One area which we’ll be headed into soon is wind. As such, we stay abreast of current designs, designers and market opportunities.
Wind is a funny industry. Quickly distinguishing true innovation from sham is not always as easy it might seem.
One bit of real brilliance we ran into recently that interests us – not least because it’s run by a truly cordial, razor-sharp father/son team – is Uprise Energy in San Diego. They are well on the way to perfecting portable wind power with serious grunt. A trailerable unit that slips right out of a standard 40’ ISO shipping container (ring any bells?), puts out 10-50kW depending on wind speed, has ample battery storage, and can be grid-connected or go it alone, warms the cockles of our hearts.
John Knight, Uprise’s founder, an ex-USN officer, was the founder of Knight & Carver Wind Group. KCWG is a tremendously successful wind consultancy. Among other things, it designed and developed the Sweep Twist Adaptive Rotor (STAR) Blade, which in 1999 earned a Top 10 Achievement Award from the DOE. The company was sold in 2010 to UpWind Solutions Inc., the Oregon-based wind asset management services firm.
That’s simply stellar, but where we really genuflect to John is for his experience building boats. Under his direction, Knight & Carver built the US Navy’s M80 stealth catamaran Stiletto, which remains the largest carbon fiber structure in the world. A leadmine it is not – that is one seriously fast piece of equipment!
John and son Jonathan went on to form Uprise Energy in 2010.
(Envelope-pushing boats? Renewable power? Sound fluid mechanics? Great people with mad design and fabrication skills, and who think about cost of energy the way we do? ... this may mean a little scouting trip!)