Working on AWES from home & online project collaboration

It’s time to ask,
Are you in isolation?
What tools, skills & recommendations will you bring to online AWES development collaboration?

Can an AWES business be started or reformulated with a team of remote players?

Abot 6 years ago I tried to organise a kite power cooperative … Didn’t work… I was way too hippy in organisational approach.

Can we use online tools like Zoom, Slack, Google, figmadesign etc to coordinate the expertise necessary?

What system architecture will you work on?

Working from home on Daisy has been my default. But I obviously can’t do it alone. We’re all online. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep testing outside the house soon. New rig ready again. I’ll be reporting. I’ll make the plea now… Can you help me with design, sourcing, manufacture, management, employment, sponsorship, electronic, aerodynamic, commercialisation, testing?

Let’s use this as an opportunity to get AWES up and out.


Prefer to contribute there in this time:

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I think for me criteria for me would be: what do I get out of it, do I get to learn something that might help me for example? And have you broken down the task enough and have you described it clearly enough that you can outsource it?

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You’re right @Windy_Skies, this has to be regular employment.
A hardware startup project with co-founders.
Adulation is overrated.
After a while of adoring fans throwing petals at your feet, it just gets in the way.

This has to be a commercially oriented venture. Set up strategically for self growth.
There are generalisable requirements.
Task sharing would come with agreements and trust certificates.
@Windy_Skies If you’re an experienced business and engineering project manager let me know.
Your ID would have to be certified with the business of course.

I’ll repeat my earlier plea here

I’ll add
This project has the best results in AWES and needs help going forward.


First, I recommend the three books by DHH and Jason Fried about remote work. Rework, Remote and It soesnt have to be crazy at work. DHH has ample experience doing development work using remote staff. These books are easy reading, total 10 hrs read (hope I wont get shot for that guess).

We work remotely at Kitemill. It has been a great experience for me. Our site, Lista is remote, we mostly live some distance from there.

Rather than going for tool overload to compensate for the «rich» cubicle environment, I would rather say that working from home is less stressfull and allows for focused effective work. I am definitely more productive now compared to when I was working from a cubicle with many people buzzing around me. This is of course individual. For me, I feel I have more energy after a day’s work remotely than I ever had in an office.

I would say something like email, Skype/Discourse and a shared files space is enough. Most people in AWE will not be computer geeks, so better to not make communication software a focus of your initiative/company. DHH also works on a web service called Basecamp that looks nice, though I never had a chance to use it. Being a sw developer foremost, git/ serves most of my infrastructural needs.

AWE does come with a few extra challenges for working remotely. You need to do the testing in favorable conditions, mostly, for a long time. There are various good reasons to steer away from rain, lightning, low wind days, high wind days, gusty wind etc. Of yourse you need to do that also, but most of the time flight tests are focused on other things, and AWE is already hard enough without these. So this means that most of the team should be able to muster for such tests. Choosing the best days on short notice is a good way but puts pressure on more remote employees. Having preplanned test campaigns works for more people (those with … ugh … families, or even single parents like myself), but weathet is not guaranteed even at the world top locations (we could agree perhaps that things dont get much better than Lista or Isle of Lewis).

I think it is of utmost importance that all participant in such a project attend most testing. At least make a clear separation between the core team and external workers/subcontractors that do not to a large extent decide the design of the system as you go.

Some tasks it seems you can’t easily do remotely, like building parts, testing for faults, etc. Bringing the workshop with you is just to cumbersome. I currently bring 4 boxes along for every test campaign at Lista. That along with my kitesurfing gear pretty much fills up my Nissan Leaf :slight_smile:

Some projects you can do open source on a volunteer basis. Im not sure if AWE is suited for this, due to rather large expenditures in equipment, testing time, communications with authorities and landlords etc.

I depend on whether one could do it in small enough scale or just simulated. But to get the kind of focus I am currently getting at Kitemill, there’s no way to get around the need for someone to pay one’s salary every month. Many will agree to work at a reduced salary, but perhaps not forever?

This also comes back to the funding issue, which I think we have covered previously…

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I’d heard good things about Basecamp not pushing every iteration and trend out as an update. Also not making employees stay late etc… Just doing it right.

Yeah AWES is hopefully a long term project which will outlast us all.

Engagement in a successful remote participation AWES development community likely depends on having something to play with. Something where you benefit physically from participation.
Everyone wants to be at the tests and find out the lessons from how things go together.
Can those lessons be shared on a live stream, helmet mounted webcast?
If as you suggest the implementation is small scale enough, within regulations, cost, portability, permissioning, deployable, simple enough to fix… It will be worthwhile for people to work on.
Even if only for a short while.

Sharing a versioned specification set with a bill of materials for a proven viable workable test set
is a start. It may well be enough to get teams of remote players hooked initially… but Production of the necessary parts as the machine versions become more custom and specialised (less off the shelf) Will take more commitment and agreements.
Like you said people need pay and security of employment.

I’m going to look further into firming up a 3kW model spec list and collaboration environment.
After I’ve had a bit of a weekend at home…
We were going to a mainland mtb competition. I called off.

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Live streaming could work. The core team does not have to be large. Perhaps 3 people is sufficient?

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I don’t care about that. You’re still doing mostly basic research for the foreseeable future I think so setting up a company is premature I think if you don’t have another revenue stream.

I’m imagining a place where people can put up small tasks and how much and how quickly they would like that task to be completed. I’d be surprised if an example of that didn’t already exist somewhere, probably also in the books Tallak mentioned. Alternatively or in addition, you can imagine structuring a series of connected tasks kind of like a task-based learning curriculum.

I’m sure everyone has different skills and talents.

The situation with Daisy Network turbine systems is.
I’ve built and tested prototypes from home.
I’m in a position where I am now going to attempt a portable EV charging kite turbine system.
That’s a result.
We could replicate that.
But we can better it.

A video recap.

Next paragraph is a personal gripe. You can skip it.

This doesn’t need basic research to become a viable venture.
Have you seen Kiwee one analysed in a basic science text? No.
Not here
Yet the funding was for a comprehensive analysis of AWES. That hasn’t happened.
AWESCO missed oportunities to analyse alternate AWES design arrangements.
The flaw is on the first paragraph on the funding page
Power is generated either by periodically pulling a ground based generator via a winch, or by small wind turbines mounted on the kite that exploit its fast cross wind motion.
Horse shite.

In the topic Land Use Under AWES Operations [quote=“Windy_Skies, post:20, topic:1257”]
iterate fast .
ITERATE FAST – This is IMO what AWESCO should do ASAP.

For now, I’m still working from home. If you’re in AWESCO and you’re working from home, you can do this too.

Yes, there are loads of improvements to make on Kite turbines.
You can collaborate on this project. You can collaborate on others too.

Here’s the choice : to work on the best performing, safest, most scalable AWES out : or not.

Products can be made and sold with training to early adopters.

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Impressive work! …

I guess what I meant was you still don’t have a MVP you could start selling as I understand it, so now you’re still doing R&D, which doesn’t pay the bills.

But that is not relevant to me. If you’re following a process I can subscribe to, like iterate fast and I can learn something and I can get some help in return, I’m interested.

I have sold a system to an ideal client.
I have sold consultation too.
We’re past MVP, we’re now bending to market fit.

Here’s an estimate of costs for a product run of 300 with a good big battery and inverter thrown in too.
The product considered is still hand launch and recovery meant for a portable market.

Production Run size 300
Pay costs 120,000.00
Facilities Cost 12,000.00
Total production cost 780,600.00
Unit Retail price 3,459.00
Total Taking 1,037,700.00
Run Profit 257,100.00
Household analysis
kWh retail price £0.145
Household daily kWh 9.5
Daily cost £1.38
Average power kW 0.40
Years cost of energy £502.79
System Energy Costs
Rated Peak Electrical Power Output kW 5
Turbine average electrical output kW 1.8
Capacity Factor 0.36
Lifespan years 6
Total generated kWh 94608
Max Potential Energy Value £13,718.16
Simple LCOE Retailed £/kWh 0.037
Simple LCOE production run £/kWh 0.023

The above production run costings were taken from this very rough outline. 3-5kW Daisy projected Costings Polygonal remodel (1).xlsx (17.8 KB)
This was the system concept sketch before the FMEA was finished…
I’ve had quite a few ideas on re-configuring for cheaper and fewer sensors.
I’ll have to update this.

This process is all best guess applied to last test.
The business and product results grow from that as per the Myrons Maxim

  • The process you use to get to the future is the future you get.

I’m starting my AWES development from something which works and has scaled.


I’m thinking you should build a few prototypes for sale before producing 300 pieces. There will undoubtly be things you want to change. Only start mass production when the prototype is very near to the mass produced model.

The details are sure to soak up your time on this. If your goal is to be profitable at 300 units, I’m not saying it is impossible or even improbable, but it does not have to be profitable before 3000 units to be worthwhile.

What is easier? find funding until you get to 3000 or just make it profitable at 300… I dont know

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I would have thoughts on that, but I don’t think that would be relevant to this discussion. I’m not past MVP by the way, which is probably also not relevant here.

I like those Myron’s Maxims, among others.

Relevant here is perhaps how do you attract more people and reduce the barrier to entry. Since this is just another attempt to make and market a technical product, my thinking now would be to try to find already existing communities to join that have a similar focus.

Thanks @Windy_Skies, That’s why I’m on this forum, to join in on AWES.
One day my work might be more than a comedy sideshow in the AWES scientific community.

As for Myron’s Maxims, They’re often quoted in NHS restructuring…
Here also, We’re faced with a wicked problem within a very complex system.

  • People own what they help create
  • Real change happens in real work
  • Those who do the work, do the change
  • Connect the system to more of itself
  • Start anywhere, follow everywhere
  • The process you use to get to the future is the future you get.


As soon as possible.

It can depend on many things. If you are in the public service the status of association of your organization allows you to benefit from some advantages. Perhaps doing the maximum before changing status. If a great sponsor follows your work from the first stage (Daisy) to the last (Daisy network) of the rocket, that could also be interesting, particularly if the research market is not entirely certain.

One way to test it would be to imagine being that customer. Are you ready to pay the retail price indicated for the intended use? How long does it take to mount the turbine? And so on. If the market research proves positive, it could go towards the creation of a start-up, knowing that the investors will probably only be concerned with the return of investment. It is therefore another logic than sponsorship.

So a commercial or not way is a complex question that I don’t have the answer to. Perhaps you could try to collect some information from potential clients during festivals or inventors trade shows.

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