After the successful defences of AWESCO PhD fellows Thomas Haas and Paul Thedens earlier this year, it is now time for Mikko Folkersma to defend his dissertation Aeroelasticity of Membrane Kites for Airborne Wind Energy Applications on Wednesday 7 September 2022 at 9:30 CET at the Aula of TU Delft. Prof. dr. Gerard van Bussel is promotor, my colleague Dr. Axelle Viré and myself are co-promotors.
Abstract: Airborne wind energy systems use tethered wings to extract high-altitude wind energy with a minimal structure. A common concept is traction kites, which fly fast crosswind maneuvers. For commercial viability, the systems need to be more reliable and efficient. This thesis focuses on membrane kites and develops a steady-state aeroelastic model by coupling computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and shell finite element (FE) solvers. This thesis presents three computational studies with the model. The first two focus on the aerodynamics of a fixed leading edge inflatable tube kite airfoil and wing. The third study presents the aerodynamics of a flexible ram-air kite with several power configurations. The model converges satisfactorily, is computationally relatively inexpensive, and could be a valuable asset in evaluating membrane kite designs.
The presentation (9:30 CET) and defence (10:00 CET) are a must-watch for any kite designer and can be followed via live stream.
The dissertation can be downloaded from here.