Dare Turbine Founder Hoping Ship Comes In

13 May 2016 | 10.59 am

Dare Turbine Founder Hoping Ship Comes In

Darren Hayes has developed a portable wind turbine for ships

13 May 2016 | 10.59 am

Darren Hayes has a Master’s in marine renewable energy, several years’ industry experience in offshore renewables and a hankering to be his own boss. The Cork entrepreneur formed Dare Technology last year, after seeing first hand the need for green energy solutions in the maritime sector.

“I spent a lot of time offshore on ships and saw how much fuel they were burning, with the associated costs and emissions,” he says. Dare Technology’s solution is ‘Hi-Gen’, a portable wind turbine for ships that generates sufficient power to operate the vessel’s core system while stationary.

Following an R&D and prototyping stage, Hayes (31) says that the product is now ready for market. The turbine can sit atop a ship’s crane and will be available in 5 to 20 kilowatt power capacities. “I was determined not to develop a brand-new technology – it takes hundreds of millions of euro to do that,” Hayes explains.

“The wind turbine is well-established technology. All we are doing is reinventing how it is being used by re-engineering some of the key components.”

Maritime Cluster

Hayes sources the turbine generators in France, while the blades are sourced in Ireland. The founder bootstrapped his venture, supplemented by €50,000 from Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund. The company now operates from the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster in Ringaskiddy. “It’s a marine energy-focused startup incubator, one of the world’s first, and he have access to resources we wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Accessing finance should be a top priority for startups from day one, Hayes advises. “We spent six months with handcuffs on us, not being able to do anything because we had no money to buy the engineering software or make a meaningful start on developing the technology.

“That said, there are some good government schemes out there. My advice is to get onto them and open up a resource in terms of cash, and then build on that little by little.”

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