Airborne wind energy systems (AWES) are seeing growing wind industry interest, but it remains an emerging technology set against conventional wind power’s track record, production volumes and readiness for market. But its fundamental benefit of eliminating the need for foundations and towers, and their associated costs, means AWES deployment could become an economically viable alternative for conventional wind installations, onshore and offshore, especially at locations otherwise considered unfit for wind-power generation.
Ampyx Power’s business focus on far-offshore, deep-water applications is reflected by its recent Sea-Air-Farm feasibility study. This project concentrates on the largest prototype now being built — the 150kW twin-body AP3 model with a 12-metre wingspan — scaled up to a future 2MW AP4 with a 36-metre wingspan. The AP3 prototype was designed primarily to demonstrate safety and automatic operation of the system. With the AP4, the emphasis shifts to optimising power generation and an offshore-dedicated application.
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