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NI CompactRIO Used to Provide Portable Power to Remote Villages

NI Employee

Windlift, a North Carolina company that works on renewable energy systems, has used CompactRIO to develop portable airborne wind energy (AWE) technology that can provide power to remote villages.


Windlift’s portable 12 kW AWE system uses a tethered airfoil to replace the blades and tower found on traditional wind turbines. Because the system has no tower, it does not require a heavy reinforced concrete foundation and can be mounted to a trailer. The portability of the system makes it ideal for remote villages and areas doing post conflict and post disaster reconstruction that do not have access to the power grid, breaking their reliance on generators and electricity.

The AWE technology uses a flexible airfoil, motors, sensors and a battery bank to capture and store power from the wind. All these devices interface with CompactRIO to provide unified customization and flexibility. Windlift also used LabVIEW to seamlessly interface with CompactRIO and efficiently process large volumes of data.

To learn more about how Windlift used CompactRIO and LabVIEW for this project, read the full case study.