Periodic Reporting for period 2 - AWESCO (Airborne Wind Energy System Modelling, Control and Optimisation)
Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-12-31
Addressing these challenges was the shared objective of the doctoral training network AWESCO (Airborne Wind Energy System Modelling, Control and Optimisation), which was launched in January 2015 and was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 642682. The network aimed at (1) training a new generation of world class AWE researchers highly valuable to the industry, (2) expanding the training, scientific and technical knowledge base for AWE, and (3) establishing the framework for long-term cooperation between universities and industry. Technical and scientific breakthroughs were expected for (1) modelling and computational simulation of flexible as well as rigid wing systems, (2) system design and optimisation of reliable launching, power generation and landing operation, and (3) developing new sensors, estimation and control algorithms. At finalisation of the project, the AWESCO consortium consisted of 6 academic and 3 industry beneficiaries as well as 2 fully-integrated Swiss partners with own national funding. In total 16 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) worked on 4 ambitious work packages that were aligned with the technical and scientific aims of the project. The AWESCO consortium was complemented by 9 partner organisations. Actively involved in AWE, these had joined the training network to provide secondment opportunities for ESRs, but also to send own staff or researchers to the AWESCO network trainings.
The systematic multi-disciplinary research of the AWESCO network has substantially increased the knowledge base for AWE, especially in the targetted areas of system modelling, control and optimization. The collaboration between the AWESCO network and 4 parallel EU-projects at industrial consortium partners, REACH, EK200-AWESOME, AMPYXAP3 and NEXTWIND, has created an effective research ecosystem of high value to all parties involved and the AWE community in general. The innovation potential of this ecosystem is also demonstrated by the fact that the academic beneficiaries spun-off 4 new AWE companies during the runtime of the network: Enevate (TUD), Aenarete (TUD), Kiteswarms (ALU-FR) and Kitekraft (TUM).
Two international conferences were organised during the runtime of AWESCO. The 6th Airborne Wind Energy Conference (AWEC) was held on 15-16 June 2015 in Delft, the Netherlands, attracting more than 200 participants from all over the world to attend the 54 oral presentations arranged in 10 different sessions and 17 poster presentations in a special poster session. The 7th AWEC was held on 5-6 October 2017 in Freiburg, Germany, organized jointly by ALU-FR and TU Delft and attracting a similar number of participants. The conference functioned also as a central networking event of AWESCO, providing ample opportunities for the Early Stage Researchers to present and discuss their work as well as future prospects. Both conferences have been preserved as online events by making the video recorded presentations and posters freely available to the public on the conference websites http://www.awec2015.com and http://www.awec2017.com. The two books of abstracts were published in open access and comprehensively document the state-of-development of airborne wind energy in 2015 and 2017. The generously illustrated booklets perfectly complement the scientific publication output in terms of dissemination of the technology.
The networked research activities in AWESCO also had an impact on the parallel study that consultancy company Ecorys conducted for the European Commission, assessing the challenges of the commercialisation of airborne wind energy systems (http://doi.org/10.2777/87591). AWESCO consortium members attended the final workshop on 4th July 2018 in Brussels and used this opportunity to provide feedback to the commission. Further, the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA is covering Airborne Wind Energy in their “Innovation Outlook: Offshore Wind 2016” report (http://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/IRENA_Innovation_Outlook_Offshore_Wind_2016.pdf). Another excellent indicator for the steady development of AWE technology towards utility scale is the announcement of Shell and Makani to partner and begin testing of the 600 kW system offshore Norway in June 2019 (https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/renewables/alphabets-moonshot-wind-kites-to-fly-offshore).