Nerd crossing signPhoto: Jon PariseHarvard hasn’t cornered the market on inventing the future, starting businesses, and all the other Zuckerbergian things people do when they’re not getting laid. At this year’s MIT Energy Conference, students and grads came out of their nerd caves to serve up a Jabba-sized heap of tech: personal turbines, wind-collecting balloons, bathysphere batteries, and a way to convert commercial fleet vehicles into hybrids.


  • StranWind makes arty little turbines that you can install at home, to produce up to 4 extra kilowatts of energy.
  • Altaeros Energies is developing giant helium-filled donuts that hang out 2,000 feet in the air, converting high-altitude wind into low-cost energy.
  • XL Hybrids offers a cost-effective way to convert fleet vehicles into hybrids, reducing fuel consumption for the people who drive the most.
  • Gokhan Dundar, a first-year graduate student, has an idea for giant concrete submersible spheres to save up spillover energy from offshore wind farms.

Read more:

Energy Geeks Converge on M.I.T.,” The New York Times