In October of 2015 I was approached by a team of students from UC Berkeley who were working on an oscillating wind power device that would be sited in Marin County, California. After performing some background research in the field they found my company, Pterofin, Inc., and were highly impressed with the work I've done, saying it was, "particularly inspiring and actually aligns with some of the preliminary designs [they] have been exploring". They said they'd love to learn more about my products and look for any kind of opportunity to collaborate in scaling up my technology and collect data on it's efficiency. Needless to say, I was flattered and honored to work with such an eager and distinguished group of students who were not only impressed with the work I've done, but also excited about exploring my technology and an alternative source of renewable energy.
After signing a NDA and creating a Memorandum of Understanding that we all agreed upon, I began advising the group of students who later mentioned, "The establishment of collaborating with Wallace Kempkey, founder of Pterofin, was instrumental in the advancement of our project from a stage with rough prototypes of multiple concepts to one with a higher-fidelity functional prototype of a single concept." I told them about the dozens of prototypes I've made and tested in the wind and water, and everything I learned from observing and tweaking them. One of the students immediately caught a flight up to Seattle to meet me and have me talk through a prototype they were particularly interested in replicating. I exchanged dozens of emails and spent many hours over the phone working out solutions for designing, building and testing their final project.
Last week the student team shared all of the information they had accumulated from their research and invited me to continue working with next years students who will be picking up where they left off. One of the students mentioned in their final paper, "If, after this review and exploration, the team decides to continue working on the technology we developed with the help of Wallace from Pterofin, then I suggest they continue optimizing the device for electricity generation."
Meeting the energy demands of our future generations is going to be a monumental challenge and can dramatically improve the quality of life of potentially billions of people. Whether it's pumping clean drinking water to the surface or powering lights and refrigerating food or vaccinations, human kind could benefit from our research and knowledge in understanding the forces of our natural environment. Through knowledge we can adapt, persevere and flourish as a species on this gift to humankind we call Earth.