Generator Prototype Design

A project log for Kite Propulsion

Harnessing the wind with robot controlled kites

E. RobotGrE. RobotGr 04/26/2022 at 04:110 Comments

The generator consists of a freely rotating wheel, held in place with contact from 8 bearings. The kite line attaches to the movable arm. The wind is pulling the kite, causing tension on the line, which results in the arm “pulling” the wheel. 

A motor axel will make contact with the wheel, mounted with the perpendicular slots. From the motor axel spinning, this will generate a voltage, and be used to charge (electronics to be determined).

The prototype is 11 cm long, 12.6 cm tall (without the handle or movable arm), and 9 cm wide (measured from end of feet to feet).


The lower and upper plates can be fabricated with a 2D manufacturing option (laser cutter, waterjet cutter, etc). The bearing mounts could be CNC milled. The rest would be 3D printed, and those pieces use heatset inserts.

In reality, everything can be 3D printed. The dimensions above were working with the constraint of my 3D printer build platform (Makerbot Replicator 1). Fabrication with the 3D printer has been going slow, there’s some problem with the X axis skipping.

The goal of the prototype is to test the hypothesis that this concept works. Further testing could correlate the RPM of the wheel to windspeed. The steering assembly to guide the line to move the kite, will be a separate design.