This chapter summarizes recent work at Worcester Polytechnic Institute to model, design, fabricate, and test a low-cost kite-powered water pump. The WPI system is to be used in developing nations to alleviate water shortages. It uses a kite and tether that transmits the generated aerodynamic forces to a rocking arm, and through a mechanical linkage to a displacement (or lift) pump on the ground. Dynamic equations were developed for the kite, a flexible tether with applied lift, drag, and weight forces, the rocking arm, mechanical linkage and pump. A steady-state analysis of the kite aerodynamics was incorporated into the dynamic equations of the kite-power system. The governing equations were solved numerically to assess how performance parameters of the system such as water pumping rate, tether profile and tension, and kite motion varied with tether length and diameter and wind speed. The results showed that for a kite area of 8 m
and wind speeds of 6 m per second, the operation of a kite powered water pump is feasible with a maximum water pumping rate of 8,000 l/day. The kite-powered pump can provide water for about 400 people in a developing nation. Ongoing efforts to build and test a working kite-powered water pump are also reported.