Modelling and control of tethered kite systems for wind energy extraction

Thorpe, D 2011, Modelling and control of tethered kite systems for wind energy extraction, PhD Thesis, Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Modelling and control of tethered kite systems for wind energy extraction
Author(s) Thorpe, D
Year 2011
Abstract This thesis presents the investigation into modelling, control, simulation and prototype construction of a tethered glider for wind power extraction. Specifically a mathematical model of the proposed system is developed. This model is then used for the development of a Simulink® based simulator, heuristic control, and optimal periodic trajectories for power generation.

It is shown that heuristic control can provide significant power generation that is relatively insensitive to turbulence however; these basic controls are shown to be significantly sensitive to mean wind speed variations. Based on heuristic control (of a conventional glider) certain aspects of the system design are looked at with regard to their impact on power generation. It is shown that the use of a high efficiency drive motor and a two-speed gearbox on the winch can significantly improve power conversion efficiency. Further with the aid of aerodynamic spoilers to reduce the lift generated the glider can be retrieved faster, thus improving average cycle power.

Optimal control methods are then shown to provide a significant increase in power generation (with the use of a gearbox) without the need for additional aerodynamic actuators (spoilers). In fact, maximum power generation and maximum retrieval at minimum power consumption can be achieved for a specific winch design. It is thought that ultimately optimal control methods will play a key part in this emerging
technology.

Work on the development of a prototype system is then presented. The result is a working prototype system, which is aimed at being used in future experimental work. Following the design work is an explanation of how the model parameters were identified from the prototype system to match system performance to model performance.

To finalise the work on the system prototype the system is tested in the field and shown to function however no power is generated within this work.
Degree PhD Thesis
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Keyword(s) Kite Generator
Wind Turbine
Wind Energy
Renewable Energy
Kite Model
Winch
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Created: Thu, 13 Sep 2012, 15:08:28 EST by Brett Fenton
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