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Aerodynamic analysis of Ampyx’s airborne wind energy system

Vimalakanthan, K., Caboni, M., Schepers, J. G. , Pechenik, E. & Williams, P. (2018). Aerodynamic analysis of Ampyx’s airborne wind energy system. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1037(6), article number 62008. doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/1037/6/062008


Besides classical horizontal and vertical axis wind turbines, alternative ways to harvest wind energy are currently being explored. One promising concept is represented by airborne wind energy systems. Different airborne wind energy concepts have been ideated and investigated over the past few decades. The work reported here focuses on the concept being developed by Ampyx Power that basically generates power using a tethered airplane which drives a generator on the ground. The aim of the work reported here is to develop and compare design calculations for such a power plane. In this study a comparison was made between steady and unsteady RANS CFD calculations from SU2 and OpenFOAM. Subsequently, using the data from the CFD calculation two different power prediction models were developed and compared, one using 2D CFD data with the free vortex code AWSM and the other using the same data with a nonlinear lifting line approach to model the power plane in its figure eight flying trajectory. Overall, comparisons show that for all practical angles of attack, as well as a range of flap angles, that 2D CFD results agree extremely well between both solvers. The 3D CFD results show <20% differences on the computed total forces, despite achieving good agreement on the relative force contributions across the power plane. A very good agreement has also been established between the power prediction models.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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