Houston -- ConocoPhillips and Penn State have awarded the 2009 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize to Scott Anderson of Palm Beach, Fla., and Kenai, Alaska, and his team for their innovation, the ECO-Auger, a hydrokinetic machine that converts moving water from river and ocean currents to renewable electric energy. Its hydraulic storage pressure compensation system guarantees constant energy output regardless of tidal current strength.
The ConocoPhillips Energy Prize recognizes new ideas and original, actionable solutions in three areas that can help improve the way the United States develops and uses energy: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency and combating climate change.
"We are proud to champion the ConocoPhillips Energy Prize to encourage and assist the nation's brightest minds in bringing their energy-related ideas to reality," said Jim Mulva, ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive officer. "Along with our partners at Penn State, we are pleased to recognize Scott Anderson, his team and the finalists for their innovative ideas to help create a more secure energy future."
"Securing the nation's energy future will require innovative ideas that maximize existing resources, create sustainable and diverse energy supplies, and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said William Easterling, dean of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. "Like ConocoPhillips, Penn State is pleased to recognize these individuals for their innovative strides towards the development of clean, sustainable energy and improved energy efficiency."
More than 150 proposals were submitted for evaluation by a panel of energy and environmental experts, which selected five finalists on the basis of creativity, scalability, commercial viability and sustainability.
The first runner-up was Andres Clarens for Gas Expanded Lubricants: Improving Turbine Efficiency Using "Smart" Fluids, which proposes a new type of lubricant with properties that could be changed in response to prevailing weather conditions. Second runner-up was Kevin Lampe and team for Focusing Wind Energy to Make Urban and Suburban Wind Farms, which suggests a roof-mounted vertical axis wind turbine system that addresses two principal impediments to broad-scale use of wind farms -- cost per unit of energy production and the unreliability of sustained optimal wind speeds.
The remaining finalists were Alan Fox for Improved Wind Powered Electricity Generation Through the Use of Pressurized Hydraulic Fluid, and Bob Gumm and team for the Equinox Solar System.
Each of the five finalists received an award of $25,000 to further the development of their concept. The winner received an additional $100,000; the first and second runners-up received an additional $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.
The awards were presented Oct. 19 at a ceremony held at ConocoPhillips corporate offices in Houston following formal presentations by the five finalists to the panel of judges. The judges were: Charles Bierbauer, Dean, Mass Communications and Information Studies, University of South Carolina; Ralph Cicerone, President, National Academy of Sciences; Peter Jackson, Senior Director, Oil Industry Activity, Cambridge Energy Research Associates; James Kimble, Fellow, Biofuels and Long-Range Technology (retired), ConocoPhillips; and Chunshan Song, Director, Earth and Mineral Sciences Energy Institute and Professor of Fuel Science and Chemical Engineering, Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, Penn State.
In 2008, ConocoPhillips and Penn State awarded the first ConocoPhillips Energy Prize to David A. Gonzales II to further develop the Layered MagWheel, a new technology for magnetic acceleration and frictionless braking for vehicles that increases energy conversion and efficiency.
More information about the ConocoPhillips Energy Prize and the finalists is available at ConocoPhillips Energy Prize