FloDesign Wind Turbine is an intriguing wind power company in Massachusetts that is using jet engine technology to make a more productive wind turbine.
The idea is to take advantage of air flow dynamics to concentrate wind and squeeze more electricity from a smaller machine. The company, backed by venture capital company Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, is working on a prototype.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has emerged as a hotbed for research and technology development in energy. Among the many companies already spun out of MIT is Covalent Solar.
Company technicians have used a relatively common dye to coax light to move to the edges of glass sheets where they plan to put solar cells. The light is concentrated to make more electricity from cells. The design also uses less silicon cell material than traditional panels.
A123 Systems is one of the best known green-tech companies in the Boston area. The lithium ion battery company, spun out of MIT, makes batteries for Black & Decker tools and is angling to supply packs to auto makers and utilities for grid storage. Here is a photo of an early version of its auto battery pack, fitted for a Toyota Prius plug-in.
Boston Power started four years to make lithium ion batteries for laptops. It is now moving into the automotive market, using the same basic cells, seen in blue inside this battery pack.
The company has applied for a Department of Energy loan program set up to encourage domestic auto battery manufacturing. It hopes to build a plant in central Massachusetts in a facility that is now a retailer's warehouse.
GreatPoint Energy received the most funding--over $100 million--of all green-tech companies in 2008. Here is a photo of its demonstration facility in Somerset, Mass., for converting coal into natural gas using gasification. For a tour of facility, click here.
A relatively well established solar company in the state is Evergreen Solar, which has a technique for manufacturing solar cells with what it says is a lower cost process. The company recently opened a new facility in Devens, Mass.
Beacon Power has a flywheel that can store and dispatch electricity onto the grid very quickly. The product is now being used in Massachusetts and is planned for a multi-megawatt installation in New York later this year for grid frequency regulation.
BigBelly Solar is another Boston green company that makes a public trash compactor powered by solar panels on top. It sells primarily to municipalities that can save money by picking up less frequently. BigBelly recently raised venture capital and signed a distribution deal with Waste Management.