The Aethrea Team brings experience in the fields of energy storage, electrochemistry, mechanical and electrical engineering, control systems, and innovation management. We share a passion for innovating energy solutions and taking an outside-the-box approach to solving a problem which is highly relevant to the future of the planet and humanity: Delivering clean energy, economically, to customers. In addition, WindtoGreen has assembled a team of Advisors with expertise in physical and general chemistry, plasma physics, and renewable energy.
In 2011, W2G was awarded a Conoco Philips Energy Prize of $25,000 for our proposal to enable farmers and co-ops to produce their own nitrogen fertilizer. Our core technology was an approach based on a particular SOFC technology called SSAS. We used the prize money to continue our best-of-breed analysis of emerging technologies for NH3 synthesis. Later on we determined that the manufacturing and performance control costs related to SSAS made the economics of NH3 synthesis technology based on SOFC less appealing. We also rejected commercially available PEM technology after engineering assessment of manufacturing and operational issues. We have converged on NTP as the most promising approach to direct ammonia synthesis, and our team has applied considerable analysis and due diligence to this novel approach.
In addition to our core team, we also bring an advisory board with considerable additional expertise in plasma chemistry, electrochemistry, materials science, manufacturing engineering, and management of large-scale projects for the U.S. Department of Energy. The respective bios of the team are included in a separate section.
Our group is also already a stakeholder and developer of renewable energy technologies. An off-grid wind farm in Southern California is owned by one of our members, and another hosts part of an on-grid wind farm in Washington State. Another of us has personally engineered all-electric vehicles for experiment and personal use. One of us was manager of component development for USDOE’s solar central receiver program; and two of us have started and grown successful technology companies besides WindtoGreen.
Director of Electrical Engineering
Jim is currently a member of the Technical Advisory Board for WindtoGreen LLC. With over 40 years of experience on megawatt class power systems, computer controlled machine design, process automation, and R&D management, Jim is uniquely suited to support W2G’s NH3 power conditioning objectives. Jim has already developed to two power control systems for W2G; a Self Excited Induction Generator (SEIG) windmill power controller, and a prototype Non Thermal Plasma (NTP) reactor power supply for W2G’s NTP R&D. Jim has been a proponent of renewable energy, CO2 reduction, and electric vehicles for many years and is actively interested in developing NH3 systems for smart grid buffering, isolated grid systems as well as low CO2 emission techniques to produce agricultural ammonia. In addition to his role at W2G he is also the Director of R&D for Ametek-Zygo and serves on the board for Benicia Makerspace.
We have assembled a team of technical and financial advisers to guide us through the stages of company and IP formation, finance, commercialization, and growth.
Howard Hirano, Ph.D
Ms. Mechanical Engineering. Howard is a former director of Engineering for Sandia Laboratories, Livermore. He brings many years’ experience managing advance technology development in the fields of energy and defense.
William C. “Bill” Leighty
Bill Leighty was a founding principal of Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc. (AASI) in 1990, for R&D and consulting in renewable-source energy and science education. Bill has BS Electrical Engineering (’65) and MBA (’71) degrees from Stanford. AASI designed and delivered a unique telescope, optimized for educational-recreational astronomy, to the Hyatt Regency Maui in 1991. AASI has operated a 14-turbine windplant as an R&D site in Palm Springs, CA, since 1991, completing USDOE R&D contract # DE- FG36-03-GO-13140, for wind generator blade manufacturing innovation, in 2005. AASI applied 25 Feb 15 for ARPA-E funding to convert the windplant to produce DC from its total electric energy generation, with no grid connection, for Hydrogen and Ammonia fuel production, via novel and experimental systems including Self Excited Induction Generator (SEIG) mode.
Bill is a pro bono Director of The Leighty Foundation, a small charitable family foundation, for which he has co-authored and presented over twenty papers on hydrogen and ammonia as alternatives to electricity systems for transmission, storage, and integration of stranded and distributed energy resources, from kW to GW scale. Bill and co-authors received the “Best Paper Award” at the 2003 World Gas Conference, Tokyo. He is a co-chair of the Renewable Energy Seed Cluster Industry Working Group, Juneau Economic Development Council, in Alaska. His publications and presentations are at: www.leightyfoundation.org/earth.php
Kenell Touryan, Ph.D
PhD Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences, Princeton University, Consultant on strategies for Renewable Technologies From January 2003 through June 2011 Ken was Vice President of Research and Development at the American University of Armenia (AUA), where he was in charge of 7 Research Centers and Director of the Engineering Research Center. He is retired from his position AUA and remains as a visiting professor for the College of Science and Engineering.
L. Willard Richards, Ph.D. Advisor
Dr. Richards is one of the founders of Sonoma Technology Inc.
William Even, Ph.D.
PhD Materials Science, Northwestern University. B.S., Materials Science, University of Utah. B.S., Chemistry, University of Utah. 8 patents across a diverse suite of technologies. 45 publications, split between the open journal literature and restricted defense literature. Dr. Even was a Senior Manager / Deputy Director who oversaw three departments in the Biological and Materials Sciences Center, and coordinated Division 8000’s Material Science and Engineering Core Capability. Bill’s Energy Materials Sciences Group was organized into Energy Nano-materials, Nano-biology, and Materials Physics elements. These three departments formed the centroid for materials characterization, nano-length and timescale science, and the emerging intersection of physical nano and biological sciences. Leading the Division MS&T Core Competency and Basic Energy Science, Bill partnered with similar expertise in New Mexico to provide the fundamental Physical Science and Technology foundation for Sandia’s mission businesses.