Think Tank for Sustainable Energy Startups at UAH
“Alternative energy is the Internet of twenty years ago – It’s in its infant stage. We just have to create the pathways to make it grow and be available to everyone.” – Bill Carswell
Bill Carswell’s career has taken plenty of interesting twists and turns: he’s been involved in space research with NASA, border security around the world, and project management education at Emery Riddle. Before all else, Bill is a Scientist. He’s currently the Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the Executive Director of the Energy Huntsville Initiative.
- Renewable Energy is socially relevant.
- Renewable Energy is technically challenging.
- Renewable Energy is heavily funded.
“There’s a large cottage industry of startups trying to tap into this energy revolution that’s going on and the problem with energy is its really expensive. You can’t just start a garage business with an app – I mean, this stuff is expensive! I’m putting together a resource that entrepreneurs can use so they don’t have to buy all the energy infrastructure. They can just focus on the element they want to build a product or a business around.”
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Entrepreneurs creating sustainable products can borrow Bill’s lab, complete with equipment and resources – solar panels, generators, high-tech batteries, smart meters, and business automation system. Startups have access to Bill’s extensive network of experts from UAH, ALCSE, and Energy Huntsville. The scientist himself is available for questioning too. Test your product in the safety of the lab over the course of one year (seasons make a difference) to get ready for market. Finally, pitch the finished product to the company or military institution that will buy it.
Bill’s laboratory is a veritable mecca for mad scientists and mad-scientist wannabes.
An initial survey of the tiny fenced-off area tucked behind UAH’s NPR radio station reveals uneven terrain, faded signs, and decades-old solar panels. But don’t let the humble façade fool you; inside this little building is Bill’s energy lab, and it’s brimming with scientific discovery.
Let’s go see what’s happening……
Project: Commercial Building Automation System
Key Players: Johnson Controls, Dynetics, Huntsville Utilities, Aerojet, ALCSE
Purpose: Monitor a building’s energy use & move to backup source during peaks
Project: Hybrid Generator & Battery System
Key Players: Aviation Research Developing & Engineering Center (AMRDEC), UAH Systems Engineers, Aerojet
Purpose: Use electricity generated from diesel fuel and generators as efficiently as possible.
(Batteries, load bank (building simulator) and graduated cylinder to measure fuel consumption with the generator.)
Project: Phase Change Solar Thermal Water Heater
Key Players: Aviation Research Developing & Engineering Center (AMRDEC), King Energy
Purpose: Find economical way to keep water heated longer
Project: (Coming soon!) Smart Meter Student Penetration Contest
Key Players: UAH Cybersecurity Research Lab, ALCSE, Huntsville Utilities
Purpose: Protect smart energy from computer fraud
Project: (Coming soon!) Mobile Sustainability Demonstration Lab
Key Players: ALCSE and Others….
Purpose: Teach sustainable practice to community & train workers.
Have a sustainable product you need help with? Contact:
Bill Carswell, Ph.D.