WindPax believes a simple breeze can help the world generate power. That’s why the startup out of West Virginia University developed the world’s first portable, collapsible wind turbine.
Designed with Autodesk Digital Prototyping tools including Autodesk Fusion 360, the WindPax turbine supplies power for hikers, campers and recreation in the developed world. The turbines can also serve as a source of power in developing nations and disaster situations where power isn’t available.
The WindPax turbine weighs less than four pounds and generates 25 watts. That’s enough to power three cell phones simultaneously at standard wind speeds, and its battery stick—after fully charged—could charge two mobile phones. Plus it only takes a couple minutes to construct or pack away. For its pioneering work, WindPax is being recognized as the Autodesk Inventing the Future recipient for November.
Autodesk seeks Inventing the Future candidates each month from its Manufacturing customer base through a brief Q&A interview on a company or individual addressing their business, products and inventive spirit. Here is what WindPax President Justin Chambers had to say about the company’s product and experiences leveraging Autodesk software:
Autodesk: What does your company develop, and why is it important for the world?
Chambers: WindPax develops portable wind turbines that can be used in numerous ways. Access to small amounts of energy in today's society is not only a small luxury for recreation and remote locations, but also an absolute safety feature when it comes to communication and navigation. In the developing world, 1.3 billion people live without electricity. Grid systems are far too expensive to implement in those areas, and it is predicted that 16 percent of the global population will still be in need of electricity by 2030. WindPax has a tremendous opportunity to distribute wind turbines to those in need and supply energy and luxuries such as lighting and charging for these areas.
Autodesk: How has adopting technology helped your business evolve?
Chambers: We currently use a lot of cloud-based services. This has helped us share and collaborate easier and work from anywhere. With Fusion 360, we can design and test models thoroughly within the program to reduce prototype iteration and manufacturing issues.
Autodesk: What Autodesk software do you use and why?
Chambers: As members of the Autodesk Cleantech Partner Program,we are currently using Fusion 360 for all of our prototypes, renderings, animations and final designs for manufacturing. The option for subscription service allows a startup company to afford and utilize the software and grow with the company as needed.
Autodesk: How do you see your business five years from now? In 10 years?
Chambers: In five years, we would like to be supplying the entire recreational market with portable wind turbines. By 2025, we have a goal of distributing one million wind turbines to developing countries.
Autodesk: What does being an engineer mean to you? [You fill in blank with your occupation.]
Chambers: As engineers, we have skills and talents that can be used to improve the things around us, help others, as well as reinvent devices and the way things are done. Therefore, we have an opportunity to improve the things around us and make the world a better place.
To see a WindPax turbine in action, watch this video:
Do you think you have what it takes to be recognized by Autodesk for Inventing the Future? If so, send in your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.