TwingTec is a spin-off of the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) that has set its sights on revolutionising the production of wind power with its flight wind turbine.
A cross between a drone and a kite, the Twing is tethered to a generator on the ground. As the wind blows, the rope moves and harnesses the kinetic energy of the wind. When the wind stops, the unit automatically lands back on the ground. By using drone technology, the Twing can safely start and land in all weather conditions.
According to the start-up, its flight wind turbine has a number of advantages over conventional wind turbines. It can fly up to 300 metres above ground, allowing it to harvest the stronger winds available at higher altitudes. And it poses little danger to birds as they regard the flying unit as predator and steer clear of it.
The mobile unit is especially suitable for remote, off-grid locations, which until now have had to use diesel generators to produce electricity. In the future, the company plans to build entire wind parks with several mobile units.
TwingTec has now been able to win over investors with its innovative flight wind turbine. As it announced, it recently successfully completed a new financing round and reached a key power production milestone with its small-scale prototype.
According to CEO Rolf Luchsinger, the new funds will allow the company to start phase II of its development strategy, the main goal of which is to demonstrate the technology’s long-term reliability. This will be “key to a successful execution of the first customer projects,” Luchsinger said.