Our technology explained


Technology


The objective of our Airborne Wind Energy System is to capture the vast wind resource at higher altitudes with much less material than used in conventional wind turbines.

The AP-3 airframe

The AP3 airframe is designed to lift up to 4.2 tons of force during normal operation. In power generation mode, AP3 rotates the generators by reeling out the tether to generate electricity – a concept patented by Ampyx Power. The 12 metre wingspan, twin fuselage AP3 is made of advanced composite materials.

Aircraft

Model AP3

Wing
The AP3 wing is highly optimized for maximum aerodynamic lifting performance due to its “triple element” design consisting of fixed slats, and automated flaps. The composite wing is manufactured to sustain significant impact damage without sacrificing overall structure integrity
Fuselage
The twin fuselage configuration was selected to allow the tether attachment mechanism to be mounted at the centre of mass and to have clearance for the tether. The AP3 fuselages contain flight computers, sensor suite, propulsion systems and landing gears.
Sensors and Autopilot
The triple redundant autopilot and advanced algorithms developed completely in-house by Ampyx Power over the past 10 years allows for full automated mission decisions at all flight operational phases. The triple flight control systems and sensor suites architecture is designed to deal with any single point of failure.
Actuators
The ailerons, flaps, rudders, and horizontal stabilizers actuated by electro-mechanical actuators provide control to pitch, yaw and roll axis. The flaps and flaperons are automatically controlled to optimize lift demand.
Propulsion Systems
The redundant twin propulsion systems are only used during the launch and climb out phase, while turned off during power generation and normal landing operations.
Onboard Generators
The onboard generators at each wing tip provide electrical power to avionics and backup system batteries.
Landing Gears
The landing gears designed and manufactured by Ampyx Power to sustain load experienced by AP3 during catapult launching and landing onto platform.
Tether

The 750 m Dyneema DM20 “on-drum” tether is 8 mm diameter allows for long term friction wear.

Tether

Model AP3

Tether
The 750 m long “in-air” tether features noise-reduction technology at only 8 mm in diameter.
Launch and Land Platform

The 20 m diameter autonomous rotating Launch and Land platform houses the catapult, arresting mechanism and tether swivel. The entire system is designed to be fully scalable for future AWES.

Launch and Land Platform

Model AP3

Rotating Deck
The compact rotating deck autonomously aligns with the changing wind direction. For AP3 testing, the deck is constructed to be flush with the ground. For off-shore and on-shore commercial deployment we will operate on elevated platforms.
Shifter Mechanism
The shifter mechanism decelerates the aircraft during landing using the tether. The winch will then reset and ready the aircraft for launch without human intervention using patented guide railing system.
Catapult System
The catapult system accelerates AP3 to 80 km/h during launch. The aircraft propulsion system is used to transition the aircraft from conventional flight into power generation mode.
Swivel Mechanism
The swivel mechanism helps guide the tether from the winch, and automatically aligns with the aircraft in-flight.
Structure
The modular structure is designed to support the landing deck and allows for ease of transportation and installation.
Ground Systems

The ground system consists of a winch, power electronics and a generator. The winch is the primary system that translates tether tension into rotational energy to drive the generator to feed electricity into the grid. The power electronics regulate and smooth out the electrical power profile while protecting the entire system from over-voltage.

Ground Systems

Model AP3

Generator
The motor generator interfaces with the tether drum to produce electrical power during reel-out phase and drive the drum to pull the tether during reel-in phase.
Tether Drum
The especially designed 0.55 m diameter and 2.75 m long drum stores 750 m of tether.
Technology