After AWEC 2019

Oh wow, only just read that through now… What a cool approach. Did anyone ask how Windlift also guarantee launch and landing capabilities on the optimised craft?

I really enjoyed how open and chatty everyone was. And really appreciate the work @Ollie is doing making sure presentations are available afterwards at AWEC2019.COM . Didn’t really get time to plan what sessions to attend as there was so much going on. I didn’t feel planning which session to sit in was top priority .

AWEC2019 was mostly open, but its planning trails and the weird AWEurope Closed Session were not. Here is the AWEIA open letter to the AWEurope Closed Session, consistent with varied concerns publicly raised since AWEC was privately created in 2010 by a closed insider group dominating to this day. HAWPcon2009, the first conference, under open-academic and AWEIA principles, was fully open. So was AWEC2011, under Wubbo Ockels, the last EU AWE leader to include AWEIA participation, and transparent planning and proceedings. Now EU and Google venture monopolization of AWEC conferences is the secondary issue. Open publication of major venture crash Mishap Reports, Failure Mode Analysis docs, and open Flight Logs, have all become the most urgent issues in AWE R&D, for both investors and general public knowledge.


To Closed Session of AWEurope at AWEC2019: Please Forward to Full Membership

This year has seen major mishaps of high-risk high-complexity AWES architectures; a low- MTBF statistical pattern long predicted by various expert stakeholders. Especially menacing architectures are the premature scaling down-selects of Google’s Makani and AWEurope’s leading venture insider members, like Ampyx, Kitepower, and TUDelft.

Breaking with Aviation Safety Culture tradition, AWE venture crashes are being covered-up; no public crash videos, no formal exhaustive Mishap Reports, no shared Failure Mode Analysis, no open Flight Logs. Implicated AWE investors and engineers face increasing financial, legal, and moral liability for guilty knowledge and wrongful secrecy over privately-known specific risks. Not only are human populations like Valkenburg and Waimea being put at risk, but the hype-driven venture capital ethos in AWE has long been unfair business competition to the majority of small lower-risk lower-complexity AWES developers.

This Open Letter is a call to AWEurope and Google/Makani to finally cease and desist from venture secrecy in favor of a truly open and excellent AWE Aviation Safety Culture. AWEurope is asked to require of its members full disclosure of safety issues, including open third-party expert investigation of mishaps and safety practices, open publication of Mishap Reports and FMA docs, and detailed Flight Logs inspectable by parties with standing (domain-experts, impacted-communities, decision-makers). Openness will also help weed weak hype-dependent architectures out.

Thank You for resolutely undertaking AWE Safety Culture reform within AWEurope circles, before undue tragedy forces reform on you.

Dave Santos

kPower CTO

Austin, Ilwaco


@Rodread: Glad you liked my session - even though it was not half as impressive as @Ollie playing the bagpipes :slight_smile:

It was great to meet some of you guys in person for the first time! For everybody that did not make it - and until poor @Ollie is done postprocessing terrabytes of video recordings - I have attached my slides. I pdf’ed them so whenever you see a picture please know that there was a video in the slides presented @AWEC2019. You can find the same footage in the last Youtube video

awec2019_cb_FINAL.pdf (4.2 MB) .



Geez you have been going on like this for 12 years now. I have a suggestion: Have the next world AWE conference at Dave Santos’ house, and have it concentrate on Dave Santos’ Solutions and His contributions to the art of generating electricity from the wind. (sound of crickets…) Opening session: “OK everybody can go home now, conference complete - thanks for coming!”
“closed sessions”… “open letters”. Do you ever stop? I thought you were going to show us how much electrical power you can generate from your latest power-kite apparatus. Now you’ve changed your tune (again)…
I have news for you: Most wind energy wannabe innovators start with something to show the world, good or bad. In extreme cases they need to be told they have to attach a generator to be taken seriously. But this thing of you claiming to be the top researcher for 12 years running without ever demonstrating any significant power generation, and still coming up with reasons why generating electrical power is not even necessary or meaningful in the art of producing electric power is, I believe, unprecedented in the known history of wind energy development, or in your case, non-development…

Nice job, CB. Now that the big-money, big-talkers have exhausted their approaches, it’s time for ordinary people with a bit of common sense like us to show how simple and cheap AWE can be.

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Doug, I grew up in aviation, including experimental, gliding, ballooning, kiting, skydiving, general transport, and miltary aviation with many FAA friends and mentors, and Dave Culp has been a friend since the late 80’s, so I have been “going on like this” about AWES safety for well more than the 12 years since I invited you into the AWES Forum, and you became aware of the wider movement. I am perhaps the top expert in US FARs as applied to AWE-

This is a key year for AWES Safety, because we are seeing multiple large-scale crashes.

If have followed the AWEC site issue, Seattle is proposed as the next US conference, if AWEC/AWEurope will relent on EU-only. Its got to be a consensus, under AWEIA ethos. Then maybe the Austin AWEC you suggest. Party at my place, indeed.

My AWE down-select, after dabbling so much with so many ideas, is the COTS TRL9 Power Kite. You should not expect me to do it all, but count on any power kite player to be adding value, including the kite sports. On the other hand, the drive-shaft ST is all yours, and you seem content with your own progress, just be ready to fly-off against all comers when time comes. Hopefully you can present well-deserved success at AWEC in Austin.

Well daveS the way I see it, your main contributions to AWE have been:

  1. promoting false ideas and principles - the list is endless…
  2. Making false statements about your own future activity that never take place
  3. Seeing how annoying you can be to everyone else
  4. Literally trying to somehow be “in charge” of all AWE activity in the world
  5. Claiming to be some version of “the top AWE researcher”
  6. Never generating any significant amount of electric power using AWE, after well over a decade of this empty talk.

You specifically told us, in the last few weeks, you had a new crosswind kite configuration, using pulleys, that showed great promise, and that you would be adding a generator to show us the power this configuration could generate.
Anyone who has followed your activities for any length of time would read that promise and know it simply falls under categories 2 and 6, above.
You like to fly kites. I agree, kite-flying is a noble pursuit. In my opinion, that’s as far as it’s ever going to go for you.

Doug, Like you, I’m a little guy with an opinion. If I was in charge of AWE of R&D, you would have funding to test your ST at the next scale, so the world can see what happens. Please try to identify any claim you think I wrongly made, by quoting it as is.

Let me repeat that the WoW Critical Path Analysis and other engineering opinion sees AWE reaching high TPL/TRL around 2030. That’s my core prediction to quote. If I make enough power to satisfy you quick, it might waste capital and be dangerous. Even 1kW scale can be dangerous, and many kW requires proper capitalization. You can hire me to deliver the power you want, but no cost if I fail the contract.

Sorry you are so annoyed by my small scale testing so far, but you can take comfort in SkySails, KiteShip, Windsled, and so on, as power kite cases, that truly reflect my own power kite hopes, just as CB and RodR’s AWES reflect your ST hopes.

Yes, kite mastery is noble, and if that’s as far as I ever get, what a lucky guy. AWE is the coolest tech I have ever studied. I am only a top expert in a few select ways, like kite literature or FAA FARs, and there are many experts I defer to as superior in theirs.

Getting back on topic, what wonderful new ideas await us as the AWEC2019 content is uploaded. True, there are many venture players who miss their quotable milestones, but what counts is who perseveres to the end (~2030) and prevails. Don’t give up on anyone who is still trying! Be happy that AWE is moving along at the natural decades-pace of a major aerospace revolution, by a community dynamic, not by any lone inventor.

You told us all here, recently, that you had recently been testing a crosswind kite configuration, using pulleys (at my suggestion if I recall), and it had worked so well, pulling a line so fast that it either burned, melted, broke, or some combination, I do not remember every detail. You then further told us that, due to the promise shown, you would be connecting a generator soon and would be sharing the results with us. You further told us you would be periodically updating us on any significant developments from the old forum, here on this new forum. So I would like to know the status of this stated project of yours to connect a generator to your pulley-power crosswind kite you told us about, and take data and share it with us.


Start a new topic if you want extended kPower discussion unrelated to AWEC2019. When/if you do so, Please exactly locate the allegedly wrongful claims on this Forum you refer to.

You seem mistaken that you have ever recommended pulley use to kPower on this Forum, when they have always been used by kPower, and are standard items in kite rigging, and in AWE date back to at least Payne USP3987987, and mistaken that anyone on the New Forum is offering to cover Old Forum discourse in the way you hope.

kPower and KiteLab Group have driven many small generators since 2007, and will continue to do so. You may have confused many past accomplishments with current work, like the electric skateboard that recharges in regen mode when pulled by kite, on Mustang Island, less than two weeks ago (~100W load), during and “after AWEC 2019”.

So, @someAWE_cb I should apologise for turning up a little late in your room…
And Thank you for posting your presentation pdf here

So … I was there too, … and so here’s my presentation too…
And likewise… This file would have been much nicer with video
AWEC2019_RREAD_Windswept_final.pdf (3.3 MB)

Can we have a different post thread for… I wasn’t there but want to complain anyway…?


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

I am reading the book of abstracts AWEC 2019. The presentations are sophisticated and interesting.

But as often one plans to improve systems designed to provide some MW at the end of a rope of one km by blocking a land area of several km², so without hope of marketing.

It is as if one tries to improve the management system of the pitch of the blades of a wind turbine whose tower would measure 1 km and whose rotor would be below 100 meters in diameter.

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observation of innovation, no matter the domain always goes from simple things to more complex, sophisticated and efficient things. This is how wind energy has mature.
This is probably how airborne wind turbine will mature as well.

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Answering side issues- In 2012-14, at kFarm, kPower tested various crosswind cableways using pulleys, including driving both a double-acting and single-acting spring-return groundgen. These systems are described in Old Forum Archives and are seen on the kPower website and videos. The hardware is available for inspection and retesting.

Formal power-curves and ratings will become crucial once AWES production designs are down-selected and frozen. Doug can contract these deliverables for any AWES yet tested, or just wait for kPower to reach its goal of third-party validation, under Gipe’s agreed criteria, in due time (well after AWEC2019).

Based on absence of search results, no third-party can show they ever suggested a specific new pulley method to kPower. If so, where is a quote, and just what AWES design was proposed?

It’s difficult to keep responding to messages that are nonresponsive to what I had said.
Let me clarify:

  1. I did not claim that I suggested pulleys, lthough I may have mentioned the word “pulleys” - it doesn’t matter.
  2. I never even suggested that Santos had never tried using pulleys, or considered using pulleys. Of course, for anyone who has suffered the decade+ of Santos’ online abuse, we all remember him mentioning virtually any possible type of pulley, knot, attachment, etc., from kites, sailing, and anything else he can think of.
  3. In response to Santos’ often-repeated declarations that “power-kites” are the answer for AWE, his statements of the purported significance of Loyd’s “Crosswind Kite Power”, and his often-repeated statements of being some version of the “top AWE researcher”, I suggested recently that Santos SHOW US such an electric-power-producing “crosswind kite power” configuration using such a “power-kite”. This I will call “my challenge response to Santos”
  4. In response to “my challenge response to Santos”, Santos recently told us very excitedly that he had indeed used a couple of pulleys and a power-kite moving crosswind, in what he said was a configuration so promising that it had melted some rope due to the high speed travel, that in order to slow that travel he would be including a genertor to load the kite down and he would soon be getting back to us with results.
  5. I sid he would never do it.
  6. He now confirms tht he indeed has no intent to follow through with his “promising configuration” using pulleys and a “power-kite”.
  7. This is typical for Santos: he likes to talk but he does not follow through on wht he says he will do.

Period. End of story. Santos is telling us he still refuses to engage in airborne wind energy. If this post is “off-topic” then I suggest whomever feels that way go back through the thousands of other posts and start flagging EVERY post that is off topic for the past year, probably finding many of your own posts being off-topic,THEN flag this one.
The problem, which I am sorry to repeat, is Santos:

  1. consistently does not tell the truth
  2. dodges attempts to pin him down on his false statements
  3. refuses to engage in fair debate, while starting debates with everyone over anything that might make any sense.
    For the anonymous nobody “flagging” posts for being off-topic: I will say this:
    Internet busy-bodies seem to be all the same.
    They start a venue for people to express their opinions, but in reality they just want a place for their own opinions. Any opinion that deviates from their opinions must be eliminated. Very sad considering most people purporting to be involved with AWE will never get there, any more than the thousands of previous unknowledgeable crackpots who have declared in no uncertain terms that their vast genius will eclipse known wind energy technology. Just remember while you are deleting posts from people who DO know what they are talking about, odds are, you don’t. And so you’re left with a pitiful response, to squelch anyone trying to shed light on the situation. Congratulations.


Please quote fairly to formulate sound complaints. Please post on-topic or create new topics as needed.

Here’s how quoting accurately works; You wrote above-

“a crosswind kite configuration, using pulleys at my suggestion if I recall”

Then you wrote-

“I did not claim that I suggested pulleys”

Find the mistaken quotes your memory does not well represent by itself, and then you won’t need to be so worked up personally.

Good luck with your AWE R&D.

I do not agree that this forum is a soap box for each user. Though (quite naturally for this crowd) many users have clear preferences in AWE rig design, there has been nice discussions about many such concepts, ideas shared, shared input on ideas and much more.

The proof in the pudding for me will always be produced power. But it has been shown that getting there is a bit hard. So probable steps on the way should be appreciated. Even a skateboard with practically no engineering performed.

Relate this to landing on the moon, and it would make sense to talk everyone down who did not yet put their feet on the moons surface…

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Making power is not that hard if you know what you’re doing. When someone has claimed to be “the top AWE researcher” for over a decade, while failing to generate any significant amount of electrical power the whole time, and they then cite some new claim of riding an electric skateboard while being pulled by a kite as ammunition in their ongoing insult-fest, I think it is absurd to take it seriously.

For one thing, as anyone who has read my posts should know, there are millions of ways to make some power from the wind. That was never the question. The question is whether any given “solution” is economical - whether it is an improvement over the state-of-the-art. If your electricity costs too much, it isn’t a “solution” at all, and isn’t going to work out.

For another thing, this supposed skateboard-charging debacle was not run by us previously, only is now briefly-mentioned as part of Santos trying in vain to insult me.

If this supposed skateboard ride is to be believed or considered significant, it would have to provide some details, such as the wind conditions, type of kite, how far it was ridden, how much charging took place, power numbers, etc, etc., etc., not to mention a plan for how it could lead to any real energy solution

Now if you were familiar with Santos’ previous “work”, you would realize the following:

  1. If he has a video, it will be shaky, grainy, and probably less than 5 seconds duration;
  2. It will not show any amps, volts, nor power on any instrument;
  3. Yet it will provide cannon-fodder for Santos ongoing insult-fest for perhaps a decade of empty bragging;
  4. It shows nothing new, nothing that is not completely predictable, nothing useful, nothing impressive, just like his recent “victorious” claims of getting a self-winding watch to operate using a kite. It’s just one more empty talking point for Santos. Was there ever any doubt that a self-charging skateboard could be momentarily pulled by kite? That a self-winding watch could be shaken? The question would be: “great, so now what?”
  5. Santos will have no numbers for power or output, other than his guesses, which he will present as unarguable facts, if he presents them at all. Santos is in favor of his power estimates, and has weighed in against actually measuring power. Why might that be?
    If anyone is impressed by this weak bragging as part of Santos ongoing insult-fest, I feel sorry for you and would suggest the same likelihood for your success as for Minesto.

Doug, Thank you for “great” and “now what?” in response to the Seiko-KiteLab and FiiK-NPW-kPower demos. Making AWE look easy is harder than it looks (but not too hard). No one had ever before shown that fickle kites could produce precise steady electrical output, nor that a kite EV could be conjured together in couple of hours. The enabling bits are COTS TRL9 components. If you want numbers, help yourself to the third-party technical specs.

Now what? The hard industrial work of scaling up to utility-scale from the ~easy proof-of-concept work.