Windlift’s history is based on business and technology innovation.
Robert Creighton launched Windlift from his home in Wisconsin in 2006. His vision
was to create an inexpensive renewable energy system based on airborne wind energy
that could pump water and alleviate the problem of water scarcity in rural areas
of the developing world. During a trip to India he had witnessed the problem of
water scarcity in rural villages. Diesel generators were being used to pump water,
but the fuel is expensive and difficult to transport making it impractical for farmers
and rural villages to use them. Rob demonstrated his proof of concept with no more
than a hockey stick, a kite, a swing set, rope and weighted bags. Click here to
watch the YouTube video >>
The Department of Defense awarded a contract to Windlift in September 2009 to develop
proof of concept into the current Model 8, a 12 kW rated mobile renewable energy
system. The objective of the system is to provide access to energy to post-conflict
communities in the developing world to support stabilization and reconstruction of
local economies and improvement in the quality of life.
Windlift’s objective is to provide distributed, cost effective renewable energy systems
using AWE that are competitive alternatives to existing fossil fuel energy systems.
Our systems are designed to be cost effective, easily transportable, quick to install
and easy to use.
Windlift recognizes that access to energy is a critical component for social, economic
and political advancement. Consequently, Windlift’s first objective in design of
its systems is to bring a low cost, easy to install and use renewable power alternative
for off-grid locations where fuel for petroleum based generators is costly, unreliable
or non-existent (there is a high burden of constantly accessing petroleum to fuel
generators). This includes, among others, forward military applications, remote
locations in the developing world and off-shore operations.
In 2008 the International Energy Association estimated 1.5 billion people do not
have electricity, and 85% of them live in rural areas. In these off-grid areas it
would be progressive to begin their electrification with renewable sources of energy
rather than fossil fuels. Providing energy to less developed regions is the first
step in helping them rise out of poverty. Access to electricity is a precursor for
improving living standards, health, education, global connectedness, and economic
Windlift is committed to expanding the use of AWE systems as we develop this innovation
technology taking it to higher altitudes with stronger winds, and bring higher power
with smaller footprints and lower cost. Future models will be fully automated, and
as our technology advances the system will become more compact and more efficient.
The next generation engine is expected to be 23 kW.