The primary objective of this paper is to design an aerodynamically efficient delta kite that can balance a given load when subjected to aerodynamic loads at a specific angle of attack (α) and altitude (h). The aerodynamic forces calculated based on the potential theory heavily underestimate the forces because of the formation of leading edge vortices on the delta shaped kite. The leading edge vortices are the flow separations caused at the sharp leading edge even for very small angles of attack, which remain attached to the leading edge while the kutta condition is still satisfied at the trailing edge.

Vortex lift and induced drag due to the leading edge vortices are calculated using the Polhamus method. Aerodynamic loads (L and D) have been computed by determining proportionality constants (kp, kv) using the standard Multhopp lifting surface theory (MLST). The variation of (CL) and (ΔCD) for delta kites with aspect ratio A=1, 1.5 and 2 has been examined and validated by comparing the computed CL and ΔCD values to experimental measurements. A set of vertical and horizontal loads (WT,HT) that can be balanced by delta kite at operational heights h=140, 150 and 160 m and α=8° has been successfully determined using this method. The method will be applied for the design and control of a delta kite, which will be used to harvest wind energy at high altitudes.

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