Innovation Spotlight: Innovative blade design creating efficient and affordable micro grids

April 25, 2014 12:02 PM EST By: Sarah Wenning

Firefly Power LLC, TechConnect 2013 National & Global Innovation Awardee

TechConnect spoke with Janet and Peter Janiuk, Co-founders, Firefly Power, LLC.  They presented their innovative blade design at the 2013 TechConnect World-National Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C.

Firefly Power™ has Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) that produce power in a wider variety of wind speeds and locations as a result of a novel design that leapfrogs standard approaches to blade shape, materials and form factor.  “Our blade design merges two desirable performance technologies into one blade, initiating rotation and achieving output at low wind speeds. This patented, scalable, platform technology overcomes inertia and rotor drag, allowing smooth transition from drag to lift by virtue of boundary layer re-attachment, enhancing the performance of our VAWT”, said Janet.

“TechConnect was a great opportunity to make connections”, said Peter.  “We made excellent contacts—at least 20 or more names!  This contact list will help us get our product to market sooner.”

Electricity costs are increasing. Fossil fuel generation sees transmission losses, aging infrastructure and detrimental environmental costs. The lack of affordable alternatives for community generation led to extensive R&D, including computational fluid dynamics and engineering. Our modular VAWT can be installed in groups and is ideal in urban settings. The patented blade design merges drag and lift technologies, and carbon fiber construction affords a superior strength to weight ratio. This leads to superior performance for less than $9000. We empower individuals, reduce electricity costs, and augment the existing grid with site-specific, local micro generation. Firefly turbines can create decentralized power, by changing uni-directional transmission out to end users and reducing their carbon footprint. We encourage a new business model which introduces an efficient and low cost and viable next-generation clean technology and creating closed loop distributed micro system. This reduces the strain on the existing grid, creates a capacity for emergency power, and improves the security of energy supply for the future. Global installations through existing renewable energy distribution channels will contribute to tens of terawatts of carbon free energy which will be needed to stabilize atmospheric Co2 levels, while growing convergence of the world’s energy and resource infrastructure.

The Firefly Power demonstration unit - based in Canada - has been put through its paces this harsh winter.  “We are very, very pleased with our demo unit.  We have a lot of excellent data to show from on our new, proprietary collection system”, says Janet.

“We have almost completed the collection of real world data at our 1.8 kW site. The comprehensive performance results we have documented thus far, including TSR, output, RPM and cut-in speed have far exceeded our previous wind tunnel tests. Final high speed testing is imminent and once completed, we will post the results on our website and social media, and go to market. We are also excited that our 3.5 kW turbine is ready for installation and testing as well”, said Peter.

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