AWESome potential: Airborne wind energy’s opportunities and challenges

Markus Sommerfeld
March 1, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm


Room 110, Harry Hickman Building
University of Victoria

To date, global efforts to generate clean energy from wind have focused on building towers with energy producing turbines at the top. But there is another option for getting energy from wind: airborne wind energy systems (AWES), turbines tethered to the ground by cables. These take many forms, from soft kites to ring-shaped blimps, and operate at altitudes where winds are stronger and more predictable, which may help eliminate some of the intermittency of wind energy. Because AWES can generate power without building large towers, they have the potential to be a cheaper form of wind energy and may be especially useful to help off-grid communities switch away from diesel.

So why are there no large-scale deployments of AWES yet?

In this talk, Markus Sommerfeld will give an overview of current developments and what we can expect in the future of airborne wind energy. He will outline the potential of AWES and the technological and regulatory challenges to large-scale deployment.

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Markus Sommerfeld is a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering at UVic and a Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) research fellow. He graduated in 2015 from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany and obtained a Dipl.-Ing. degree in Mechanical Engineering and Energy Technology. He joined IESVic in September 2015 to pursue his PhD in renewable energies.

This event is part of the Pacific Climate Seminar Series, hosted jointly by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium.