See the Possible: Wind turbines powering cell towers

5:09 PM, Mar 29, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- The same type of wind turbine that was on Progressive Field could be placed on cell phone towers to power your phone calls.

It's an idea and business plan that has won a statewide competition and will be competing in the regional portion of the Clean Energy Challenge on April 4.

Amplified Wind Solutions will be competing for $100,000 and the ability to move on the national finals.

If it works, it could someday insure that you don't lose the use of your cell phone in a major disaster.

WKYC Anchor Kris Pickel shows us how one college student is seeing the possible.

It's a concept developed by Niki Zmij, an MBA student at Cleveland State University. It's revolutionary because it uses green technology that would allow cell towers to be built in areas too remote to be hooked up to a power grid.

It would keep cell towers powered during disasters like Hurricane Sandy.

There is a push now for within telecommunications for something called 'cell site hardening' to protect against failure in natural disasters.

It's a winning idea that took home the top prize of $10,000 in the Ohio Clean Energy Challenge.

Rebecca Bagley, the President & CEO of NorTech said, "It's really exciting to see the level of expertise and talent in these students and afford them an opportunity really to go from an idea to a structured business plan."

The challenge now? Work with cell phone providers to move concept to reality.

Niki Zmij, the CEO of Amplified Wind Solutions, said "Our hope is to work with one of them, be able to put a prototype on 1 or 2 of their towers. Be able to collect some real data."

"I love Cleveland, so I would love to keep as much as we can in the Cleveland area and use the resources we do have here."

WKYC-TV

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