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Airborne Turbines: The Impact of Scaling on System Performance

[+] Author Affiliations
Mir Hamed Mohafez

Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

Navid Goudarzi

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC

Paper No. IMECE2017-72305, pp. V006T08A021; 9 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Energy
  • Tampa, Florida, USA, November 3–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5841-7
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Tethered airborne wind energy systems are among emerging renewable energy technologies in recent years. These systems can harness greater power densities at higher altitudes with lower costs of installation and energy production in comparison with those from conventional ground-based energy harnessing technologies. A Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) as a flying aerostat has a horizontal axis wind turbine within its shell and can elevate up to 600m. There are a number of pertinent parameters such as BAT configurations/component dimensions or its aerodynamic characteristics that impact the system total power performance. Identifying the optimum values of these parameters by conducting theoretical and computational analysis will benefit both lab- and full-scale experiments with more accurate dimensional and aerodynamic analysis.

This paper presents an analytical model for investigating the impact of a BAT system scaling and in particular the BAT shell dimensions on its power performance/coefficient. The model uses the flying conditions and BAT shell dimensions from literature to derive the system total mass as a function of BAT shell dimensions. The effect of BAT shell variations/scaling on system power coefficient and its optimum value for stable/safe system design are determined. This work provides a basis for the follow on research phases of this project that has focus on studying BAT system aerodynamic performance and its wake behavior at different scales and environmental conditions.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Turbines



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