Control of a Drag Power Kite over the Entire Wind Speed Range

Florian Bauer, Daniel Petzold, Ralph M. Kennel, Filippo Campagnolo, Roland Schmehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


A control scheme for drag power kites, also known as airborne wind turbines, for the entire wind speed range is proposed, including 1) a temperature controller allowing for temporary overloading of the powertrain; 2) a limitation controller ensuring that power, force, speed, and actuator constraints are satisfied; 3) a tangential flight speed controller; and 4) a tangential force control allocation, which inverts the nonline arities of the plant and allocates the flight speed controller’s tangential force demand to the available actuators. The drag power kite plant model is based on a point-mass model and a simple aerodynamics model with various drag contributions. Simulations are conducted with the parameters of the 20 kW Wing 7 developed by Makani Power, Inc. The proper working of the control scheme is indicated by the good match of the simulation results with independent simulation results and measurements published by Makani. A temporary overloading of the power train with about twice the nominal power can be concluded as a requirement; otherwise the mean power would be significantly lower. Because of the reduction of the lift and thus reduction of the centripetal force at high wind speeds, the inside-down figure eight can be concluded as the best pattern.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2167-2182
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics: devoted to the technology of dynamics and control
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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