AWES Efficiency Metrics

What are the key measures of efficiency in AWES engineering? In traditional aeronautics and aerospace, power-to-mass is long axiomatic as the primary efficiency figure-of-merit.

In energy market economics, LCOE is the top number.

In AWE, there is ongoing disagreement whether these metrics define AWES efficiency best. Statements such as these are common-

Windy Skies: “fabric kites are less efficient than rigid wings”

How does this claim square with standard efficiency metrics?

Advanced paraglider wings now weigh as little as a kilo or two, for human payload of about 100kg. This is an astounding power-to-mass ratio for the fabric wing, comparable to a Space Shuttle engine [1] (but with no fuel required). No rigid AWES wing comes close such power-to-mass efficiency, especially at large scales.

In AWE, power-to-mass and LCOE of a wing are natural primary figures of merit. By comparison, smaller wing area and higher velocity are not critical AWES engineering factors in themselves, and have well-known counterproductive aspects. This is why kite sports necessarily employ large TRL9 COTS fabric wings. No rigid wing power kite exists that is safe, efficient, and cheap enough.

The cost efficiency of power wings by their LCOE is unmatched. Rigid AWES wings currently crash irretrievably in days. These statistics show drastically less cost efficiency than cheap power kites that proven to last far longer, secure capital pay-back quickest, and require far less capital to get started flying.



Other metrics of efficiency include high TRL and COTS availability-

Currently only power kites have high TRL9 and COTS efficiency. Rigid AWES wings are all custom-built low-TRL parts, despite many years and hundreds of millions of R&D.