Technology catches the wind at Sauer Energy(r) in Camarillo
By Bridge Carney 02/14/2013
It may be a cold and rainy night or a hot day with Santa Ana winds blowing. A local company has a new idea on how homeowners and commercial real estate owners can use these winds to generate power, save money and reduce fossil fuel consumption.
Sauer Energy Inc.®, of Camarillo, is preparing to ramp up production of its highly engineered, patented WindCharger and Helix Wind® brands of wind-powered generators. Unlike the 20-stories-tall “windmill farms” thathave been installed in remote desert and mountain areas, Sauer Energy’s vertical-axis-type wind turbines are small and compact enough to be mounted on or near homes and commercial buildings.
The Sauer technology wind generators are called vertical-axis wind turbines, or VAWT for short, because their power-producing blades run around vertical center posts. That makes a big difference as to where you can now capture wind power. The advantages of Sauer’s VAWTs are due to their very compact size, which is between 4 and 8 feet in diameter. They generate enough power to reduce home or office building fossil fuel consumption. And VAWT-type wind power generation can now be located right where it’s needed.
The versatility of Sauer’s compact VAWT designs makes them ideal for single units or in small, medium or large groups. In addition to home installations, Sauer has units in test for remote, isolated locations such as communications towers. In other commercial uses, the eye-pleasing VAWTs can be used in clusters on large buildings in cities, stadiums and convention centers. Many building owners are now trying to find multiple ways to provide alternative energy to meet their power requirements and lower the cost to operate.
The Sauer Energy Wind Turbines make a good neighbor in neighborhood environments for a couple of reasons. Their designs are such that they run virtually noiselessly. Unlike the large, classic tall windmills (known has HAWT or horizontal axis wind turbines), the moving portions of Sauer wind turbines, just like any bush or tree, provide adequate visibility to flying birds, giving them ample warning of their presence. The units can be customer-painted to blend in with their location.
Sauer VAWTs can also be used in combination with other alternative, renewable energy resources, including solar. There are times when this combination makes an ideal pairing by capturing the advantages each solution offers. No single source of energy has yet replaced fossil fuel-generated power, but every kilowatt made by alternative, renewable energy makes things just a bit greener.
Sauer Energy was founded by its owners, Dieter and Ana Sauer. It started with an idea Dieter had, which became the WindCharger™ VAWT. At the time, Dieter was in the financial industry so his concept took a couple of years to move from paper to reality. With the help of his family members, who became intrigued and involved in the project, the design was developed through early stages of prototypes and modifications. These were then tested through wind-tunnel testing. From dream to reality has taken four years.
In February of 2012, the Sauer Energy WindCharger was awarded the prestigious Project of the Year award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Buenaventura Section, at the 2012 National Engineers Week Awards. This award was presented at a banquet held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
The company started with personal funding and then went public, as a small cap stock (OTCBB: SENY), to fund the work of development. Recent press releases by Sauer (see the website at www.sauerenergy.com) include an announcement of a $15 million equity line funding that will enable it to expand its production and sales operations.
Last year, Sauer Energy saw another opportunity and purchased an alternative VAWT design called Helix Wind® in San Diego. The Helix VAWTs are larger and heavier and can generate more power in areas that have additional room for their nearly 8- to 20-foot height. Both the WindCharger™ and Helix provide a range of power and space solutions for all different types of installation and power generating requirements.
Sauer Energy is deeply committed to having its production operations in the U.S. In the fall of 2012, Sauer Energy chose to consolidate its operations at 4670 Calle Carga, unit A, Camarillo. This choice was based on the county’s location along the “101 corridor,” which provides an abundance of people resources (for staffing their growth), access to local fabricating partners and easy access in transporting of its goods, both domestically and, eventually, around the world.
Plugged In is a new monthly column focused on new technology in and around Ventura County and it will be featured the second week of every month. Plugged In authors Bridge Carney and Karl Geiger are chair and past chair, respectively, for the Ventura section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE], the world’s largest professional organization, with over 800 local members in Ventura County. Please find them at www.ieee-bv.org.