Drag power kite with very high lift coefficient

F. Bauer, R.M. Kennel, C.M. Hackl, F. Campagnolo, M. Patt, Roland Schmehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


As an alternative to conventional wind turbines, this study considered kites with onboard wind turbines driven by a high airspeed due to crosswind flight (“drag power”). The hypothesis of this study was, that if the kite's lift coefficient is maximized, then the power, energy yield, allowed costs and profit margin are also maximized. This hypothesis was confirmed based on a kite power system model extended from Loyd's model. The performance of small-scale and utility-scale kites in monoplane and biplane configurations were examined for increasing lift coefficients. Moreover, several parameters of the utility-scale system were optimized with a genetic algorithm. With an optimal lift coefficient of 4.5, the biplane outperformed the monoplane. A 40 m wing span kite was expected to achieve a rated power of about 4.1 MW with a power density of about 52 kW/m2. A parameter sensitivity analysis of the optimized design was performed. Moreover, to demonstrate the feasibility of very high lift coefficients and the validity of a utilized simplified airfoil polar model, CFDs of a proposed high-lift multi-element airfoil were performed and the airfoil polars were recorded. Finally, a planform design of a biplane kite was proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-305
Number of pages16
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care 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.


  • Crosswind kite power
  • Drag power
  • Airborne wind turbine
  • High-lift airfoil
  • Biplane
  • Genetic algorithm


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