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Amplified Wind Solutions

The Next Generation of Wind Turbines


The Amplified Wind Solutions team.

Highlights:

  • Wind amplification system produces up to six times more electricity than traditional turbines.
  • Technology emerged as most promising innovation from 2013 Ohio Clean Energy Challenge.
  • AWS has enrolled in NorTech's STMA program to accelerate its commercialization efforts.

NorTech advanced energy cluster member Amplified Wind Solutions has developed a wind amplification system unlike anything that currently exists in the market. The cutting-edge technology produces up to six times more electricity than traditional wind turbines by directing a higher concentration of air molecules into the system, which increases the velocity and density of the wind stream.

"Our Wind Amplification System directly addresses some of the biggest issues with wind technology today," AWS CEO Niki Zmij says. "It is low cost, it uses less space, and because it can operate in low wind speeds, it can make wind power economically viable in previously non-viable locations." 

The system was developed by Dr. Majid Rashidi, chair of the Engineering Technology Department at Cleveland State University. He co-founded AWS with Zmij, an MBA candidate at CSU's Monte Ahuja College of Business; Terry Thiele, director of sustainable product strategies at Lubrizol; and Jon Stehura, finance manager at Laird Technologies.

NorTech has assisted AWS with:
Assessing market opportunities 
Obtaining funding 
Manufacturing scale up

To meet the energy challenge we face today, and to compete, augment and substantially substitute the fossil-fuels that have been our primary energy source for nearly two centuries," Dr. Rashidi says, "every aspect of clean and renewable energy must be explored and researched, with the goal of developing safe and economically viable new energy producing technologies." 

An earlier prototype of the system was mounted on the roof of Progressive Field in Cleveland. While a newer version of the turbines could be installed on various structures, Zmij envisions them on top of cell phone towers in remote and urban locations. They could replace diesel generators, which are commonly used for back-up power in on-grid locations and for primary power in off-grid locations.

"We're initially targeting the telecommunications industry because it has a need for alternative power solutions," Zmij says. "Cell towers significantly contribute to operating costs and CO2 emissions, and power supply is a key issue for network expansion and in the event of power outages."

The potential market for the AWS technology is enormous. More than 3.7 million cell towers are scattered across the world and the number is rising. The combination of an affordable, efficient technology with a large market opportunity impressed a judging panel of industry experts and investment professionals at the 2013 Ohio Clean Energy Challenge in Columbus, where AWS emerged as the winner among 12 student teams from universities across the state.

The event, hosted by the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio (UCEAO) and NorTech, is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, designed to create a network of student-focused clean energy business competitions.

As winner of the Ohio challenge, AWS received $10,000 and a spot in the Midwest regional competition hosted by the Clean Energy Trust in Chicago in April, where Zmij was recognized with the "Breaking Barriers in Clean Tech" award for being an outstanding female entrepreneur. Since then, she has been focused on finishing her MBA at Cleveland State.

At the same time she continues to push forward with fundraising, building a third-generation prototype, and engaging potential customers. To accelerate the process, AWS has enrolled in NorTech's Speed-to-Market Accelerator program and received training in assessing market opportunities and customer expectations.

Zmij says she is inspired by the support she has received from NorTech and others in the region.

"Northeast Ohio has an amazing entrepreneurial network of people and organizations that are willing to roll up their sleeves and really dig in to help new companies get going," she says. "If you've never done it before, starting a business is a daunting task with a mysterious process. These people and organizations can help you discover a roadmap that makes sense for your company and demystify what lies ahead. For us, this support has been essential to our development."

Did You Know?

  • Northeast Ohio is home to more than 500 companies and organizations engaged in the advanced energy industry. Learn More »

  • 16 segments in the advanced energy cluster have the potential to bring over 9,500 jobs to Northeast Ohio by 2020. Learn More »

  • Clusters encourage interactions and synergies among firms that lead to regional growth. Learn More »

  • Amplified Wind Solutions cutting-edge technology produces up to six times more electricity than traditional wind turbines. Learn More »

  • Our roadmaps identified $50 billion in market opportunities for Northeast Ohio's advanced energy industry and $42 billion in market opportunities for the region's flexible electronics industry. Learn More »

  • Clusters are "geographic concentrations of interconnected businesses, suppliers, service providers and associated institutions in a particular sector." Learn More »

  • Vadxx Energy has enlisted the help of fellow advanced energy cluster member Rockwell Automation to grow its business. It recently awarded a $15 million contract to Rockwell to engineer, procure and construct its first plant. Learn More »
  • Since June 2010, our advanced energy cluster members have grown by more than 600 jobs. Learn More »

  • Kent-based AlphaMicron has developed the world's only liquid crystal film that provides electronic tint (e-Tint®) on demand. With the push of a button, e-Tint technology gives the operator instantaneous control over the tint of his or her eyewear. Learn More »
  • Clusters engage and stabilize diverse communities by re-purposing idle assets and human capital.
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  • Clusters develop regional business opportunities that are less susceptible to off-shoring. Learn More »

  • Clusters enable companies to transact business more efficiently, share technologies more readily, operate more flexibly, start new businesses more easily and implement innovations more rapidly.
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  • What sets us apart from other economic development organizations is the fact that we provide comprehensive, industry-specific services that accelerate the commercialization of new products. Learn More »

  • Advanced energy, flexible electronics and water technologies have the potential to bring over 15,000 jobs to Northeast Ohio by 2020. Learn More »

  • Northeast Ohio's expertise in water remediation and control continues to spur new technologies, businesses and jobs. Learn More »

  • SportSafe is a new company taking advantage of breakthroughs in flexible electronics in a unique way. The start-up is working with the Cleveland Clinic to develop intelligent mouth guards measuring forces from sports impacts that are transferred to the brain. Learn More »
  • Clusters give companies greater ease of access to pools of skilled employees, specialized infrastructure, technological knowledge, investment capital and funding opportunities. Learn More »

  • Five core competencies in the flexible electronics cluster have the potential to bring over 3,000 jobs to Northeast Ohio by 2019. Learn More »

  • quasar energy group's anaerobic digestion facility turns organic waste into electricity and compressed natural gas (CNG). Learn More »

  • Eco-friendly printed batteries; a face shield that turns from light to dark with the push of a button; paint that lights up when electric current runs through it. These are just three examples of ground-breaking products featuring flexible electronics technology from Northeast Ohio. Learn More »
  • RES Polyflow's technology produces high-quality crude oil from end-of-life plastic and rubber waste. Learn More »

  • Clusters respond to the needs of an entire region and have a powerful impact on multiple companies. Learn More »

  • We serve four distinct audiences: small and medium businesses; large anchor customers; colleges and universities; and government agencies.
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  • Our matchmaking event opened the door to potential business with a multi-billion dollar anchor company for three members of the flexible electronics cluster. Learn More »

  • Since June 2010, our cluster members have added over 800 jobs to the region. Learn More »

     

  • EcoSpinners revolutionary e-bike runs on a clean, low cost fuel cell. Learn More »

  • Lake Erie is one of the best examples of ecosystem recovery in the world. Learn More »

  • Clusters create new job opportunities and transition from unemployment or underemployment to high-skilled, high-wage jobs. Learn More »

  • We developed and launched the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo), in partnership with The Cleveland Foundation, City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties. Learn More »

  • The flexible electronics cluster is rooted in the world-renowned, breakthrough work of Kent State University, The University of Akron and Case Western Reserve University. Learn More »

  • Design Flux Technologies is developing the world's first Intelligent Energy Exchange – a unified power management system that completely eliminates the need for traditional battery chargers, inverters and management systems. Learn More »

  • LorkTech has developed the next generation of electronic shelf labels that have twice the operational lifetime, are powered by fluorescent light and can be updated wirelessly. Learn More »

  • Three sectors in the water technologies cluster have the potential to bring over 3,500 jobs to Northeast Ohio by 2019. Learn More »

  • Our Cluster Model was recognized by the White House, the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the State Science Technology Institute and the International Economic Development Council. Learn More »