Company Background and Customers

                           In This Section:      : Background | Key Personnel | Notable Customers

Background:

 

 

The establishment of Bergey Windpower Co. (BWC) has its origins in research activities at the University of Oklahoma dating back to 1970.  These activities included feasibility studies, consultation to the original NSF/ERDA wind program, and the construction of three experimental wind turbines.

In 1977 work was begun on a small horizontal-axis wind turbine meant for production.  During the following two years a number of advanced technologies including special airfoils, passive blade pitching, passive rotor speed control, and low-speed permanent magnet alternators were developed and integrated.  These developments resulted in several patents and the unique "sophisticated simplicity" wind turbine design for which the company is known throughout the world.

BWC's first product line was the BWC 1000.  Over 600 of these 1 kW systems were delivered between 1980, when it was introduced, and 1990, when it was superseded by a larger 1.5 kW unit.  These units have now been installed in more than 50 countries and have gained a worldwide reputation for reliability and performance.

In 1983 BWC introduced its larger 10 kW unit, the BWC EXCEL, which utilized the same integrated design found on the BWC 1000. Since that time over 900 systems have been delivered and EXCEL's have accumulated over 60 million operational hours at a wide variety of sites. The EXCEL is used for residential/farm utility bill reduction and for larger remote power applications such as village electrification, community water supply, and telecommunications.

In 1990 BWC replaced the BWC 1000 line with a 1.5 kW unit, the BWC 1500, and introduced the first wind electric water pumping systems on the market. In 1994, BWC introduced an 850 W turbine for smaller off-grid applications such as remote homes. The BWC 850 was discontinued in 1998 to make way for an advanced 1 kW turbine, the XL.1.  The BWC 1500 was discontinued in 2002.  An advanced 50 kW wind turbine is in development.  Bergey wind turbines have now been installed in all 50 States and more than 90 countries. In the size range up to 10 kW BWC is the leading supplier in the world.

Bergey wind turbines are sold directly and through a national and international network of authorized dealers. BWC personnel have provided supervisory and training services throughout the world and BWC has conducted numerous factory training schools covering system design, installation, and support. BWC provides complete design, supply, and installation services for hybrid power systems utilizing wind turbines, diesel generators and photovoltaic arrays.

BWC is a member of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE). BWC is also a member of more than a dozen state renewable energy associations.

 In 1992 BWC was recognized by AWEA "For outstanding accomplishment in developing international markets for small wind turbine technology."

BWC has received two national design awards from the Society of the Plastics Industry for its fiberglass rotor blades.  BWC's wind turbines have been featured in Life, Popular Science, Design News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and USA Today

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Key Personnel:

 

 

 

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Karl Bergey, Chairman & CEO

A co-founder of BWC and its chairman & CEO, Karl Bergey is an aeronautical engineer with degrees from Penn State and M.I.T.  He served for many years on the engineering faculty at the University of Oklahoma and is a recognized expert in small aircraft design and aerodynamics.  From 1957 through 1968, he served as Assistant Chief Engineer at the Piper Development Center in Vero Beach, Florida, where he designed such notable aircraft as the Piper Cherokee.  Over 35,000 Piper Cherokees have been sold, making it the best selling family of small planes in the U.S.
  

From 1968 to 1970 Mr. Bergey was Vice President for Research and Engineering for the General Aviation Division of North American Rockwell. He joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma in 1970, where he has won several teaching awards and his students have won numerous national design competitions. He retired from the University in 1996. He has authored more than 50 technical papers, served as a consultant to industry and government, and is a registered professional engineer.  He holds ten patents relating to aerospace, wind power, and medical technology.

In addition to his responsibilities with Bergey Windpower, he is also involved in the design of new aircraft as president of Bergey Aerospace, Inc.

 

 

Mike Bergey, President

A co-founder of BWC and president since 1987, Mike Bergey is a mechanical engineer and an internationally recognized expert in the field of small wind turbines, distributed generation, and rural electrification.  He has authored more than 70 technical papers and articles in the field, provided testimony to Congress, and serves as a consultant to numerous government and international agencies.  

He has twice served as president of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and has served on the AWEA Board of Directors since 1981.  He is a past chairman of the U.S. Export Council for Renewable Energy and member of the U.S. Department of Commerce "Environmental Technology Trade Advisory Committee."  He chairs the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Committee and edited the recently completed AWEA “U.S. Small Wind Turbine Industry Roadmap: A 20-year Industry Plan for Small Wind Technology”  

In 1982 he was recognized by AWEA "For Leadership in the Development of a National Performance Standard for Small Wind Turbines".  In 1994 he was recognized as AWEA's "Wind Industry Man of the Year"

 

 

Ken Craig, Vice President

One of the engineers who developed the BWC Excel turbine, Ken Craig worked with BWC from 1980 to 1985.  He has a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma.  From 1972 to 1979, Ken served as Professor of Chemistry at Edinboro State University in Pennsylvania.  In 1977 he co-founded Indiana Analytical Laboratories, a company that provided chemistry and engineering services for the coal industry.  The company grew to 34 employees by 1980, when he left to pursue an engineering career at BWC.  In 1986 he returned to teaching as a member of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Norwich University , in Vermont, where he served as Department Head from 1991 to 1996.  His areas of expertise in engineering are Fluid Mechanics, Manufacturing, and Computer and Instrumentation Systems.  He is the only engineering faculty member who has earned the highest teaching honor awarded by Norwich University.  Ken used a sabbatical leave to work with BWC in 1993-94, and returned to full time status with the company in 1997.  He is a registered Professional Engineer.

 

 

Karl Bergey, Chairman & CEO

A co-founder of BWC and its chairman & CEO, Karl Bergey is an aeronautical engineer with degrees from Penn State and M.I.T.  He served for many years on the engineering faculty at the University of Oklahoma and is a recognized expert in small aircraft design and aerodynamics.  From 1957 through 1968, he served as Assistant Chief Engineer at the Piper Development Center in Vero Beach, Florida, where he designed such notable aircraft as the Piper Cherokee.  Over 35,000 Piper Cherokees have been sold, making it the best selling family of small planes in the U.S.
  

From 1968 to 1970 Mr. Bergey was Vice President for Research and Engineering for the General Aviation Division of North American Rockwell. He joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma in 1970, where he has won several teaching awards and his students have won numerous national design competitions. He retired from the University in 1996. He has authored more than 50 technical papers, served as a consultant to industry and government, and is a registered professional engineer.  He holds ten patents relating to aerospace, wind power, and medical technology.

In addition to his responsibilities with Bergey Windpower, he is also involved in the design of new aircraft as president of Bergey Aerospace, Inc.

 
 

 

 

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