Optimal Control for Power Generating Kites


  • B. Houska, M. Diehl


  • In Proceedings of the
    9th European Control Conference,
    Kos, Greece, pages 3560 - 3567, 2007.


In this paper we present optimization studies for kites that produce wind energy by periodically pulling a generator on the ground while flying fast in a crosswind direction. We derive a model for a single kite and formulate an optimal control problem with periodic boundary conditions and free cycle duration. The objective function is the average power at the generator. We solve this nonlinear and unstable optimal control problem numerically with a direct multiple shooting method. Here, the main result is that we can attain about 5MW with a 500 m^2 -kite at 10 m/s wind speed. Finally, we consider a system of two kites and show that such systems can further increase the efficiency.



author = {B. Houska and M. Diehl},
title = {Optimal Control for Power Generating Kites},
booktitle = {In Proceedings of the 9th European Control Conference, Kos, Greece},
pages = {3560–3567},
year = {2007}