Off-Grid Technologies is developing innovative products that reduce energy consumption, save taxpayers money and promote responsible environmentally friendly alternatives
Bethlehem, PA (Vocus) June 25, 2010
When Pennsylvania mayors and other city officials meet for their annual convention this week in Bethlehem (Pa.), they will be the first in the country to experience unique self-powered lighting and safety products developed by Off-Grid Technologies LLC, an innovative company whose founders have spent the last seven years researching and developing ways to reduce the world’s carbon footprint. The Bethlehem-based company is the brainchild of CEO Fumiko Green and Lee Wainwright, vice president of research and development. A prolific inventor, Wainwright holds more than a dozen patents related to fiber optics, LED illumination and solar power, not to mention numerous patent applications still under review. Off-Grid Technologies was created as the first step toward domestic manufacturing of energy saving products based on Wainwright’s inventions. It is a spin off of JFMagic, a company founded by Green and Wainwright in 2005 to develop fiber-optic technology for mass-market consumer goods.
The City of Bethlehem invited Off-Grid Technologies to showcase some of its energy saving products at this year’s 111th annual convention of the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities, June 23-25. As a result, the conference site will be adorned with solar-powered, light-emitting pole banners; two 5-foot steel illuminated Moravian stars, ambient interior tent lighting and solar-powered outdoor decorative lighting.
"Off-Grid Technologies is developing innovative products that reduce energy consumption, save taxpayers money and promote responsible environmentally friendly alternatives." Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan said. "In Bethlehem, we have already started using off-grid products developed by OGT, and we are actively supporting its efforts as part of our city's economic and business development efforts. I hope Bethlehem can be an example for Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation on using and promoting the development of green technologies."
Some of the company’s “Green-Energy” technology applications include solar-charged cordless store signs, “Smart” traffic signals, and a variety of self-powered illuminating safety products. The cordless store signs are OGT’s latest “Green” product, according to Wainwright. These energy independent signs employ flexible solar film mounted directly onto the surfaces of full-color printed graphic signs to keep them lighted for hours.
Solar-assisted “Smart” traffic signals not only use one-fifth the number of energy consuming LEDs, but also can reduce their own energy consumption on sunny days, regulate intensity at sunrise and sunset to improve visibility, and display graphics that provide special warnings to drivers. During power failures, the signals will continue to blink red in one direction and yellow in the other for up to a week—off grid.
High-tech safety products include waterproof reflective/glow safety strips that can be applied to vehicles and construction equipment, lighted rope that plugs into a car cigarette lighter to change color and direction of light motion for use as a road warning signal, and solar-charged road cones that keep flashing for a week with only one day of sunlight.
Still to come is development of a prototype and testing of a small-scale solar “Power Generation Station” (PGS) that will attach to windows, and provide enough off-grid energy to charge and operate a variety of power-wasting digital devices, such as tools, computers, iPads and cell phones, Wainwright said.
The Off-Grid Technologies website (http://www.off-grid-tech.com/)] cites the Paris-based International Energy Agency, which predicts that energy consumption from new electronic gadgets will triple in 20 years. Digital devices in particular are parasites that suck up energy because they operate by converting from DC power to higher voltage AC outputs and then back to DC. After doing all the math that means the world will produce 290,000 tons of CO2 every year just to use its iPods. “Or, looking at it another way, we could help eliminate those 290,000 tons of CO2,” Wainwright said. “And we could do it one person at a time.”
Green said the PGS is only one of many current and future applications that support the company’s prime objective to develop products that reduce the demand on the energy grid. “The potential impact of our technologies and their applications are huge in terms of the carbon footprint—and not just in this country. We are developing products that provide viable off-grid alternatives for developing countries or any other country, for that matter.”