University at Buffalo Spinoff Atrevida Science Aims to Modernize the Wind Turbine
- Dec 17, 2021 3:37 pm GMT
For decades, companies eager to boost wind energy production have relied upon a simple strategy: Make the turbine blades bigger.
While generally effective, the approach has drawbacks. Namely, bigger machines cost more money to build and install. And due to their growing size, they're susceptible to expensive breakdowns.
Dubbed active morphing blades(TM), the design helps turbines more efficiently capture wind while also significantly reducing the likelihood of failure, company founders say.
"We can continue to make bigger wind turbine blades, or we can make them smarter," says
Hall serves as the science advisor to Atrevida.
Morphing blade leads to efficiency, less breakdowns
The revamped blade design has many possible applications, including use in aviation, aerospace, shipbuilding, unmanned aerial vehicles, onshore wind generation and other sectors.
But Maldonado sees its greatest potential in offshore wind, an area in which
To catch up, the Biden administration has pledged to create up to 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. That's enough to power 10 million homes, the
Morphing blades could help the
The company believes its blades can operate at 14% greater efficiency than current turbines. That increase in production could add 1.4 million homes (for a total of 11.4 million) if all the planned offshore wind projects referenced by the Biden administration used Atrevida's blades.
The power would be more reliable as well, Hall says, pointing to studies from
"Existing wind turbines -- both on and offshore -- rely on technology that is 40 years old," says Hall. "A new design paradigm is needed to meet projected demands for electricity while reducing fossil fuel emissions."
Funding, partnerships help Atrevida grow
Since its founding in 2018, Atrevida has received support from a variety of sources.
The company has been awarded roughly
It has also received funding from the
The company has partnered with
Among the company's other accomplishments:
* It is one of 9 companies selected from over 600 for the inaugural 2021 cohort of Venture for ClimateTech, which is a
* Selected as a Cleantech Open Northeast regional finalist in 2020.
* Chosen to participate in VentureWell's 2021 ASPIRE Cleantech program.
* Reaching round two of the Most Fundable Companies contest led by
* Named a finalist in 2019 at the
* Named a 2019 semifinalist and a 2020 finalist of the
Additionally, Atrevida is an ECO Incubator Client, a program run by Launch NY.
The company is focused on leveraging these partnerships, as well as pursuing new ones, to continue research and development, including software simulation and testing of prototypes in wind tunnels.
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