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Feb. 28, 2013

AWS wins $10k for innovative wind turbine

By Daniel Herda

Amplified Wind Solutions of Cleveland State University has won a $10,000 award from the 2013 Ohio Clean Energy Challenge for their new wind turbine system.

The system directs a higher concentration of air molecules into turbines, increasing the density and velocity of the wind stream and producing six times more electricity than traditional turbines. It was the most promising technology at the OCEC.

CEO Niki Zmij, an MBA candidate at Cleveland State’s Monte Ahuja College of Business, led the AWS team and developed the business plan for the new turbine system, which is unlike anything sold on the market.

“It is low cost, uses less space, and because it can operate in low wind speeds, it can make wind power economically viable in previously non-viable locations,” Zmij said.

AWS is viewed as an excellent example of taking technology development from the lab into the real world.AWS relies on the innovation in wind turbine technology developed by Dr. Majid Rashidi, chair of the Department of Engineering Technology at Cleveland State. The research on development of the technology was supported by Lubrizol.

Rashidi, Terry Theile, director of sustainable product strategies at Lubrizol and Jon Stehura, finance manager at Laird Technologies are co-founders of AWS along with Zmij.

“Every aspect of clean and renewable energy must be explored and researched, with the goal of developing safe and economically viable new energy technologies,” Rashidi said.

Cleveland State’s wind amplified turbine system was made possible by donations from Betty L. Gordon and grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Ohio to the Fenn College of Engineering.

In November 2012, AWS won second place in the student business competition at the Jumpstart Entrepreneur Expo. AWS will be competing in the Midwest regional competition, hosted by Clean Energy Trust in Chicago on April 4, 2013.

The winner of the Chicago event will receive a $100,000 grand prize and a place in the DOE’s national competition in Washington D.C. this summer.