2013 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Innovator of the Year | Small Firms

April 10, 2013

Bill Virgin


Winner: 3 Phase Energy Systems, Auburn
Serial inventor and entrepreneur Pete Agtuca (Pacific Air Cargo Transfer, Laser Cutting Northwest, 3 Phase Energy Systems) is back with a new innovation, Powersails, a portable low-cost, easily deployable wind-power system. Instead of a rigid material like fiberglass, the Powersails system uses sailcloth and can generate electricity at wind speeds as low as 4 miles per hour. Powersails can be combined with another innovation, Power on Demand (POD), a container that provides the base for the mast holding the sails as well as the electronics (solar panels can also be attached to provide another source, and small water purification systems can be included). The Powersails and POD dont require a lot of space (about 35 feet from ground to the hub of the wind turbine blades) or much time or labor to assemble. Agtuca sees it as an ideal system for disaster relief, military operations and deployment in remote locales.

Agtuca also believes he can be innovative in the operation of his Auburn-based companies, with the use of flexible manufacturing cells tying separate pieces of equipment together in one automated system.