No grid? No problem.
Energy costs are a major issue for homeowners and families across the US, and Westchester County is no exception. When Professor Darshanand Ramdas bought his Mount Vernon home in 2006, he immediately sought ways to lower his own utility bill. Electrical energy, whether solar or traditional, is usually expensive and dependent upon a power grid. Inclement weather or natural disasters can affect the grid, triggering brownouts and blackouts. Ramdas, an aeronautical engineer and math teacher, wanted to develop a system that would offer clean, green energy, independent of the grid. The result is Ramdas Green Energy Corp (RGE).
“After careful research, I found that solar energy has limitations,” explains Ramdas. “I then experimented with water and soon realized that gravity works day and night. I then developed my solar/gravity hybrid system.”
He self-funded and incorporated RGE in 2013 and has spent the last few years researching and developing a system that allows the sun’s power and Earth’s gravity to power homes, eliminating the need for fossil fuels and the power grid.
Ramdas’ renewable electric system works by storing solar energy and using gravity and turbines to move water and generate energy. Traditional solar panels are typically mounted to the roof, requiring homes to be oriented in a certain way. Smaller than traditional solar panels, RGE’s solar panels can be tucked away in a convenient backyard spot that receives natural sunlight. The energy captured from the panels and turbines is stored in specialized batteries, which produce electrical power for homes. As the RGE system is a solar/gravity hybrid, homes will have power even when the sun is not shining, allowing greater independence for homeowners.
RGE officially opened to the public and sold its first unit in July. The Larchmont-based company — currently with two full-time employees and four part-timers — is actively looking for investors. The company currently offers two energy systems: The SG1 retails for approximately $8,500, while the SG2 goes for roughly $12K. Both systems are eligible for a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government.
Ramdas says his long-term goal is to have the RGE system become a revenue source for homeowners, allowing them to sell back to utility companies their excess stored energy. Though RGE is currently locally focused, Ramdas anticipates going nationwide with his invention.
Business: Ramdas Green Energy Corp
Founder: Darshanand Ramdas
Industry: Clean technology