In partnership with VINCI Energies, the Wind my Roof startup has developed an original power generation solution involving a compact wind turbine installed on building roof-tops. Antoine Brichot, co-founder of the startup, and Antoine de Broves, technical and innovation manager at Omexom, outline their collaboration which began in 2017.

What makes the Wind my Roof solution original?

Antoine Brichot: We invented a roof-mounted turbine that generates electricity. What makes it original is its horizontal shape, which means it can be placed at the edge of rooftops. The so-called WindBox, patented in the summer of 2019, delivers an excellent generation/compactness ratio.

What other advantages does the technology offer?

Antoine Brichot: It can be mounted on any flat-roof building. Plus, it doesn’t produce any noise pollution and it is modular. You can install as many boxes as the site will allow, bearing in mind that one module has an output of up to 1500 W, or 1 MWh per year.

“The impact of the Wind my Roof process in terms of CO2 emissions per kWh of electricity generated is half that of solar and can be reduced by 78 % compared with the average kWh in France.”

Antoine de Broves: The Wind my Roof product is competitive in relation to solar PV installations, which represent an alternative – and in fact complementary – solution. But it’s the environmental benefits that interest us more than anything. The impact of the process in terms of CO2 emissions per kWh of electricity generated is half that of solar and can be reduced by 78 % compared with the average kWh in France.

A.B. Gains are higher still beyond our borders: the impact can be reduced by 95 %, given that the average global energy mix is much more carbon-reliant than that of France. That’s why it’s important for Wind my Roof to have joined forces with an international group like VINCI Energies.

How did Wind my Roof and VINCI Energies establish contact?

A.B. We first met during the VINCI Innovation Award student challenge which we won in 2017. Straight afterwards, we were hosted for a period of 8 months by the group’s incubator, Leonard. That gave us the opportunity to meet the group’s various business lines, including VINCI Energies. Following a year of incubation, we took part in the Vivatech conference with VINCI Energies in 2019.

A.de B. Omexom’s business, as integrator of turnkey solutions, inspired us to focus on new electricity generation solutions, especially low-carbon ones like Wind my Roof.

How has the relationship between Wind my Roof and VINCI Energies evolved?

A.B. At the start, VINCI Energies coached us to help us better understand where we wanted to go with our student project. The incubation phase at Leonard was a chance for us to work on our business model, business plan, client base, and so on.

A. de B. The relationship didn’t require any particular effort from VINCI Energies. We are used to working with partners, including startups.

A.B. At the moment, there are only two of us – myself and my business partner Yanis Maacha, who is responsible for the technical, R&D, and industrial aspects. That means that discussions with business unit managers at VINCI Energies are simple and direct.

Tell us about the results of your collaboration so far.

A. de B. The first project with Omexom is a demonstrator, which will be installed on the esplanade at La Défense this summer. The Paris La Défense body wants to generate electricity for local use on the esplanade, which doesn’t have an integrated electricity system. Initially, the plan will be to power a fleet of electric scooters.

A.B. Two boxes will be installed, one on the Point Info building at La Défense and the other on a lift shaft building. We’ve calculated that these two modules will have a total output of 25 charges per day or 9,000 per year.

A. de B. A second project involves installing at least two to four WindBoxes on the roofs of two VINCI Energies business units in Viry-Châtillon (SDEL Transport and Citeos). They will be used for self-consumption and for charging electric service vehicles. The project also includes solar canopies and an electric storage system. So, it’s a complex project, a prime example of what VINCI Energies can do.

What does the future have in store for the partnership?

A. de B. On 28 February, the VINCI Energies investment fund Inerbiz acquired a stake in Wind my Roof alongside KIC InnoEnergy. We are convinced that this move will bring great benefits.

05/06/2020