What will be exhibited?

The Carousel, constructed by the Prof. Diehl’s Systems Control and Optimization Laboratory at the University of Freiburg, consists of a rotating 4m tall aluminum arm. Either a single wing or a kite with up to 2m wing-span can be attached at the end of the arm. The Carousel is then used to test new control algorithms for airborne wind energy.

What is special about the exhibited system/object?

The Carousel normally stands in a dedicated hangar in the Technical Faculty campus, where the presence of safety netting allows a rotation of up to 100 rpm. The many sensors and high-performance microcontrollers present on the wing can also be tested. In addition to the motor that drives the Carousel rotation, the system also includes two strong motors that drive a winch. This winch can be used to roll and unroll the kite’s tether.

What vision does your company/group have for the exhibited system/object? What is the vision of the company/group, in general?

In addition to the characterization and improvement of airborne wind energy in general, the goal of the University of Freiburg research activities is to achieve an airborne wind energy system of two kites that orbit about each other. This system might be achieved by using a rotating system, such as the Carousel, to autonomously launch and land the two kites.

Over the last few years, such a two-kite system has been studied by the Systems Control and Optimization Laboratory of Prof. Diehl in computer simulations. The advantage of two orbiting kites, in comparison with systems of only one kite, is a significant reduction in air resistance along the tether. This raises the possibility that a small system can reach high altitudes.

If the University of Freiburg research is successful in the next 5-10 years, the system is planned to extend to 2m long wings, that are autonomously steered in circles of approximately 40m radius at an altitude of up to 400m. Such a system would generate approximately 10kW of power, in a periodic cycle as the tether reels in and out.

Who is the contact person for this exhibit?

Prof. Dr. Moritz Diehl

Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) and Department of Mathematics
University of Freiburg,
Georges-Köhler-Allee 102, D-79110 Freiburg

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+49-761-203-67852 (office)
+49-152-22928584 (mobile)
+49-761-203-67849 (secretary Christine Paasch)