The kite flies in the wind, attached to a regenerative winch on the ground through a long tether, while the wings of the rotor of a conventional windmill are directly attached to the generator shaft.
This requires the conventional windmill to position all the heavy and maintenance intensive components on top of a pedestal – high above the ground (or sea) in order to expose the wings to the wind. Moreover, the rotating wings of the conventional windmill constantly move between different wind-speeds, thus creating oscillating forces and fatigue.
Kite turbines line up the forces by mainly using tension, compared to the compression, bending and shear forces on a windmill. The way in which kite turbines handle the forces allows the same capacity to be achieved with less than 10% of the materials compared to a conventional onshore windmill. Since kite turbines can reach high altitude, it does no longer matter if the plant is located in an offshore, coastal or even inland area.
The investment cost will be significantly lower for a kite turbine system than a windmill allowing unsubsidized renewable energy. In addition, the kite turbines will catch more wind over a longer period of time than a windmill of corresponding size. An additional advantage will be that kite turbines may be built on places where windmills cannot as a result of seasonal extreme wind conditions, such as tropical storms and hurricanes.