Accio Energy Wins Contract for Electrokinetic Wind Energy Generator

Accio Energy, Inc., a pioneer in electrokinetic wind energy devices, announced a development contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design, build and test a prototype electrokinetic wind energy device.

Electrokinetic wind generators, termed aerovoltaic™ systems by Accio Energy, separate charged particles using wind energy to create an electric current without moving parts. Accio Energy’s DARPA project will expand their proof of concept and create a design study for a soldier-portable version. As part of the program, Accio Energy will team with Applied Energetics, Inc. on power conditioning of the electricity generated.

“For over 700 years, wind energy has been harnessed solely by mechanically rotating blades. With the support of DARPA and our other funding partners, Accio Energy’s aerovoltaic ™ technology is renewing the spirit of invention in the field of wind power,” said Dr. Dawn White, Accio Energy President. “Accio Energy’s low cost, silent, stationary, and modular aerovoltaic™ systems will expand wind energy to a much broader landscape including community based generation and installations along offshore sites"

Accio Energy’s DARPA contract follows the recent award of a follow-on National Science Foundation grant.

Accio Energy, Inc. received a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The amount of the grant is $97,800. The NSF grant will fund development of product prototypes and a computer model that predicts their efficiency.

Accio Energy is a seed stage company in Ann Arbor, MI developing a new wind energy technology. Accio’s product is unique; incorporating a turbine-free approach that converts wind energy to electricity without moving parts. The SBIR grant will fund work leading to a commercial proof-of-concept demonstration. "We’re excited that the National Science Foundation’s highly competitive and technically rigorous peer review process resulted in funding for our approach to wind energy conversion. The prestigious award is recognition of the value of our aerovoltaic technology," said Dr. Dawn White, President of Accio Energy.

Accio Energy, Inc. is developing electrokinetic systems that directly convert wind energy to electricity. Accio Energy’s aerovoltaic™ systems will produce low cost, silent, stationary, and modular electricity from an abundant free natural resource: a new direction in wind energy. Ideal locations include sites in close proximity to communities and offshore locations. Accio Energy is testing prototype hardware and expects to install public demonstration sites in late 2010. 

Imagine a wind technology that requires no moving parts, is easily scaled from small commercial buildings up to the largest offshore wind farm, and offered all of these benefits at utility competitive costs. Imagine Accio Energy’s Aerovoltaic wind energy systems: A new direction in wind energy.

For over 700 years, people have captured the energy of wind in only one way: by going around in circles. So, popular opinion has concluded that there are no new wind technology options. Yet, frustration with legacy wind technology is high including maintenance concerns, siting concerns, the high cost of all but the largest turbines, wildlife endangerment, energy loss through remote grid transmission, and inherent manufacturing inefficiencies. The market opportunity for a truly new improved technology is huge. Accio Energy created Aerovoltaic wind technology to provide a better distributed wind energy solution.

Aerovoltaic technology is an approach to wind energy that does not rely on electromagnetic effects to produce electricity from the wind’s kinetic energy, just as photovoltaic cells exploit photoelectric effects rather than electromagnetic principles. Aerovoltaic technology harvests energy by using the wind to move electrically charged particles against a voltage gradient. The electricity generated is fed directly to the grid or stored locally to provide energy on demand. We will provide more information on how Aerovoltaic technology works with our first external demonstrations anticipated in late 2010.

Our work is supported with funding from the US National Science Foundation and Michigan Public Service Commission.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense (DoD). The Agency manages and directs selected basic and applied research and development projects for DoD, and pursues research and technology where risk and payoff are both very high and where success may provide dramatic advances for traditional military roles and missions.