Environmental Issues

 

Wind power generation methods can be all labelled as "clean" technology

With zero emissions of CO2, other green house gases, ashes and particulate matter, wind power is the main drive behind KitVes Research.

KitVes technology, when compared to wind turbines, foresees a lower cost of energy produced, yet in turn returns improved results in terms of energy balance, i.e. the calculation of how long a power plant must operate to produce the amount of energy that will use in its entire life cycle (from raw material extraction to final disposal).

The environmental impact should be then analyzed not only on a global scale, but also related to the localization of each power plant, where the following main factors arise:

Scenic and visual impression

The aerial part, since the power kites fly at an altitude of 800 / 1 000 m tethered by small diameter lines, is much less visible than today's wind turbines.

The ground systems are concentrated along a circular path, while the vast majority of the occupied area is available for agricultural activities. The visual impact can be enhanced by specific architectural design; it must be noted anyway that, equal the installed power, land use is lower than what required by current wind technologies, with the possibility to concentrate the needs into few large installations.

Shadows

Power kites project little or no shadow, the Sun tends to completely dissolve the shadow of any object if positioned at a distance from the ground larger than approx. 100 times its width.

Birds

Several studies suggest that overall bird deaths due to wind turbines are much less than those related to other anthropic causes (power lines, pesticides, cars, buildings with windows, etc.). Specific and detailed analysis will have to be conducted for the KitVes systems, but the higher operative height of the power kites appears to be a positive factor, considering also that the speed of the lines' movement decreases as they get closer to the steering units at ground level.

 Noise

While the noise produced by the aerial part is negligible, the ground systems can be compared to a low speed railway with good soundproofing (50 dB at 200 m distance).

 
 

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KitVes is a collaborative project of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission.


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