Composites Today

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HAWK – Hibernian Airborne Wind Energy Kites project

Composites Testing Laboratory (CTL), Ireland, an accredited testing laboratory for advanced composite materials, in partnership with University of Galway, has launched a new project HAWK: Hibernian Airborne Wind Energy Kites, funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and featuring contributions from project collaborators Zero Nexus, TU Delft University and Airborne Wind Europe.

According to CTL, HAWK will accelerate development and deployment in the Irish marketplace of competitive energy-related products, processes, and systems by introducing an open-source database effectively giving original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) a head-start in composites airframe development. This activity will strengthen Ireland’s reputation in the Airborne Wind Energy space and will encourage increased international collaboration.

The HAWK project aims to reduce risk for AWE OEMs by:

Developing a techno-economic analysis model supported by data for candidate materials suited to Airborne Wind Energy (AWE).

Determining key challenges and barriers for Airborne Wind Energy system developers in predicting the capital and operating costs of composites airframe structures.

Analysing the main wing component for long-term performance using the material test data.

The HAWK project aligns well with the Irish Government’s Research Priority Areas 2018-2023, as it falls under two research themes: Energy, Climate Action and Sustainability; and Manufacturing and Materials. The development of AWE systems aids in the decarbonisation of energy systems and the promotion of sustainable living.

This exciting project is being part-funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) with funding of €376k and will be completed over the next two years. Furthermore, Zero Nexus will provide expert support and guidance on material selection activities, setup and use of the open-source technical cost modelling software, and certification requirements for aircraft structures development programs. TU Delft University will offer access to their open-source AWE reference system models, provide guidance on the use of the MegaAWE suite of system analysis tools, contribute requirements for sustainable materials to the project, and review test results and reports. Airborne Wind Europe will provide the link between this project and the AWE industry and its suppliers.

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