Airborne Wind Energy – an emerging renewable technology
by Roland Schmehl; Associate Professor of the TU Delft University; Faculty Aerospace Engineering.
Airborne wind energy (AWE) is the conversion of wind energy into electricity using tethered flying devices. Some concepts combine onboard wind turbines with a conducting tether, while others convert the pulling power of the flying devices on the ground. Replacing the tower of conventional wind turbines by a lightweight tether substantially reduces the material consumption and allows for continuous adjustment of the harvesting altitude to the available wind resource. The decrease in installation cost and increase in capacity factor can potentially lead to a substantial reduction of the cost of wind energy. Wind at higher altitudes is also considered to be an energy resource that has not been exploited so far. In a first part, this talk will outline the fundamental working principles and a basic theory to describe the energy harvesting performance, using this to explore some of the technology demonstrators of leading industrial players. In a second part, the widely adopted pumping AWE concept will be analyzed in more detail, both theoretically as well as experimentally, with the final goal to describe the performance of AWE systems arranged in wind parks. In a last part, current research challenges are outlined, with a focus on the activities at TU Delft.
By Philip Bechtle (TU Bonn) and Udo Zillmann (Airborne Wind Europe)
Airborne wind energy systems can harvest winds at 500 meters and even higher altitude. Airborne Wind Europe presents the first wind maps for such altitudes based on ERA5 wind data
By Ecorys; study commissioned by the European Commission DG RTD
Airborne wind energy systems (AWES) is the umbrella name for a series of potentially game-changing concepts to convert wind energy into electricity. This study provides an overview of the technological state of the art, assesses market potential and barriers, and outlines measures and a pathway towards commercialisation,by Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (European Commission) and ECORYS.
By Kristian Petrick (Airborne Wind Europe)
Airborne Wind Europe prepared a policy scoping study in 2018. Its aim was to assess the relevance of policy changes required for the success of Airborne Wind Energy as well as possible means to achieve such policy changes.
Further academic publications: http://awesco.eu/publication/