Take-Off & Landing - A Challenge for Lift-Based, Rigid Wing AWE Systems

Stephan Schnez

ABB Zürich

Tuesday, December 08, 2015, 11:00 - 12:00

Room 01-012, Georges-Köhler-Allee 102, Freiburg 79110, Germany



Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) offers several advantages compared to conventional wind turbines, namely harvesting the wind in greater altitude where it is stronger and steadier and, at the same time, reducing weight and cost of the installation. On the other hand, automation and independent operation of AWE systems pose new challenges which have not been fully solved. Several start-up companies try to develop and commercialize AWE systems.

At ABB Corporate Research, we have been observing the field of AWE for some time. After assessing different AWE concepts, we favor rigid-wing systems with ground-based power conversion. However, launching and landing such a system autonomously is a particularly tricky challenge since it has to be done in a reliable and economic way. In my talk, I will first present our general considerations regarding AWE. Then, I will talk about our approach to the launch and landing challenge and show some recent results we obtained with our demonstrator.