Wind power generation using kites

MOST of wind-energy-production systems, like wind turbines, extract power at low altitudes. Although it has made possible an extensive wind exploitation and a remarkable growth in later years,important benefits would be obtained if power systems were operated at high altitudes. The power that could be extracted from the wind increases with the cubic power of the wind velocity, which also increases with the altitude. In addition, the substitution of wind turbines by lightweight structures placed at a high altitude, like kites, would reduce the costs and the visual impact of these installations. Kites can produce electrical energy by implementing a "yo-yo" maneuvre, which is based on a periodic cycle made up of two phases. During the reel-out phase, the strong traction force in the tether of the kite, generated by the kite flying in a crosswind maneuvre, is used to produce electrical energy by spinning a generator at ground. The tether is winched in, and the kite flies back during the reel-in phase. In order to understand the dynamics and control of the "yo-yo" maneuvre, we have developed a flight simulator of a power kite. This model, which includes bridle and tether control, can be used to find optimal control laws to maximise the generated power and the stability of the kite. The team is opened to undergraduate and master students interested in clean energy schemes, nonlinear dynamics and chaos in dynamical system and control theory.

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Recent publications
  1. Dynamics and control of single-line kites
    G. Sanchez-Arriaga, The Aeronautical Journal , (2006)
  2. Flight dynamics and stability of kites in steady and unsteady wind conditions
    L. Salord and G. Sanchez-Arriaga, Journal of Aircraft , (2014)
  3. A Kite model with bridle control for wind power generation
    J. Alonso and G. Sanchez-Arriaga, Journal of Aircraft , (2015)