Wind energy is green power. On that we can agree. Where there hasn’t been widespread agreement however is in how to best harness the potential of wind energy – on a mass scale. Five Southern Methodist University seniors believe they have harnessed that potential, possibly changing the green power landscape forever – one roof at a time.
Green power please
Jonah Kirby had always been intrigued by wind energy and green power. His first wind energy source prototype was designed his freshman year at SMU. Kirby then spent Sophomore and Junior years tinkering and refining his different designs. And as fate would have it, he met several like-minded students who became a senior design project team. The fruits of that project have evolved into what is today Fiddler, “the first smart-connected wind energy source for the modern home”.
The Fiddler team of SMU students/entrepreneurs consists of Jonah Kirby, Brendan Celii, Luke Oglesbee, Cameron Buller, and Alec Siems each mechanical – electrical engineers, computer scientists and statistics in their own right. Fiddler is a big green power idea packed in a small package.
Smart wind energy
Unlike the grandiose wind energy turbines traditionally spotted in less populated areas across the country, this wind energy turbine is so nondescript that you may even miss it all together. And that’s the point. Packed in its small frame is a state-of-the-art wind turbine. “The turbine mounts at the crest of your roof, using the angle of the roof to speed up oncoming wind – generating more power than ever before. It’s beautiful, modular, quiet, and ready to save people money with 100% clean energy,” states Fiddler.
That turbine is then connected to a battery pack which is mounted inside the home. The battery pack stores excess green power for when it is needed the most. The battery pack has been designed to interact with other home smart devices collectively becoming the home’s operating system. Oh, and there’s an app for ‘that’.
A mobile app allows homeowners to track and tweak usage for both the turbine and battery pack. Fiddler details that the mobile app provides you with “an eco-score and insights to help you become more environmentally friendly.” So what inspired five college students to focus on wind energy and forego stereotypical college life? Turns out they felt like fixing something that, they felt, was broken.
Stored energy and smart energy technologies like Fiddler are the future of electric generation and consumption.
“America’s electricity grid is broken, so we made our own,” states the Fiddler team.
Their smart grid of smart-connected wind energy turbines will aggregate all of that stored energy and sell it back to electric companies. This means more energy on the grid, more money in your pocket and fewer emissions emitted into the atmosphere. According to designers Fiddler “can help you save up to 50% on your energy bill while reducing your carbon footprint by as much as 50%.”
Winds of success
The winds of success are starting to not only fill roof-top Fiddlers but buzz surrounding the idea. Kirby presented last year at SMU’s prestigious TEDxSMU. The title? “Gone with the Wind” of course, and you can watch the full presentation here.
- The team recently pitched the idea at the Dallas Festival of Ideas, part of SMU’s Big iDeas
- Publications like The Huffington Post and Forbes are placing accolades upon the Fiddler team. The Huffington Post named the Fiddler team as one of their 15 Top College Entrepreneurs and immediately following the RECESS festival Fiddler was named among “the 15 most innovative startups from 15 different colleges”.
- Later this month Fiddler will be exhibiting at Earth Day Texas – the world’s largest annual forum of its kind.
The future looks bright for these five college seniors. In between studying and exams, the Fiddler team continues to pitch their smart-connected wind energy source to potential investors, advisors and green power users. Perhaps there will be a ‘Fiddler on The Roof’ of every home in America in the near future. On that we can all agree.
Feature image credit: Fiddler