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3D-Printed Micro Wind Turbine Prototype to Debut at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21)

Posted by Jonathan Ogan, Guest Contributor

Dec 3, 2015 3:13:40 PM

An unusual effort by energy, communication and technology firms promises to deliver a prototype of a small scale 3D-printed wind turbine to the Paris Climate talks.AirEnergy3d-Omni3d-printed-wind.jpg

The collaboration between Orange Silicon Valley, Lumenir, Inc., a Silicon Valley energy-as-service company; and Omni3D, a Poland-based 3D-printer manufacturer, brings together all the elements needed to create a renewable energy solution prototype with the long-term vision of making widespread adoption of wind energy a reality.
3D printing allows prototyping and optimization of these small wind turbines to improve efficiency while mobile connectivity provides metering, monitoring and optimization of performance.Because of their size, micro wind turbines are suitable for both urban settings as well as easy shipment to remote locations around the world, benefiting the estimated 1.1 billion* people who don't have access to electricity.
Energy generated close to the point of final energy consumption also drives efficiencies and reduces reliance on fossil fuels. As a member of the United Nations Foundation's Energy Access Practitioner Network, Lumenir, Inc. is committed to radically improve the lives of the 1 in 5 persons worldwide that live in energy poverty today. "The kind of life changing impact we envision will come from business innovation, strong partners, and a focus on platforms and ecosystems rather than just a widget," said Bryan Silbermann, CEO of Lumenir, Inc.
To bring the first few prototypes to life, Omni3D used their latest 3D printer, Factory 2.0, which is designed to fabricate functional parts for industrial applications. Each segment of 3D-printed blade is almost half a meter high and was printed using durable ABS plastic with an internal honeycomb structure consisting of 93% air. Industrial 3D printing solutions are usually very expensive; however Omni3D made it possible to use widely available materials, driving operating costs down and creating an alternative to traditional manufacturing methods like milling. "Industrial 3D printing creates an opportunity for milling workshops to fabricate parts cheaper, faster and easier. Fabricating large ABS parts is a task that can be accomplished by only few printers in the world and we're happy to be a part of this project," said Konrad Sierzputowski, board member of Omni3D.
Distributed wind energy using micro and mid-sized wind turbines is likely to have a significant impact on the utilities landscape. The combined team's vision is to integrate micro wind turbines into an urban landscape aesthetically to blend both art and utility.
About Lumenir
Lumenir, Inc. is an energy-as-a-service company focused on rural off-grid markets in developing countries providing a durable, high quality, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) platform that bundles renewable energy, Internet, lighting and tablet computer features into a portable in-home system. This platform not only meets basic energy and lighting needs, but also facilitates future opportunities for eLearning, tele-medicine, and much more. Lumenir, Inc. is an early-stage start-up based in the heart of Silicon Valley. For more information please visit: www.lumenir.com.
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