By Natasha Lindstrom
Posted Oct 31, 2011 at 11:42 AM

ADELANTO – A local technology engineering company has shelved an innovative wind turbine project its officials had touted as having the potential to revolutionize the wind energy industry. In 2009, Adelanto-based Exquadrum won a prototype contract to develop the Orbital Track Turbine, which Vice President of Engineering Eric Schmidt said had the potential to outpower traditional turbines and go into production at a much cheaper cost.

Rather than the traditional horizontal-axis turbine — like the ones lining Interstate 10 near Palm Springs — Exquadrum’s design featured vertical blades that swirled around in a circular orbit on rollers around the turbine’s core. The goal was for one turbine with a 2,500-foot diameter to produce up to 15megawatts, enough to power nearly 4,000 homes.

But the project’s since been put on hold, as the company waits for various bureaucratic hurdles to play out, according to Exquadrum aerospace engineer Byron Henning.

“It was a long uphill battle,” Henning said. “Wind energy projects in general are having a hard time being approved, so if you’re doing something outside of the box and innovative it means it’s even more difficult.”

Exquadrum is now focusing its efforts on its core business in the defense and aeronautics sectors. In February the company announced it had secured Department of Defense contracts to test counter-terrorism tools at four abandoned military bunkers alongside Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville.

However, Henning said the company hasn’t abandoned the wind turbine project altogether.

“If the time is right, we will definitely look to get more funding,” he said.

Natasha Lindstrom may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or

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