Using high altitude wind to deliver high output / high capacity renewable energy.
Using high altitude wind to deliver high output / high capacity renewable energy.
High altitude wind power delivers continuous electricity when other renewables can’t.
Proven supply chain and construction, good public acceptance.
Integrates well with nature and does not harm animals.
The significant advantage of the X-Wind technology lies in the use of the strong and steady laminar winds at an altitude of about 400m. This results in almost continuous power generation.
The availability of the X-Wind electricity generation is in the range of conventional utility-scale power plants.
X-Wind power plants solve one of the major problems of the energy transition: They generate electricity even when most other renewables provide little or no power. This reduces the need for storage technologies or fossil fuel fired peak load power plants.
*Full load hours per annum in Germany
They integrate well with nature, do not harm birds, bats or insects, are quiet and almost invisible from a distance.
They can be operated efficiently at many locations worldwide, are largely based on modules of established technologies (parafoil kites, rail system), and can be built with relatively little and mostly recyclable material.
Why high altitude wind?
High-altitude wind energy is not a new invention; there have been successful concepts on the market for decades, as well as new developments recently. They all have in common that they tap the steady and strong wind at high altitudes. What is special about X-Wind is that this technology can be used to realize really large power plants, comparable to nuclear power plants in terms of output and annual energy.
High-altitude wind has significant advantages: at higher altitudes, the wind is stronger and steadier than near the ground. In the lower heights up to 150m, i.e. in the area where conventional wind turbines operate, the wind is still significantly influenced by the nature of the landscape (turbulent flow), it is unsteady, and often (in Germany on land between 15 and 20% of the year) so weak that wind turbines do not turn at all. In the range of 300-500m the situation is quite different: the wind is steadier, both in the course of the day and the seasons, the speed is higher and therefore also the energy that can be converted. The wind is rarely too weak to drive a kite – in Germany only typically 6% of the year.
How does it work?
An X-Wind system consists of three components: a large, fully automatic parafoil kite flies at an altitude of approx. 400m in a steady high-altitude wind. The kite pulls a a so-called power unit on a track circuit on the ground via thin nylon ropes. As a generator, the power unit converts the movement into electrical current, generating a power of up to 8 MW. An X-Wind circuit of 10km length can be operated with up to 50 kites/power units and then reach outputs of up to 400 MW, corresponding to 2.6 TWh/a (15% of a nuclear power plant).
Main advantages of the X-Wind technology:
X-Wind Power plants consist mainly of modules of proven technologies (parafoil kites, parts of locomotives, rail system, grid connection). This minimizes the need for technical development, ensures stable supply chains with low capital expenditures, and makes it possible to involve local suppliers and partners worldwide.
Enormous resource savings (90% less than conventional wind power), low dismantling costs (< 1% of the investment), All components can be renewed individually and recycled up to 95% materially.
High fatigue strength of main components (power units and rails >30 years).
X-Wind power plants can be placed almost in any region of the world, also in areas where the wind is to weak for conventional wind turbines.
X-Wind kites can also be launched when there’s no wind on the ground: the power unit can just pull the kite up to an high altitude to find sufficient wind energy there.
X-Wind power plants have a very good control capability, they can be shut down in less than 20 seconds and can take up to 50% of the installed power from the grid.
In the unlikely event of total technical failure, the fabric kite would gently and slowly sink to the ground.
X-Wind power plants are safe for aviation. They have an automatic collision avoidance system; an industry standard radar detection system can trigger the emergency landing of the kites within 25 seconds.
X-Wind develops and builds innovative high-altitude wind power that can make a decisive contribution to the energy supply of the future.
Compared to other renewable energy sources, the X-Wind power plants have significantly more annual full load hours (in the range of conventional power plants) and thus solve one of the main problems of the energy transition. In the power grid, this reduces the requirements for storage and interconnection, and for X-Wind power plant operators it means higher electricity price revenues, especially at times when other renewables cannot deliver.
Market environment: Electricity demand worldwide is currently around 25,000 TWh/a and will continue to increase; not only for developing countries, but also as a cornerstone of the energy transition: for electrification and for the provision of hydrogen and e-fuels. Today, about 80% (or 136,000 TWh/a) of the world’s primary energy consumption is still based on fossil fuels and needs to be replaced by carbon-free energy.
Sources: Enerdata, 2021; BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2021
X-Wind designs, plans and builds airborne wind power plants for power plant operators, in cooperation with established EPC-contractors. Optionally, X-Wind also takes over the operation of the system via a service contract.
Customized power plant architecture
Support with regard to official permits and connection to the power grid
Monitoring of deliveries/ construction by EPC Contractors
Commissioning of the control station, adaptation of the software
• Proof of concept: successful technology demonstration
• Technical description, scientific reports, patents
Uwe is the Founder and Chief scientific officer of X-Wind Powerplants GmbH. A Diplom Ingenieur for aerospace engineering and lightweight construction technology, he founded his first company in 1989, to market his patents for artificial joints. Uwe successfully placed his company on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 1999 and moved from the position of CEO to the company’s supervisory board in 2005. Since then he followed his passion for high altitude technologies, wrote several standard works about it, and eventually developed and patented the X-Wind technology which led to the foundation of X-Wind Powerplants GmbH.
Ertu joined Uwe to develop X-Wind as CEO, coming from Schwarz-Schilling & Partners, a management strategies and corporate finance firm. Ertu has developed entrepreneurship from scratch and successfully led numerous tech companies into their target markets in Europe, Africa, Middle-East and Asia. As economist with a specialization in game theory, he masters the different challenges of companies with a hands-on pragmatism considering realistic expectations and the passion to understand and to read his counterparts.
Adelheid holds a degree in economics and business administration and has many years of experience in corporate finance, controlling and tax law, especially in the real estate sector. She applies her expertise to the management and control of X-Wind’s corporate finances.
After his vocational training as a mechatronics engineer, Harouna studied mechanical engineering and graduated as Dipl.- Ing. FH from Ingenieur-Hochschule-Berlin. He worked as a development technologist in the vehicle production. As a technology expert, he was successfully involved in various projects in the area of solar, wind and passive energy saving since the very beginning of „renewable energies“. In 2010, he joined NTS as project lead for system design and was responsible for the mechanical implementation.
Florian is an electronics and computer science engineer with many years of experience in the communications and technology industries. In 2008 he founded his communications agency, working at the intersection of entertainment, media and tech. Recently, he focused on consulting as well as startup collaborations as a business angel.