Power to the airborne wind energy performance model: Estimating long-term energy production with an emphasis on pumping flexible-kite systems

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Abstract

The potential of utility-scale airborne wind energy (AWE) systems to contribute significantly to the energy transition hinges on their large-scale deployment, which depends on the cost-competitiveness and complementarity with conventional wind turbines. Central to the assessment of these metrics is understanding long-term energy production, which is influenced by the variability of wind profiles. This thesis investigates the significance of wind profile variability on annual energy production estimation for AWE systems. The study establishes the climatology of vertical wind profiles and expands flight operation models of AWE systems. By synthesising these aspects, a new energy production estimation framework is developed to incorporate variations in the wind profile shape. This framework is utilised to assess the impact of different wind profile shapes on the energy production estimation. The research underlines the need to move away from conventional wind energy calculation methods and offers a more suitable alternative for AWE systems. The framework offers a valuable tool for increasing the understanding of the viability of large-scale deployment of AWE systems.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Watson, S.J., Supervisor
  • Schmehl, R., Supervisor
Award date18 Mar 2024
Print ISBNs978-94-6384-549-6
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Airborne wind energy
  • flexible-kite system
  • performance modelling and optimisation
  • energy production estimation
  • test flight data analysis
  • power production characterisation
  • vertical wind profile characterisation

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