The Story Behind Powerhouse Wind

It all started in Dunedin around a smoko table at Fisher & Paykel’s Range and Dishwasher division.

Bill Currie and a few others were discussing the failings of current wind turbines and the poor image created because small wind turbines were breaking down in high wind situations as well as not delivering the performance expected based on their ratings.

To product development engineers all things are possible, so the initial concept of an appliance like product, designed for scaled manufacturing based around high wind protection mechanisms using a single blade, was developed.

The ThinAir turbine progressed through concept design to a working prototype. Further progress required capital investment which was provided by way of a Callaghan Innovation technology transfer with an equal investment provided by family and friends. The technology transfer grant enabled the involvement of the Otago Polytechnic Innovation workspace in continuing the product development.

Working with the Polytechnic over a 2-year period resulted in the manufacture of the first off tooled prototypes which were sold and installed at various locations around the South Island.

The field testing of the prototypes revealed weaknesses and strengths of the wind turbine, engineering changes and retrofitting of improvements were made so that the company can now demonstrate over six years of successful field trials, at the time of writing.

During the field testing of prototypes Powerhouse Wind embarked on a crowdfunding campaign that successfully raised half a million dollars and added over 100 shareholders to the companies share register.

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