Mass. startup targets micro-wind sector
Wing Power Energy has designed a vertical, four-blade wind propeller combined with a solar panel, which together can generate as much as 3.5 kilowatt hours of electricity.
When it comes to wind energy, Wing Power Energy CEO Harry Ruda thinks small.
While large wind farms like the Cape Wind Project routinely take years to get approval and support, Wing Power Energy is focused on micro-wind systems – small generators that produce less than 10 kilowatts, as defined by the American Wind Energy Association. That makes them ideal, says Ruda, for cell towers, and that’s where the Burlington company is concentrating its efforts in coming months.
Ruda, a high-tech serial entrepreneur in IT, software and telecommunications, became CEO about two and a half years ago. He told Mass High Tech that Wing Power Energy’s technology is a vertical, four-blade wind propeller combined with a solar panel, which together can generate as much as 3.5 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Founded in 2010, the startup company demonstrated at the Verizon Wireless booth at the International Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month in Las Vegas. Ruda said the relationship with Verizon began at the Verizon Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass., designed to develop new innovations around the fast-expanding 4G LTE network.
Ruda said Verizon is looking at new ways to deliver wireless services in places where traditional power may not be available, and Wing Power Energy’s technology is ideal for both rural and urban environments, where lack of infrastructure or lack of space limit renewable energy options. That fits well in places like India and Latin America, where the power grid is often unreliable or expensive, he said.
The company has raised about $2 million in seed funding over the last year and a half, said Ruda, and he’s looking to raise a $5 million to $10 million round in coming months to support a planned expansion in the next year.
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