ET: What is the next step for EWP?
LH: We’ve already begun the next step. We’re working on marketing the turbine to building owners. We’ve just started our certification process, and we hope within a year we will be producing power with our first rooftop turbine. We are also working with Siemens to fine-tune the inverter, but there are really only so many changes you can make to the inverter system.
ET: Coming from an urban planning background, why is this venture important to you?
LH: I started work as an environmental planner and moved into urban planning and design because I felt that if you really want to help the environment you have to address urban areas, the ways they are built and the way they use energy. My husband was working in the private sector, managing construction projects in Boston. In our second careers, we decided we wanted to use our experience to do something concrete and hands-on to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and address the issue of global warming.
We are not engineers, but we knew how to bring together a team. Given our backgrounds, we had a really great community to pull from, and we were able to bring together a fantastic team of structural engineers, designers, and architects.
ET: Is there anything else that you want to make sure people know about the turbine?
LH: We have had the turbine up through two hurricanes and serious wind storms with no issues. But, because the turbine is intended to be used on high-rise buildings, want to make sure that we won’t have any icing issues at all. So, we are putting a fixed blade up on Mount Washington in New Hampshire, and we’re working with 3M to test three of their proprietary coatings see how the blade will stand up through the winter. Mount Washington has the worst weather in the world. We actually just finished taping up our blade and we’re going to put it up on Thanksgiving Day. [Note: Right after we spoke to Haar, the Mount Washington website showed that the temperature was 10 degrees and the wind was blowing at 81.5 mph, with a wind chill of -20 degrees F.]
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