Airsynergy sets out to solves the riddle: how to get more energy for less
A company based in Granard is marketing a new design for a wind turbine, which it claims will push the move towards cheap energy a whole lot closer
Jim Smyth, founder and chief executive of Airsynergy, had one dilemma he was determined to solve: how to get more power for less. It was a conundrum prompted by his wife's idea in 2008 to buy a wind turbine for their house - and in the belief that he could indeed solve the problem he joined with his brothers Gerard, David, Peter, Andrew and solicitor Adrian Kelly to set up Airsynergy.
What started out as a family affair has grown into something of much greater significance. None of the founders took a salary for the first months of the operation, with the family still unsure that Jim's designs could produce the affordable, easy-to-install, fixed-power unit which he was working feverishly to complete.
However, Jim Smyth eventually designed the 5kw wind turbine which Airsynergy has now launched into the domestic market. The invention allows customers to fix the price point of their energy needs below €0.10 per k/w hour on a 5m/s wind site. The company says it offers twice the output of current market-leading turbines and addresses some of the main problems that have been traditionally associated with renewable energy.
Airsynergy says this is one of the cheapest sources of reliable, independent power on the planet, and makes wind energy economical on 80pc of the world's land mass. The company believe the global trend towards "distributable energy" will be key to their growth going forward.
"It is targeted right across the board at residential and commercial users alike, basically anyone that has a power need that wants to fix the price point of power," says Smyth. "The turbine is also planning-exempt for farmers and businesses customers. The products have to look well and be very quiet, effectively they have to deal with a lot of concerns that have gone in the past with different competitor products that haven't performed well or that have been a nuisance to the end user."
Eight years after their initial decision to develop the company, Airsynergy will present their technology later this year in front of the United Nations. They have already been before the European Commission and see their product as a key development in the fight against climate change.
Partnerships have been developed between the company and a number of global distributors who are getting Airsynergy products to market in diverse areas such as Indonesia, West Africa, Italy and the US.
Aris Renewable Energy has secured the distribution rights for North America and the Caribbean, and the company has been very successful in marketing another Airsynergy innovation - a renewable street lamp. Negotiations are under way regarding the possible installation of the model outside the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Airsynergy will look to directly distribute their products in the Irish and UK market and also work in association with Irish met mast installation company Obelisk. Talks are on-going with Veolia about the possibility of a distribution deal in Germany.
The company has raised over €12m in funding to date and has signed a manufacturing deal with Flextronics, the global supply giant who will deliver their products around the world in line with market demand.
A number of heavy-hitters from across the business spectrum have already signed on. Stephan Ciniselli joined the company in January as chief revenue officer having previously worked at General Electric and Korean Fortune 500 company Hanwha. Rod Baldwin, formerly of Glen Dimplex, has joined as sales director.
Former Airtricity CFO in North America and current chairman of Gaelectric, Ciaran O'Brien, has joined the board as chairman and offers extensive experience as the company develops links with new markets. Walsh Western founder Michael Enright is also a board member, giving Airsynergy an impressive-looking blend of expertise and innovation as they embark on what was initially one man's vision.
The company says the strategy from here is to create employment at home while making an impact on one of the most pressing environmental problems of our time.
"We are a world leader in this technology, and we want to try and create hundreds of jobs here in Ireland in the years ahead while we expand globally," says Jim Smyth.
The Smyth family have done an impressive job getting to where they are from the humble beginnings of their home in Granard. Where they go next may be the real story, however.
Sunday Indo Business