KROS Project Summary:

The KROS (Kite, Rowing, Ocean, Solar) project began in 2005 with the design and construction of a fiberglass and Kevlar composite hull that is 7 meters in length and 1 meter wide. The purpose was to develop a small ocean-going boat to travel long distances using kite sails for downwind sailing and rowing during calms.

As designed, the hull was completed and tested in 2006, then the upper decks were built in 2007. The boat was built in Colorado and was used with several student projects in renewable energy. Hewlett Packard awarded an educational grant for technology based on this project.

We tested the rowing speed and initial kites in the inland Pacific waters near Port Townsend, Washington during 2008. Kite companies either donated kites or provided educational pricing for the equipment. This included HQ Kites, Gomberg Kites and New Tech Kites.

During the 2008-2009 school year at Bainbridge High School, students helped to design the solar electric system used on KROS. Bainbridge Schools Foundation funded educational resources for our Math Lab Class so that students could learn about alternative energy. Two 80 Watt BP Solar panels and a Morning Star Controller from are used to charge Odyssey Batteries that power the electronic equipment. Based on this work, we were awarded the Innovative Educator Award for Environmental Education for 2009 from the Educational Facilities Planners Organization. Funding was awarded to continue to expand solar projects for the next year.   

In 2009, initial Pacific Ocean testing was conducted up to 200 miles offshore during the month of July. KROS was fitted with solar panels for charging satellite communications, GPS and other electronics. Large delta and sled ram-air kites were tested in winds up to 30 knots, with rowing in all sea and wind conditions. Concept II assisted with carbon fiber oars and sculling oarlocks. A sliding seat and rudder were custom fitted and tested. Supplies were on-board to test full design weight conditions along with the reverse osmosis watermaker. Performance data was collected for a range of student projects.
2010 was the year for investigating human bio-mechanics and the effects of hydration and nutrition for long term endurance. A triathlon bike was converted for light weight road travel and tested for over 2,000 miles in the Sonora and Mohave Deserts during the months of July and August.

In 2011, KROS was moved back to the commercial building in Colorado for a refit. The boat will use AIS for navigation; the rowing oarlocks will be modified and the attachment point changed so that 4 and 5 line hybrid power kites can be used for propulsion on a beam reach, using Liquid Force kiteboarding kites.