Airfoil-Based Solution for Vessel on-board Energy Production Destined to Traction and Auxiliary Services

The project's objective was the generation of electric energy on vessels. In the troposphere, the wind increases its velocity with the altitude and this velocity is also more constant. KiteVes solution was based on the on-board realisation of a wind-powered generator, capable to harvest the altitude wind and to efficiently convert wind power into electrical power. The kites would be equipped with sensors. The sensors would identify position, orientation and acceleration of each kite. The data would be transmitted to a control unit (placed on the vessel) which pilot motors (also placed on the vessel).

Through a cinematic chain and the two cables, connected to the kites, the motors control the fly of the kites. The motors were equipped with double effect drives, this way the same motors act as power generators. The main concept that lied behind this project was the application of emerging technologies in the field of energy production to the field of surface transport, with the main objective of performing the greening of surface transport itself by the implementation of technologies for an optimal use of energy. The main objective of the KITVES Project was to provide an innovative solution to the electric energy supplying aboard vessels, available for the following purposes:

Supplying energy to on board services and auxiliaries; 
Supplying energy for traction purposes on electric motors-powered vessels. 
The KITVES solution had the following advantages in respect to traditional wind traction: 
To harvest powerful geostrophic and gradient wind in the troposphere and transform it in electrical energy; 
To generate power commensurate to the vessel requirements for auxiliary services, traction or both.
To provide automatic optimization of the balance between the amount of the generated energy and the resulting forces referred to the velocity and the direction of the vessel.
To allow shipping freedom, with airspace occupancy compatible to other vessels equipped with the same system and flying objects, automatically controlling the collision avoidance 

To implement the take-off/landing of the wings and their recovery allowing unattended operations. Moreover, the forces exerted by the wind harvesting energy operations by the KITVES may also be used to provide or help the vessel direct traction. Even if the forces excerpted by the generator are usually almost neutral for the vessel traction, the same forces may in fact help the direct traction – when possible and if so desired, becoming through this way a potential additional tool able to give the ship a desired movement and direction, especially suitable in risky or difficult manoeuvring context 

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