Simulation Based Wing Design for Kite Power

  • Flavio GohlEmail author
  • Rolf H. Luchsinger
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


A framework for simulating tethered wings for kite power is presented. The simulation tool contains a detailed aerodynamic model and a realistic tether model. With the aerodynamic tool, two different wings are analyzed regarding their efficiency. The aerodynamic efficiency of kites is determined with a parameter study showing the trends of the most important geometrical parameters. Those wings are manually flown in the simulator and the flight behavior is discussed. Finally, power cycles of a pumping system are simulated and controlled automatically and results are compared.


Aerodynamic Force Wing Shape Maximum Lift Wind Tunnel Measurement Retraction Phase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Baayen, J. H.: Vortexje - An Open-Source Panel Method for Co-Simulation. Submitted (2012). arXiv:1210.6956 [cs.DS]Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Breuer, J. C. M., Luchsinger, R. H.: Inflatable kites using the concept of Tensairity. Aerospace Science and Technology 14(8), 557–563 (2010). doi:  10.1016/j.ast.2010.04.009
  3. 3.
    Chatzikonstantinou, T.: Numerical analysis of three-dimensional non rigid wings. AIAA Paper 89-0907. In: Proceedings of the 10th Aerodynamic Decelerator Conference, Cocoa Beach, FL, USA, 18–20 Mar 1989. doi:  10.2514/6.1989-907
  4. 4.
    Drela, M.: XFOIL: An Analysis and Design System for Low Reynolds Number Airfoils. In: Mueller, T. J. (ed.) Low Reynolds Number Aerodynamics, Vol. 54, Lecture Notes in Engineering, pp. 1–12. Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg (1989). doi:  10.1007/978-3-642-84010-4 1
  5. 5.
    Fagiano, L., Zgraggen, A. U., Morari, M., Khammash, M.: Automatic crosswind flight of tethered wings for airborne wind energy: modeling, control design and experimental results. Submitted to IEEE Transactions on Control System Technology (2013). arXiv:1301. 1064 [cs.DS]Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gaunaa, M., Paralta Carqueija, P. F., Réthoŕe, P.-E. M., Sørensen, N. N.: A Computationally Efficient Method for Determining the Aerodynamic Performance of Kites for Wind Energy Applications. In: Proceedings of the European Wind Energy Association Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 14–17 Mar 2011.
  7. 7.
    Gohl, F.: Towards Efficient Kites: Numerical Study about Aerodynamic Efficiency, Dynamic Stability and Controllability of Kites. M.Sc.Thesis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, 2011Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Horstmann, K.-H.: Ein Mehrfach-Traglinienvergahren und seine Verwendung für Entwurf und Nachrechnung nichtplanaren Flügelanordnungen. Ph.D. Thesis, TU Braunschweig, 1986. Also published as Research Report DFVLR-FB 87-51, German Aerospace Center (1987)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Katz, J., Plotkin, A.: Low-speed aerodynamics. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press (2001)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Luchsinger, R. H.: Weight Matters: Tensairity Kites. Presented at the Airborne Wind Energy Conference 2010, Stanford, CA, USA, 28–29 Sept 2010. presentations/luchsinger rolf.pdf
  11. 11.
    Luchsinger, R. H., Gohl, F., Costa, D., Verheul, R.: Towards the design of twing. Presented at the Airborne Wind Energy Conference 2011, Leuven, Belgium, 24–25 May 2011Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mani, M.: Experimental and numerical performance evaluation. M.Sc.Thesis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, 2012Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Müller, S.: Modellierung, Stabilität und Dynamik von Gleitschirmsystemen. Ph.D. Thesis, TU Munich, 2002Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Otaduy, M. A., Lin, M. C.: Stable and Responsive Six-Degree-of-Freedom Haptic Manipulation Using Implicit Integration. In: Proceedings of the First Joint Eurohaptics Conference and Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems, pp. 247–256, Washington, DC, USA, 18–20 Mar 2005. doi:  10.1109/WHC.2005.120

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Empa – Center for Synergetic StructuresDübendorfSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations