Daisy Kite Power Generator

From small seeds

Inverness, United Kingdom


Days Left
17 backers

570.00 pledged
of 1,500.00 GBP goal

Created By

Roderick Read

" Please support my fundraising campaign. "


This Campaign must reach the funding target of 1500 GBP by 6.11pm on 25.06.2012, BST for it to be successful.

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This project is special
I'm building Daisy, the world's first Airborne Kite Ring Generator.
This project takes one step toward the noble aims of Cheap, Clean, Safe energy for all.
This is your invite to take part.

The Project Goals
• To demonstrate the massive potential of fluid-borne kite ring generators.
• To build, fly, test and openly report on the “Daisy” prototype airborne wind generator.
• To initialise industry, Research, Development and a departure from fossil fuel dependence.
• To start a new cooperative framework for open sharing of hardware designs.
Hope it works then eh.
It Can, it Should and I’m cautiously optimistic that It will.

The Daisy Product
There is only one real tangible physical product at the end of this project; and you can buy it. Daisy has 3 main components.  From the top down they are...
• A Controllable lifting kite
• A Spinning ring of kites
• And a bendy stem generator
The main component of my recent invention is the inflated torus (ring) with kites arrayed around its perimeter. That simple. It's a simple project to demonstrate something fantastic. Daisy will be a significant prototype fluid energy extraction machine. 
There are other intangible benefits, sideline products, fun opportunities and endorsement opportunities associated with this project. You CAN (and should) join in.

The technical background
(I surf) I knew that Kites were powerful and efficient. (I Engineer) I found out some rules for how kites work and made them work for me. (I live here too) I am constantly in awe of my environment. Wind could safely power humanity’s total energy needs many times over. 

Oil extraction started on the ground and then drilled down. Wind started on the ground and is going to twist upward.

The Kite Ring Generator architecture has so many advantages over the current generation of wind turbines.

A Kite Ring Generator is versatile.

  • It can be scaled to fit the problem. 
  • It can work underwater. I have an amazing offshore design too.
  • It can be modularly expanded. e.g. farms of kite ring generators can be tied and lifted to work as a 3D generator inside valley gaps. Strings of generators can run as a shaft into upper atmosphere winds, either by lifter kite (like this project) or by filling the rings with lighter than air gasses.

A Kite Ring Generator is efficient.

  • String and cloth turbines are cheaper and less polluting to produce than steel and concrete ones.
  • It uses ram air kites arranged flying where normal turbine rotor tips are. (The tips are the most productive part of a blade) Now removed the “blade roots" don't get in the way making wake vortex losses.
  • Kite profiles and numbers can be optimised to give amazing torque and speed results by sweeping a large area fast with little structure.
  • It works in tension (Like kite strings) instead of using a tower in compression; this allows it to use much less material to do the same job.

A Kite ring generator will be quieter than a standard turbine because the tip speed ratio is not as high as standard turbines.

It uses simple technology and can be made anywhere.
It's open source, I have provided all the details on
It's safer than heavy blade generators. Heavy electrical components are kept at ground level.

With extension Wide High Altitude Generators can reach the stronger, more constant high altitude winds. Constant winds are very desirable for production on grid networks. Power extractable rises with the cube of wind speed and the square of rotor diameter.

This project is just to test the first flying ring. I have already successfully demonstrated a ground tied proof of concept for this model. All of the sub systems have been tested. It's all ready to assemble. For this prototype project, I will use a driving brake to demonstrate continuous power output level. In future development I will match this power to the appropriate direct drive pancake style permanent magnet generator.

It's CHEAP! and It's very efficient. It's Open Source Hardware so build one Yourself. Spread the word. There are expensive, complex, inefficient  AWE generators involving hard, fast, loud and heavy electricity generating equipment at height. Such as the Google and ARPA-e backed Makani Power. These very well provisioned institutions have not researched this simple "shoestring" Open Source technology. The "Daisy" design is safer and performs better all round.

The Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) community have been very supportive of this design.
This device will fit in the new FAA AWES class regulations.

The material price makes this project accessible to poor communities. This early model without automation encourages employment of "pilots" in charge.

The designed in strength redundancy and soft "hardware" make it inherently safe. The design uses strong core and base components. As you go up the design there is less tension (although tension is still needed to transfer the torque) in the top lifting and control system the materials are lightest. The driving kites are to be set solidly inside to the ring but elastically to the outer, this allows over strength spilling of gusts. The kites will be trailing edge to leading edge tied for stability. Twist is set in the kites to account for apparent wind direction at full speed.

You can join in, in many ways. Become a kite maker or retailer, build and fly your own Daisy, join, fund this project... it's going the right way. I will continue to build the webpresence of making it a forum for anything concerning the business of kite power generation. I will keep posting technical detail videos as I develop them. I publish all of my costs and sourcing information there too. 

I might now need your help with this please.

Roderick Read

Update #5

27th Jun 2012By Roderick Read

My Daisy project didn't make it's target.
Not too surprising when you critique my marketing skills.
However for the people who saw past the rubbish presentation. Thank You.

The people who didn't mind that the pledge rewards were a bit naff.  Thank You.

You believed in this mission and Damn right I'm going to make it come true.

Sandy MacDonald
Martyn Barnes
Scott Lowe
Thomas Jolly
Brian MacDonald
Amanda McCall
Sean Ziehm-Stephen
Ralph Evins
Amanda Darling
Anne Watmough
James Morrison
Malcolm Murray
Rebecca Sutton
Alice Read
louisa reid
Ian Beaumont
Saul Hindson
Laura Read
Peter Read
db murray
Thanks. Your refund is on it's way but the backing you have given is far more valuable.

Update #4

9th Jun 2012By Roderick Read

The claims are bold so here are

Responses to kite power questions
Will it work?

Most people question will it work? It’s new so we’re rightly sceptical. People don't like to waste money. I proved that I can get power from kites. Nobody yet knows how efficient kites will be, but the best guesses are impressively high. More on that later. I've tried to consider all possible failure modes, and design with these in mind. Here's how it works.

  1.  What happens when the wind is too strong?

a. Gusts, I've borrowed some technology from 1990s windsurfing. Loose leach sails. The kites around the ring are very much like the tips of a normal sail or blade. In my model, the kite outer tether has an elastic component. The elastic will be working continuously to smooth the drive of the kite ring. By folding backwards to downwind, the kite presents less face to the wind.
i. The length of the elastic determines how far the outside of the sail will fold back.
ii. The thickness of the elastic determines how much force is needed to fold the sail back.  

b. Prolonged overpower, during a prolonged out of wind range event,
i. the controller on a lifter kite (or a hoisted catenary tower) can steer a kite ring or a chain of kite rings to be less incident to the wind so that they spill more wind.
ii. If a lifter kite is set to generate less lift, (or the hoisted tower backline is loosened), the lesser tension on the ring axis means that the tower will shrink with rotation to a less aerodynamic position.
iii. Shunting extra engagement of the alternator in stronger winds applies a braking force to the rotation of the rings. Like loosening the lifter kite, this also changes the ratio of extension to rotation forces in the tower of rings Steering and loosening methods damp the output of the rings. Whilst using charge controller methods increases the power output but should be used only within parameters of the ring alternator.

c. Storms, major storm events can be reliably predicted. Preparation would involve landing and packing kite systems. However, should this not be achieved, the system is designed so as to maintain major component integrity. The last thing that you want is a loose kite with a heavy weight dragging below it. With that in mind the central structures of a spinning kite set are its strongest. 8 x 5mm dyneema ropes (one can hold nearly 5000 kg before breaking) attach to webbing points strongly sewn into the bladder ring bag. The light outer surfaces which generate the lift are standard lightly tethered beginners ram air kites. When a large wind continually whips this kite it will disintegrate by snapping it out tethers, a bit like how a flag disintegrates at its trailing edge. Since the inside edge of the kites is attached securely to the ring, they should not pollute the environment on disintegration. Depending on the number of broken tethers kite system will lose efficiency and need servicing. The kites are easily replaced during a service. 

           2. What happens when the wind dies?

a. The kite falls down. Granted that would be a problem if the kite was a metal tower. Upper atmosphere winds are 95% reliable and stronger than ground level winds. Yes those winds die 5% of the time, but that has advantages, Including;
i. Employment of skilled surface level handling and piloting staff.
ii. Simplified surface level access for periodic maintenance.
iii. Automatic re-launching leading-edge inflated kites for water deployment.
iv. You can make the rings neutrally buoyant with hydrogen. This gives a neat ability to self-destruct for control purposes.
v. Enjoy the good weather, You deserve a break.

b. No wind generator can work without wind. With kites you have the ability to easily adjust for a large wind range
i. using low wind sails for long low wind periods.
ii. adjusting ring buoyancy for altitude.
iii. shunt engagement alternators can be used to continue low-level generation in lower winds

           3. What about overspeed protection?

a. Overspeed protection is a major design parameter. Making sure that the alternator or braking mechanism at the bottom do not overheat is a critical safety consideration in terms of fire prevention and structural integrity. Yet control and generation are preferably maintained. So two approaches are taken
i. prevention
1. methods to decrease rotational forces driven by the sails including luffing, loose leach, furling and steering the lifter kite.
2. methods to safely extract more power including shunt engagement of more coils (or lifting more water / weight)on higher output, cooled braking, short term standby dump loads
3. Complete cooled braking stop.
ii. Cure
1. Controlled dive or collapse of the lifter kite.
2. Remote release of outside kite lines.
3. Remote rapid deflation of rings.
4. Grappling lines projected into the tower.
5. Destabilising the tower with strategic line release.

              4. Are kites really hard to control?
             There are thousands of kite designs; each one has a characteristic behaviour.

a. Lifting kites: Since ancient times people have been safely lifted by kites. Kites are a popular vehicle for aerial photography. I'm happy 20 feet in the air kite surfing. These kite lifts carry precious cargo. Each method has many kite solutions. You only participate when you have confidence in the controls.
I developed a remote control mechanism for a single line lifter kite. I can steer it confidently, or just pull it down the normal way.
The future of stable lifting kite architecture is meshed kite “kixel” systems. Where a  wide polygon of tethering points each hold a corner of a polygon mesh net in the air. Inside the mesh, at the nodes, kites or sheets are controlled (by remote line or airborne winder) to face any wind direction. The accumulated lift of the mesh is gathered in this shared load paths for lifting. The technology is being tested this week 9/6/2012.

b. Power Kites: So far, the powering kites have been standard, two line, beginner, ram air kites. The classic foldaway in a pocket, open anywhere, fly anytime kites. Pull left they go left, pull right they go right. A three-year-old child can confidently control one of these kites in good wind. With one side strapped to the ring; the power kites become easier to control. This means that I can set the kites for expected conditions and monitor their performance through a range of settings.

Please keep the questions comming. It's what makes us human

Update #3

4th Jun 2012By Roderick Read

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has backed the Daisy Kite Power Project.

And another THANK YOU everyone who has shared the link.

It is so encouraging to hear your feedback. This is not an easy project to like as it's early adoption in a seemingly over simple technology. Rest assured the tech has only been available since mass produced plastic products flooded our lives.

With the fantastic properties of UHMWPE, TPU and Ripstop Nylon,  Cheap bearings, online spec sheets It's just too easy.

Well done.

Update #2

1st Jun 2012By Roderick Read

Delivering 3d + assembly drawings + sample of the stem base pipe to Ivor Murrays welders today so that they can make the foot plate.

Update #1

30th May 2012By Roderick Read

OK, this is odd. I have been asked

 if you'd like to draft a strategic plan for crowd sourced legal cases, I'll be happy to render it in open, standard StratML format, for inclusion in our collection at

Since my model is Open Source Hardware (a kinda new model for production) It's likely to get bother from patent trolls down the line when it prooves useful. So I considered what it seems is a new idea Online Crowd Sourced Legal Teams. 

I suggested this to a group called OASIS (not the band) on linkedin who are developing a LegalDocumentML Standardization Project for the US govt.

Blimey that was quick.

Anne Watmough

db murray

Amanda Darling

Ralph Evins

Peter Read

Sean Ziehm-Stephen

Laura Read

Amanda McCall

Saul Hindson

Ian Beaumont

louisa reid

Brian MacDonald

Thomas Jolly

Scott Lowe

Alice Read

Martyn Barnes

Sandy MacDonald

10 backers

Your name published as a supporter on
Plus access to extra construction, testing and behind the scenes photo galleries.

40 GBP
7 backers

Your name as a TOP Supporter on
You also deserve and get a printed instruction set.
Access to behind the scenes video and photo galleries and a something extra... Probably something nonsense like an AA battery charged by real Isle of Lewis air with an authenticity sticker...Or a headband with a Daisy Logo, who knows

200 GBP
0 backers

Your Name or Logo Sewn onto the Back of Daisy. Approx 25cm x 35cm (10"x14")

350 GBP
0 backers

Your Name or Logo Sewn onto the front of Daisy. Approx 25cm x 35cm (10"x14")
My bladder sponsor has one already... Not my Bladder but the Daisy inflated ring bladder. It's a TPU lining inside a rigid inflatable bag

550 GBP
0 backers

Hang your flag from the lifter kite. We can go big on this. 1m x 2m (40"x80")

900 GBP
0 backers

A 3 night stay in either my house or a local BnB. In the day time you can accompany me testing the final product. I'll tell you everything I know about it. We'll make a good few days instruction and fun out of this. You will have to find your way to the Island though.

2000 GBP
0 backers

I'll get a haircut, wear a suit, and do my best powerpoint (or Open Office Impress) presentation.

2500 GBP
0 backers

You can have Daisy, The worlds first airborne kite ring generator, all for yourself, once we have done some testing. The whole thing, delivered to your door. WOW

10000 GBP
0 backers

Cool Eh! You believe in the potential of this system. This money will go toward funding a university based study into kite power in your name. Detailed video analysis of the Daisy Project, CFD, finite element analysis, PMG optimisation etc all needs done if this is to progeress. Are you sure you want to do it this way?

10000 GBP
0 backers

The Next Phase.
You are a sail or kite manufacturer, aerospace engineering company of world renown or maybe a VC with a good eye. I'm working toward incorporating a cooperative group to bring the benefits of open standards design, trading and industrial regulation. You accept that while you may hold IP, your design developments will be published as open source hardware available on a non commercial basis. You are willing to stump up £300,000 toward an initial R&D Phase. This pledge is to arrange a mutually agreeable incorporation with your company as a leading light. I am considering Scottish Enterprise SMART feasibility and R&D funding for this too.

140000 GBP
0 backers

You want to use my design rights in your commercial ventures. £10000 will get some papers drawn up whereby you pay a yearly sum of £10000 over the course of 14 years to develop and commercialise a Kite Ring Generator.

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