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Windswept and Interesting

Kite Power No Tower

Concept sketch of an expandable ring of rigid kite planes

Rigid wing array kite turbines have huge advantages in energy generation.

Power to weight scaling has always been the core problem in Airborne Wind Energy. Kite turbine designs are the key to scaling airborne power systems whilst keeping them lightweight.

These designs exploit classic kite and AWES rules of thumb.

  • Rigid Blades systems are more efficient than soft blade
  • Multi-blade systems are even more efficient
  • Small Rigid Blades tolerate extreme loading with little mass penalty
  • Small wings are much cheaper per output
  • Flying as fast as possible through as much air as possible in the power zone is where the power comes from
  • Net arrays use less line / kite area = less line drag 
  • Maximise Lift / Drag ratio for best results
  • Smaller wings can operate in a wider wind range
  • There is no single point failure so nets are safer
  • Modular elements are easily swapped out to lower O&M cost
  • Modular elements allow net deployments suited to current weather
  • Networked kites are passively stable. This lowers control needs
  • Wide tethering makes for dynamically stable kite positions
  • Torque is the only way to obtain continuous power
  • Hundreds of kites use a line more efficiently the one kite
  • Avoid running lines to avoid worn lines
  • Specialist lifting kites can support other specialist kites

We’re not just using rules of thumb, were proving new ground too.

  • Kites can output torque. This was previously thought impossible.
  • An AWES can operate without a control. Also thought impossible.
  • Deformations in the ring structure observed in testing proved the theory that kite networks will expand dynamically in rotary flight. This simple fact will enable the testing of huge rotor diameters using minimal material.
  • Whole net turbine systems can be powered to rotate from the ground station to maintain tension and lift.
  • Whole net turbine systems can be stalled in mid air with braking on the ground station.
  • Whole AWES systems can easily be packed, carried and even taken on passenger aircraft as baggage.

Over the summer, Ollie and I got a lot of testing done. Ollie’s PhD now has more test data available than any other academic analysis of an AWES.

Rigid blade inflow angle test results

Windswept and Interesting is looking forward to seeing how rigid blade expandable nets progress.

W&I are all about Portable Wind Power.

The Daisy Kite Turbine is an amazing ecological energy sourcing solution.

You can use it as the power source for an off-grid electric vehicle.

At only 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. YES 62x less CO2/kWh than diesel in year 1 and 620X less thereafter.

Daisy is a stunning Airborne Wind Energy System and only improving.

Our new controller is working incredibly well, giving smooth output and plenty of detail from the testing.

The car charge challenge would have completed by now had our inverter not blown up… (The supposed easy bit of this challenge, a pre-made, already solved technology… failed) Oh well

Here’s a copy of the latest plan. Stay excited!

W&I Development 2018

A kite powered Electric Vehicle

Off-Grid, On the Road

Travel without polluting


Windswept and Interesting Ltd (W&I) make powerful and portable, flying wind turbines.

Any electric vehicle can carry our portable wind turbine for clean energy.

Electric vehicles can now travel far off grid, sourcing their own energy, without polluting.

Airborne Wind Energy Systems (AWES)

The science of flying wind turbines


AWES harvest wind energy at high altitudes where the wind is stronger and more reliable.

Flying wind turbines capture more wind energy, with less material.

There are over 80 AWES companies, including Google X Makani, Shell KPS, TU Delft and Ampyx Power.

The energy from powerful, lightweight kite turbines has a tiny carbon footprint.

A Network of Kites

Kites working in a team


Networked kites are the Safest, Most Efficient and Most Scalable AWES designs.

The W&I networked kite turbine “Daisy” is the Easiest AWES to make and fly.

Daisy (a multi stage, tilted hollow axis, autogyro, network kite turbine) is very stable in flight.

Daisy is the only continuous & autonomous mechanical power AWES.

The Daisy kite turbine packs away to 1/7500th of its flying volume.

Many network kite parameters (# of kites, # stacks, solidity…) can be modularly reconfigured in the field.

Using only toy kites the Daisy prototype produced an incredible 300W/kg power density.


Kite Turbines, Kite Networks and Airborne Wind Energy.

Daisy Kite Turbines are going to have scientific recognition. The new AWES book is being sent for publication with Springer. Our chapter on Open Source Airborne Wind Energy Systems and the advantages of Networks in AWES is finished. KiteNetworksWandI  Many thanks to Roland for checking, clarifying, formatting and re-ordering. The chapter is the first scientific description of an autonomous AWES. And the first to describe the potential of daisy style kite turbines and kite networks for energy transfer and scalability.

The chapter has been a long time coming. Many revisions have been made over the last 2 years. It was clear at AWEC2017 that there is a trend toward multi and rotary kite concepts in AWES. For very good reasons too. Networks are the logical progression of kite AWES formations. Their safety, scalability, efficiency, portability and sheer ease of use make clear sense. The true formalisation of that statement will still take a long time but the logic of it is now truly being accepted.

Other News

Andy is moving back to the mainland. Andrew Reeve has been business manager and test organiser here at W&I. He’s enjoyed island life, the kitesurfing here is amazing. His welding has definitely improved. A total asset. He’s still part of W&I, we’ll be in touch regularly. His mastery of the kite turbine airborne wind energy business is now second to none.

We still need sponsorship support for the kite turbine car charge challenge. NOT LONG TO GO NOW. Sponsorship will allow us to build a safe electrical car charging system. We still need to safely convert our existing output through a suitably large inverter and “granny” charge cable. Housing the equipment to make it safe to use outdoor in the Hebridean winter will also help.


Kite Energy Challenge



The car is an AMAZING start but there is still a lot more to sponsor before we can go – generators, charge control electronics, batteries, kites, carbon rods, sewing, lines, … keep it rolling!







on Tour This Summer.

Airborne Wind Energy

See Daisy and other Networked Power Kites flying at

Singapore Kite Day 29 – 30 July

Off Grid Festival 10 – 13 Aug

Airborne Wind Energy Conference 5 – 6 Oct

Daisy and other networked power kite configurations will be flown at these and other events throughout summer 2017. Don’t miss your chance to see this historic kite in action.

Daisy Networks are the worlds most scalable Wind Energy Solution.

Daisy is the only kite power design with continuous power output.

Daisy Network designs were the first to prove tensile torsion transmission.

Networked Power Kites will demonstrate a variety of concept proofs live this summer.

Networked kites are the SAFEST,


and MOST EFFICIENT Airborne Wind Energy Systems.

They’re going to be BIG

Best of all, you’ll be shown how to make them.

See you there. Keep tuned for more!

The new AWES ground Station Prototype…. DUUURRRRTTYY

Have you ever seen a more gorgeous AWES kite anchor, ground-based, power generator system in your life?

fair enough, I hadn’t either.

Massive Thank You to Gordon Diesels in Stornoway for their help with cutting, welding and humor readjustments 🙂 It’s brilliant. The tracking rotation is rock solid and  sooo smooth.

Bent pipe or more modular next time though.


Kite Power Ground Station Spot the Power Meter

That Iron, Nylon and Duct Tape machine can talk to my phone about kites.

Big Thanks to All these people:

Angus Smith and George MacLeod of Aiginish for technical skills.

Thanks to Ali G BeSpoke Bicycle Repairs @ The HUB for amazing Bike services.

Thanks to Kenny MacArthur for Yard and Shed space.

Thanks to SRM

Other Coves and Blones

Wahooo we raised a massive £4600 for open kite power research hardware….

Who even knows what that is?

You brilliant folks know it. You know it has amazing potential to clean up our energy environment relationship.

Thank You X X

Come visit any time, we’ll get some tea & then go sew and fly kites… This kite is going to be amazing.

Hebridean engineer uses kite science to develop affordable and scalable wind power system

As countries move to reduce their carbon emissions, wind generators have become the most widely implemented renewable energy sources. However, wind turbines are expensive to set up and operate.  Construction consumes vast amounts of energy and resources, requires significant long-term investment and involves complex planning procedures.
The use of kites as wind power generators avoids the need for a fixed tower, enabling access to higher altitudes, and hence stronger, more laminar airflow.  Thus energy creation is cheaper and more efficient than the wind turbine alternative.
Airborne Wind Energy Systems (AWES) are not a new concept. However, many systems under development, such as Google’s Makani, tend to require complex computer controlled hardware to steer the flying turbines accurately, making them expensive and introducing operational risk.
Hebridean engineer, Rod Read, has developed a system using spinning kites tethered to a ground-based turbine. (think of the spinning red parafoils on the BBC ident) The turbine only uses kite parts without needing controls, making it lightweight and affordable.  Working in an open source hardware environment, Rod has spent the last five years perfecting his design and his company is now selling these scalable kite power systems online. Further R&D on his  system designs is being carried out in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde and TU Delft in the Netherlands.
Rod explains “Power to weight ratio is key to the efficiency of flying wind turbines.  The advantage of using kites is their lightweight construction.  My system ties the kites in a simple rigging arrangement which can be set up quickly and easily, even in terrain where you couldn’t transport a regular turbine.  This first system is designed to be affordable for personal use, for example when camping, but the science which guided the design allows it to be scaled up to provide enough power for grid and utility uses.”
More information, including explanatory videos, can be found at –
Contact Rod: +44 1851 870878

Need to charge your batteries when you’re off-grid? Go fly a kite!


Many of us dream of travelling into the wilderness, far from the reach of modern life, but the reality is that these days fully charged batteries and reliable communications are an integral part of that escape plan.


While a mini solar panel might be enough to keep your mobile phone topped up, how could you ever keep your electric car fully charged while off-grid?  Impossible.  Or is it?


Rod Read, an inventor from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, has taken on the challenge and is convinced it can be done. The trick is, he uses a network of kites as a wind turbine.


After successfully testing a solution to power his electric bike, Rod openly published working plans for it.

Rod now plans to scale his technology to the electric car level. “The bicycle challenge was easy enough,” explains Rod. “I cycled my e-bike and carried everything I needed to generate power while camping.” Rod used the kite to turn his regenerative e-bike motor to charge the bike battery.


Rods’ simple and affordable turbine uses spinning kites to turn a ground-based generator.  Working in an open source hardware environment, in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde and TU Delft in the Netherlands,  Rod has spent the last five years perfecting his design and his company is now selling these portable kite power systems online.


If you can fly a kite, you can now also generate sustainable energy.


So you’ve got remote power. What about communications? “Altitude really improves line of sight communications” says Rod. “With my phone secured safely inside a kite on the remote west side of the island, I can pick up 3G signal from the east side. Then I log into my phone’s wi-fi hotspot and I’m online!”


The self-sustained, internet connected, e-car camping trip will soon be a reality.


More information, including explanatory videos and sales can be found at –


Contact Rod: +44 1851 870878

It took ages for me to realise I was a kite turbine inventor.

No wonder mum said “Believe it when I see it..” It’s an amazing & odd thing I make in my loft. Explaining a structure without precedent is hard.

Finally this weekend, seeing became believing. Over 30K Youtube viewers watched the evolution of Daisy kites.

Hardly anyone knew what they were watching. This guy seemed to know

definite opinion

definite opinion

To clarify what this kite power mission is.

  • The world needs a huge change to sustainable clean energy.
  • Kite wind turbines can be enormous, powerful and lightweight.
  • Kite turbines use a tiny fraction of the carbon needed to make a “Normal” wind turbine.
  • Kite turbines don’t have intense tip vortices which kill birds and bats.
  • Kite turbines (Not all of them) can be failsafe using multiple backup line networks.
  • Large kite turbines will produce the worlds cheapest energy.
  • Kite turbines can be transported anywhere and made anywhere.
  • Open source hardware shares construction plans to save money.

Kite power (going by the book ) is like rocket science, but hard.
Daisy kites are easy to use. They’re just spinning toy kites. They transfer power in a simple but uncommon way. They are made using everyday parts.

The mission is clear.  So, I spent some years researching Airborne Wind Energy, designing possible systems and testing some out. In my opinion, the Daisy stack method is the most convincing design.  The prototypes have worked really well. The hard bit now, is translating the working prototype physics into formal engineering.

That’s where Oliver Tulloch from Strathclyde University comes in. Ollie is taking on a PhD in Rotary kite Networks and he needs our help. Ollie is studying the unique Daisy kite ring method of tension based torsion power transfer. The working prototypes hold an amazing potential for larger utility sized devices.

It shouldn’t only be Ollie though. We need more people to test this method. You can either build your own system or you can buy one of ours. You can actively join in with our testing and development in online forums.

Normally when it comes to selling a product, the formal Engineering descriptions have to translate into business promotion jargon via legalese obfuscation. This is open hardware. We tell it to you straight. You get an individual test report on the system you buy. You can actively join in with our testing and development in online forums. You get online help from a community of developers.

No W&I haven’t patented the Daisy kite method because sharing this work is too important.

We all need clean cheap energy and this is a strong candidate solution. It needs widespread testing. It needs to be available.

Please join in and keep helping this research.

You can fund Oliver’s PhD directly.

Please read up on Airborne Wind Energy. It’s the future of wind power. The science has gained mainstream following.

Please judge the W&I Daisy Kite for yourself. A guide to Airborne Wind Energy Systems business case analysis is at

Now you know what W&I do. Will you do it with us?

Please fund Oliver’s PhD .

Thank You Forever

Windswept and Interesting owes a debt of gratitude to the following people. You all helped, donated, advised, inspired, supported, supplied, pushed, pulled.
You've Been There! The project has done amazing things already and it's going so much further thanks to you.


Gordon Old, Patrick Sherlock, Andrew Brightwell, Phil Owen, Iain Dobson, Baptiste Labat, Ferg and Alison, Kenny Morrison, Jane Mac, Sandy MacDonald, Night_cavalerie, Hazel Macleay, Jude Maxwell, Amrita Ahluwalia, Ben Sandeen, Alice & Patrick Read, Jude Watmough, The Tullochs, KB, My family, My kids and their pals, Local engineering shops like Ivor Murray and Gordon Diesels have been brilliant, All the AWES tech geeks openly discussing online, Eddie Weather, Local sailors and fisherdudes, Especially the Smith family, AWEC, AWEIA, ALI G, Roy D, UHI, Strathclyde Uni, TU Delft, Freiburg Uni, NASA, FAA, Leodsaich, All the windsurf, kite & nutter surf mates I "grew up" with and the elements... Thanks x

Windswept and Interesting ltd

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