Tethered aircraft that generate wind power at sea. High in the air, invisible from the shore. That is the goal of Richard Ruiterkamp, founder and technical director of Ampyx Power in The Hague.
With ‘PowerPlanes’, autonomous tethered aircraft, his company is developing a cheap, sustainable and effective alternative to traditional wind turbines. Existing prototypes fly over land. But that will change. Together with ECN, Marin and Mocean, Ampyx Power will explore the offshore application of their wind driven PowerPlanes. Topconsortium Kennis en Innovatie op Zee (TKIWoZ), part of the Top Sector Energy, has granted subsidy to make this possible.
Ernst van Zuijlen, Director TKI Wind op Zee “It is good to optimise existing technologies, but we also need to explore and develop alternative technologies. Especially if costs can be reduced with new solutions that are within reach. Ampyx Power systems are a good example.”
Richard Ruiterkamp: “We work with universities and aviation authorities to provide people in the world with cheap, reliable and sustainable energy. Now we can work together with research institutes ECN and Marin and also with Mocean, developer of offshore technologies, to bring our technology to the sea. We already have a test location on land, but the ultimate test is offshore. Above the sea we can harvest the most wind energy. We fly at an altitude of up to 450 metres, where the wind is strong and constant. With our technology, offshore wind farms will be quite a lot cheaper, which is the reason for Topconsortium Kennis en Innovatie to make this research possible.”