Airborne Wind Energy System Modelling, Control and Optimisation

Project Details


The height of conventional wind turbines is limited by the enormous stresses on the structure. The idea of the Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) is to replace the most efficient part of a conventional wind turbine, the tip of the turbine blade, with a fast flying high efficiency kite, and to replace the rest of the structure by a tether which anchors the kite to the ground. Power is generated either by periodically pulling a ground based generator via a winch, or by small wind turbines mounted on the kite that exploit its fast cross wind motion. While the concept is highly promising, major academic and industrial research is still needed to achieve the performance required for industrial deployment. This can best be done by innovative junior researchers in a closely cooperating consortium of academic and industrial partners. The ITN AWESCO combines six interdisciplinary academic and four industrial network partners with seven associated partners, all selected on the basis of excellence and complementarity. All partners work already intensively on AWE systems, several with prototypes, and they are committed to create synergies via the cooperation in AWESCO. The main task is to train fourteen Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in training-by-research and to create a closely connected new generation of leading European scientists that are ready to push the frontiers of airborne wind energy. AWESCO is the first major cooperation effort of the most important European actors in the field and will help Europe to gain a leading role in a possibly huge emerging renewable energy market, and to meet its ambitious CO2 targets. In addition, the AWESCO early stage researchers will be trained in cutting-edge simulation, design, sensing, and control technologies that are needed in many branches of engineering.


The project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 642682.
Effective start/end date1/01/1531/12/18

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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