Faculty Advisor

Olinger, David J


The goal of this project was to design and build a one-kilowatt scale system for generating power using a kite. Kite power has the potential to be more economical than using wind turbines because kites can fly higher than turbines can operate. In the developed system, a large windboarding kite pulls the end of a long rocking arm which turns a generator and creates electricity. This motion is repeated using a mechanism that changes the angle of attack of the kite during each cycle, thus varying its lift force and allowing a rocking motion of the arm. All sub-components of the system have been lab tested and field tested. The system has produced power under restricted conditions. A future application for this system will be in a developing nation without access to a power grid.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2008


Mechanical Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering