Neat company alert: Magenn Power Inc.

I have a story in today’s Toronto Star about an Ottawa-based company called Magenn Power Inc. that has lofty plans of creating wind generators that float like rotating blimps in the sky. The company’s founder, Fred Ferguson, has spent half his life studying and advancing the design of Hindenburg-like airships, and three years ago he realized that the design could be modified to capture wind energy and transmit it back to the ground.

Magenn has hired former Ottawa-area tech guru Mac Brown as its CEO (He was majority owner and chairman of now-defunct Rebel.com), and is in the process of raising $2 million and developing a business plan that will take it through prototype stage and into commercial production. Magenn envisions floating systems ranging from 1 kilowatt to 1.6 megawatts, and it says the first system — a 4 kilowatt system ideal for cottages and small homes — will become available in the second half of 2006 at a price of $10,000.

It’s an ambitious schedule for a company that doesn’t even have a prototype yet, and Magenn already has a number of skeptics who believe the idea is a lot of hot air, supported only by a fancy Web site and diagrams, that will never make it to commercial production. “What about airplanes?” asks one critic. “Airplanes and blimps don’t mix.” But it’s difficult to deny that Ferguson’s plan is neat and novel, and you almost hope he can make it work.

For more details check out the story.

5 thoughts on “Neat company alert: Magenn Power Inc.”

  1. I became suspicious of this company when they solicited me (and probably a number of other blggers) to write about their product. It does sound like a neat concept, but they did not have adequate answers to some of the questions that I posed, for a product that was claimed to be nearly ready for sales. After I found out that they didn’t have a prototype I decided not to promote them. It is a fine line to walk, as I like to publicize new technology, but I have been burnt a couple of times. Keep reading The Energy Blog for the latest in energy technologies.

  2. I became suspicious of this company when they solicited me (and probably a number of other bloggers) to write about their product. It does sound like a neat concept, but they did not have adequate answers to some of the questions that I posed, for a product that was claimed to be nearly ready for sales. After I found out that they didn’t have a prototype I decided not to promote them. It is a fine line to walk, as I like to publicize new technology, but I have been burnt a couple of times. Keep reading The Energy Blog for the latest in energy technologies.

    Jim from The Energy Blog

  3. I should like to get an answer concerning a technical question about Magenn ait rotor system.

    According to the drawings seen, the rotor blades themselves are not made of hard material, but blown up as the baloon itself. How can their inner face keep its concave shape (as shown on the drawings) as usually blown up strutures have convex faces on their low pressure (outer)side and concave ones on their high pressure (inner) side?

  4. The founder of this company has founded two other companies that have bombed and left investors high and dry.

    Rebel.com & M4

    A lot of angry investors from this Mac Brown character. Read up about him. You’ll be unpleasantly suprised.

  5. I first met this character Mac Brown when he was hired by Orcatech as a customer service tech in 1983. It is amazing that it has taken Ottawa people over 20 years to see what I saw in 10 seconds.

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