Exploring design dominance in early stages of the dominance process: The case of airborne wind energy

Geerten van de Kaa*, Linda Kamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


This paper is about Airborne Wind Energy Systems, a promising new wind power generating system that, although technologically possible to realize, is not available on the market yet. Currently, many different technological options for the systems are being developed. One question for such systems is where to position the generator, on the ground or in the air. These two configurations constitute two alternative designs that may eventually characterize the dominant design. This paper aims to find which of the two alternative design choices will have the highest chance to dominate and what factors affect that. The literature on these two design options is consulted, and indicators are distilled. Experts are asked to evaluate these indicators making use of the Best Worst Method. It appears that for this battle, technological superiority, flexibility, the regulator, and ‘big fish’ are the most critical factors. In part, this supports earlier thinking in dominant design research and offers new insights into that literature. The two designs are found to have still equal chances of achieving design dominance. This paper is novel in that it applies the Best Worst Method to Airborne Wind Energy Systems for the first time, and, for one of the first times, empirically studies factors for technology dominance in the stage at which a prototype is ready, but a commercial product has not been launched yet.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128918
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Airborne wind energy systems
  • Best worst method
  • BWM
  • Dominant designs
  • Standards


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring design dominance in early stages of the dominance process: The case of airborne wind energy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this