31 Northwest Ideas Compete in the GE Ecomagination Challenge

10/15/10

Three months ago General Electric (NYSE: GE) announced a $200 million open innovation competition, with the goal of finding and financing breakthrough ideas that will help create a smarter, cleaner, more efficient, and more economically viable grid, and help accelerate the adoption of smart grid technologies. Since the “GE Ecomagination Challenge” was introduced on July 13, businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, and students from around the world have submitted 3,809 ideas in three categories—eco homes/buildings, grid efficiency, and renewables.

GE has already dished out its first award in the competition, $50,000 to the idea that won the most user-generated votes—the Idaho-based Solar Roadways project. Next month the judging panel—which includes GE energy services digital energy vice president Bob Gilligan, senior vice president and director of GE global research Mark Little, and Wired Magazine editor in chief Chris Anderson—will select six more winners. Five will receive $100,000 awards, and one will be given the GE Scientific Merit Award, an opportunity to work with the company’s Global Research Center.

All candidates will be considered for potential future commercial relationships with GE, including equity investments and cooperative agreements beyond the competition itself—part of GE and its partners’ capital pledge to invest $200 million into promising smart grid ideas and startups around the world.

Though the competition is truly a global one, a large number of participants hale from the Pacific Northwest. In fact, Washington state comes in No. 11 in the list of states and provinces with the most entrants. Given that there’s so much innovation coming out of the region, especially in cleantech, we thought it might be fun to give you a sneak peak at the 31 NW ideas competing in the GE ecomagination Challenge. Take a look:

Eco Houses/Buildings

Box Playhouse Telepresence—The Future of Meetings and Entertainment, Tim Lyons, Portland, OR

Don’t forget the farmers, Nathan Hastings, Bend, OR

The Green Microgym, Adam Boesel, Portland, OR

Intelligent Adaptive Traffic Light, Glenn Godden, Lynnwood, WA

Knowledge of Power, Alexandre Cross, Bellingham, WA

Micro Fleets for Mega Cities, Melissa Brandao, Medford, OR

Public Watch: Powering Down Government, Mike Green, Eugene, OR

Selfocus Solar BBQ, Ab Mobasher, Portland, OR

Two Birds with One Stone, Caleb Tallent, Tacoma, WA

Grid Efficiency

E-C Swap, Steven Reynolds, Portland, OR

Grid Scale Storage—Flow Battery, Craig Wilkins, Walla Walla, WA

Neighborhood Microgrids with Local Power Substations, Chris Torre, Central Point, OR

PPRE’s Solar Roads Mass Roll Out through Highway Rest Areas, Benjamin Berry, Portland, OR

Smart Grids Using Local Generator Substations, Chris Torre, Central Point, OR

Soft Tube CFL, Zachary Bogle, Mill City, OR

Renewables

AirShip Technologies Group Regenerative Drive Maglev Track Sphere Spherical Induction Motor, Benjamin Berry, Portland, OR

Algae Power Plant Scrubs, Alexandre Cross, Bellingham, WA

The Energy Tree, Michael Clarke, Portland, OR

Geothermal Power, Scott Sutherland, Seattle, WA

Grid Tied Exercise Bike that Plugs into Any Outlet, Adam Boesel, Portland, OR

High Altitude Aerostat as Windmill, James Yarger, Portland, OR

Home Hydrogen Extractor, Steve G., Yakima, WA

Hydrogen Revolution, Kevin West, Klamath Falls, OR

Plasmification of Biomass in Economically Blighted Timber Communities, Tom Daugherty, Spokane, WA

Run of the River Power, Scott Sutherland, Seattle, WA

Self Reliant Power Unit, David Warmenhoven, Issaquah, WA

Solar Mug, Ab Mobasher, Portland, OR

Storm Water Powered Turbine, James Yarger, Portland, OR

Texas Wind Power, Scott Sutherland, Seattle, WA

Use Wind Power to make Clean Coal Practical, Tom Craver, Portland, OR

Wind Power on the Missouri River, Scott Sutherland, Seattle, WA

Thea Chard is a correspondent for Xconomy Seattle. You can e-mail her at theachard@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/theachard. Follow @

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  • http://none Scott Sutherland

    Here is a more detail of some of my ideas.
    The building of a geothermal power plant in South Dakota. My getothermal program involves a closed loop system that will produce a substantial amount of energy that is environmentally safe. The closed loop system invloves local companies using the next generation of flame jet and hydro-jet technology to drill a well and to excavate an underground cavern and bore several directionally drilled wells two to three miles to the geothermal heat source then to the excavated cavern. (I do know what the next generation of flame jet and hydro-jet drill will be like.) Right now the best hot dry rocks system can do right now is only 25 kg/sec with this system it can go over 800 kg/sec of more. The return loop of the working fluid goes back to the directioally drilled well two to three miles away to complete the loop. The working fluid can be water, carbon dioxide or even atmospheric air as the safest working fluid but not the best to conduct heat. The energy from the earth will be used to power electrolysis machines to seperate water into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen can be put in hard rock storage for peak power production when needed. The oxygen can be used in the Big Stone II coal power plant when built, making Big II the first of a new generation of super clean coal power plants where the carbon dioxide will be converted to synthetic fuel for America. The pure carbon dioxide will be captured and used with the hydrogen to make methanol and using the ExxonMobil system to produce gasoline. This method of producing gasoline is the best way to use geothermal energy to not only produce electricity but also to free the United States from dependency upon foreign oil. Carbon dioxide can also be used in a reverse water shift reaction to transform it into carbon monoxide. Then using the fischer tropsch process the carbon monoxide can be used to produce systntetic gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel, which the United States Air Force can use in its jet airplanes in a 50/50 raito of synthetic jet fuel and regulal jp-8 fuel. With oxy-fuel combustion of coal or natural gas the superheated gas is to hot to use directly in a gas turbine or coal fired water boiler. The hot gas can be used to make more hydrogen and oxygen or used in a biomass to liquid fuel plant to convert the biomass with the super hot carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide, before the hot gas is used in power plant. The United States of America can produce over 1.3 billion tons of non food biomass each year. This amount of biomass can prouduce over 12 million barrels of gasoline each day. We use just over nine million barrels of gasoline each day. The westen states of the United States can produce between 100,000 and 345,100 megawatts of electrical power using Hot Dry Rocks. This estimate is from the United States Geothermal Survey of Assessment of Moderate and High Temperature Geothermal Resources of the Western United States. I did tell Ge that I had a new design for a small hot gas turnine, two wind turbine design and a run of the river turbine. It was fun entering the GE ecomagination contest.