Minesto's Second Sea Kite Online in Faroes

Credit: Minesto
Credit: Minesto

Tidal energy developer Minesto has this week launched its second Dragon Class tidal kite in Vestmanna, Faroe Islands, and has started producing electricity.

The tidal energy power plant “Dragon 4” will benefit from previous configuration testing executed with the first unit, says Minesto.

“As we are now commissioning the second “Dragon 4” unit, it’s with vital experience of cost-efficient onshore and offshore operations. In Vestmanna, we have created a flexible setup, where a small team can assemble and launch the kite in a few hours, practically in all tidal conditions. This operating methodology can be transferred to any location,” says Dr. Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto.

“At first glance, the two “Dragon 4” kites look identical, though a few upgrades have been implemented as part of the product development process. It’s only three months between the installation of these two units, and it is satisfying to note that this short period is sufficient time to assess, decide, install, and test upgrades prior to delivery. This also underlines the fabrication friendliness of our technology,” says Bernt Erik Westre, CTO of Minesto.

Late last year, Minesto said that, based on analyzed production data and verified simulations, its utility-scale Dragon Class tidal energy kites are each projected to produce 3.5 GWh of clean electricity per year at identified sites.

The Dragon Class tidal energy kites is an upgraded design of Minesto’s Deep Green technology for predictable renewable electricity generation from tidal and ocean currents.

The projected annual output of 3.5 GWh for a D12 (12-m wing and a rated power of approx. 1.2 MW) tidal kite system is based on installations at identified sites such as the Hestfjord strait in the Faroe Islands where Minesto together with Faroese electric utility company SEV is working toward the installation of a proposed first 10 MW commercial array.

Minesto was founded in 2007 as a spin-off from Swedish aerospace manufacturer Saab. 

Minesto’s Deep Green technology generates electricity from low-flow tidal streams and ocean currents by a unique and patented principle similar to a stunt kite flying in the wind.

The wing uses the hydrodynamic lift force created by the underwater current to move the kite. With onboard control system and rudders, the kite is autonomously steered in a pre-determined figure of eight, pushing the turbine through the water. By doing so, the turbine experiences a water flow several times higher than the actual stream speed.

The turbine diffuse power to the generator which outputs electricity via power cable in the tether. Seabed umbilical transfers the electricity to the onshore connection.

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