Founded to commercialize two remarkable energy technologies invented at MIT and now focusing on concentrated solar power (CSP)
Wilson Solarpower Corporation was formed in 2001 as Wilson TurboPower, Inc. to develop and commercialize technologies invented by one of its founders, Dr. David Gordon Wilson, then professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. The Company's original business focus, from 2001 to 2007, was the development of two of Dr. Wilson’s “breakthrough-efficiency” technologies; the Wilson Heat Exchanger™ and the Wilson Microturbine™, the underlying technologies for which the Company licensed exclusively from MIT. In collaboration with industrial partners such as Corning Glass, Praxair, Saint-Gobain, Wartsila and the French Petroleum Institute, the Wilson's development effort sought to increase the performance of heavy industrial systems by capturing and reusing the intense waste heat often produced by industrial processes. Wilson's initial objective was to replace traditional metal heat-recovery systems, which are unable to withstand intense levels of heat, with a ceramic-based solution. In parallel with its work on the Wilson Heat Exchanger, the Company pursued the development of a ceramic turbine that could handle high heat environments.
In 2008, while planning for the eventual commercialization of the Wilson Microturbine, Wilson sought to identify a “beachhead” market that would enable Wilson’s microturbine sales to rise as rapidly as possible to the point where the Company would begin to capture volume manufacturing cost efficiencies. In the course of this market analysis, Wilson identified an application that represented a substantial opportunity - concentrated solar power, or CSP. Since that time, Wilson has focused primarily on CSP related applications of its proprietary technology. The Company began designing the Wilson Solar System™ and Wilson Solar Receiver™ in late 2008 and started engineering those products in October 2009, coincident with its application for DOE funding. The Company’s range of proprietary technologies now encompasses a variety of internally developed and exclusively licensed products and technologies, in addition to those underlying the Wilson Heat Exchanger and Wilson Microturbine.
In May 2010, the DOE awarded Wilson up to $3.9 million to develop its proprietary CSP technologies.
Wilson Solarpower Corporation is privately owned by its founders, David Wilson, Bruce Anderson, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, plus an international group of investors and energy experts. It also has received an investment from an agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.