Prior to ArborWind

Windmills were used in Persia as early as 200 B.C. and the first electricity generating wind turbine was invented about 125 years ago. In 1929, Georges Darrieus patented the first vertical axis airfoil to capture the advantages of an omni-directional design. Sandia National Labs and other government sponsored improvements and tests were carried out in the 1970’s and early 1980’s with over $100 million in investment using breakthroughs in aerodynamic techniques and reliability. Very large-scale prototypes were built including a very large 4MW machine by Hydro-Quebec in 1988. ArborWind improvements build upon these prior experiences and considerably increase performance and decrease costs at a more modest scale.

ArborWind’s History

In 2005, Dilip Nigam and his team of engineers at Analytical Design Service Corp. (ADSC) began investigating problems with prior Darrieus wind turbine designs. What they uncovered was that many of the same structural and reliability problems which caused the greatest failures had been solved using techniques they had applied with automotive and other customers. Since then, the project has evolved and milestones include:

  • Patent application filed in 2006 to improve VAWT performance
  • 2010 Dilip Nigam founds ArborWind to productize design improvements
  • 2011 second alpha machine confirms simulations
  • Awarded loan from Michigan Economic Development Corporation for Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing (CEAM)
  • Wins TiEQuest Business Plan Competition, August, 2011
  • December 2011, first beta scale prototype installed
  • May 2012, awarded a business accelerator grant
  • October 2012, first customer sale
  • June 5, 2013, Marshall turbine successfully connected to utility grid