Rotational control system of Pterofin in high wind.
Greek pteró (n) - wing, winged, or feather.
+ fin (n) - a surface used to produce lift in air or water.
Pterofin is a Seattle-based clean technology company developing innovative energy generation devices based on biomimicry. Our current focus is on a customer who at the village level faces high costs and inefficiencies in pumping water from deep wells using existing electric pumps or outdated wind turbines. With Pterofin technology a new line
of products will hit the market, having the portability of a diesel generator and the cost structure that is much less than
a fixed wind or water turbine. With that in mind, we are building a prototype that directly connects to a mechanical pump and can be built at a much lower cost than traditional wind turbines.
"Birds and fish are extremely efficient at using energy to create motion in a surrounding fluid, so why not try to create energy by using that same motion within a moving fluid?"
Pterofin products are controlled by a simple counterbalance system that synchronizes the wings’ position and speed with a mechanical leverage point on the body of the device. The outcome is a coordination of harmonizing the wings pitch angle to a natural frequency of a fluids specific velocity. This oscillating motion is low in RPM and high in torque, which allows it to be extremely efficient at pumping water.
When a Pterofin encounters high winds, gust, or debris, a rotational control system allows the wing or wings to sweep back into the direction of the current, bringing Pterofin power to a halt and making it act at that point simply as a weather vane. This makes it much more aerodynamic and gives it a far more streamline profile than any turbine on the market. We'd like to think it knows how to hibernate or "go dormant" to avoid over-stress on the moving parts that leads to high wear and tear, and also creates far less noise pollution.
"Unlike a turbine, Pterofin technology is: efficient in low currents, inexpensive to manufacture, reliable in heavy currents, has a low cost of maintenance, quiet operation, is environmentally friendly, is aesthetically pleasing, and can be made out of a wide variety of materials allowing it to be mass produced and easily adopted around the world."
Terrafin Wind Power Single Wing
Dragonfly Wind Power Double Wing
Manta Hydro Power Underwater
Skimmer Hydro Power Above Water
Through licensing IP agreements with manufacturers who are interested in helping preserve our environment, improve their product line, and expand into new segments that were previously unattainable, Pterofin technology is going to be the next generation of renewable energy for first and third world countries.
"The concept came to me almost nine years ago, but I became truly inspired to see it through and start a business after joining the Napa Noon Rotary club in 2006. After years of R&D I filed the provisional patent in 2010 and started Pterofin LLC to house the IP of the invention. The non-provisional patent was filed one year later with Fenwick and West LLP and is currently pending with the USPTO on the Green Energy Fast Track, which means it should be issued to us later this year. Please check out our videos of a few prototypes we've built over the years, and the many published articles on the patent and the Pterofin project. Hope you enjoy our website and Cheers!"
- Wallace Kempkey
2/10/2014 Our latest prototype was retrofitted with a second wing to increase its efficiency, to help it track the wind, and to showcase the effectiveness of the biomimicry in its design. This modification converted the model from a Terrafin to a Dragonfly design, which we're hoping to replicate all over the world to pump clean drinking water for impoverished populations. There was no wind after we installed it, but I took a few pictures which are posted above. Please check out our website next week for video of the prototype in action!
2/10/2014 I asked for some wind and got a wind storm! Unfortunately, I'm starting to realize that this might not be the best place to test a wind generator, because of all the surrounding trees and a massive house in the way. I added a few weights behind the pump to simulate the weight of the water, which allows us to start collecting data on when the wing will pitch back. After a few other adjustments to the counterweights and bungee cord, I should be able to add the water and start measuring it's power output.
2/8/2014 I just finished installing the latest prototype and now I'm waiting for some wind to come through. The upcoming weather is supposed to be pretty bad, so I'll see what kind of video I can shoot and what kind of data I can collect over the next couple days. Exciting times!!!
12/19/2013 Jacob’s Well and Panes y Peces bring food security and true sustainability to the poor and impoverished communities throughout the Americas at no cost to them. One of the main challenges they face is an affordable energy source. Pterofin’s wind and hydroelectric generators are ideal solutions to pump and heat water during some of the colder winter days. Warm water ensures a thriving population of Tilapia fish and healthy plants. I'm looking forward to sharing results of our wind prototype and seeing the benefits for the people in these rural communities. If you would like to get involved or donate to this effort, please contact Jacob’s Well or Pterofin.
12/9/2013 Our latest prototype is up and running again, except now it has a water pump and a permanent magnet alternator! The system is quite unique to say the least, having three separate containers and using air pressure instead of head pressure to generate hydroelectricity. This closed loop system produces a water jet that turns a pelton wheel, which will charge a car battery and eventually power a few on board LEDs. We also raised the body of the prototype, so now the counterweights swing over the base and the two rear fins are much larger to help track the wind.
10/27/13 I installed the new prototype today at a secret testing location before moving it to Ballard High. This will give me a great opportunity to work out the bugs and make sure everything is safe for the students to perform tests on it's efficiency.
9/13/2013 Today we started building our first pilot prototype in the metal shop at Ballard High School! They have the most amazing location on campus to install and test the prototype, and we're working with two teachers and several students on collecting the data we'll need to prove this amazing new technology exist!
9/4/2013 We're excited to announce our first pilot installation happening in just a few weeks! This prototype will start with pumping water in a fountain to demonstrate how our products can be made using simple materials found in developing countries. After we measure the head pressure and gallons per minute, we'll switch to pumping water and generating hydroelectricity using a small water turbine and car battery for charging mobil devices.
8/17/2013 Tested the latest all bamboo wind prototype at the park today and it worked GREAT! There was no pump or generator installed on it yet, so without a load to slow it down it was really flying back and forth! If the wind picked up a little more it would have pitched all the way back and stopped.
8/1/2013 Pterofin is now working with K&L Gates on our intellectual property and communications between us and the USPTO. Our last Office Action Response was filed on July 8th, 2013 and our patent is still pending through the Green Energy Fast Track that Obama started in Dec. 2009. Everything looks very promising so far and the patent should be issued to Pterofin later this year or early 2014!
7/22/2013 TRAFFIC!?! Ah, the good kind =) # of people who talked about our Facebook Page from 7/7/13 to 7/13/13, broken down by country.
12,968,464 - United States of America
1,802,022 - United Kingdom
1,324,900 - India
997,242 - Canada
735,784 - Australia
718,074 - Philippines
278,090 - Malaysia
6/27/2013 Perofin presents at Bloom Seattle. Watch the video here!
6/11/2013 Wallace will be presenting Pterofin at Bloom Seattle on June 27th. Come join us!
4/27/2013 Tested our latest prototype in a park today and the pump worked! For just a short while though...
2/26/2013 Check out our latest prototype!
1/29/2013 Our Kickstarter campaign made the Seattle Tacoma News as the Crowdfunding Pick of the Week!
1/24/2013 Wallace presented Pterofin this morning as the guest speaker at the University Sunrise Rotary Club of Seattle. What a great group of people and the project was well received!
1/10/2013 Check out our kickstarter.com campaign for Pterofin! Please support and/or re-post this link on whatever social media network you're using and wish us luck!
11/13/2012 Pterofin demonstrated it's technology at the 2012 Global Forum for CleanTech last week and this week it's off to the Greenbuild Expo!
9/28/1012 Today we finished working with the Technical Assistance Program, through the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who wrote up a technology note that summarizes recommendations and observations about the
Technology. Check out the latest section of our website for more on the Technology, product validation, and an estimated power output for some of our wind and water products.
9/26/2012 Another great article about Pterofin in Geekwire! Read the Q&A: Pterofin borrows wind turbine design from bird wings.
9/24/2012 WCTA member and Pacific Northwest Cleantech Open Semifinalist Pterofin is raising capital.
8/2/2012 Former Napa Noon Rotary Club member announces incorporation!
8/2/2012 Pterofin Announces Incorporation! We couldn't be any more excited for Pterofin, Inc. and the benefits this new technology will bring around the world!
6/14/2012 Wallace introduced Pterofin (slide 22) at the Washington Clean Technology Alliance in front of several hundred people as a contestant for the Northwest CleanTech Open. We can't wait to follow through with some of the contacts we made there, as well as the National Conference in San Jose next week! Check out the great article from Seattle PI and TechFlash!
5/31/12 Wallace presented his experience starting Pterofin, LLC to a large room full of Fulbright students at a seminar they hosted in downtown Seattle today called, "From Lab to Market". It was AMAZING and they were all so fascinated by the prototype! He presented for 15 minutes and sat on a panel for open discussion about the secrets and pitfalls of turning a good idea into a successful business. Check out some of the pictures!
4/18/12 We just found out today that on March 1st the world found out about Pterofin Technology, as the international patent application has finally been published and given the Number WO 2012/027502 A1.
3/26/12 We tested the new wind and water Pterofin prototype at the Kirsten Wind Tunnel and Water Tunnel at UW. They both need a little fine tuning but look very promising! Check out the youtube playlist!
3/5/12 Another great article on KOMO News was written about Pterofin! Check it out!
2/27/12 US Patent has finally been published and on many different websites! Check out the links section of the website.
12/12/11 Today we found out that the decision on the petition under 37 CFR 1.102, filed 9/15/2011, to make special under the pilot program for applications pertaining to the Green Technologies as set forth in 74 Federal Register Notice 64666 (December 8, 2009) and amended by 75 Federal Register Notice 28554 (May 21, 2010) and 75 Federal Register Notice 69049(November 10, 2010) was GRANTED! This is why the patent will be published in a few months and possibly issued in 2013, as opposed to 2020, which is great news for Pterofin, LLC and the rest of the world!
8/25/2011 Filed the non-provisional patent with Fenwick and West LLP
4/27/2011 Pterofin makes it through the investment round and into the Sweet 16 at the UW Business Plan Competition.
4/15/2011 KOMO News published a great article about Pterofin!
4/13/2011 Pterofin wins the Grand Prize at the Seattle Pacific University Social Venture Plan Competition and $2500!
3/31/2011 Pterofin wins the Honorable Mention Award at the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge and $2500!
1/13/2011 Pterofin wins the Second Runner Up at the UW Science and Technology showcase and $300.
8/25/2010 Filed the provisional patent with Janeway Patent Law PLLC
Please follow and like Pterofin on google+, facebook or twitter to hear the latest about our exciting new products!
Eight years of hard work and dedication has gone into what will soon be considered the second generation of natural renewable energy and a potential world energy crisis will subsequently emerge as yet another feat of human ingenuity.