eWind is developing a disruptive, cost effective airborne wind energy (AWE) technology – a wind energy generation system to access more consistent, reliable winds at higher altitudes than those reached by traditional wind turbines. Once commercialized, the system is estimated to deliver clean, renewable electrical power with a levelized cost of $0.05 to $0.07kWh (comparable to Hydroelectric).
The Design Team
The mold for the eW1 prototype – the Zephyr
The start of it all
A popular science article inspired it all.
As with many great companies, we started in a garage…
David Schaefer, Founder & CEO of eWind Solutions, was reading an article in the December 2012 edition of Popular Science magazine on kite control and NASA’s work regarding airborne wind energy. The research had his attention and so began his quest of gathering information on airborne wind energy. The subject fascinated David, so much so, that he accepted a voluntary severance from his 17 year position at Xerox, as Director of Engineering and Chief Product Architect, and formed eWindSolutions LLC in February 2013. We have since grown and incorporated in late 2014.
Why airborne wind energy systems? The real question is, why not?
Both airborne wind energy systems and conventional wind turbines use the same aerodynamic principle: an airfoil, moving crosswind, thus producing wind energy that is converted into electrical energy. The advantage of airborne devices, is their ability to reach higher altitudes with less equipment than the heavy structures of a traditional turbine.
There are less than a dozen companies worldwide that are developing tethered airborne wind energy systems and most are still in the R&D phase. Our technology will reduce the cost of wind energy, integrate wind into electricity power systems, inspire scientific and engineering innovation, reduce barriers, attract investment, create jobs, and enable social acceptance of the value and impacts of renewable energy sources. This technology supports the US Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office and the Levelized Cost of Energy goals.