A Lower-cost System for Wind Power Generation on Individual Farms and Ranches

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2007-00206
Amount: $350,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
502 S 6TH AVE, Bozeman, MT, 59715
DUNS: 784175890
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Morris
 (503) 539-1745
Business Contact
 Will Swearingen
Title: Vice President
Phone: (406) 640-1560
Email: wds@montana.edu
Research Institution
There is potential for a vast expansion of wind-power production in rural America. However, US sales of small wind turbines are still relatively limited, amounting to fewer than 7,000 units in 2006. The major reason for these limited sales is the high system cost and long payback period of current wind turbines. Other reasons include public objections to the visual appearance and noise of conventional wind turbines, and their perceived lethality to birds and bats. The proposed Wind Fin technology has been designed to overcome all of these major barriers to market acceptance of small wind systems. Phase I research on this system, called the Wind Fin, demonstrates that it is comparable in performance to state-of-the-art commercial wind turbines at substantially lower system cost. In fact, these results indicate that the capital cost of the Wind Fin system will be half of that of leading commercial wind turbines of comparable power output. This will be verified and validated in the proposed Phase II project. If successful, this new technology has the potential to greatly expand wind-power production at the local farm, ranch, and rural community level. Agricultural operations and rural industry can benefit directly from lower energy costs and potentially be able to generate significant additional income by selling power to utilities. Wind energy harvested at the local farm or community level can play a major role in fostering rural development.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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