An Aero-Structural Model for Ram-Air Kite Simulations

Published in:
, TU Delft , SkySails Power GmbH
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Published on:
March 9th, 2023
Last modified on May 23rd, 2023 at 16:10

In the current auction-based electricity market, the design of utility-scale renewable energy systems has traditionally been driven by the levelised cost of energy (LCoE). However, the market is gradually moving towards a subsidy-free era, which will expose power plant owners to fluctuating electricity prices. This paper presents a computational approach to consider the influence of time-varying electricity prices on the design of airborne wind energy (AWE) systems.

The framework combines an analytical performance model, wind resource characterization based on ERA5 reanalysis data, and a parametric cost model. It estimates annual energy production (AEP) and revenue profiles using an energy price model with real-life data from the ENTSO-E platform. Multiple economic metrics are compared within a chosen design space. Simulation results confirm that electricity produced at lower wind speeds holds higher value. To account for this dependency, an economic metric called the levelised profit of energy (LPoE) is proposed, balancing cost minimization and value maximization in system design.

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