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World class innovation in wind energy conversion sparks new deal

The University of Wollongong (UOW) and Birdon Pty Ltd from Port Macquarie have entered an agreement to further develop the University’s patented wind energy converter ‘PowerWINDows’.

PowerWINDows was invented by Professor Farzad Safaei from the Faculty of Informatics at UOW. Professor Safaei has worked on the idea for more than four years. He said: “My primary aim was to overcome some of the key shortcomings of current wind turbine technology, in particular, enable modular manufacturing, transportation and installation, reduce noise, land usage footprint, and better integration with living environments.”

PowerWINDows has a unique modular design, where the movement of blades is translational with respect to wind, as opposed to rotating blades of current wind turbines. This decreases induced turbulence in the vicinity and wake of the turbine and results in reduced structural stress on neighboring units. It also enables modular extension of the plant, improves manufacturing and installation, and reduces operational costs.

PowerWINDows can be used in both wind farms and metropolitan areas.

Birdon is one of Australia’s leading marine and engineering service companies, and has diversified business in areas like defence, marine and environmental services.

The Group General Manager of Birdon, Ian Ramsay, said: “We see this is an opportunity to apply our engineering expertise in the green energy area, and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while bringing to market a strong and viable commercial solution for the renewable energy sector.”

Director of Innovation of Commercialisation Research at UOW, Elizabeth Eastland, said renewable energy technology could make significant impact to serious issues like climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and shortage of fossil fuels.

“Innovation will be a critical solution for this. PowerWINDows’ innovation has the potential to help us harvest wind energy in a much more effective way. We are pleased to have Birdon working with us to advance this technology,” she said.

The Industry Capability Network (ICN) Illawarra Manager, Richard Bufill, who made the initial connection for the two parties, said it was a great first step in what will hopefully be an extremely productive relationship between an innovative regional university and a high calibre regional company.

“And it is also great to see Australian’s innovation nurtured in Australia.”

The collaboration is on an initial two-year term.

High resolution artist impressions available upon request. Please contact:
For all other media enquiries, contact: Holly Zhu, Commercialisation Manager at UOW -

About Birdon

Birdon Pty Ltd is a diversified marine engineering group with four main divisions: Marine, defence, dredging and environmental services. Birdon’s capability covers: ship repair, research, design and development, engineering and fabrication, through-life support, asset disposal and recycling, dredging, vessel hire and charter as well as environmental remediation. Birdon is also a regular Top 20 SME supplier to the Australian Defence industry and the proud owner of the US-based marine waterjet manufacturer, NAMJet.

About University of Wollongong 

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is a powerhouse of learning and teaching excellence with a significant reputation as a research-intensive university. The University aims to enrich and have an impact on our regional communities through a strong and connected presence. UOW has active partnerships with some 300 other universities in research, teaching and knowledge exchange, as well as with major corporations, organisations and government bodies across the globe. Confidently building an international reputation for quality research and education, UOW ranks among the top 2% of universities worldwide. Follow us on Facebook ICRUOW and on Twitter @UOWICR.

About ICN

ICN NSW is a non-profit company supported by the NSW Government to contribute to business innovation and growth by increasing Australian industry access to major projects, and promoting Australian technology. ICN NSW is a member of a network of ICNs in every Australian State and Territory, and in New Zealand, employing collectively over 100 industry consultants.

Last reviewed: 11 July, 2014

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