Dutch Ministry of Defence and the Delft-based Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) start-up.

For the complete KitePower press release click here >

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