||George Michael Dadd
||University of Southampton
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Kites have hitherto been the subject of a low volume of research for ship propulsion and electric power production, but are now receiving growing interest in view of these commercial applications. Recent developments for ship propulsion, such as in autopilot kite control and in launch and recovery systems have enabled them to be used commercially for trans-oceanic voyages, yielding financial savings through reduced fuel costs. Alongside yielding financial savings for ship operators, the use of kite power helps minimise the harmful effect that shipping has on the environment. These benefits are achieved using the wind; an entirely renewable energy source which is in abundant supply for a large proportion of the world's oceans. Kites are one method that can be used for capturing this abundant energy supply at altitude. This thesis investigates the performance of kites from a technical perspective, and thus enables the calculation of potential fuel savings, and likely profitability of this type of ship propulsion system. Particular emphasis is given to obtaining an understanding of the kite dynamics because the literature surrounding this aspect of the wider propulsion problem is relatively sparse.