Matt speaks to Chris and Cheryl Moore about their company Harmony Turbines and their approach to developing a new type of Savonius wind turbine.
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So you would have Harmony furled up in a cylinder, and you rotate it, you just are running the generator in reverse. Now you’re improving your efficiency as you go from A to B. You anchor up when you get to your destination, unfurl while you’re producing power under anchor. You just blew my mind. You just blew my
That is really
cool. That is really cool. you because you may not have picked up on that little nuance. No. It’s there. That is amazing. On today’s
episode of Still to be Determined, we’re going to be talking about some new technologies that are
At Harmony Turbines,
which Matt had the opportunity to speak to the two leads at Harmony, Chris and Cheryl Moore, who are leading the research there.
And at the end of 2023, Matt sat down and spoke with them and. His interview, we’re going to share his interview with them as a complete video here. Just a tip to the wise though, keep in mind, this was recorded at the end of 2023. So when Matt or Chris or Cheryl say this is going to happen next year, they mean this year.
So a little bit of timey wimey stuff for everybody to keep in mind, but we hope you’ll
and interested in the content of their discussion around Harmony Turbines, what their research is leading to, and what they hope to achieve in the near
future. Well, to kick things off, I was hoping you guys could both introduce yourselves, and I would like to know a little bit more about how you started Harmony, why you started Harmony, and how you got to where you are right now.
I’ve been inventing and working with clean energy tech for probably the better part of . 20 years, 25 years. Um, it started when I was just looking to try and figure out something that I could do other than programming and working for the hospitals as a coder because I, you know, that was paying the bills, but it wasn’t really fulfilling.
Anything that I wanted to do in life and, um, it started as a, I was reading while I was flying back and forth all over the country about cold fusion and clean energy tech research, but I thought, man, I’m never going to be able to afford to do that. So, um, I, I guess it just evolved from a love of. Starting with scrap material, starting with nothing, and I taught myself, um, there was a Dave Gingery series of books about building your own machine shop out of scrap materials and using waste oil and, you know, building your own foundry and machining parts.
And so that’s what got me down the path of machining and, um, inventing and one thing led to the next, the next, the next. And I, a hundred inventions later, you know, a big, huge spreadsheet, I’m like. All right, how do I turn this into a career? So Matt, it’s like you’re sitting there with all these inventions and nothing’s going anywhere.
You’re not able to do anything outside of just tinker on the weekends and in your spare time. So um, a company called Score helped me with that and they said let’s focus on taking one of your inventions all the way through to get that ball rolling and then you could fund other projects as you do this.
So Harmony is really the first The first thing that we’re taking from the idea, the ideation stage, all the way through to, you know, trying to take it to a finished product. Right. So it went
from tinkering on the weekends and your spare time to taking that passion and spinning it into your first full
Crazy scary, like how do we go from this is a hobby to suddenly now it’s not only paying my salary, but now it’s paying both of our salaries and trying to turn it into something that can you know, be beneficial to everyone in the world. So, right. It has been a wild ride. Yeah.
These things don’t fund themselves.
So, uh, this, we had looked at doing Kickstarter years ago as a possible way to fund this, but can you imagine putting like a huge turbine that hasn’t been, uh, Even made yet, like thousands of dollars, nobody would do it. And when he came across the equity funding, the crowdfunding that we ended up doing, um, that was, that was how things got started and how he was able to quit his full time job.
And start working on this and, you know, that was a little rollercoaster there too. And then he did another raise and now we’re both in this and really, uh, jumping in full force.
It took three raises to get to the point where we were able to quit our jobs and both come on board full time. And hire other people.
And hire some other people, yeah. One of my big questions
is, Why wind? Like, what drove you to do these kind of small, like, Savonius style wind turbine? What drove you to
that? So everyone out there thinks of wind turbines as these big propeller turbines that are out on the coast, and they do have a few small, um, scaled down versions that they’re trying to sell as residential turbines, but they’re very I’ll say they’re very poor at their job, because all they did was shrunk down the great big ones and thought that they should be good for people and people’s backyards just the same as the big ones.
Um, that’s not really the case, because the little ones, if you’ve ever been up close with one when it’s spinning, you know, even just a hundred feet away from it, They’re like, incredibly noisy, they’re frenetic to watch them, they’re just twitching and moving and stopping and starting, and it’s just insane.
We have video of some, when we were down at the beach, and it was a, a thunderstorm was starting to kick up, so you were getting some gusting and then stopping and this thing was just, you know, going berserk, it was like, and then it would stop, and then it would be like, and then stop, and I’m like, is that really?
The best technology that we can put out, you know, as a society right now to say, here you go folks, this is something you can put on your boat or on your house for wind capture, wind gen wind power generation in the 2020s. It was insane, and I thought there’s gotta be a better way. So I think Harmony was born out of the desire to do something that makes sense, you know, that is easy to look at, is convenient, has a lot of nice features built into it, and just makes sense all around.
Felt like all they did, again, I’m saying the same thing over, but shrinking down that great big technology out on the coast isn’t the right answer. That’s like You know, trying to sell somebody, uh, I don’t even know, like, you know, just shrink down the biggest vehicle that you can think of and think it’s going to be great for everyone to run around in these mini versions of Mack trucks or something like that.
It’s, you know, people don’t shop for a car because they’re looking for convenience. They’re looking for trunk space. They’re looking for miles per gallon, whatever. Same thing happens in wind turbines. We want something that’s pleasant to look at, pleasant to be around, that’s not dangerous, that’s not noisy and intrusive, that the neighbors aren’t going to be calling and complaining.
Um, so that’s what Harmony is trying to do, all of those things, and it’s a bit of a tall order, we know, just like these. You know, when these came out 30 years ago, they were the size of a brick, literally, they were called brick boats. And they were huge, they were crazy, but they gave you something, a level of convenience that you didn’t have with landlines, and that started a whole revolution, you know, a paradigm shift in telecommunications.
I hope that Harmony is the smartphone of wind turbines. It’s Our desire that we’re like the smartphone in a generation that everyone’s running around right now, installing brick phones on their homes, you know, and suitcase phones, if you remember them.
Oh yeah. Oh my god, yes. Yeah, the car phone where it was like almost installed into the car.
Yep. Um, so one question I had for you about the kind of the design of it is What sets your design apart from what others have
done before? So Savonius wind turbines are the king. They’re literally the undisputed king of low wind speed power production. When you look at all the power curves and everything, and we even on our FAQ site go into some historically bad data.
Um, badly published data back in the 1950s, where they drew incorrect lines, um, I won’t pull it up right now, Matt, but it’s on our FAQ, and I can send you the, the screenshots of it. There was bad data published showing Savonius turbines to be a very, very poor producer in these low winds, when they were really originally tested in the 30, Um, percent efficiency range, which is great when you’re talking low wind speed power production.
So, we wanted our turbine to be catering to the masses, so to speak. Not, you know, 30 mile an hour winds that are constantly, you know, pressing down on the coast 300 feet up in the air. You’re gonna put this on your roof, you’re gonna put it in your backyard, you’re gonna put it maybe on the side of your barn or something like that.
Um, generally, wind in the rural and even urban areas is not very good. So it’s dirty wind, it’s disrupted wind, and Savonius turbines are the king of low wind speed power production. Now, it’s not magic. This isn’t Like zero point energy or, you know, getting more out of a system than you’re putting in. It’s not magic.
It does need wind to make power. But if the majority of the United States and the world at large doesn’t have good wind, shouldn’t we try and make a wind turbine that can at least capitalize on that? You know, poor wind condition rather than being oversold on something that, Oh, in a crazy typhoon or a thunderstorm, you might get this wind.
But if it goes even 10 miles an hour above what it’s rated for, then it’s probably going to be destroyed. You know, it’s like the caveats on buying a turbine that you can get right now are just so crazy. They’re 60, 000. They’re usually like you’re getting a 20 kilowatt wind turbine and. You’re overbuying so that it might produce one or two kilowatts of power on an average 14, 15 mile an hour wind speed.
And then if you go above their rated wind speed, then it has to shut itself off. Stop producing because it’s got to protect itself. And if it goes any higher, then it can even be destroyed. We have people that have yachts and catamarans and, you know, they’re calling us saying, Chris, when are you going to have this ready?
I’ve already gone through three. Of these crappy propeller turbines this season already, you know, they’re out in the boating field because they’re being destroyed by these storms that come up. So, we’re trying to make a better mousetrap. We’re trying to make a better product. That answers a lot of the big gaps in the industry right
So the way we approach that problem is we have our furling mechanism where our scoops or fins or whatever you want to call them at a certain RPM or when the turbine reaches its max RPM, they’ll close in towards each other a little bit. And the purpose of this is twofold. One, it’ll, uh, control the spin, so we’re not spinning out of control, but the second thing that that does is it allows us to continue generating power.
Even though we have strong winds, even though we’re partially closed, we’re still generating power. The other ones, they stop. They’re not doing anything in the highest winds. Like, you should be getting the most power out of those situations and they’re stopped. Right. That’s, uh, you know, you asked what would set Harmony apart from some of the other ones and this is a major
piece of it.
Yeah, being able to put power right on through that storm where everyone else has to stop. Yeah, that
furling motion that you’re talking about, has
anybody else tried that? No. So, to our knowledge, there is not a single product on the market that’s coming close to doing anything like that. They can pitch their rotors.
In the, um, the big propeller type ones, they can actually change the pitch of the rotor to try and maximize their RPMs and different wind speeds, but they cannot escape the wind. Harmony is literally reducing its diameter. So, you know, when you’re talking, uh, propeller turbine, it’s the whole circumference, the diameter of that turbine as it spins.
In Harmony, it’s more of a A Y times X or a Z times X. So that footprint in the length times the height is what is being reduced because we’re squishing it down. We’re not going and turning into a cylinder, we’re just coming in maybe 10 percent or 15 percent depending on the RPM. But we’re still enabling it to spin to control the RPMs.
Is there any
additional complexity to your system over that other system, like the difference between tipping versus the
furling? Uh, no, I don’t know that it would be more complex. I, I’m sorry. I thought you were saying, is there more complexity in Harmony versus like standard residential wind turbines don’t have that built into them because that’s right to do.
So you’re really saying we’re giving Harmony, little baby residential Harmony, the same capability In a way that the big, huge multi million dollar turbines have, because those big multi million dollar turbines can do the pitching, the little ones can’t. It’s too expensive, it’s not worth it, it wouldn’t really get people much bang for their buck in that case.
But with Harmony, we’re actually trying to build that into the design so that it’s inherent. You don’t need a brake, you don’t need to stop, it merely furls in to whatever degree it needs to control its RPMs. Kind of like the governor. Right. So
if, if in theory you didn’t have that furling and it could max out at 30 miles per hour with the furling, you could have 60 mile an hour winds, but it’s furling stuff in to keep the control.
Yep. You’re okay. We, once we start testing, when we say this model can withstand 250 RPM, we don’t want to go above that. As it approaches 250 RPM, it would just. Pull in a little bit, and then in 15 seconds, it would check its RPMs, and if it’s good, then it would stay there, if it’s still too fast, it would just pull in a little bit more, so it’s constantly running a PID loop, just like, you know, CNC machines are running a process loop, where they’re saying, how much do I need to change, how much did I change.
And now if it needs to adjust again, it knows how far it needs to go in the next move.
Now, this is going to be a question you may not be able to answer at this point, given where you are in your development, but from like a technical specs point of view, if like I’m a homeowner and I’m looking to put one of these in my house, what could I expect a single unit to be able to produce?
Like what would the rated amount
be? Our hope right now, our goal is that we’re Making units that are about 500 watts in power, 400 to 500 watts in a 25 mile an hour wind. Um, I would love to come back in a couple months after we finally start getting our data and say to you, we’re way above that. We’re at 2000 watts in a 25 mile an hour wind, but I don’t, I’d rather under promise and over deliver than the other way around.
Right. So our hope is that it would be at least 400 to 500 watts. Okay.
And how much, and again, you’re probably not going to be able to answer this question about cost. But it’s one of those, typically when you’re talking about Savonius turbines, they tend to be much more expensive per watt than something like a solar panel.
Yeah. And I know it’s not really a fair comparison to go wind versus solar because you can do both. There’s nothing that says you can’t do both. What do you see, what do you see the cost potentially being, um, per watt if you have any kind of concept around that yet? What do you, what do you feel about this in the market of like a residential space?
Like, how do you think, how, how appealing will this be for the residential
market? I guess that’s a tough one. We’re in our infancy right now. When solar came out it was what, $10, $12 a watt. It was crazy. Very expensive. We’re probably going to be in that same range, $10 to $12 watt, because if we’re talking a 500 watt turbine and it’s costing the consumer $5000, that’s a 10 to one ratio right there.
Um, we may even be higher than that. We may be, 12 to 14 a watt when it comes out. Um, that’s only when it launches. I mean, Tesla was like, what, 70 to 80 thousand dollars, for their first cars, and now they’re 30, 000, you know, 28, 000 for some of the Model 3s. So, like anything, as soon as we launch with it, it’s always going to be, you know, the most expensive time.
You get your niche consumers that really want that, that have been watching and following, and then they help to build the momentum for you to move into less expensive, more economic models. You might find ways to cut down on manufacturing costs and waste in your production process, um, lighter, more, uh, affordable materials, or Maybe even 3D printed materials.
Recycled plastics from ocean and landfill reclamation projects. Things like that. We’re looking at all kinds of things to be, not only making clean energy, but helping to clean the planet up at the same time. If we can pull, like, the Precious Plastics Project. I don’t know if you know about that, but I’d love to use reclaimed plastics out of the ocean to make, you know, scoops for our units.
But that’s down the road, it’s, it’s way too early to get into that. Yeah. Yeah.
And to get to your current state of where you are right now, I, I believe you just finished a study with, what was it, Bucknell? Mm hmm. Um, are you working with other colleges and universities beyond
Bucknell? Yeah, we’re actually working with, um, a year and a half, two years ago, we got the original three schools.
So it was Bucknell University, Penn State University. And then Northumbria University over in the UK, all three of them approached us and wanted to work with us. We actually had two additional colleges approach us, Thomas Jefferson and Villanova. We had to pick just three because, you know, being a three person company, yeah, two, three person company.
Like, we can’t work with five universities here. So we spread them out, we made, you know, we divided things up. Bucknell was working on the actual Turbine on their rooftop, full size scale unit, um, doing testing. Penn State was doing water tank testing for clustering effects, putting a bunch of little harmony turbines close together to help with increasing efficiency.
Um, the wall effect as the wind gets squeezed through vertical axis wind turbines, it actually can increase the efficiency like 15 to 25 percent. Studies that, um, Oxford University in April of 21 put out this amazing study showing huge increases in, um, wind farm production. If wind farms would switch over to vertical axis wind turbines.
So, and clustering them together, yeah. That’s,
that’s the exact opposite of what you typically see about studies about like the wind farms where they’re actually causing like too much turbulence and it drops the
efficiency of the entire farm. They, they, it’s like a half a mile away they have to be before the wind is, you know, steady enough that they can put another one.
With the vertical axis wind turbines, they can be very close, and you can do a lot more densification of your, of your wind farm layout, so we envision a, you know, if things go well, I mean, my gosh, you could have Harmony Turbine wind farms that are a thousand units out there, all nice, close together, easy to set up, you don’t need big, huge, 400 foot tall cranes, and you Yes, you have a bunch of small ones, but now you have redundancy.
If one of them goes out or two of them gets knocked out, it’s not like a big huge six million dollar wind turbine getting knocked out. Um, right. So, there’s a lot of cool things there. And then Northumbria University, they want to do the computational fluid dynamics to look at our geometry of the scoops themselves.
Um, to help with improving that. Increasing the efficiency of it. Recently then, we were contacted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. And now we do have permission to actually drop their name and say, um, you know, we’ve been contacted by them. We even released it in our update. Um, yeah. So, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reached out to us and said, Hey, we love what you’re doing.
We want to work with you. Let’s see if we can do a project to help you increase your scoop. Efficiency. So now they want to do that as well.
That’s well, what first congratulations on that. That’s a great partnership, but it sounds like that’s also, but yeah, but it sounds like that’s where you’re probably focused right now is on refining this, the design of the scoops and the.
Orient, like, the size and shape and everything. I’ve seen that in your recent, uh, some of your recent videos you’ve been putting out. In the development, because what, what version are you on right
now of your design? We call, um, we separated it into two things because our patent is actually one is on the Furling and the other we have a patent on my Axial Flux Generator and that one, um, We’re on version 3, so we call it Mark 3 for our turbine, and then we are actually on Mark 4 for our generator.
So, even though the generator has not, we have not really done any videos or anything, we have to keep that very close to the vest. Hush hush. It’s like secret sauce stuff there, Matt. So, there’s too many, too many generator companies out there, motor companies, and even with EV market, everyone’s starting to talk about axial flux motors.
Axial flux motors are the future of EV. Well, guess what? We are the first. To hold a patent on the first axial flux generator with solid core, um, coils and a variable air gap. So I don’t know if you looked at our patent or looked at our FAQ or pitch deck or anything, but that is the second big technology that we have.
We’re the first to come up with an axial flux generator that has literally got a variable air gap in there. And you say, well, why would you do that? It’s because startup cogging is the biggest problem for wind turbines, um, in low wind speed. They have to use kicker motors that used to be, believe it or not, big, like 50 horsepower Kubota diesel engines in the wind turbines that were out all over Texas and Arizona and Nevada and stuff like that.
They would fire up with a diesel Kubota engine to get them going, to get them spinning. It’s ridiculous. So they could set that up and produce clean energy. And you’re like, wow, okay, this is the best we can do. Our generator is literally an entire separate revenue stream that could be, you know, even if our wind turbine tech with a turbine is, it fails, it’s a flop, we still have a totally separate Revenue stream that could be brought forth from the generator, being retrofitted into millions of wind turbines, big and small, multi million dollar turbines, all around the world.
Because that startup cogging is such an issue, that our generator could literally, by starting with those platters far away, you eliminate the cogging, but you still allow solid core coils in your design. And then after it gets going, those platters come down and move into closer proximity of the coils.
That’s interesting because it’s,
it’s, I, I was saying to you before we really started talking, which was, I love that you guys are being so open and sharing your progress on the design of the scoops and everything like that, but it kept making me wonder, like, what about it, what is it about what you guys are doing that is defensible, that is something that’s a little closer to the vest and it sounds like it is the, the generator,
like you said, the secret sauce.
And also how we’re doing the furling, that is a very complicated mechanism to Enable your system to actually open and close properly. So, you know, we take pictures of it, we show video of it, but we don’t take people on a tour of here’s the guts of how you do it. And here’s how you machine the parts or 3d print the parts.
So in a way, that’s a little bit of secret sauce, but the generator has to be very, very secret sauce, close to the vest. There’s too many companies out there that could throw 2 million, 3 million at it and try and get around our, you know, our technology patents.
Well, what, what’s the biggest challenge that you guys have come up against so
We’re tiny. So we have a limited amount of resources and we have very limited funds. I mean, I know a $2 million raise sounds like a lot of money, but once you’re done with the raise and paying for advertising and all the fees you’re left with, you know, we were left with 1.3, yeah, 1.3 million when we were all done with everything and.
It’s like, okay, we’ve got to survive now for 24 months and then make the company profitable in that time without going bankrupt. So resources management would be the biggest challenge for, for our little company, you know, just having enough people to help get it done, but do it. In an economic way that you’re not bankrupt by the time you get done.
So with that comes a lot of weird decisions. Where we’re we, we talked about it in our last video, or two or three maybe, where, um, we’re starting to look at taking on side jobs. ’cause we have machining equipment here. We know how to use it. You know, we use it for our own prototyping. But as we look at the funding that.
That we have and how we’re trying to stretch it out and we’re trying to do stuff with it. How do we get that breathing room where we can still function and not have to really stress out about running out of money before doing another raise? So it’s like balancing. Finding new revenue streams, which, you know, we’re looking at the side jobs, machining jobs, and, but then how do you handle your investors?
Like, are your investors going to be upset that you’re not moving forward as quick, or are they going to be happy that you’re trying to protect their investment by keeping the vision alive and not running out of money? We’ve had a lot of, like, he and I and, uh, Nate, our engineer, We have a lot of discussions about this, you know, how do we all feel about it?
But how does it impact the people that we’re communicating with? What is the right decision for us, for our investors, for Harmony? That’s tough.
Yeah, I was scared to death actually, to tell the, you know, our investors, our community that, Hey, we’re, we’re starting to do jobs on the side to help supplement our monthly, you know, revenue stream here, because if we don’t.
It’s gonna get very scary very quickly, you know, you just, you would literally run out of money if the only thing you’re doing is R& D, you have no money coming in. So, we have machines sitting there literally 85 percent of the time not being used because we’re in the middle of R& D, we’re designing, we’re doing CAD work, we’re testing, we’re, you know, 3D printing things, and the machines are sitting back there just whistling a tune, and we’re like, wow, we really ought to put these machines to better use while we have downtime elsewhere.
So, that’s what we’re starting to do. We’re starting to get into doing some manufacturing on the side to help supplement our income while we do the research and continue the research. That actually touches
on something that I come across all the time with different companies and startups I talk to, but I see in the community, and I’m talking about like, not the investors, but like Just the general public, people who are interested in this.
It seems to be that there’s a lack of understanding about the complexity it takes to go from an idea to something you’ve launched in the market. And it takes a long time to do that and a lot of effort. And so, yeah, a lot of people Don’t get it. So it’s like, you’re, you’re living it right now. Like how would you, what would you want to say to people to help them understand?
How would you describe it to somebody, the process and the time and effort it
takes to do this? It’s originally when I started, like even back in 2019, putting videos out, I’m like, yeah, by, you know, by next year we’ll probably have data and maybe we’ll even have our first prototypes. Oh my word. If I could go back in time and smack myself.
You just, you have no idea how many real life issues come up that get in the way of that progress. And to take, you think, Oh, it’s just a wind turbine. How, how complex can that be? It’s crazy. Go build one. Yeah. Right. It’s like, it’s crazy with everything that you have to take into account. So I would say the biggest, you know, advice I have there is for people starting a new startup or trying to bring a new widget to the market.
Assume, out of the box, that it’s going to take five to six times longer than what you originally thought. It’s, like, crazy. You know, for our
community that busts on us sometimes for how long things are taking, it’s Even you said a little earlier, uh, not many people, like a lot of people work in stealth mode and don’t talk about what they’re doing.
Um, maybe we’re one of the few that people are paying attention to that’s being so open with everything that everyone is seeing the entire journey with all the frustrations and struggles and not just kind of coming in at the very end right before things are ready to be on the market. Uh, I think, you know, when, when people think of the products that are out there, you know, new products.
They’ve already been through the R& D and they’re not hearing about them until they’re ready to go on the market. Well, all of them had an R& D process. They just didn’t have it out there.
They didn’t show it to the world. Right. So it was kind of a difference too. We made that decision long ago. And I took people on this journey because I figured it was the only way we would gain a market share or traction in the market because to just bring this widget out and be like, Hey guys, look at this cool thing we made.
No one would even know. They’d be like, what? It’s a, it’s a vertical wind turbine. They’re crap. But by Bringing people along with you on the journey from the inception of the idea, and showing them the bad data that’s out there, the bad research that’s out there, all of the, the problems with the current units, and showing the whole process from the beginning, we have built a community of supporters, now that, the biggest complaint we have is, Doggone it, why don’t you have this thing ready yet?
Like, that’s What people are upset about why is why can’t I go buy this and in a way? That’s a really good problem to have because people believe in what you’re doing so much so that they’re upset They can’t get it right now. So You know at this point. Yes, it’s frustrating, but it’s not necessarily a bad problem.
It’s just Kind of like a really big fire burning, you know, behind me here.
I was going to say, it’s like that, I think that is a really good explanation when you said a lot of people are in stealth mode, which is the way most companies handle it. So when they come out, it looks like this miracle product that’s like, they just totally ignored the eight years of R& D that it took to get to that point.
Yeah. It’s like, you guys are. Boop. Yeah.
Oh boy. Kind of like you actually said something in there that I’d want to hit on a little bit, which is said people often hear vertical access wind turbine. Oh, those are crap.
Dismiss it. Yeah. Do you want to expand on that? 20 minutes ago I was talking about there’s bad data out there. We actually have it on our pitch deck.
We have it in our FAQ and we have links to, I should go get the book. I actually have the physical book in my desk. Signed by the author, with the bad data in it, and that was pretty much the beginning of this bad data, before the internet and everything, back in the 1950s. It’s speculated, and I’ll say this because I’m using the word speculated, that someone was paid off to change.
It’s, all it is, is two arrows that are drawn incorrectly. The labels were all the same, they were showing, like the, uh, you can take a picture from our From our FAQ and put it in here, but they’ve got the label for the Savonius turbine and the American multi blade, like, farm wind turbine, the, you know, just a farm thing that pumps water.
Those labels are in the same spot, but what they did was they drew the arrows. Wrong. In the, I don’t know, 1956 or something like that, and then it suddenly got published in all these engineering papers and scholastic, you know, books that they were teaching about wind turbines and everything, so suddenly this bad data was proliferated all throughout .
The, you know, pen and paper and hardback cover society because there was no internet and no one to sit there and debunk it. For like 60 years, this bad data has been all over the internet. So if you go out and you just search on wind turbine efficiencies, or wind turbine efficiency charts, and you look, you’ll see 50, 60, 70 pictures that are all the same thing, pretty much a little caricature or drawing here or whatever there.
But then, if you really dig into it and look, you’re gonna see the Savonius Turbine is like the lowest, crappiest out of all of them, out of like 10 or 12 pictures. And then you’ll see one that suddenly it’s like up in the 30, and you’re like, well wait, what’s that one? It’s the same graph, just the arrows are reversed.
Yeah, so the bad data, because the internet is just a copy and paste society, it was just making it a thousand times worse. And just putting all this bad data out there. In working with the universities Penn State especially, like, the professor slapped her hands down on the table, she goes, Yes, yes, yes, I’ve been trying to teach this for the past five years in my classes, but the data’s wrong.
So they were excited to work with us on this project because they wanted to help debunk this bad data. So I’d love to be part of debunking that here in the next couple of years if, if things go well. So, because
it was bad data, it clearly slowed the research and development in that area. What do you think the size and the potential is for the suburban, even urban residential apartment buildings, condos, that kind of thing?
What do you think the potential is there for wind generation in a more urban,
suburban setting? I think if we do it well. Our phone calls, emails, and newsletter lists speak for themselves. We, Matt, we literally have Thousands of people begging for this product, waiting for this product to come out. We have yacht and catamaran manufacturers calling us.
Carnival Cruise Lines has contacted us about putting them on their ships. We literally were in a NASA, uh, not a official NASA presentation, but an unofficial NASA presentation for our turbines being on a Mars expedition about six months ago. Um, there is All kinds of potential for, people are starting to wake up and see the propeller turbines are not the way to go, there’s got to be something better, and as far as if you’re saying what’s the potential from an energy standpoint, like how many gigawatt hours throughout the United States or something like that, um, when you’re talking, it’s The first studies that were done on computers back in the 1950s, they said, well, the global demand for computers is about six units worldwide.
And here we are, 70 years later, and there’s billions of them, probably in the trillions now, if you count every, you know, electronic device from watches and phones and all kinds of things. It’s when you have something that is a paradigm shift. And, totally changes the landscape, just like cell phones did.
You don’t even, you can’t even begin to fathom what the potential could be, because ease of use and availability and functionality are all key components in what we’re trying to do. So if you make a product that is so convenient, so easy to use, so intuitive, and it’s survivable and affordable and environmentally friendly, I mean, you do the math, it’s like, where could this go?
I don’t even want to speculate where it could go. Yeah, you know, it’s, it’s
virtually an untapped market right now. So it’s not like 90 percent of residential areas already have wind turbines. And so then you’re trying to convince them to get rid of that and get a new one. You know, it’s, people are looking for them, but not buying it.
You know, the emails that I answer regularly, you know, I’ve been researching. I don’t like what I’m seeing, you know, love yours. And they’re like. People are waiting for the right solution to come out, and so we hope that we are the ones that fill that gap. People are looking for it. They’re not necessarily moving on the bad solutions, or the inferior solutions.
I shouldn’t say that. The inferior solutions, um, you know, they’re just kind of waiting because they don’t know what to do. Like, there’s nothing out there that grabs people right now for that.
It is the analogy that I used a little bit ago when I said we want to be the smartphone in an era of nothing but suitcase phones and brick phones and bag phones.
That’s what they have right now. The current market, the current units out there on the market are just like the brick phones and the bag phones and they’re just, yes, you can make phone calls on them, yes, they’re portable, but You know, how functional, how convenient are they? And if we can come out with a product that checks off ten of the boxes people are looking for instead of just one, you’ve got a game changer there.
Um. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to finally crack this market wide open with something that people are like, wow, that’s awesome. Well, I think
to help people understand, like if, if in a residential setting, what it might look like, because you can’t just put a turbine like five feet off, five feet off the ground and say, it’s going to do great.
Right. You typically have to raise it up high enough. Sure. What kind of height range would we be talking about for your kind of
setup? Um, I would love to, after we get out in the market and we’re launched. You know, have underwriting laboratories approve us for installations on roof peaks or top of apartment buildings or condominiums, um, high rise buildings in the cities, on the corners of the buildings.
You could have like, you know, ten of them going up every story or whatever. You know, there’s the sky’s the limit, no pun intended, with where you could go with this. Just anywhere where wind is being squeezed or funneled, or tops of hills, or, um, you know, accessible places that are reasonably Off the ground.
You know, you don’t want them at ground level because someone could walk into it and then, you know, you’re having a lot of crazy, stupid stuff happening. You need them at least, you know, ten feet off the ground so you avoid lawsuits. Um, yeah, we want them to be something approachable and easy to install.
Not, right now, if you called A wind turbine company, if you could even find one and said, Hey, I want to get a wind turbine out here. I’ve got solar on my property. Let’s put wind on my property. They’d be trying to sell you something that you have to build this, um, frame that goes up in the air 60 feet.
They’d be quoting you numbers of 25 kilowatt units, and it would be 65, 000 to install, and you’re going to look at them and go. Okay, thank you. There’s no way I can do that. You know, at least 99. 9 percent of the people making that call would not be able to do that. We’re looking to improve that phone call tremendously by it being something that the average person can actually afford to do.
And in that way Yes, in the beginning it would be more expensive, it would be costly, but as the technology comes down into mass production, then it would start becoming something that everyone could afford. Just kind of like cell phones, I keep going back to them. In the beginning, only the crazy people could afford the bag phones and the suitcase phones, but look where they are now.
You know, now you can’t find people that don’t have one.
We were just joking before about how people are impatient. And you said you’d smack yourself around, having said, oh, we’ll have it in a year. Now, knowing what you know now, what is your current I know very rough, like, estimate as to when you are hoping to have, like, the first units that you could
actually start selling.
Ooh. Wow. That’s scary. Because the current
verbiage that we’re telling people is that, you know, it, it all starts with data. We can’t even speculate until we start getting data. And then we know what kind of changes we need to make to the turbine, like that will drive everything. So our goal is that probably.
By mid summer next year. It’s what we were telling people
we would probably have some test sites up. Like, that’s what we’re, like, beta unit, like, beta units, even up here on our, like, we’re, we want to be gathering data by summer next year.
Yeah, I think that’s a better way to phrase it. Right, gathering data by next summer.
We’re, we’re literally, we have it strapped in the back of our truck right now. If I took the laptop out there and showed you, it’s literally loaded up, strapped down, ready to go. We have our, um, eddy current resistance break built and it is dialed in so we can actually get data. Um, we are starting to gather our own data.
Literally, this week we’re ready to go. But, as my wife said, those data points are going to drive what changes we may need to make in the new design, in the Mark 4 turbine, and in the Mark 5 generator, so to speak. Um, so, we will be gathering data over the next six months here. A tremendous opportunity to finally, after three and a half years, finally get this juicy data that we’ve been waiting for.
We know our scoop geometry is not optimal. We’re already doing the little wind tunnel testing and comparing A to B so we can see where we need to go with the new designs. Now we have a way to get that tangible, the data, to put our hands on it and say, Okay, in the wind tunnel, this one proves to be better.
Let’s build a full size unit and take it out on the road and actually see if it is. So Matt. I love you, honey, but a year next summer to have beta units out there might be scary, because they would be current models, and the current models are already outdated, even before we left, we already know that the current models, we joked about our gold standard.
Because Nate, our engineer, actually printed it in gold without trying it. But it is the representation of our current model, so we call it our gold standard. And it’s, it’s got a lot of room for improvement. So, to put those units out in the field would be disappointing. And, you know, it’s only going to be marginal data at best to put those out in the field.
Um, we need to improve the scoop geometry, and that’s the work we’re doing right now with the wind tunnel testing, um, with Northumbria University starting their project finally, and then the Penn State data as well. Uh, if Lawrence Livermore, if we can finally lock in on a project grant to do this, then we would even be doing a project with them.
So, it’s, it’s longer. It is not next summer that we’ll have, we’ll be in the field with beta units. It might be Our own units that we’re out in the field doing testing with, you know, this whole next year, but it’s not going to be the current models. It’s going to be just models helping us improve efficiency.
So, what I’m
taking away from that is, everybody needs to be patient.
We should almost redo that whole soundbite because you’re like, so, in three words, how long will this be? And we’re like, giving you a 300 word explanation. Um, yeah. Can you
ask the question again so that he can answer it
and I don’t say anything? It’s going to be a while. I need to update my verbiage. Yeah.
Lessons learned from the past mistakes, you know?
Yeah. I mean, in short, it does sound like progress is absolutely being made and it’s going to be really hard to estimate because you’re still waiting on that data and the refinements to your scoop design. And so once you have all that figured out, then you’d be able to give a better estimate
as to when it will be ready.
That’s why we’ve gone, that’s why we’ve gone the route of telling the story rather than trying to predict the future. We are simply, and I know it sounds crazy. But that little bit of a shift from, instead of trying to predict things and run it like a company, we’re just telling our story and sharing our journey as we go.
And people have actually calmed down a lot. It was when we were trying to put a pin on it, when we were trying to pin the tail on the donkey, and that’s when people were getting upset. And it’s because you were letting them down. Now we’re just Sharing the story and, and trying not to build up expectations, but rather just here’s where we’re at, here’s what we’re doing.
And my hope is that people understand that and see it as a process that does take a long time rather than we’re dashing their expectations for, you know, we’ve had people like they’re building a house right now and gosh darn it, they wanted a Harmony Turbine. What do you mean it’s not ready? They want all this stuff, what they’re going to
need to install
How big of a, how big of a pad do I need to pour and how many, you know, bolts do I need? And I’m like, Oh my word, dude, you know, we’re nowhere near that. These people are,
that does show there’s excitement for products like this. I mean, anytime I talk about wind energy on my channel, people go nuts with what can I get for my house?
It’s like, there’s really nothing good out there yet.
Gotta wait. There’s one other really cool. piece of tech that you may not have picked up on in any of our older videos, Matt, but I’ll tell you about it now. Have you heard of Flettner rotors? Yes. Okay. Yes, I have. They are doing testing right now with cargo container ships and large ships where they are taking Flettner rotors and rotating them up on the deck of these ships.
And they’re, you tell me, how much are they seeing as far as improved efficiency? I
don’t know the exact numbers offhand, but they’re seeing
a big improvement. Huge improvement. I’ve heard up to 30 percent improved efficiency. For two years, we have had yacht and catamaran manufacturers calling us, and they’ve been calling us because they want our wind turbines on their units.
And then one day we got a phone call from a company asking if we would license their tech to them. Because they’re looking to use it in a Flettner rotor design while they’re going from A to B. So, you would have Harmony furled up in a cylinder, and you rotate it, you just are running the generator in reverse, now you’re improving your efficiency as you go from A to B, you anchor up when you get to your destination, unfurl, open them up, you’re producing power under anchor.
You just blew my, you
just blew my mind. That is really cool.
That is really cool. That’s you because you may not have picked up on that little nuance. No. It’s there. That is amazing.
That is so cool. That is. That’s insane. That is
really awesome. The universe is giving us so many things to work on, I can’t even keep my mind straight half the time.
So we’re just trying to keep our heads above water, figure out what we need to focus on because so many things right now are just coming out of the woodwork. And it’s like, it’s exciting, but it’s crazy to try and manage all those, you know, juggling all those balls. Half the time, I’m just like, guys, just let us figure out the recipe, then we’ll all bake the cookies together, you know?
It’s like, that’s where we’re at.
Well, is there, is there any of that thing else that we haven’t touched on that you’d want to touch
on? No, I guess I would just ask that people understand this is a lengthy and difficult and convoluted process. It’s the real world. And in many ways, I think the model of what we’re doing, of how we’re sharing the journey, how we’re being open and honest, we’re not hiding things, we’re not, you know, keeping it all hidden until the last day when it pops out of the, you know, the, the jack in the box, boing, and it’s done.
I think this is the way that research should happen, literally around the world. It should be an open, honest forum. You should be showing what you’re doing, sharing what you’re doing, and taking people along for that journey. It’s a different. methodology than has been employed around the world for, you know, the last hundred years.
So that’s why it’s so strange for people to see us doing it. Um, in many ways, I think this is the way that it should be done, you know, to quote the Mandalorian, this is the way. This is the way. I would really like more of it. So I don’t know, from one little tiny company to the rest of the world, I would say, yeah, let’s.
Let’s start opening up our research and doing more of this open, honest development and not hiding the ugly parts of it because people get jaded. People get, you know, false perceptions of how things are made when that happens. And we have no grasp on reality, what it takes to really change the world and make it a better place.
If we just think we press a button and it’s all better, then that means everyone else is going to take care of all the nasty problems and we can just, you know, do the fun stuff. But In the reality of the world, everyone has to work to make it a better place.
I love that. That’s a perfect place to kind of end on that, because it’s, I agree with that 100%, three cheers for that.
I wish people were more open about this, because it would also help the cynicism that’s out there. Uh, just like when it’s, everything’s in a black box, people let their minds run wild. Um, when you’re sharing it, that makes it a lot harder. So I appreciate that. Um, yeah, we can, we can wrap it right there. I just want to thank you again for taking the time to talk to me.
Sure. Thank you as well for your interest in taking your time.
We’ve been, I’ve been watching you at least for, I don’t know, four or five years now. So it was pretty Wow. My wife Cheryl comes to me and she’s like, so we got a call from the, uh, YouTube guy Matt Ferrell. So, that was pretty cool, I have to say, that really, that made me smile when I got, when we got your call.
That is awesome. Yeah, yeah. When you guys sprang up, because we were doing this research into this more residential kind of style of, Uh, Windpower. Yeah. And you guys sprang up and I saw when my team shared with me, like, look at all the stuff they’re sharing. I was like, my mind was blown of like, wow, I kind of went down a rabbit hole of like, I wish everybody was doing what you guys are doing right now.
Cause it’s just
incredible. So keep it up. Well, that’s awesome to hear. We’re getting, you know, at least your vote of approval for what we’re doing. We were hoping that we weren’t, like, committing suicide with our company. Not that,
not that you’re, you know. No. No. You know, it’s,
it’s nice to hear. I guess it’s nice to, to hear someone like yourself who does interview and get in with a lot of different tech groups and things like that, to hear you say that.
It makes us think, okay, we’re probably on to something that’s at least in the right direction here. I love it.
It’s inspiring. It’s why, it’s why I make the videos I do because I get inspiration out of all the folks that are doing incredible things. So keep doing it.
Thank you so
much to Chris and Cheryl for taking the time to sit down and chat with Matt.
And I know I look forward to hearing more about what they’re working on later this year. And if you’re interested in following their work and finding out more of the details of their work, you can check out their website, which is at https:// harmonyturbines.
com. And in an unusual move, Matt made sure to flag this for me, they’re making their progress and information about their research available publicly. So they are putting in posts on their site. They’re using YouTube to share basically two camera discussions about what’s going on with their work, a really interesting approach given.
How proprietary knowledge usually works and how corporations usually operate. So if you want to follow along with what they’re doing, they want you to do that. So please do drop by their website. And I know that I’m looking forward to what they come up with in the next year. And Matt, I hope you have.
Plans to stay in touch with them so that we can follow them on this website as well. So thank you everybody for checking out that interview. Don’t forget, you can jump into the comments with any questions or comments about this episode or any previous ones. All of that really helps the channel. Uh, don’t forget to subscribe.
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