Path Optimization of a Pumping Kite System

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, TU Delft
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Published on:
July 21st, 2017
Last modified on March 25th, 2021 at 17:29

Airborne wind energy is a new research field that aims to harvest winds at high altitudes. The pumping kite concept investigated at the Delft University of Technology is based on leading edge inflatable kites that divide a generation cycle into three phases: traction, retraction, and transition. This research project aims to optimise the trajectory flown by the kite to increase the cost-competitiveness of the system. Thus, the complete system was simulated, and a sensitivity analysis was conducted. The results show that there is an area in the wind window that maximises the power production of the cycle. This area is defined by the wind speed, the shape of the figure, and the reel in/out force. Based on the findings, an algorithm that seeks the optimal path during the flight was developed. In the case study, the algorithm led to a 100% increase in cycle power and a 16% increase in the average traction power.

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