MAWERO (Numerical optimal control for Multi-wing Airborne Wind Energy Robustness Optimization) is a research project funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Project Number 525018088, which started in November 2023. The project is run by the Freiburg Center for Renewable Energy (German: Zentrum für Erneuerbare Energien, ZEE).

Contact person: Jochem De Schutter
Researchers involved: Jochem De Schutter, Antonia Mühleck (HiWi), Prof. Moritz Diehl

The overall aim of MAWERO is to develop numerical methods that allow to efficiently optimize flight trajectories of multi-wing airborne wind energy (AWE) systems, both offline and online, while including robustness considerations and considering a detailed model of the system wake. The outcome of the project will entail on the one hand algorithms and software for robustness optimization that can be leveraged to achieve the real-world realization of a multi-wing AWE system. On the other hand, the project will deliver improved performance assessment studies by virtue of the more accurate wake model.

Multi-wing AWE systems consist of two or more wings that fly tight crosswind trajectories around a shared main tether. Because of the low aerodynamic drag related to the tether, these systems are highly efficient even at a small scale, compared to their single-wing counterparts. Because the efficiency is independent of the tether length, the flight altitude is in principle unlimited. Interestingly, this allows for harvesting wind energy vertically in farms, which can theoretically increase the power density per ground area by roughly an order of magnitude, compared to conventional wind power. Therefore, this concept could, if all control and automation challenges can be solved, have a disruptive impact on the wind power share in the future electricity market.