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UPower – Power Your World, Powered by Autodesk CFD

James Herzing
June 8, 2016

After years in the corporate world and co-founding many Venture Capital-backed technology start-ups, Jean Francis (JFK) and Tony wanted to measure the rest of their careers by maximum impact on the world they leave their children and grandchildren.

To start, we wanted to work on this solution with our families.  Family-owned and operated means solving problems together with some of the most important people in our lives.

The “impossible” task we selected to conquer was the creating of distributed renewable energy at economic parity with coal-fired power plants.  Our goal was to allow thousands of more people to participate in the process of making our planet more sustainable.

After three (3) years of brainstorming, Jean-Francis believed it could be done.  And given his track record of revolutionary technology transformations over a 45 year career, we were all willing to bet on him being able to do it.

For five (5) more years, the team labored to resolve challenge after challenge.  Early on, Autodesk signed up as a corporate sponsor by supporting our efforts with their CFD simulation software to allow a small team to test their hypotheses more quickly and accurately.  And a few years back, the National Research Council of Canada saw what JFK had accomplished and signed on to help fund the final stages of development to assure that this technology became available to the world.

The 3P Windstation design objective:

  • Less than $1/W retail ($3,950 for 4000 Watts)
  • Lightweight to be able to install anywhere.
  • Seamless Operation – Just plug it into any standard outlet
  • Lasting Power – Designed in quality and simplicity to last for years

The next phase is to get this technology in the hands of those who desire energy independence in the developed world AND to Light as many Villages as possible in the 18% of the world that still lives without basic electricity.

Next week we will discuss how Autodesk software facilitated the 3P WindStation development efforts.


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James Herzing

James Herzing is the Product Marketing Manager for the Autodesk Simulation portfolio. He has spent 12 years in the field of Finite Element Analysis, starting his career at Algor, Inc and with the last 7 spent at Autodesk. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.