Vestmanna, Faroe Islands, Denmark – Minesto, a leading ocean energy developer and Saab spinoff, is proud to announce the first successful launch and recovery of its 1.2MW, 25-ton Dragon 12 tidal kite. This marks a significant milestone for ocean energy technology, demonstrating the readiness of Launch & Recovery System (LARS) for actual operation.

The testing of the LARS procedure, conducted in the town of Vestmanna, has shown that the methodology developed for the smaller Dragon 4 can be effectively applied to the larger Dragon 12. Despite being ten times heavier, three times larger, and using a longer tether, the Dragon 12 requires no modifications to the existing LARS method. This development not only validates the technical approach but also offers promising insights into the operational costs associated with harnessing ocean energy on a larger scale.

Dr Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto, stated, “By efficiently launching and recovering the Dragon 12 for the first time, we have now verified the critical Launch and Recovery System. It is satisfying that the operations proven effective with small-scale kites are also applicable to large-scale kites.”

The Dragon 12 commissioning continues at the test launch site to achieve electricity production, while operations of smaller Dragon 4 power plants will also persist, according to Minesto.

Minesto, founded in 2007 as a Saab spinoff, has made significant strides in the field of ocean energy. With 92 patents across 12 patent portfolios, the company has been at the forefront of tidal energy technology. In 2022, Minesto installed and initiated the first Dragon Class power plant operation at Vetmannasund in the Faroe Islands.

The company’s unique Kite System technology presents a lightweight, flexible, and scalable solution for harnessing tidal energy. This technology is designed to harness energy from tidal streams and ocean currents which are more predictable and reliable than other non-fossil fuel energy generation systems like wind and solar, making ocean energy a promising avenue in renewable energy.

The Dragon tidal kites’ power plant comprises a wing housing a turbine directly connected to a generator in a nacelle. The control system manages the kite’s trajectory by manipulating the rudders and elevators located at the back of the kite. A tether holds the kite and carries communication and power lines, connecting to the seabed foundation via a simple connection that can be locked and unlatched for installation and retrieval.

With the successful launch and recovery of the Dragon 12, the future of ocean energy looks brighter than ever.

Image source: interesting engineering