I was just thinking; keeping things from breaking had always been a difficult problem for traditional wind.
With AWE, er are moving the goalposts. To be frank, AWE initially seems much less reliable than traditional wind, due to the number of moving parts.
So, if we only consider AWE wind power receiving appropriate service; eg changing wear parts like tether or a soft kite or similar.
AWE does have some benefits that could help with reliability. These may be
- easier to add redundancy (eg vtol + sailplane flight, the option to release tethers and fly the blades themselves, redundant actuators etc). Traditional wind is simpler but adding redundancy will not help if a blade falls off
- kites are attached by tethers. Tethers inherently provide damping so each blade is slightly decoupled from the tower
- The kites are not passing directly in front of or in the wake of a tower
- The AWE rig may be packed down automatically in extreme weather
Maybe these will offset other added complexity. I would not rule out that mature AWE could achieve higher robustness than traditional wind