Wind Spires Coming to NE Ohio????

Submitted by Charles Frost on Sun, 07/15/2007 - 21:07.

Wind Spire

Cleveland State U's Rooftop Windmills: U.S. House Panel OKs Seed Money

CLEVELAND (TDB) -- Cleveland State University scientist Majid Rashidi is closer to obtaining federal financial aid to help develop energy-producing "windspires," four of which may soon be spinning on the rooftops of Northeastern Ohio. The House Appropriations Committee has agreed to authorize putting about $1.1 million of taxpayers' cash into the project, which also has backing from the state.

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Cleveland, announced the influential House panel's decision to support the windspires, which are souped up breeze-powered machines without the huge spinning blades typical of windmills. Rashidi wants to set build test devices to see how effectively they function.

Tubbs Jones said the project is an investment in retooling the state's economy and portrayed it as critical to efforts to get Ohio growing again.

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manufacturing wind spires

That's great news. I wonder what this means for Green Energy Technologies, which has the rights to manufacture this technology. In a short Q&A with the company's CEO, Mark Cironi, at GCBL he states that he'd like the first install of the wind spire to be in Ohio. I'm told, though, that he's fielding serious interest in the wind spire from outside the state (I think from Pennsylvania, which has invested millions in renewables through it's Renewable Portfolio Standard. We need that RPS in Ohio to spur manufacturing.

MARK CIRONI - MASTER MOLD

 

Mark Cironi - the primary voice advocating for the "wind spire"  -  was interviewed by GreenCityBlueLake about a year ago. 

In the interview Mr. Cironi described the "master mold"  in the process of being made  and also stated that a factory in Pennsylvania connected to a board member of GreenEnergyTechnologies (Cironi’s Akron company)  would be the first customer of the “wind spire”.

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This is the Q and A on GCBL:

Q: Your company was formed January 2004, where are you in the process of bring this technology to market?

We just ordered the master mold, and that one piece is the same piece the goes together to build the entire tower. It is fiberglass a quarter inch thick with 3 or 4 inch polyethylene back fill and each piece is 95 lbs. and there are 32 of those pieces that snap together to make one turn or to go around the tower one time, they are 12 and-a-half-feet tall and 40 feet wide. The towers rang between 150 to 220 feet and each one produces more energy as you go up. So if a customer requires 891 kilowatts, they will need a 192 ft. tower based on an average 12 mph wind. It goes in a spiral shape, so all we had to do is build one mold. It is off-the-shelf technology. We are waiting for the final mold to be done and sent back here and we are going to run multiple shifts to build the first tower and one of my board members is my first customer. We are going to put up five of them in Redding, Pennsylvania at a metals company. The technology is primarily commercial and industrial, although I see it being used by municipalities and colleges.

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At the time I read the GCBL interview I thought that it was premature, and not a good business idea, to build a mold when – to my knowledge - there had never been a test prototype of the wind spire built. 

So, I have some questions:

1.      Has a prototype ever been built?  Photos please.

2.      What happened in Redding, Pennsylvania?

3.      What happened with the master mould?

 

If Ms. Tubbs-Jones is advocating to invest my tax money in this “wind spire” – with the apparent assumption that the “wind spire” is a pragmatic technology – I believe Ms. Tubbs-Jones is proceeding prematurely.  

Dr. Rashidi and CSU did in fact file for a patent, but the filing of a patent does not confirm the feasibility of the “wind spire”. 

Frankly, I am concerned that Mr Cironi is a better salesman than scientist. 

Keep in mind that this poster (Buster) is a strong wind energy advocate and not shy of government funding for new ideas - but I have not felt a comfortable level of bona fides with the "wind spire".

 

 

 

wind spire speculation

I too have heard much speculation about the spires winded.  Proof is in the puddin' , so to speak.  I will say that ingenious inventive innovation in alternative energy holds a special place in my heart - for example, why not place a sturdy yet lightweight vertical wind propeller atop the spherical portion of the Great Lakes Science Center ?   To put it another way, cap that cap off with a prop or spire and you have a wind beanie like none other.   Just a passing fancy...