Accelerate Wind launches new approach to energy
To capture wind speed as it accelerates over the edges of a roof is a new technology that’s growing. The prototype for a turbine and airfoil, created by Accelerate Wind, could lower energy costs by up to 60 percent or possibly more, making this rooftop wind generation a cost-effective option for commercial properties.
In May, Accelerate Wind received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The Small Business Innovation Research Grant will help accelerate the company’s transition to the active pilot stage.
In the past, Erika Boeing, founder and CEO of Accelerate Wind, was working as a mechanical engineer for a defense contractor. She then earned a graduate degree in the Netherlands and studied how science and technology impacts the world. Boeing built her understanding of how she could make a difference as an engineer.
Boeing says, “While I was trying to figure out how to make an impact, I joined an entrepreneurship program and had an idea about increasing wind over the edge of the roof of a building – essentially channeling the faster wind that naturally accelerates over a building edge and controlling it enough so we can harness it.”
Accelerate Wind launched in 2016. Today, it has a core team of six people who are working to bring the technology to area companies. The team has worked with the Argonne National Laboratory and the Chain Reaction Innovations program, part of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Right now, the company is between the research and development and the pilot phases. The end customers for the wind turbine are commercial building owners.
“The next two years are going to be all about pilot projects, says Boeing. “It’s time to prove that we can generate enough power economically.”
To do this, the team has to optimize the system and scale up manufacturing. Objectives include finalizing installation methods on different building types and certifying the turbine to provide credibility of power output and take advantage of government programs.
Accelerate Wind will be working with solar installers to implement both technologies — solar and wind — on the same roof. Most commercial buildings are unable to meet the entire energy demand with solar alone, and a goal of this technology is to enable these buildings to move closer to net-zero energy generation. Right now, the team is working with architects on the aesthetics of the turbine, to ensure communities are pleased with the final result.
“Our team is always looking for pilot partners… anyone who wants to test out new technology on their buildings,” Boeing says. “We’re also always looking for new team members, specifically senior mechanical engineers.”
As Boeing added, “It’s been fun. It’s great to have the funding now to accelerate things quickly.”
For more information, visit Accelerate Wind.