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Design of a High Altitude Wind Power Generation System

One of the key points to reduce the world dependence on fossil fuels and the emissions of greenhouse gases is the use of renewable energy sources. Recent studies showed that wind energy is a significant source of renewable energy which is capable to meet the global energy demands. However, such energy cannot be harvested by today’s technology, based on wind towers, which has nearly reached its economical and technological limits.

The major part of the atmospheric wind is inaccessible to the conventional wind turbines and wind at higher altitude is the major source of potential energy which has not been fully exploited yet. The thesis paper has presented a study aimed to devise a new class of wind generator based on extracting energy from high altitude wind.

A brief theoretical study is presented to evaluate the potential of an innovative high altitude wind power technology which exploits a tethered airfoil to extract energy from wind at higher altitude. Among the various concepts proposed over last few decades, a kite power system with a single kite is selected for the design purpose.

The designed ground station is an improvisation over existing prototypes with an energy reservoir for having a continuous power output. A flywheel is used as the energy storage system which stores the extra energy during traction phases and supplies it during recovery phases and thus giving a continuous power generation regardless of the kite’s motion and keeping the rotor speed in a permissible range defined by the design constraints. Manufacturability of the structure, availability of the components, safety and maintenance criteria have been taken into account while building the ground station CAD model.

A dynamic simulation model is developed to investigate the power transmission system of the kite power unit which reflects the torque, speed and power behaviour of the modelled ground station driveline. The functionality of the designed model for the selected concept is tested with several numerical and graphical examples.
Source: Linköping University
Author: Aziz, Imran

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