How cool WAS that? Not that cool, it turns out.

Michael Giberson

While digging through the KP archives looking for another old story, I can across a 10-year old post titled “How cool is this?

(Let me warn you now that there isn’t much more to this 2013 post other than to observe that not every cool-sounding technology in 2002 turned out to work. You already know that; you can stop reading now. -MG)

What seemed pretty cool at the time was a new bladeless turbine that the inventor said would drastically reduce costs in a number of applications. The Hydrogen Renewable Energy Enterprise, LLC in Hawaii was reportedly very excited about the possibilities and signed up to be the exclusive seller of the technology.

Since I hadn’t noticed bladeless turbines taking over the world, I wondered what became of the technology. Unfortunately, other than a bunch of press release inspired news reports from about 10 years ago, not a lot of information is findable online about Hawaii-based The Hydrogen Renewable Energy Enterprise, LLC.

Utah-based International Automated Systems, Inc. (IAUS), developer of the bladeless turbine technology appears to be still around. In addition to the bladeless turbine, the company has developed products including a automated self-checkout retail system and a fingerprint identification system. The newest technology seems to be a solar energy thermal system which can be used with the bladeless turbine. The company website lauds its solar technology as “Years Ahead of Schedule” and costing less than “the World Government’s goal for solar power cost per kilowatt by the year 2020.”

In June 2009 Renewable Energy Development Corporation contracted with Needles, California to supply the town with solar power based on the IAUS technology. In an interview published in November of 2009, REDCO owner Ryan Davies touted the IAUS technology, saying, “All of our engineering reports and research data indicate that this technology will be significantly more efficient than PV. We’re quite excited about it.” A year later REDCO was pleading with Needles to boost the $128 per MW price in the contract after REDCO “discovered … fatal flaws in the technology they were going to use. Those flaws included cost and efficiency issues.” In 2012 REDCO filed for bankruptcy.

Neldon Johnson, President and CEO of IAUS, is quoted as saying he thinks the technology would have worked, had Davies and REDCO attracted enough investment. Maybe, but IAUS has apparently attracted a detractor online who has collected information about the company: See http://www.iausenergy.com, particularly the page http://iausenergy.com/NewsHistory/index.html, and don’t miss the website’s collection of photos from the IAUS solar pilot plant west of Delta, UT.

That’s about it. No real surprises.

 

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One thought on “How cool WAS that? Not that cool, it turns out.

  1. Hookay, dodged a bullet of poorly placed enthusiasm (not that the Needles plant was going to top 5MW or that crowdfunding a charitable demo of 10kW for the Navajo People took off.) Gotta stick with the MerinoMink promise that NZ’s bushytail possums (vermin since 1870) will be harvested ’til they’re all gone.

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