Techno-economic analysis of power smoothing solutions for pumping airborne wind energy systems

R. Joshi*, D. Von Terzi, M. Kruijf, R. Schmehl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


In pumping airborne wind energy (AWE) systems, the kite is operated in repetitive crosswind patterns, pulling the tether from a winch that drives a generator on the ground. During the reel-out phase of its operation, it produces power, whereas, during the reel-in phase, it consumes a small fraction of the produced power. This leads to an oscillating power profile that requires smoothing before it can be supplied to the electricity grid. This paper proposes three drivetrain concepts as a solution to this power smoothing challenge. The three concepts are based on three different types of storage technologies: electrical, hydraulic and mechanical. Techno-economic models of the drivetrains were developed and a case-study on sizing and costing of the three drivetrain concepts for a MW-scale AWE system was performed. Conclusions were drawn that provide guidance to AWE developers for choosing a suitable drivetrain concept for their systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number042069
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2022 Science of Making Torque from Wind, TORQUE 2022 - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jun 20223 Jun 2022

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