Here’s some footage of our first test day:
It was fairly windy so the kite (only 3.5m²) was generating a huge amount of force, easily enough to pull a large man over, but our frame, firmly tethered to the ground, made it possible to control at these high speeds. You can see that the kite is very manoeuvrable using this system.
There are some issues with the design which meant that the tethers kept coming off the pulleys, causing wear, with the cable (500lb breaking tension without wear) then snapping, as shown at the end of the video. This happened several times, and we even switched to a much smaller kite for part of the test, which flew well too. We hope to fix these issues with some simple mods to the frame. The next step is then to fit a generator and demonstrate power production.
Which brings me on to my final point. We really need more skilled volunteers who are willing to spend a little time helping push this project, which is not only great fun but also potentially very valuable to our target beneficiaries–impoverished people in off-grid communities in the developing world–forward. If you’re interested in helping, please drop us a line.