October 29, 2013 Jason Ethier

What is Dynamo Series, Part 1: The core of the matter!

Dynamo Micropower is developing a new generation of microturbines.  As Ford Motor company is recognized as the company that replaced the horse and buggy with the mass produced automobile, Dynamo will change the small power paradigm with a new type of microturbine built for the mass market. 

We are recasting the traditional turbine to meet the needs of the mass market.  We started by focusing in on what the turbine is.  At its core, it is a simple engine with few moving parts.  It is a reliable work horse that is more powerful than other engines.  And to top it off, these engines are amazingly fuel flexible, having been used to burn fuels as varied as biogas through wood chips.  There is no doubt the mass market could use a product like this, but we have made two significant innovations that change the accessibility of this historic power house.

The first innovation revolves around scale mass manufacturing and the second focuses on ease of serviceability.  To appeal to a mass market, we need a product that can be manufactured in high volumes.  Not hundreds or thousands, but hundreds of thousands of units.  And we must do this while achieving quality control, scalability, and a broad product line.  To achieve this we have implemented state of the art design practices and computational tools to allow us to deploy a flexible product; we have also designed into our business a dynamic and broad supply chain which will allow us to respond to customer needs in real time.  We have also done simple things, like minimizing the assembly time associated with our engine.  A traditional turbine takes highly skilled labor and a day to assemble, ours takes less than twenty minutes.  This simplifies quality, scale, and above all, performance.

We also made sure our product is easy to service, and here is why.  Whether you have a large 400 hp Ford-250 or a small 70 hp smart car, you have to do the same amount of maintenance every 3,000 miles.  The same is true for any other type of power generation, with maintenance becoming a bigger component of cost as the engines become smaller.  For the smallest generators, the maintenance is so cost prohibitive the engines themselves are effectively disposable.  With a simpler morphology and a dedication to minimizing maintenance, we have demonstrated the ability to tear down and rebuild an entire engine in less than twenty minutes.  Furthermore we have focused on keeping the skills and tools required to a minimum.  To date we only use a 7/16 wrench and a mallet to complete assembly.  Assembly itself will be intuitive, and can be done by following a simple instruction set analogous to the ones found among IKEA furniture. 

This does two things, primarily it makes the product more economic to maintain, but second it expands accessibility to the bulk of customers who would otherwise need special training to use and service our product.   
One of the things we constantly remind ourselves is that we are not building a perfect product for all people.  Instead we are building a product that is good enough for most and great for those who really need what we want to make.