Aero-structural Design of Composite Wings for Airborne Wind Energy Applications
, TU Delft
December 30, 2020
In this work we explore the initial design space for composite kites, focusing on the configuration of the bridle line system and its effect on the aeroelastic behaviour of the wing. The computational model utilises a 2D cross sectional model in conjunction with a 1D beam model (2+1D structural model) that captures the complex composite coupling effects exhibited by slender, multi-layered composite structures, while still being computationally efficient for the use at the initial iterative design stage. This structural model is coupled with a non-linear vortex lattice method (VLM) to determine the aerodynamic loading on the wing. In conjunction with the aerodynamic model, a bridle model is utilised to determine the force transfer path between the wing and the bridles connected with the tethers leading to the ground station. The structural model is coupled to the aerodynamic and bridle models in order to obtain the equilibrium aero-structural-bridle state of the kite. This computational model is utilised to perform a design space exploration to assess the effects of varied load introduction to the structure and resulting effects on the kite.