Bladeless wind energy innovation aims to compete with rooftop solar

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From pv magazine USA

A new bladeless wind energy unit, patented by Aeromine Technologies, has secured $9 million in Series A funding to accelerate the roll-out of its innovative technology. The scalable, “motionless” wind energy unit can produce 50% more energy than rooftop solar at the same cost, said the company.

Aeromine’s technology is primarily designed for installation on the edge of a large rooftop like an apartment building, a big box store, a factory or a warehouse, facing the predominant wind direction. The technology leverages aerodynamics like airfoils in a race car to capture and amplify each building’s airflow. The unit requires about 10% of the space required by solar panels and generates round-the-clock energy, as long as the wind is blowing.

Veriten, an energy research, investing, and strategy firm led the funding round, with participation from Thornton Tomasetti. The company said it has received nearly 11,000 inquiries from more than 6,500 companies and currently has a pipeline of 400 qualified projects. Its customers are primarily in industrial, logistics, automotive, commercial, and government sectors.

Aeromine said that, unlike conventional wind turbines that are noisy, visually intrusive and dangerous to migratory birds, the patented system is visually motionless and virtually silent. And unlike large centralized onshore and offshore wind farms, the space-efficient systems are mounted on roofs, bringing power closer to where it is needed, and lessening the need for expensive long-distance transmission infrastructure.

“Distributed power is a key and increasingly strategic element to an evolving ‘all the above’ energy mix,” said Maynard Holt, founder & chief executive officer of Veriten. “We believe that distributed power innovation will play a vital role in helping companies fulfill their need for reliable, reasonably priced electricity and desire for low-impact power.

Each unit weighs just over 1,000 lbs., can withstand winds of 120 mph, and can be upgraded to hurricane-resistant models that withstand winds up to 158 mph. The Aeromine generator system is a state-of-the-art rotor/stator system with a 5 kW permanent magnet generator. Product specifications can be found here.

A typical installation would connect 10 units or more, adding 50 kW of capacity to a roof. A ten-unit 50 kW system’s electricity generation varies widely. Aeromine said a roof height of 16 feet and 4.5 meters per second average wind speed would produce about 20,000 kWh per year, while the same 10-unit system on a 50-foot-high roof with 8 meters per second average wind speed would produce over 150,000 kWh per year.

Aeromine told pv magazine USA that “pricing is in line with comparatively rated rooftop commercial solar power systems.” The company expects to introduce a commercial solution into the European and North American markets in 2025.

“Aeromine’s proprietary technology brings the performance of wind energy to the onsite generation market, mitigating legacy constraints posed by spinning wind turbines,” said Aeromine chief executive officer David Asarnow.

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