Imagine that you are standing on a beach, flying a kite across the wind. You feel the strong force from the kite strings. As you fly the kite sideways, you notice that it flies faster – way faster than the wind itself is blowing.
Flying a kite across the flow is the same principle behind Minesto’s patented and award-winning ocean technology. Except – instead of flying on a beach, we fly in the ocean, as water is nearly a thousand times denser than air so the energy is much more concentrated.
A balanced renewable energy mix is crucial in advancing the global transition towards a sustainable future energy system. Tidal streams and ocean currents are reliable and inexhaustible, and available all over the globe. To exploit this immense renewable resource, we developed our kite system technology to be lightweight, modular and scalable. This unlocks a predictable renewable energy resource, which in many cases are inaccessible to other technologies.
The power plant consists of a wing, which carries a turbine directly coupled to a generator in a nacelle. The control system steers the kite in the predetermined trajectory by moving the rudders and elevators at the rear of the kite. The tether accomodates the tether rope and cables for communication and power. The tether is connected to the seabed foundation by a simple connector that can be easily latched and unlatched for installation and recovery.
Minesto was founded in 2007 as a spin-off from Swedish aerospace manufacturer Saab. Since then, Minesto has successfully developed its unique technology. With 92 patents in 12 patent portfolios covering all relevant markets, the technology is well-protected.
What makes Minesto’s technology different from other tidal energy technologies is the wing, the size of the turbine, and the fact that the power plant is “flying” under water. The speed has a cubic relationship to the power production. This means that when the kite multiplies the relative speed which the turbine is pushed through the water, the electricity produced by the generator is several times greater compared to if the turbine would be stationary. By adding this step of energy conversion, Minesto expands the global tidal and ocean currents’ extractable potential.
Minesto’s technology has been undergoing extensive development and ocean testing since 2013. In 2020, Minesto successfully achieved the milestone of delivering electricity to the Faroes Islands’ power grid. In 2022, Minesto succesfully commissioned the first power plant from the Dragon Class product line in Vetmannasund, Faroe Islands.