A "Wind Energizer" built by Leviathan Energy Renewables.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In a country where most rooftops have a solar panel on top, one American-Israeli inventor hopes to change the wind in order to change the world.
Dr. Daniel Farb is CEO of Leviathan Energy Renewables, Ltd., which specializes in renewable wind-power technology. Among the company’s notable innovations are “Wind Energizers,” deflectors installed near wind turbines that increase wind speed and allow it to hit wind turbines in a more uniform way – especially useful in places with low wind speeds, such as in parts of Israel and the southeast United States.
“I want to make renewable energy efficient enough so that it can go everywhere and really make a major difference in the environment,” he said.
Farb, who made aliya from Los Angeles, settling in Beit Shemesh in 2005, said the idea for his product came about while observing a wave pool at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. Since that fateful day, Farb became passionate about changing the world of wind and did a complete career overhaul. Once an ophthalmologist he became a renewable energy entrepreneur.
Since his company’s founding in 2008, Leviathan has accumulated 30 invention patents in Israel, the US, Canada and South Africa and reincorporated for the international market as Leviathan Energy LLC.
He said that the traditional view of how to increase output from large wind turbines was to work on the turbine itself, which he said brings an efficiency improvement of 1-2 percent, while his devices get at least 30 percent improvement “without even touching the turbine.”
Unfortunately, the market for wind power has not taken off in Israel as much as it has in the US and Farb is trying to move his product’s development to the US. He said it has drawn lots of interest from potential customers but they all have one request: to see it in action on a large scale.
A demonstration site was set up in 2008 in Israel, but it used three-meter wind turbines, while nowadays, the size of turbines range between 80-100 meters, which makes the previous demonstration obsolete, Farb said.
That has led Farb on a mission to raise $1 million to finance the demonstration, ideally in Colorado at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Part of the money would also go toward project certification, which would make it easier to get large loans in the future.
Last week, funding campaigns were launched on crowdfunding site Fundable, for accredited investors, as well as for the general public on Kickstarter, under the title “Wind Turbines Stopping Climate Change.”