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2013 Runner-Up Teams

The Energy Department would like to congratulate the 2013 Regional competition runner-up teams.

  • The Clean Energy Trust logo. Eastern Midwest Region (run by Clean Energy Trust in Chicago, Illinois)

    SkySpecs, University of Michigan
    SkySpecs is creating a safer, simpler, way to inspect structures using autonomous, aerial vehicles. The company's first product will be a small quadrotor UAV that specializes in flying in close proximity to structures. Controlling the vehicle will be easy, even for novice users, as onboard artificial intelligence will handle flight and obstacle avoidance, requiring only very high level commands from the operator. Flight time will be greater than 45 minutes and the vehicle will be capable of traversing most any location where its 2.5 foot body will fit. Modular payload bays and quick change sockets on the body will enable users to easily change the sensors the UAV carries. SkySpecs UAVs will result in faster, easier data collection in places which are difficult or dangerous for people to access. Our platform will make it easier to process repeated data collections as we will provide a framework around which data can be more structured and methodical. Customers will have one reliable solution for a range of scenarios which currently require a diverse set of tools and personnel to accomplish.

  • The CleanTech logo.Southeast Region (run by University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland)

    Brewcovery (Clemson University)
    Brewcovery exists to convert bio-related waste into value added products- creating economic opportunities for industry players while enhancing the environment of our communities. A start-up company with a small operational pilot system, Brewcovery processes food and brewery wastes into a variety of marketable products. Brewcovery utilizes a specially designed vermiculture digester to convert these wastes into value-added materials which are then moderately refined and prepared for local markets with a very favorable energy balance.

  • The Rice University logo. Western Southwest Region (run by Rice University Business Plan Competition in Houston, Texas)

    NanoNET, Boston College
    NanoNET is an innovative lithium-ion battery technology that is poised to dramatically change how the world experiences portable power. As portable electronic devices become more powerful and capable, battery life has not kept pace. Underperformance disappoints consumers, forcing frequent recharging, device capability limitations, and battery replacement. NanoNET addresses this problem with a revolutionary lithium-ion battery that improves performance: reducing charge time to mere minutes, extending battery cycle life twenty fold, improving capacity 100%, all while slashing the weight in half. The bonded silicon and titanium nano-structure in our patented technology enables a battery cell to function with unprecedented performance. Compared to current lithium-ion technology, NanoNET increases specific capacity, extends battery and increases recharge rate. The simplified manufacturing process, modular design and reduced cost of raw materials will enable NanoNET technology to gain traction in the market.

  • The First Look West (FLoW) logo. Western Region (run by California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California)

    Chai Energy, California Institute of Technology
    Chai Energy leverages 40 million deployed smart meters to show homeowners exactly where they are wasting money on their electric bill. Our proprietary algorithms analyze the energy data from your utility meter to identify specific appliances and then we use those results to show you exactly how to cut your electric bill. Chai's mobile application and device helps utilities take advantage of their Smart Meter Investments while giving ratepayers the power to cut their bill.

  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology logo. Northeast Region (run by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts)

    Sistine Solar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Sistine Solar, a company recently started by MIT grad students, is on a mission to showcase the innate beauty of solar through stunning designs, captivating the world's imagination and ushering in the era of clean energy. By weaving solar cells into beautiful patterns on building facades, Sistine Solar creates unparalleled aesthetics while elegantly generating electricity. The result is novel multi-functional building envelopes available for the first time to architects and facade developers. Sistine Solar is the winner of the renewables track at the 2013 MIT Clean Energy Prize, and a finalist at the ongoing Cleantech Open.