Meet the Inventor
Dr. Tony Iacovelli
“A generator or motor is not the device nor its physical parts. It is the interaction of electric and magnetic fields that makes a motor or generator. The only portion of the device that does all the work is the interaction of invisible, untouchable energy fields. All the physical pieces, components, and parts are just there to house the fields. Most engineers seem to erroneously think of a motor or generator as being a physical device made of assembled parts. To advance our understanding, the parts need to fade from view and the fields need to ‘materialize’ into the forefront of our design conceptualizations. It is not a machine we are crafting and optimizing, it is an interaction of fields. The parts are just a secondary means. Start by envisioning the perfect forms of field interactions then work backwards to see the parts that will make that happen.”
My lifelong passion for renewable energy and electrical machines was thankfully fostered by my father who was both a high school science teacher and a hands-on repairman of motors and generators. With his encouragement, I was dissecting and rebuilding generators as soon as I could hold the tools. As a teenager, my high school made an individualized advanced physics course for me, and I chose to use it for the independent study and building of novel generators and motors. As an adult, twice, I converted gas-powered vehicles to hand-built electric vehicles of my own design that I used as my primary cars for many years.
In college, even though I was again invited into, and enjoyed a private off-books advanced physics program, my love of biology led me to ultimately become a medical doctor. Even today, I still work in the ER about 1 day per week. Hand in hand with my medical career, I have always been an inventor. I patented a medical device that helps make surgery faster and safer. I developed a device used for the emergency treatment of children and designed a means to make intubation and tube placement checks faster and safer.
In the early 2000s, I turned my attention to inventing clean energy technology, including an internationally patented, novel family of fuel cells that have 14 times the power density of the industry standard at one tenth the cost and run on non-food competitive biofuels. I also invented a hybrid PV/thermal solar panel.
About 10 years ago, I considered installing wind turbines on my solar powered, organic berry farm. I found the considerable inefficiencies of the incumbent wind generators to be distressingly wasteful of the available energy in wind. It seems that because humanity had adapted a pre-existing steam-powered generator to work in the wind, we had missed important concepts we would have grasped if we had started by trying to build a wind generator from the ground up. Combining a series of re-arrangements of already proven generator technologies with novel innovations, I was able to come up with designs that proved we could double the amount of energy harvested from most sites by making the generator intrinsically adapt to whatever the wind speed.
I already had a rewarding career, 2 children, and a farm, so my next year’s effort was spent trying to disprove the concept of being worthy of the additional dedication and work it would take to develop the technology. Eventually, I exhausted all efforts to kill the concept and was reluctantly, but completely, convinced the ideas would fundamentally improve the world of wind power. Further, as an electric motor is essentially a generator running in the opposite way, I realized the idea has equally significant implications for the electric vehicle market. That’s when I approached Michael as someone who could complement my strengths as an innovator with practical experience of launching and growing companies.