AZoCleantech speaks to the Co-CEO of Katrick Technologies to discuss the company's innovative wind panel solution designed with aerofoils to harness energy that can be routed directly to the grid or battery system.
Can you tell us briefly about your role at Katrick Technologies and what the company does?
I am the Co-CEO of the company, alongside our founder Karthik Velayutham. I joined the company to help commercialize exceptional green technology created by Karthik and ensure that these amazing ideas become reality, driving down carbon usage in key industries while bringing returns to the early investors who believed in Katrick Technologies from the start.
What is wind technology's importance in helping us achieve net-zero goals?
Wind is important to the world’s net-zero targets. With economic growth, driving a steady demand for more energy, coupled with our need to reduce carbon, should be placed as one of the top renewable energy sources. So far, wind is not ideally placed as an affordable, urban micro-green energy technology.. With our wind panel technology perfectly complementing the traditional turbine, access to affordable wind energy becomes an even greater reality – bringing green energy generation to urban landscapes, roadside and other previously out-of-reach areas. Wind is almost universal and ubiquitous. It often outperforms solar, especially in the far north and south and is typically more prevalent when there is less sun. It is an obvious green energy technology.
Can you tell us about your unique panel system which helps harness wind power for sustainable energy generation?
Our wind panel technology has been designed and built to be an efficient ground-level wind energy source for urban and rural environments to provide sustainable green energy. The wind panel consists of 12 independently operating aerofoils that follow a controlled oscillation pattern, converting the turbulent ground-level winds into green energy. This can be routed directly to the grid or a battery system.
How are aerofoils used to capture kinetic energy and convert it to green electricity?
Conventional wind turbine technology is unable to operate effectively in urban environments, we need a system that is able to react to the varying wind behaviours to maximize the power generated. Katrick has designed the wind panels specifically to operate under these conditions. The size of the panels and configuration of aerofoils allows you to efficiently capture winds of varying speeds and directions. The ducts contain multiple aerofoils, increasing the working surface, which maximises the energy capture. The power produced by the generator is transferred via a Variable Energy Transfer System (VETS), a flexible solution to suit the end user’s usage and storage requirements.
How does this technology compare to other current or more traditional wind technologies?
Our technology perfectly complements current wind technologies. Turbines are designed to operate under National Grid’s power distribution networks. Microgeneration allows businesses to make and store their own energy preventing reliance on the grid and avoiding the associated environmental problems.
Our product is small, modular, aesthetically pleasing, and lends itself expertly to more urban locations such as roadsides, airport landscapes, atop or aside buildings, off grid urban EV charging, etc. Our product expands capacity on existing wind farms by adding additional energy collection at low levels, without interfering with the collection by the turbines above. We believe our product brings wind to the point of consumption, brings the cost of wind energy down to a consumer price point and expands the opportunity to generate green energy in low-solar environments not previously appropriate for wind energy generation.
What further work is needed before renewables can completely replace fossil fuels?
As detailed above, there is a severe issue with grid access to traditional wind locations. As we look to build more offshore generation to meet our green energy needs, there is a huge cost in running HV infrastructure to carry the power to the points of consumption and building battery storage for off-peak generation. Similarly, the planning processes surrounding the deployment of traditional wind farms is slow and fraught with controversy. Again, we hope our product can go a long way to solving this issue on both fronts, as our product can be deployed nearer the point of consumption and is considerably less visually dominant. Similarly, for solar, much is made of how the energy that falls on the Sahara Desert could power all of Europe. But to bring that energy to Europe, it is estimated that there would need more than 20 additional interconnects on the same scale as those existing between Europe and Africa to deliver that energy. The cost of these interconnects is in the billions. Again, we believe we can bridge that gap.
What do you believe the future holds for wind power?
Nothing but opportunity. We do not envisage a world led by our product. Traditional turbine technology continues to evolve and now offers outstanding outputs. With economies of scale, improved grid capacity, battery storage, and our product woven into the fabric, wind can easily be the dominant source of green energy for most nations.
Image Credit: studiovin/Shutterstock.com
What challenges does the wind energy industry often face and how is Katrick Technologies overcoming them?
Distance from generation to consumption, limitations of grid capacity, cost, and limited availability of battery storage, planning constraints and NIMBYism are all major challenges for the wind industry. All of these I believe our product overcomes and acts as a perfect, scalable, and affordable complement to the emerging wind industry.
Can you explain the concept of microgeneration within the wind industry and its potential?
Micropower generation is generally a better option for renewable sources as the energy from the renewable sources is dissipated and requires a large area to capture it compared to any fossil or nuclear-based sources. With ever-growing power demands, building numerous micro-generators close to the point of use is more efficient, reliable and cleaner than building more sizeable central power plants.
We have already utilized a vast portion of the earth's land space for urban development; why not use it to generate clean and green power using micropower plants? Though wind energy has a higher energy density, at the moment, only solar plays a key part in micro-urban power generation. Wind turbines have several issues, the key one is at the ground level, the wind flow is turbulent, and in the urban built-up space and gust, wind further increases the turbulences.
Katrick Technologies has developed a novel method to capture the ground-level turbulent wind. We also believe bringing wind generation to urban locations should be noise-free and aesthetically pleasing. We can revolutionize the urban micropower generation industries with our wind panels by bringing clean and green energy to our doorsteps.
What are the next steps for Katrick Technologies?
We understand that all the key players should play their part for new technology to be successful. Therefore, we are currently working with our OEMs, aggregators, public-sector bodies, and end-users to create a consortium to enable all our technologies to come to the market as quickly as possible without any hurdles. We are also working with our international partners to speed up the process of implementing our technologies for a greener future. Our next step is demonstrating our technologies in various environments through our partners.
Where can readers find more information?
About Vijay Madlani
Vijay Madlani is the Co-CEO of Katrick Technologies. With 15 years of experience across the global end-to-end supply chain in multiple sectors covering FTSE-100 and privately owned environments. Since joining Katrick Technologies, Vijay has been instrumental in the company's progression through creating crucial partnership agreements and fundraising.
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