Structural optimization of the pumping kite wind generator

  • Ivan ArgatovEmail author
  • Risto Silvennoinen
Industrial Application


This paper focuses on structural optimization of the so-called pumping kite wind generator whose operating principle consists in mechanically driving a ground-based electric generator by means of tethered kites. The employed mathematical model of the kite wind generator is based on the refined crosswind motion law derived under the assumption of equilibrium motion of the kite. The resulting simple approximate analytical formula for the mean mechanical power generated by the deploying kite is used for the constrained structural optimization of the pumping kite wind generator maximizing its electrical power output by adjusting the key structural parameters of the kite wind generator.


Wind energy Kite generator Structural optimization Mechanical power Crosswind motion 


  1. Argatov I, Rautakorpi P, Silvennoinen R (2009) Estimation of the mechanical energy output of the kite wind generator. Renew Energy 34:1525–1532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bechrakis D, Sparis P (2000) Simulation of the wind speeds at different heights using artificial neural networks. Wind Eng 24:127–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bolonkin A (2004) Utilization of wind energy at high altitude. AIAA-2004-5705. In: Proceedings of the AIAA conference guidance, navigation, and control, Rhode Island, 16–19 August 2004Google Scholar
  4. Canale M, Fagiano L, Ippolito M, Milanese M (2006) Control of tethered airfoils for a new class of wind energy generator. In: Proceedings of 45th IEEE conference on decision and control, San Diego, 13–15 December 2006Google Scholar
  5. Canale M, Fagiano L, Milanese M (2007) Power kites for wind energy generation. Fast predictive control of tethered airfoils. IEEE Control Syst Mag 27:25–38CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen W (1997) Handbook of structural engineering. CRC, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  7. Diehl M (2001) Real-time optimization for large scale nonlinear processes. PhD thesis, University of HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  8. Eschenauer H, Olhoff N, Schell W (1997) Applied structural mechanics. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  9. Hoerner S (1965) Fluid-dynamic drag. Hoerner Fluid Dynamics, BricktownGoogle Scholar
  10. Houska B, Diehl M (2006) Optimal control of towing kites. In: Proceedings of the 45th IEEE conference on decision & control, San Diego, 13–15 December 2006Google Scholar
  11. Ilzhöfer A, Houska B, Diehl M (2007) Nonlinear MPC of kites under varying wind conditions for a new class of large-scale wind power generators. Int J Robust Nonlinear Control 17:1590–1599zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Knudsen H, Nielsen J (2005) Introduction to the modelling of wind turbines. In: Ackermann T (ed) Wind power in power systems. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  13. Kromm F, Lorriot T, Coutand B, Harry R, Quenisset J (2003) Tensile and creep properties of ultra high molecular weight PE fibres. Polym Test 22:463–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lansdorp B, Ockels W (2005a) Comparison of concepts for high-altitude wind energy generation with ground based generator. In: Proceedings of the 2nd China international renewable energy equipment & technology exhibition and conference, Beijing, 25–27 May 2005Google Scholar
  15. Lansdorp B, Ockels W (2005b) Design of a 100 MW laddermill for wind energy generation from 5 km altitude. In: Proceedings of the 7th world congress on recovery, recycling and re-integration, Beijing, 25–29 September 2005Google Scholar
  16. Lansdorp B, Ockels W (2007) Design and construction of a 4 kW groundstation fo the Laddermill. In: Proceedings of the power and energy systems conference, Palma de Mallorca, August 29–31Google Scholar
  17. Lansdorp B, Williams P (2006) The Laddermill—innovative wind energy from high altitudes in Holland and Australia. In: Proceedings of GLOBAL WINDPOWER 06 conference, Adelaide, 18–21 September 2006Google Scholar
  18. Loyd M (1980) Crosswind kite power. J Energy 4:106–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Meijaard J, Ockels W, Schwab A (1999) Modelling of the dynamic behaviour of a Laddermill, a novel concept to exploit wind energy. In: Proceedings of the third international symposium on cable dynamics, Trondheim, Norway, 16–18 August 1999Google Scholar
  20. Podgaets A, Ockels W (2007a) Flight control of the high altitude wind power system. In: Proceedings of the 7th conference on sustainable applications for tropical island states, Cape Canaveral, 3–6 June 2007Google Scholar
  21. Podgaets A, Ockels W (2007b) Problem of Pareto-optimal control for a high altitude energy system. In: Proceedings of the 9th world renewable energy congress WREC IX, Florence, 19–25 August 2007Google Scholar
  22. Ray M, Rogers A, McGowan J (2006) Analysis of wind shear models and trends in different terrains. In: Proceedings of the AWEA windpower 2005 conference, Pittsburgh, 4–7 June 2006Google Scholar
  23. Roberts B, Shepard D, Caldeira K, Cannon M, Eccles D, Grenier A, Freidin J (2007) Harnessing high-altitude wind power. IEEE Trans Energy Convers 22:136–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Williams P (2006) Optimal wind power extraction with a tethered kite. AIAA paper 2006-6193. In: Proceedings of the AIAA guidance, navigation, and control conference, Keystone, 21–24 August 2006Google Scholar
  25. Williams P, Lansdorp B, Ockels W (2008) Optimal crosswind towing and power generation with tethered kites. J Guid Control Dyn 31:81–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering Problems, V.O.St. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA
  3. 3.Department of MathematicsTampere University of TechnologyTampereFinland

Personalised recommendations