A Houston-based cleantech startup is testing mini wind turbines that it says supply up to 50 percent more power than solar panels — at the same cost.
Aeromine Technologies’ bladeless mini turbines are designed for installation on buildings with large, flat rooftops. These include warehouses, distribution centers, factories, office buildings, apartment buildings, and big-box retail stores. Aeromine says each five-kilowatt unit delivers as much power (5 kilowatts) as 16 rooftop solar panels.
Companies piloting the mini turbines include chemical giant BASF Corp., which is testing the Aeromine system at its manufacturing plant in Wyandotte, Michigan, according to an Aeromine news release.
“Unlike noisy and visually intrusive wind turbines that rely on rotating rotor blades, are prone to maintenance issues, and can harm or kill birds, Aeromine is motionless. The technology leverages aerodynamics similar to airfoils on a race car to capture and amplify each building’s airflow,” the company says.
Requiring 10 percent of the roof space normally needed for solar panels, an Aeromine unit generates around-the-clock energy amid all weather conditions. Each Aeromine system, consisting of 20 to 40 units, can generate up to 100 percent of a building’s onsite energy.
“This is a game-changer, adding new value to the fast-growing rooftop power generation market, helping corporations meet their resilience and sustainability goals with an untapped distributed renewable energy source,” says David Asarnow, co-founder and CEO of Aeromine. “Aeromine’s proprietary technology brings the performance of wind energy to the onsite generation market, mitigating legacy constraints posed by spinning wind turbines and less-efficient solar panels.”
Research conducted with Sandia National Laboratories and Texas Tech University validated Aeromine’s patented technology, the company says.
Carsten Westergaard, founder and chief technology officer at Aeromine, invented the technology. He developed it during his time as a professor of practice at Texas Tech, where he taught graduate students about wind energy technology.