Airborne Wind Energy - The Future of Wind Energy?

Mr Florian Bauer,
TUM / University of California, Irvine
United States

Presentation Summary

Airborne wind energy replaces, the hub, the tower and most of the foundation of conventional wind turbines by a lightweight tethered object and software. With a magnitude less construction material and simultaneously higher operation altitudes where winds are stronger and steadier, this technology has the potential to generate electricity with a higher capacity factor at lower costs. Even without subsidies, the technology could compete with coal and thus accelerate the energy transition ("Energiewende") towards sustainability. In this talk, the potential of crosswind kite power - the most promising airborne wind energy concept - is presented based on first principles. Findings from simulations and from a research prototype built by the author are illustrated. The key requirements an airborne wind energy system must fulfill for industrial deployment is discussed. Based on that, many airborne wind energy ideas can be ruled out, leading to only a handful of viable concepts.

Speaker Biography (Florian Bauer)

Florian Bauer is a Ph.D. student enrolled at Technische Universität München (TUM), Institute for Electrical Drive Systems and Power Electronics, and currently a visiting Ph.D. student at University of California, Irvine (UCI) at the Power Electronics Laboratory (PEL). He obtained his B.Eng. in "Renewable Energies" at University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld, Germany and worked on the pitch control system for an offshore wind turbine manufacturer for his bachelor thesis. At TUM he obtained his M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology with his master thesis on simulation and visualization of an airborne wind energy system. During his studies he received several scholarships and awards, such as the "German Scholarship" and the best student award. Since January 2014 he is researching airborne wind energy systems within his Ph.D. studies.

Company Profile (TUM / University of California, Irvine)

TUM / University of California, Irvine logo
The Technische Universität München (TUM) is one of the highest ranked universities of Germany and, with about 36,000 students, TUM is one of the largest technical universities in Germany. TUM is member of TU9, an incorporated society of the largest and most notable German institutes of technology.
The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is a public research university located in Irvine, California, and one of the 10 general campuses in the University of California system. UCI has over 30,000 students, 1,100 faculty members and 9,000 staff. UCI is a top ranked university, nationally and internationally.