Airborne wind energy resource analysis

Philip Bechtle, Mark Schelbergen, Roland Schmehl*, Udo Zillmann, Simon Watson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)
387 Downloads (Pure)


We compare the available wind resources for conventional wind turbines and for airborne wind energy systems. Accessing higher altitudes and continuously adjusting the harvesting operation to the wind resource substantially increases the potential energy yield. The study is based on the ERA5 reanalysis data which covers a period of 7 years with hourly estimates at a surface resolution of 31 × 31 km and a vertical resolution of 137 barometric altitude levels. We present detailed wind statistics for a location in the English Channel and then expand the analysis to a surface grid of Western and Central Europe with a resolution of 110 × 110 km. Over the land mass and coastal areas of Europe we find that compared to a fixed harvesting height at the approximate hub height of wind turbines, the wind power density which is available for 95% of the time increases by a factor of two.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1116
Number of pages14
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Airborne wind energy
  • Kite power
  • Wind resource


Dive into the research topics of 'Airborne wind energy resource analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this