Portable Kite Turbines

Kite Power for your adventures

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A flying wind turbine to power your energy independent adventures.

Let's add kite power to your e-bike or e-car.
And take clean power to your adventure.

Kite Turbine - Basics.
Use wind to lift, inflate and spin a network of kites for energy output.

Kite Turbine - How / Why?
Tensile structures are lightweight (e.g. materials aligned with forces, like a suspension bridge) The lightweight blades fly like an auto-gyro wind turbine.
Kites can stack and pack in modular network patterns for scaling.
Lightweight and fast = more efficient harvesting

Investigation into this method is ongoing and intended to addresses the carbon intensity of large wind turbines at scale.

WARNING ! Experimental !!
Consider Safety before trying this.
These were all prototypes
Carelessness kills!! Kites are powerful!!
We are now automating a 10kW version to enhance safety by removing the need for a human operator in the field.

How to make an energy independent electric vehicle with a Kite Turbine.

Updated Instructions    28/4/2022

  1. Put a Kite Turbine in your car
  2. Park up (best on a windy hill)
  3. Fly the Kite Turbine
  4. Use it to charge the EV battery

Well sort of, yes. 

We've flown a bunch of missions and made lots of power, done some car charging and made lots of tea in the field. Lovely.  But as you'd expect with wind power, and especially with freaky flying wind power, it's a lot more complicated than that.

I started testing ideas on kite power in 2010, because kites can provide a lot of power with little material. 

Harnessing kite power and converting it to electrical energy - can't be too hard ! And it's a really good thing to achieve because it could be scalable.

Most Airborne Wind Energy Engineers start out like this, and also from being Kite Surfers.

After a lot of experimenting, My favourite method is the Kite Turbine.

It's simple, continuous rotary output, scalable yet workable on a small scale, mechanically autonomous (apart from launch & Land & as long as it's all balanced)

You can see the launching process sped up in this video

First of all the lifting kite is launched. It's job is to guide the turbine downwind, and give initial line tension to hoist the turbine. 

The turbine is then released into the air using the back-line to hold it down.

The brake is released on the ground station so that rotation can start and regen can begin.

The wise among you might now be thinking... That's bizarre - torque - sent along a string  - but surely it would just twist?

And yes - without the kite line tension and the extra rings between the lines- it would twist and has twisted. The power transmission here is rotary, yes- that's novel, but it works. We use normal Dyneema(R) rope tethers. 

But How? This is where researching Tensile Rotary Power Transmission (TRPT) will help.

I'd recommend Oliver Tulloch's PhD and the Airborne Wind Energy Forum

Basically, TRPT works with 2 ratios, the geometry ratio (ring separation / ring diameter)  and the force ratio (Axial tension / torque) . For a given geometry ratio you can safely apply a certain force ratio by adjusting the torque demand at the generator. Balance these and it works.  More pull axially means a more torsionally rigid shaft = higher energy transfer capacity.

Now we have that tensile shaft power down on the ground we can plug it into a Power Take Off Wheel on an anchored ground generation station.

Notice that there are 2 sticks at the back of this ground station generator... Without them it get's wobbly.

This was a ground station and turbine combo I was preparing for the scouts (More about that at the bottom of this chat.

The ground station has to have a really good anchor. You never want to see a 20kg lump of edgy steel flung past your head by an angry kite.

For ground station designs go here ground stations

The ground station motor/generator controller code can be found here DaisyKiteTurbineControl

it controls this rats nest

With the software and knobs and sensors, You can govern the max regen and mix the levels of control from the tip speed ratio, the tension torque ratio and the speed trend. You can also hold a brake and boost forward for start up or unwinding a mistake.

OK, nearly there.

Make sure your sram crank power meter (converted to the chainring sprocket) is connected to the wee bike computer.

Get a few powerful 36V e-bike batteries and connect 2 of them with XT-90-s anti spark plugs to the power in leads. Connect the Mega 2560 (way too slow for next revision) to your pc to get a stream of data.

Run the turbine to charge the batteries... just like that.

With your spare batteries, Connect them very carefully to a ~5kW inverter. Very Carefully.

Then fish out an EVSE car charger capable of selecting a lower than normal charging...

Read more »

  • 1 × VESC6 The VESC (Vedder Electronic Speed Controller) will save you grief. It's an amazing motor controller. pricey though.
  • 1 × E-Bike wheel. Normally I use direct drive motors for bike wheel power extraction. This time we're taking kite power directly to the wheel rim & I'm modifying a geared hub motor with the planetary clutch fixed to be engaged.
  • 1 × Jullet cable or other e-bike motor cable standard connector To tidy up and make a bit of an extension. Type dependant on what motor standards you go with
  • 12 × 2m x 5mm GRP or Carbon epoxy rod lengths to make the torque tube and top support rings You will need varying lengths of this for different rings ~12 x 2m
  • 1 × Dacron tape for leading edges, line tapers, webbing, seams, joins, ring cuffs, anything sew-y

View all 19 components

  • How to Break your Kite Turbines

    Roddy "Rags" Read04/27/2022 at 12:57 0 comments

    Flying a Kite Turbine looks a breeze on some of my videos. 

    There's nowhere better to be than a warm kite test field with a good wind...

    And with the motivation of maybe making a massively scalable and much cleaner energy solution... Why wouldn't you do this?

    In this Project Log Entry, I'm going to try put you off making a Kite turbine.

    It's not always fun and games. 

    Making a mechanically autonomous Kite Turbine by prototyping came with a lot of mistakes and crashes.

    We tested ~70 variations

    As you can see, a lot of these models weren't perfectly balanced and neat.  That, combined with - flying in turbulent wind fields, combined with the energy transmission and generation interfacing, combined with the mix of lifting and generating kite types... It wasn't always easy.

    But they have come a long way.
    And I still crash them

    A TV crew was on site to show this crash.

    Usually if you're going to goof up it's because you don't have a strong and steady lift kite.

    That's the first thing you launch and first thing you should test. I'd suggest steady 10kg line pull minimum.

    This is the main reason we have to move to automation . . . It's too easy after laying everything out on the ground to convince yourself there enough wind in the small lifter you launched. doh.

    If you want to be safer and you have time and a spare windsurf mast... This won't crash and it's handy for power testing ... But the mast bit won't scale well so it's not where my focus is.

    Can still be scary testing on a mast if you're in the wrong spot

    Again, if the lifter kite is low tension... Even if the turbine doesn't crash , the turbine head bearing could twist the backline...

    At the other end of the spectrum of crash types  - TOO MUCH POWER

    You'll have noticed we're transmitting torque axially along a set of rotating lines which are held apart by rings.

    That's all a bit novel.

    If you have this turbine spinning at high speed and your control system is asking too much of the regeneration current when a Lull or gust hits... This is my favourite warning video. You do get to see one huge safety advantage of the backline here

  • Couple test vids

    Roddy "Rags" Read09/26/2018 at 15:44 0 comments

    Oh man there was like no wind in Austria... But it did limp round and make a wee bit of power...

    Thankfully it all cam home in 1 piece

    This video was one of the Scouts prototypes

    and this is testing later on with a rigid blade set.

  • Saving weight in packaging​

    Roddy "Rags" Read07/18/2018 at 07:17 0 comments

    On all previous models, the lower, smallest hoops, were made and sewn in to the compression sleeve. This means they were a fixed size radius. Trying to package this is tricky. As seen in my previous logs. 

    So, I've made a whole new set of rings and lines for the "torque ladder". Every one of the rings now comes apart.  The rings are all made with the same 170cm carbon rod. The advantage here is you can now package all of the kites, all of the rods, all of the lines rolled together. They now fit inside tube carrier I made by modifying a pair large extendable poster tubes. (Two larger diameters fit over one smaller diameter central piece)

    The lowest 3 rings (nearest the generator) have 1 rod, the next ring has 2 rods, the third ring has 3 rods.

    Deployment is easier now, as you can unroll the complete set of torque tube lines and rings. Photos to follow. And the lines have less knots on their way down. The whole thing looks neater.

    Like a Daisy run in reverse ... I'm a fan

  • Oh Yeah the kites

    Roddy "Rags" Read07/11/2018 at 14:41 0 comments

    With practice I've neatened my old kite turbine designs. 

    Make neatly cuffed compressed rod rings as follows

    A length of loop inside the end of a compression cuff

    A length of hook over the top past the other end

    This length extra cuff longer than your rod (2 rods or 3 rods) length is great 

    The singles, a double and triple rod (1.7m x 4mm carbon epoxy, both ends with heatshrink, one end with a 10cm cuff @ 5cm epoxied in place) into a ring, compressed and closed in a cuff. The single rings have been sewn shut at ~26" ~62cm, Now our minimum packing box dimension.

    These rings now need a 6 point harness to a ring in the centre. I made the small white food grade plastic ones, (seen in the boring video) with 3 rim holes for harnessing and a central hole for the central lift line.

    Then you need to add tabs with 6 tethers to rundown the stack from ring to ring.split rings 

    The screwdriver blade was sharpened to help opening the strong split rings. The tether at the top comes from the kite, down to the split ring tabs, web supported past the inside of the cuffed ring and on down to the next ring.

    This is the tether from the kite ring. You see a double tab and split ring connection on the ring in front of the kite. That allows the ring kite to fly configured as a single, double, tripple anywhere on a stack of ring kites. Only 3 tethers (black dyneema 2mm 230DaN) come down from this ring. The kite is attached, front and back, to the ring, with webbing strengthening the joins at about 3/4 span. The tether progressively bridles to the kites original bridles. The outermost bridle pair have a longer lead form the main tether. The inside leading edge of the kite has a 3mm epoxy rod to set the leading edge tight.

    You're pretty much good to go at this point. 

    Some young scouts managed to power kettles with it so can you...

    Connect everything, throw it in the sky and get power.... well... that'll take a bit of practice yet. 

    I'll come back soon with more details of how the packing case system progresses. 

    I may yet change down to a 20" wheel for portability. I also want to make straps so that we can use a wheel which comes off, gets used, then goes back on an e-bike. The battery I use here is from an old motor which has now been incorporated into a powered drift trike. We have used the kite power to run it. But I don't recommend that design..Deadly. 

    I still have to attach (rivet) the No-Wind cranking handle to the wheel rim ( I want to call it a winding handle since there is no wind) I'd only do this for the scouts camping model as who needs a handle flying round on an actual bike wheel?

    I'll let you know how the scouts do on Jamboree.


  • Running, weight loss and flying power success

    Roddy "Rags" Read07/09/2018 at 15:33 0 comments

    Lightweight ground clamp 

    Thanks to Robbie from Gordon Diesels for designing and making a new post clamp / generator mount. This is magnificently simple. A sheet of aluminium (walkway) cut with a water-jet then folded & welded. The central slot holds a bike motor / generator shaft. Straps hold everything to a post. 

    Now we have all we need to hold the kites while allowing them to spin fast. Kite torque energy can now be extracted as electrical energy at the generator. 

    Clamp v2 (slightly longer jaws to accommodate long shaft)

    Fold the 4 webs and seam weld. (I've added 14 extra suggested hole locations (to this .jpg as splodges) to aid tying off onto flying pole or ground stake architecture. Will try get the cut pattern for you.)

    A much nicer running geared hub motor 

    I also got a new motor from Charlie And Seumas. There was one wire broken in the plug. Not a problem I cut the plug off. Made a wee tig weld on the planetary gear casing. Replaced and tested. All going sweet on VESC 6 test. Packed with grease.. it even has a wheel. Sewed on 6 strap tabs with ropes. Figure 8 stop knot at an equally measured length.

    Here's the technicals on getting regen from a bike wheel.

    How to put a torque tube together  (The boring video)

    Wow that was dull, but you did get a look at the kite and torque ladder construction.

    Lets go out and test. Finally you get to see flying and clamp v1 in action for the first time in this video.

    Finding my fortune on the Shore

    Packaging these turbines and the generation kit for travel is challenging. The smallest rings on the torque ladder are 62cm dia. They don't come apart like the large rings (yet), So somehow we need to protect that for travel. 62cm is big. 62cm is also ~the size of the 26" mountain bike wheel I was given. It's not easy to find standard packaging or storage boxes to fit that. However, if you happen to live on an island with plenty aquaculture, Giant mooring buoys tend to frequently wash up on the shore through the winter. Yes, I had these in my garden. 

    You will likely find some other kind of large plastic cylinder (maybe a garden water butt) 

    If not, first cut enough end off to protect your wheel, rings, motor and gadgets.. then scrub the barnacles off, and remove anything which still smells like an octopuses nightclub. Clean up the plastic sawdust.

  • Initial tests

    Roddy "Rags" Read07/03/2018 at 16:13 0 comments

    Successful Bodging

    I bought a nasty old geared hub e-bike motor on ebay. 36V and 36 Spoke. 36V because I have that battery, 36 spoke so I can easily tie 3 or 6 kite lines neatly to the rim.

    I chopped off the Julet plug, I couldn't find a wiring diagram online and I had no socket.  So incase you do have a socket already... Don't bother here's a picture.

    I opened up the motor, blew the ming out and removed the planetary gear to see how I could go about locking it off. As you can see in this photo, I was waaay too brutal with using an arc welder on the thin casing walls of the planetary gear freewheel... I melted the gears a little too. (use a TIG or other small welder) 

    With disregard for what went where, I hammered (a lot) the messy non-freewheel planetary hub back onto the shaft, and it broke a bit, but it wedged into the motor casing. The whole thing turned with terrible grinding sticking noises.

    Until I connected it to a VESC 6 that is... When it started to sound sweet. 

    VESC 6 is a phenomenal motor controller designed by Benjamin Vedder and sold by Trampa Boards. It's not cheap. ~£300 GBP. However it's super fast, It walks you through motor setups for Field Oriented Control, It gives you plenty of control interface and motor parameter options to play with. The VESC 4's are open source hardware too. 

    You can see in the twitter video, I added a thrust bearing (skf 51204) to the motor shaft, this holds the casing from being pulled forward by kite lines and destroying the normal motor housing bearings.

    Now find a rusty 26" 36 spoke wheel your neighbor has left outside for ~3 years. Cut it to salvage the rim. I was lucky, my motor came with a set of spokes. I was unlucky, they didn't seem to fit. I made up a spoke pattern so that they did kinda fit and it worked - ish. 

    If you have to get spokes, using calculator can help. 

    The motor and wobbly wheel need held to the ground to hold the kites. We also need the axle to point at the kites but not turn. I rivited a rough u shape section of mild steel to a set of bike handlebars. (keeping with the minimal transport theme.)  The steel had a slotted hole cut to fit the flat sections of the shaft. Good enough to hold and generate.

    After a basic wheel truing (see Sheldon Brown for expertise) I attached the 36v Bike battery and VESC6  to the handlebars. I configured the VESC 6 using VESC Tool so the application used a 10kOhm pot connected into the ADC1 of the 8 pin JST connector for speed control. I also set very timid limits to the speed and the current in the VESC Tool software.

    I readied a kite turbine I had lying about... (you likely have to make this bit) We'll cover that in a later project log entry. I also made an extension cable for the battery cause it was very heavy to hold. I fitted a windsurfing harness to the bar... for options. (You can actually run these turbines with the motor as a great big tensile prop...interesting games ahead.)

    I set off to join the scouts for a test. While camping in my van that night, I remembered to reprogram the Arduino mega 2560 R3 equivalent so the regen braking level was proportional to a smoothed factor of speed squared.  (Just a best guess at how control should work after a fair bit of experimenting.)

    Here's the Arduino code

    For the test, I arranged to tie...

    Read more »

  • Background, idea, resource, plan

    Roddy "Rags" Read06/19/2018 at 09:45 0 comments


    I'm Roddy, an engineer, teacher & househusband who loves the ecological ideal of kite power. The practice and development of kite power is harder, but doable.  (Older Instructions)

    I see massive benefits in using kite networks for Airborne Wind Energy Systems (AWES.) I design, test and openly publish details of my kite work. To read more on AWES I recommend Here and Here. I also recommend the new Springer AWES book  (I'm Chapter 21) I started Windswept and Interesting Ltd to develop kite power. (Overview of W&I

    Network kites are very different to the other AWES schemes.  Networking kites makes them stable flyers.  Extra lines make networks fault tolerant and fail safe. Networks give you more kite per line drag.

    This is a network kite turbine. I call them "Daisy". It works as a multi-stage, tilted, hollow axis, tensile auto-gyro kite turbine. (If you're keen, this work is in conjunction with  Oliver Tulloch's PhD at University of Strathclyde.) It uses a central axis lift line to guide and limit the travel of the rotary blades.

    A recent long exposure pic of my Daisy kite turbine flying at night. Flash exposed the lines and kites, a torch exposed the rotor motion of the middle ring of kites. 

    Idea and Challenge

    I've been asked to make a kite turbine, for local scouts to take with them, to an International Scouting  Jamboree in Austria this year. The scouts have an eco camping challenge.

    So I need to make this light as possible and safe to transport. Compatible with an e-bike will be a real bonus because even kids can work that regen tech. I want it to be capable of powering the bike itself and some camping gadgets. (Heavy juice ones like an electric kettle as well as USB toys.) We should be able to do this, the kite turbines have been outputting ~300W/kg flying material max so far.

    I want to dual purpose as many bike parts as I can without killing bike functionality. 

    Having said that, I'm going use a small geared hub motor and wheel to convert rotary power to electrical power. Using a small geared hub motor for regen may be controversial among cycle purists as there will now be a cogging resistance if you cycle without using the motor. (why would you? E-bikes are amazing fun with the motor on). As explained here you have to weld or otherwise lock the freewheeling planetary gear for regen to work.

    A couple whacky but possible extensions might be possible for this project. 1 Use the kite powered up from below for turbo fan propulsion (sounds fun)  2 Host the kite turbine in a tensile aerial network


    I'm lucky to have a family who let me be a househusband / mad scientist. I'm no positive on the domestic balance sheet so I keep the budget minimal. This allows the projects to be fully replicable. I do spend on the motor controller for this project. (VESC6 has a very good open source hardware history and cheap derivative alternatives are available) I also spend quite a bit on carbon tubes. Cheaper fibreglass rods have worked on designs I've shared before. 

    Oliver Tulloch and I have a small budget for parts from ETP Scotland.


    Whilst helping Ollie with his PhD, it has become apparent that, Daisy can be an efficient and clean way to to source energy at scale.  Our much larger prototype had 30kg CO2 emissions equivalent in production, the complete prototype has a predicted carbon cost of energy of only 17g CO2/kWh in year 1 (already better than solar over its lifespan) and only 1.7g CO2/kWh with consideration of replacement components thereafter. 

    So we have been having fun making and testing both physical and mathematical models.

    As for sticking to a rigid plan... Maybe. Reminds me, We're going to test more rigid rotor wings soon too.

View all 7 project logs

  • 1
    Motivation Instructions

    Build a Kite Turbine

    Simple as that. It's fun, It's got power comes out. Not only that ... You might be doing a really good thing.

    We build Kite Turbines because the world needs clean affordable energy.

    We all know wind turbines are amazing right.

    Yes - but no. They're so heavy they can't scale. 

    Wind power is not yet as amazing as it's going to become.

    Looking down on wind turbines from an airplane, you realise, they are tiny compared to the airspace they could be extracting from, and that airspace has more powerful and consistent wind away from the surface.

    A Network of kites high above a wind turbine farm
    A Network of kites high above a wind turbine farm

    Here's why Wind turbines aren't as high as kites yet.  They're seriously heavy. See this IRENA graphic. 

    Wind turbine towers are massive rigid steel structures. Strong enough to resist the cantilever bending, head mass loading and generation torque. These towers have to follow cubic mass scaling (To the power of ~2.63) 

    Onshore, the tower is fixed to a huge concrete foundation to prevent it toppling over. 

    A road has to be built up a hill. Giant blades have to be made so that the tips (the efficient part) can sweep further at high speed.

    This is not an efficient design yet. Material is not aligned with the force. 

    Like a suspension bridge, Kite Turbines use efficient design to align the loads (blade aerodynamic forces) with efficient tensioned lines.

    Kite Turbines don't need the tower, the foundation, or the road.

    Even most of the blade is cut from a Kite Turbine. These blades only fly the outermost ring. The most efficient part.

    Generic Kite Turbine design
    Generic 3 layer x 5 blade rotors Kite Turbine design, Let's say ~ 10kW

    The power to weight ratio of standard wind turbines is dreadful, which means it takes them longer to pay back the carbon equivalent emissions embodied in their manufacture.  Endurance E3120 50kW = power-to-weight ratio of only 0.02kW/kg (And that's a good one it's only wee)

    Kite Turbines Power-to-Weight tested 1kW/kg (Airborne) 0.2kW/kg (total)

    You've seen how basic our Kite Turbines were... We are quite certain we can increase this to >2kW/kg (airborne)  >.8kW/kg (total)

    When I walk up to a wind farm, Standing right up underneath a giant wind turbine, I look at the stairs leading to the tower access door. I estimate the mass of just the handrail (not the balusters) is the same mass as an entire >3kW Kite Turbine. 

    That 3kW is a magic number... Your modern kettle is up to 3kW.  3kW is ~ the average (24/7) power demand of a UK home. It's also the speed your domestic plug will charge an EV car. And this Kite turbine fits in the back of your car ... oh

    Here's the thing, this could be BIG

    We suspect kite turbines are going to be very scalable

    And we're going to assess how offshore capable they are.

    There are further positive effects of designing wind turbines (Kite Turbines) this way. The modular blade elements can all be swapped out very quickly on the ground (no crane or rope access experts needed) 

    Here's how we reckon Kite Turbines can reduce the cost of energy to <5p/kWh

    Improvements in Financing include

    • Recoverable Assets
    • Low Engineering Cost Barrier with Mechanical Autonomy in flight
    • Insurable Safe Network and safety line Design
    • Consenting demand lower than legacy AWES 1.0 altitude
    • Easier Environmental & NIMBY consent
    • Diverse Deployment Locations
    • Estimates from short deployments
    • ESG compliance

    Improvements in Capital Investment Include

    • Rapid Modular Production from Minimal Facility
    • Tensile Turbine Array modular configuration options
    • Simple System Autonomy via ground control sets
    • Low footprint & Lightweight ground generation

    Improvement in Annual Energy Production Include

    • Low cut-in ~3.5m/s
    • Fast Modular Servicing
    • Constant Autogyro Output
    • Redeploy to match resource (accross town / west hill / fallow field / island/ mountain / adventure...)
    • Naturally runs in Perfect Kite Window Position
    • Back-drive mode to stay aloft through Lull (Eventually for launch)
    • Line Fairing enhancements for low drag avoid flutter on short transmission line segments
    • Stacking efficiency gives Low line drag/blade

    Improvement in Operating Expense Include

    • Lightweight modular deployment = no road
    • Deployment from ground level = No crane
    • Servicing at ground level = No rope access risks or costs
    • Modular servicing = minimal downtime
    • “Disposable” blade costs
    • Low tech repairs
    • Simple automated deployment device for easy training and safer operation
    • Transportable & Relocatable
    • Smooth common network array flight control
    • No running line wear
    • Tensile overspeed tolerance
    • Storm shelter recovery mode
    • Offshore-able

    In a similar way

    Here's how we reckon Kite Turbines can reduce the embodied carbon emissions of wind energy to <1gCO2e/kWh

    Improved Construction effects include

    • Rapid Modular Production from Minimal Facility
    • Tensile Turbine Array components are lightweight low cost fabric 
    • Ground anchor replaces foundation for tensile minimal footprint ground station
    • Modular configuration makes easier to deployment match or change to appropriate turbine configuration without needing years of wind survey data
    • Simple System Autonomy via lines networking the kite to ground control sets
    • Low footprint & Lightweight ground generation (no peat digging, no road building)
    • Structure and capability from wind pressure not steel 

    Improved Lifetime and end of life effects include

    • Servicing at ground level
    • Fast Low tech modular repairs
    • Azimuth alignment from form
    • Low ground use
    • Recoverable asset
    • Relocatable modules
    • Lightweight & recyclable material

    Improved energy supply through generation period effects include

    • Large wind range with Low cut-in ~3.5m/s and storm spill, yaw, lofted or Grounded Survival mode
    • Back-drive mode to stay aloft through lulls
    • Rings matched to shear profile with lower blades bank optimised to increase transmission capacity
    • Constant autogyro output (The only AWES to do this)
    • Redeploy to match resource. Seasonal re application, travelling or adaptation capability.
    • Runs in perfect kite window. Constantly in the "Kite Power Zone"
    • Rotor stacking efficiency via low line drag per blade area
    • Low control mass overhead  improves production capacity
    • Tensile network scaling means access to new higher altitude wind resources
    • High deployment density especially when using Network of lift kite Networks designs
    • Large swept area per blade length at high speed
    • Good wake recovery pattern at tops of rotor loops encourages high Lift/Drag

    Improved self efficiency through generation period effects include

    • Lightweight network deployment doesn't waste energy keeping controls aloft
    • Operations at ground level keep machinery requirements low
    • Modular servicing small blade elements for quick swap out and remote or local repair
    • Less material per kW than higher altitude AWES
    • Modular deployment matches shear profile top rotor blades drive harder lower blades expand more for transmission
    • Stacked rotor blades Banked to plane of rotor in upper section - the blades provide high Lift in clean air
    • Stacked rotor blades Banked to plane of rotor in lower section - the blades have less pull down 
    • Low mass multi blade deployments match wind energy capacity For AWES extraction
    • Efficient array smoothed network control
    • Low blockage hollow axis stacking

    They're really good eh?

  • 2
    50 Deployment Instructions for the Scout Turbine trip

    Our local scouts took a Kite Turbine to Jamboree in Austria. These were their instructions.

    This whole Hackaday writeup was originally inspired when our local scout troupe asked me if they could take a kite turbine to a  Jamboree in Austria.  Why Not?

    I had entered Daisy-kite-turbine in the 2014 Hackaday prize.

    After significant improvements in power, weight, portability, strength, control, data collection, deployment, smoothing, scalability, designs, efficiency ... Merit an update. The new power to mass ratio (>300W/kg flying material) meant these turbines can be incorporated into transportation, enabling energy independent vehicles. Lets do that.

    I blogged my kite power adventures on windswept-and-interesting blog  where I post progress on kite turbine powered transport, including e-camping, kite kayaking, e-bike cycling, e-car driving.

    The kite powered e-car challenge is already going on.  It's a big scary amount of power to be working with. For this project, I'm going to concentrate on something safer and more accessible. 

    By adding a kite turbine, I'll have an energy independent e-bike and a useful power source. Something suitable for powering a camping adventure. E-bikes have all the electro-techno-gubbins we need, a motor for regen (Yes geared hub motors too) a controller, a battery and power distribution. 


    1. Check your weather forecast (windy app) shows a consistent direction of wind at a safe speed  (Below 12m/s or 27 miles an hour) for the whole time you intend to run the kite turbine.
    2. Find a good open space. Try to avoid having buildings or trees upwind of your site. They cause wind turbulence, which will considerably diminish generating performance. Setting up in short grass is a lot easier.
    3. Check the equipment is in good order.
    4. Coordinate your plan with camp organisers and communicate with base (Whats app message)
    5. You will be using 1 tree (Or pole) to hoist the top end of the kite turbine into Clear Air.
    6. Choose a good tree. It should be safe to climb and have space upwind to “fly” the hoisted kite turbine. If necessary, a hoisting line can be slung in the space between 2 trees.
    7. Tie the strop around a good branch and attach the hoisting line & pulleys. Ensure there is a place at the bottom of the tree to tie off the end of the hoisting line. On the ground, walk the hoisting line upwind from the branch, to a hoisting point, clear of the tree canopy.
    8. From this hoisting point, walk a further 17 paces (at least) upwind (toward the wind) and drive a suitable stake angled into the ground (Down end = downwind, Top = upwind)
    9. Drive a screw anchor into the ground about 1.5m further upwind from the stake.
    10. Strap the clamp (with generating wheel) to the top of the stake, with the wheel facing the tree.
    11. Tie the top of the stake back to the anchor with the spare length of strap.
    12. Plug the control cable into the motor / generator (The two arrows have to be aligned)
    13. Find a secure place to keep the control box while the turbine is running.
    14. Open the tube, remove the rods and sail bag.
    15. Lay the rods and sail bag on the ground near the base of the stake.
    16. Unroll the net of rods. Closest to stake = 1 rod then, 1 rod, 1 rod, 2 rods then 3 rods.
    17. Firmly hold the first single rod at both ends. Bend the rod into a ring. Make sure to plug 5cm of the thinner rod end into the socket end.
    18. Pull the black sleeve tight around the rod, then close the sleeve with the Velcro.
    19. Check the black lines are on the inside the sleeve.
    20. Make each of the following rings in turn. 1 rod, 1 rod, 2 rods , 3 rods.
    21. For the 2 and 3 rod rings, it may help to remove rods before reinserting, to make sure the sockets and plugs fully engage.
    22. Check the rings are free of twists, all 6 black lines run neatly between the rings.
    23. Connect the small end ring onto the generator wheel using 6 larks head knots.
    24. Remove the top lifting hoop from its bag, and make the 2 rod hoop as before.
    25. Check the top lifting hoop has a top cone and 6 lines for the kite ring.
    26. Now for the kite ring. Yay.
    27. Remove the kite set from the bag. Lay the kites on the ground in a radial pattern. Remove the connecting sleeves from the kite pockets and stretch the kites out, as a ring on the ground.
    28. Find the break and connector in the sleeve. Push the first of 6 carbon tubes into the sleeve. (These tubes will not bend as much as the rods. Carbon can be brittle when handled rough. Take extra care where you step near these tubes.)
    29. Inset the 2nd tube into the first and continue until all 6 tubes are in the sleeve.
    30. Fit the end of the first tube into the 6th tube to make the ring.
    31. Tighten and close the sleeve together with the fastener.
    32. Make sure the ring of kites is the right way up. (bridles to the bottom)
    33. Remove the kite line from a kite pocket and stretch it out to make sure there are no tangles in the bridling. Attach this kite line end of one of the 6 attachment points on the large ring (3 rod)
    34. Repeat this for the next 2 kite lines. Remember to fit the kite line onto every second attachment point. (3 kite lines won’t go onto 6 attachment points. Making sure to leave a gap)
    35. Bring the top lifting hoop over and lay it on top of the ring of kites.
    36. Attach the 6 light lines onto the 6 short white lines on the top of the ring of kites.
    37. Now is a good time to pull back the hoisting point, to stretch out the whole kite, so you can check each line is run smoothly and there are no twists in the hoop sleeves.
    38. If there is a twist, remove it. You may need to open a ring, or even remove a rod to remove the twist. Then reassemble as before without twists.
    39. Stretch out the central lift line. Attach the bearing end of the central lift line to the hoisting line.
    40. Thread the central lifting line through the top hole. Tie a figure 8 stop knot at the red mark nearest to the bearing.
    41. Thread the rest of the central lifting line through all of the centre disk holes.
    42. At the bottom, tie another figure 8 knot at the red mark near the end of the central lift line.
    43. Use a larks head knot to attach the central lift line to the centre of the generating wheel.
    44. Make sure the battery is in and turned on.
    45. When you are happy, and with everyone aware and standing clear; Hoist the kite with the Hoisting line. Tighten and secure the end of the hoisting line.
    46. The kite should now be turning cleanly in the air without any impacting.
    47. Congratulations, You’re one of the few people on the planet to ever have made kite power.
    48. Keep bags and tubes tidy. Cover the electronics with the tub. Secure the tub.
    49. Be methodical and tidy when reversing this procedure to put the kite away. This will help your next launch greatly by avoiding tangles.
    50. If Austria has insufficient winds for generation, The kite turbine can be removed from the generating wheel, repacked and replaced by the cranking handle. This will allow you to generate electricity from Scout Power.

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Roddy "Rags" Read wrote 01/07/2019 at 12:12 point

Latest test results over 1 kW

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