Kim McAulay has his sights on changing the wind machine industry.
He believes the Tow and Blow is the first truly portable wind machine.
The prototype won the 2012 Innovation Award at the 2012 Eastern Horticultural Field Days in June.
McAulay said he had pre-sold about 25 of the machines in the last few weeks, including to Iran, the United States and Turkey, for $35,000 each.
The Tow and Blow has an eight-bladed impeller which rises to seven metres above the ground. It can be towed behind a tractor or ute to its operating position.
A 23-horsepower engine positioned at the top allows for 85 per cent of its power capability to go directly to the impeller.
It uses five litres an hour of fuel and blows away from the machine's tower.
McAulay said it was much more efficient than most other machines that used up to 35 litres of fuel an hour.
"If you've got 30 of them on your property look at the fuel saving - let alone the emissions."
While the first machine is still a month or two away, McAulay has already pre-sold more than 20 machines.
Qantas had also been inquiring about the machines as a way of keeping ice off aircraft.
Coming from an orcharding family, McAulay knew all too well how crucial wind machines were to producing a successful crop.
"It's the difference between a crop and no crop. It's no different to a plague of locusts stealing your crop. Frost takes your entire income. One wind machine can protect, on some real high value crops, up to $300,000 worth of produce."
While living in the United States, he studied wind machines for frost protection. Deciding it was a good investment, McAulay started importing the machines on his return to New Zealand. At that time, the wind machines were designed with the engines at the top of the tower.
McAulay said they were sound, efficient machines but manufacturers moved away from this design to a safer, ground-powered machine.
Research and development came to a halt and farmers made do with the standard ground-powered machine.
In 1993, he turned his hand to designing and created the now well-known brand, Frost Boss. After 15 years building the machines, he decided to sell his business five years ago, but his thoughts kept drifting to wind machine efficiency.
"It's an accumulation of all those years planning and scheming how to make an efficient wind machine. And efficiency is everything nowadays."
So this year he started mucking about in his mate's workshop, eventually creating the Tow and Blow.
- © Fairfax NZ News