Tag Archives: alternative energy

Thomas Edison Pitch Contest 2019 Winners Announced

On May 15th, the Edison Innovation Foundation and PSEG Foundation gave awards to student team finalists from across the country in their annual Thomas Edison Pitch Contest. It is the 9th year of hosting this competition, which took place at the legendary Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, NJ.

The finalist teams were chosen from 45 teams in 13 states across the country who entered our contest this year. The competition sparked more bright ideas than ever, with a record of 5 different states in the finals including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and Oklahoma! Students from elementary school also competed for the first time.

The finalists impressed the professional judge panel of entrepreneurs, engineers, and Thomas Edison experts with their entrepreneurial pitches to win a 3D Printer and more for their schools.

Here is a summary of the awards in the elementary, middle, and high school categories:



1st Place

Team IV Comfort, Shawnee Elementary School, Easton, PA

This team created an IV bag to make children’s stays in the hospital more enjoyable and efficient. This IV Bag was built into a stuffed animal backpack for optimal portability and cuteness! In their words, the invention is meant for children to feel more comfortable in the hospital than the traditional IV Stand provides!

DSC07128.jpg2nd Place

Team Toto, RN Wilentz School, Perth Amboy, NJ

This team created an alternative energy invention called The Windergy! This turbine charger was could be placed in the grill of your car in order to charge your phone with renewable energy instead of the car’s battery. Not only would this be a sustainable energy source but it also saved damage to your car’s battery and phone!

DSC07126.jpg3rd Place

Team Sky’s the True Limit, Paxinosa Elementary School, Easton, PA

This was a team on a mission to save lives, following the major storms in the Midwest this year affecting thousands of people. This automatic raft would run on wind and solar energy, be sturdy enough to stay afloat in all weather conditions, and pick up people during a big flood until help can arrive!


Middle School

IMG_65171st Place

Team Space Daisies, The Hockaday School, Dallas, TX

The Space Daisies created an updated tools for astronauts called The Buzz Gloves. Although a version of this device is being used by NASA, this team took it a step farther creating a more cost-effective and broader interpretation for their own invention. When the astronaut touches something hard enough, the gloves will make a buzz sound and light up to prevent injury and, of course, their nails from breaking!

IMG_5617.jpg2nd Place

Team Waste Warriors,  Owasso 6th Grade Center, Owasso, OK [via Skype]

This team presented their loop filtration system over Skype! They demonstrated how their invention would take used water from a house and filter it to be used again the same house – something unheard of! Using a steam generator, this invention would make the lives of homeowners with wells easier as well as recycle energy and water.

IMG_6500.jpg3rd Place

Team Orkai, Homewise Homeschooling, Olean, NY

This team created The Spinno, an enjoyable way to do accomplish your arthritis exercises! After doing a lot of trials with their own grandparents, the team developed a device to complete 3 types of exercises (squeezing, pulling, and strength) in an aesthetically pleasing and more interactive way that the traditional way to do the exercises provided by a physical therapist.


High School

IMG_6529.jpg1st Place

Team CDP, Applied Technology High School, Paramus, NJ


This team’s invention, The Puer Seat, came in response to increasing child deaths in cars. Their car seat had 3 sensors included for an affordable price to prevent improper fastening, overheating, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Parents would be notified of any dangers their child may be in by light, sound, and phone notifications before any fatalities could happen!

IMG_65382nd Place

Team C equal Square Root E over M, John P. Stevens High School, Edison, NJ

The Vacation Station created by this team is an outdoors charging system powered completely by solar and wind energy. Rather than using a portable battery, the detachable solar panels and windmill umbrella would be an fail-safe system that would provide you with a more sustainable way to charge your phone on the beach or in the park!


3rd Place

Team I-AAN, George Bush High School, Dallas, Texas [via Skype]

The Soteria bracelet was a multi-faceted alert system that this team created to prevent death of children and adults alike. The team presented this digital bracelet inspired by popular models over Skype. A removable pin on the side of the bracelet would discretely alert emergency contacts that you are in danger while the temperature and heart rate sensors would automatically signal a threat to your health.

Great job young inventors. I heard each of you loud and clear, and boy was I impressed. You truly heard Edison’s call of “There’s a better way to do it – find it!” You made my day!!


Wind Power from GE® and Google®


The fastest growing alternate energy source is wind power. It has made huge strides in the last 10 years, both nationally and internationally. Predominantly, the big impact of wind turbines is in the large, utility scale, installations…machines capable of producing megawatts (MW) of power. These are physically large machines. The steel pole upon which the wind turbine generator and propellers are installed may be on the order of 200-250 feet tall. Atop this sits propellers whose tip-to-tip measurement can be as large as a football field. Large propeller areas are required because while the planet’s wind energy is free, it is quite dispersed, and must be collected over a rather large swept rotor area. Depending upon design, a utility size wind turbine is generally capable of producing 765 kW-2.5 MW….with new prototypes and designs aiming for the 4-6 MW size range.

To run effectively and economically, wind turbines should be located in areas where the wind blows, on a sustained basis, at least 12 miles per hour; and ideally, 20 miles per hour or greater. The more a wind turbine operates, and the higher the wind speed, the cheaper the electricity it generates. In unusually high wind speeds, large wind turbines safely shut down to avoid damage.

Wind turbines can be clustered over large open land areas generally known as wind farms. Here the turbines can be spaced apart by 10-20 rotor diameters so the machines will not interfere with each other. Turbines are also sometimes located across the ridge line of hills and mountains, or along shore areas near large bodies of water where naturally high wind speeds may result. [See GE wind turbine photos below.] Canyon passes can likewise provide a natural funneling effect of wind speeds.

History of Wind Power Development

Worldwide, in total, there are about 158,000 MW of wind energy now in operation. Currently the U.S. is the leader in wind energy generation, with 35,000 MW of capacity; but because of the huge existing base of conventional electric power generation, 1,000,000 MW already on-line, this currently translates to only about 2-3% or so of all U.S. electric generation being supplied from wind. This may grow quite a bit more as many states are mandating that electric utilities use solar and wind energy technologies in their power generation mix. Here is how U.S wind installation capacity in MW grew since 2005:

2005                     9,000
2006                      12,000
2007                      17,000
2008                      25,000
2009                      35,000

As we might expect, the windy plains states tend to dominate the wind turbine rankings with wide open spaces, little native population, and relatively good wind conditions. Large machines and wind farms can be built there. However, there will be costs to get this energy out to consumers who do not live nearby, or where convenient connections to an existing power grid may not be available.

Few Atlantic coast states, where a great deal of the nation’s electric load resides, can take advantage of wind power in a big way. It will be a challenge to bring wind power to these energy hungry states, or to find sites within those states where some modest wind energy farms may be constructed. It is possible we may see wind turbines located off coastal states that can make use of often strong and steady wind speeds several miles offshore. In mid-October, Google announced an almost 38% equity investment in a revolutionary $5 billion transmission system for interconnecting Atlantic Seaboard offshore wind turbines. This 350-mile underwater backbone would first provide a superhighway to bring power from the Virginia area to New Jersey; and then allow soon thereafter for offshore wind turbines to conveniently connect into the electricity superhighway as well. Permission for the off-shore wind farms still must be obtained from the coastal states.

GE is one of the world’s leading wind turbine suppliers, with over 13,500 wind turbine installations worldwide, ranging from 1.5 to 4.0 megawatts in size. Caithness Energy LLC and GE are teaming up at the Shepherds Flat Wind Project in Oregon to establish a massive 845-megawatt wind-powered energy generating facility located immediately south of the Columbia River. The wind farm output is enough to provide electricity to 235,000 homes. It will be the constructed between 2010 and 2012 and consist of 338 of GE’s 2.5xl turbines, making it the first of its type to be deployed in North America. The wind facility will be the largest in the world, and avoid 1,215,991 tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 212,141 passenger vehicles.

“There is no substitute for hard work.”

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