TechnoSpin, a New York-headquartered small-scale wind turbine maker with big-time plans, has raised $8 million in a Series A financing that was led by 21 Ventures. The company says it has designed its small-scale turbines to operate in low-wind situations, allowing for wider adoption, and is targeting customers in the developing world.
The small-scale wind industry is not to be discounted. It’s a market sub-sector that is seeing more startups come online and more investment move in. TechnoSpin plans to start selling its turbines next month, CEO Maxim Rakov told Israel’s Globes publication. He said the company’s already in talks with customers and is negotiating with distributors in Israel, where it has a manufacturing facility.
We recently profiled four wee wind startups all working to generate a few extra kilowatt hours off local breezes. In urban areas, zoning restrictions often limit one’s ability to throw up a 35+ foot turbine, which explains why, for example, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has formed a work group to examine the feasibility of wind power-generation in the city, and, the Mayor hopes, amend the building codes.
But the biggest potential market for small-scale wind is “the other 90 percent.” These turbines could provide power to communities all over the developing world where grid connections are either expensive or nonexistent.
TechnoSpin also has aspirations that go beyond wee wind turbines. The company says it’s developing a highly efficient gearbox that it plans to test with big-name turbine manufacturers. Applications for the mechanical gearbox aren’t limited to just wind turbines, it “will also be suited for use in aircraft, cars, washing machines, the mining industry, metalworking – any mechanical facility that produces electricity,” Rakov told the Globes. That is a considerably larger potential market than rural farmers looking to generate a little electricity off the prairie breeze.
And beyond the gearbox, the company says it has IP around its turbine blade design, allowing for the turbine to operate in low-wind scenarios. In theory, these blade designs could be scaled up and sold to large-scale turbine makers as well.
In the meantime, for those in the web-connected world, we hope TechnoSpin invests in their bandwidth as their web site has been down all day for exceeding its 56-megabyte quota.