Over the last week I’ve been sent a number of perplexed emails pointing me in the direction of the Ecomagination competition run by the good people at GE http://challenge.ecomagination.com/ct/ct_list.bix?c=home), and more specifically to an entry called the “RidgeBlaster”. If you care to take a look at this entry, it may occur to you that it looks remarkably like the RidgeBlade. So much so that many of you have been asking "why have you changed the name and entered another competition when you have already won Europe's biggest prize and created a revolution in effective, discrete, low cost micro-wind technology?"
Well, to be absolutely clear, we have nothing whatsoever to do with the “RidgeBlaster”. As you can imagine, all of us at the Power Collective were amazed by the coincidence that the looks, function, claims, and name of the “RidgeBlaster” are so remarkably similar to that of the RidgeBlade. So amazed were we, in fact, that we had to ring our good friends at international law firm Macfarlanes and ask them if they were amazed too because, like us, they are great fans of genuine innovation. I note that the person who has put entered the “RidgeBlaster” into the competition has a number of other entries, and I’m sure that if all of his ideas are as original as the “RidgeBlaster”, then he will certainly achieve the level of commercial success that he deserves.
So, here at Power Collective HQ we all wish the entrant well and I’m sure that, like us, he will appreciate the huge task that is ahead of him. When we won the Green Challenge with the
RidgeBlas, sorry, RidgeBlade (confusing isn’t it?) we had 2 years of R&D behind us and a working prototype designed by our Technical Director, a former Rolls Royce engineer, trained in turbine blade design. We were also well advanced with the trivial issue of intellectual property and our leadership team contained one of the UK's leading manufacturing specialists and a man who is known as the 'National Grid' given how well connected he is in the legal, environment and energy markets. Even then we underestimated the task ahead of us in turning the concept into a marketable product. Noise, vibration, safety, performance, certification, reliability, insurance, every one of these issues has to be tested and addressed thoroughly before a product can be put on sale. Any defect or design flaw could necessitate a recall, and if that were to happen, then not only would the RidgeBlade be a flawed product, but the whole concept of low cost roof mounted urban wind turbines would be discredited.
As you will know if you’ve been following this blog, we are now testing the final product, and whilst I’m sure that this could have been achieved more quickly if we had unlimited resources behind us, I don’t think that we’ve done too badly. When the RidgeBlade is launched we can be confident that it has been thoroughly tested, and will produce useable electricity safely and without noise or vibration. It’s the real deal, and it’s worth waiting for.