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Seventeen Pacific Northwest companies made it to the semifinals of the Clean Tech Open, noted for their efforts in keeping it green.

Since 2006, the Cleantech Open’s goal has been to find and support businesses with novel ideas when it comes to developing renewable energy, green building practices and more.

The competitors are in a round for three regional prizes of up to $20,000 each and one prize in sustainability for $10,000, announced at the awards event in October in Portland. Pacific Northwest winners then go on to the nationals, with a grand prize of $250,000 at stake.

Here’s who made it to the semifinals in our neck of the woods, per the release:

Ameristar Solar, Banks, OR – An efficient low-cost and patent pending dual-axis tracker system for solar-panels that is easy to transport and captures more kilowatts and costs less to operate over the life cycle than single and fixed tilt solar panel system, targeted for remote, off-grid and emergency installations that currently use highly-inefficient and polluting fossil-fueled internal-combustion generators.

Earthfort, Corvallis, OR – Provides a proprietary method to deploy soil micro-organisms for bioremediation of contaminated agricultural soil.

Emigh Design, West Linn, OR – Applies a patented linear-roller bearing design to improve efficiency of Stirling thermal engines.  

Distributed Energy Management, Bremerton, WA– A business-intelligence service applied to building efficiency, showing the actual cost-effectiveness of different operational scenarios to align efficiency with financial and investment goals.

GR Green, Burnaby, B.C. – A breakthrough, patented process to produce the world’s first ecological synthetic roofing and siding products. Made from limestone waste and recycled milk bottles and grocery bags – the shingles and siding are nearly carbon neutral and can be completely recycled at the end of their 50+ years of use.

Global Green Energy Corp., Tumwater, WA – A higher efficiency DC-to-AC converter to reduce loss and waste in drawing electricity from solar panels and other renewable generators to the grid.

NADAC Systems, Portland, OR – Software and hardware solution that integrates with existing building systems to manage energy distribution based on real occupancy, avoiding heating, cooling and lighting in unoccupied spaces.

Profile Composites, Bremerton, WA – Allows cost-effective conversion of vehicle fleets to low-pollution natural gas fuel by offering a superior method for forming carbon composite structures which uses less heat and energy.

Pterofin, Seattle, WA – Offers a unique flow-energy generation solution in wind or water, based not on a tradition rotor, but on the natural pivot motion of a bird’s wings in the air or fish fins in water.

Retrolux, Boise, ID – Enables convenient mobile audits of lighting efficiency by offering software that collects data on existing traditional lighting and proposed energy efficient lighting.

Regenergy365, Hillsboro, OR – Patented exhaust energy recovery technology to significantly reduce the intense operating costs of commercial and industrial HVAC/refrigeration systems by capturing waste air flow (exhaust) expelled by HVACR systems to generate on-site electricity. 

Ryno Motors, Portland, OR – Developed a single wheel all electric personal transportation product. It allows all the freedom of a pedestrian as it glides around and in between congestion at 12 mph. Unique balancing technology gives the feel of a motorcycle but on a single wheel.

Solensphere, Klamath Falls, OR – Commercializing a patented Hybrid SolarConcentrator which combines solar thermal energy capture with photovoltaic cells engineered for concentrated light, reducing the required surface area of PV cells by a factor of 1000 while capturing 72 percent of the sun’s energy –all at a cost well below the market price for traditional PV panels.

Sunreps, Redmond, WA – Provides a different kind of solar energy, high-tech fabric to supply solar heated fresh air, offsetting the need to heat the same air with fossil fuels.

TriboTeX, Pullman, WA – Offers a proprietary nanoparticle bio-lubricant to reduce friction and increase efficiency in machinery, such as wind power gearboxes, by 10-20 percent.

Vÿykn, Boise, ID – The world’s first network-controlled at-location water purification system that generates pure, pH-balanced, ionized and oxygen-infused water.

Wave Engine Solutions, Camas, WA – Offers a new engine design replacing the “crankshaft” with a “wave barrel” by keeping the connecting rod and piston vertically balanced throughout the compression cycle, resulting in a 30-50 percent thermal efficiency improvement and friction reduction.

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