Automatic operation of a kitepower system
Currently, two people operate the TU Delft kitepower system, the pilot and the winch-operator. For a commercial kite power system, automated operation is needed.
Automated control of the kite
During normal operation both the kite and the winch must switch between four different modes of operation:
upper transition phase
lower transition phase
A lot of boundary conditions must be taken into account, e.g. maximal force, maximal acceleration, minimal and maximal height, maximal cable length. The kite controller must have an input for the desired elevation angle of the kite and it's orientation with regard of the wind direction.
During the reel-out phase the average force must be maximized without exceeding the maximal design force.
Automated control of the winch
During the reel-out phase the power output must be maximized without exceeding the maximal design force. This goal is reached, if the reel-out speed is increased proportional to the square of the wind speed, until the maximal force is reached. Then it must be kept constant by increasing the reel-out speed, when the force exceeds the desired value.
Automated higher level control
An higher level controller must coordinate the control of the winch and the kite.
Current state of research
Currently (July 2011) there is no known system, that produces power in a pumping cycle and works fully automatically. To reach this goal, the ASSET institute is following the following work schedule:
Implement a computer infrastructure, that is capable of doing real-time control.
Implement a new wireless link with a high reliability and low latency.
Implement a real-time capable simulation environment with verified models of the kite, the cable and the winch.
Test the existing and new control algorithms in this simulation environment.
Test these algorithms in the field.
Compare different control algorithms and asses their advantages and disadvantages.
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