Airborne wind energy

Work package 1a: Breakthrough technologies for sustainable energy supply – wind

Principal investigator

Other researchers

  • Reint-Jan Renes, Professor of Psychology
  • Test Person, PhD. Candidate
  • Test Person, PhD. Candidate

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engineers to work on high-tech sustainable energy systems.

Work package 1a: Breakthrough technologies for sustainable energy supply – wind


  1. Develop an airborne wind energy resource analysis tool and forecasting model.
  2. Develop AWE system performance models for full integration with the integral model of NEON.
  3. Optimize the operation of AWE systems arranged in wind parks, to minimize levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and profit of energy (LPOE) while ensuring reliable and safe operation.
  4. Optimize the joint operation of wind and solar parks for the energy scenarios proposed in NEON.
  5. Develop design methodologies for performance-critical (e.g. flying) system components.
  6. Assess environmental footprint (acoustic emissions, effect on flora and fauna, water) and public acceptance of AWE systems.
  7. Define regulatory framework for commercial operation of AWE systems for on- and offshore.


  1. Combine AWE resource assessment tool and system performance model to calculate annual energy production (AEP) for specific locations on- and offshore. Validate with existing measurement data.
  2. Explore potential of dynamically varying operational parameters to further optimize AEP.
  3. Refine park level aspects such as phase shifted operation, aerodynamic interaction, maximizing packing density, availability and impact of turbulence and extreme weather.
  4. Analyze the effect of large-scale AWE generation on the electricity landscape, particularly also how this breakthrough technology can be used to complement conventional wind and solar energy.
  5. Create design methodology for for flexible membrane wings, including bridle line system, based on coupled flight dynamic, aerodynamic and structural dynamic model of the wing.
  6. Develop a supply chain for major cost parts and their production, in particular for the flying components. This includes smart choices for durable materials and advanced manufacturing.

Expected output

  1. At least 5 journal papers describing the advancement of AWE for large-scale offshore energy generation, some co-authored with other WPs (M12x1,24×2,36×2,48×2).
  2. At least 5 journal papers describing the advancement of small-scale onshore energy generation, some co-authored with other WPs (M12x1,24×2,36×2,48×2).
  3. At least 3 journal papers describing the environmental footprint of AWE and public acceptance, some co-authored with other WPs (M12x1,24×1,36×1,48×1).
  4. At least 14 conference papers, some co-authored with other WPs (M12x2,24×6,36×6).
  5. Toolchain from wind resource assessment to annual energy output with focus on the Netherlands.
  6. At least 3 PhDs will spend more than 3 months abroad with knowledge institutions.
  7. At least 20 mentions of NEON scenarios in national newspapers or on television.