MON AM News: Wind turbine design aims to improve efficiency; Flu hospitalizations up so far this year

— A new turbine design from UW-Green Bay’s engineering department aims to improve the efficiency of wind power generation. 

The system’s inventor, Md Maruf Hossain, has applied for a patent on the design, and WiSys is seeking commercial partners in the wind power generation industry to help develop the new technology. WiSys handles licensing for UW System universities other than UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee. 

According to an info sheet, most wind power generation comes from horizontal axis wind turbines. But WiSys says vertical axis systems have several advantages including lighter weight and improved function during “turbulent, small and inconsistent wind situations.” 

The info sheet shows vertical axis turbines can be scaled to smaller sizes and used in both residential and urban settings. But WiSys says vertical axis turbines have been underutilized compared to horizontal axis systems, due in part to a perception that they’re less efficient. 

To improve upon the vertical axis design, Hossain combined multiple turbines with one generator and drive train, which reduces the size and weight of the turbines. According to the info sheet, current wind generation systems must have separate power generators and drive chains for each turbine. 

By slimming down the system, Hossain aims to develop a turbine that requires less wind to operate and generates more power per tower. WiSys says the integrated turbine technology would result in lower transportation costs and less required maintenance and installation since the generator, electronics, and gearbox can be placed on the ground level. 

See more: 

— Three times as many patients have been hospitalized for the flu so far this year than at this point last year, according to the  state Department of Health Services. 

The agency says 459 flu-related hospitalizations and 11 deaths have occurred in the state. And intensive care units in the state are seeing rising admissions for respiratory illnesses. 

State health officer Jeanne Ayers calls these increasing numbers “a sober reminder” of the dangers of the influenza virus. DHS is urging all state residents to get a flu shot. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has elevated Wisconsin to its highest threat category for the flu.

A recent respiratory virus report from DHS shows flu activity is higher in the southern half of the state. The number of cases has been rising since November. 

See the DHS release: 

See the respiratory report: 

— A Madison-based startup called Understory announced recently that it has entered the insurance market with a new product for auto dealers. 

According to a release, Auto – Hail Safe launched in November. Following a hail storm, Understory sends precise information about hail size to insurance companies. CEO Alex Kubicek says the company is “introducing a paradigm shift” to the industry. 

The company promises quicker delivery of insurance claim payouts by using a network of sensors that captures weather data, bypassing valuations from insurance adjusters. 

See more at Madison Startups: 

— Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has promoted Chris Reader to senior director of workforce and employment policy. 

Reader has been with WMC since 2013 as director of health and human resources policy. Before that, he was a division administrator for the state Public Service Commission and worked in the state Senate.

See the release: 

— WMC is now taking registrations for the upcoming Business Day in Madison event, to be held Feb. 26 at Monona Terrace. 

The event will feature a keynote address from author Guy Benson, political editor of and Fox News correspondent. Wilson Jones, President/CEO of Oshkosh Corporation, will discuss the state’s workforce and talent attraction in Wisconsin. 

See details on pricing and other scheduled speakers: 

— The deadline for entrepreneurs to apply to this year’s Governor’s Business Plan Contest is 5 p.m. Jan. 31. 

This competition is held each year by the Wisconsin Technology Council, giving startup leaders a chance for statewide recognition. The process involves writing an essay and crafting a full business plan, which is evaluated by a panel of industry judges. 

Finalists will present their ideas or early-stage companies to a crowd of colleagues, investors and others from the state’s business community at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 4 in Milwaukee. 

See competition details: 

Listen to a podcast on last year’s contest with Tom Still, president of the Tech Council: 


# Window manufacturer’s sudden closure leaves 141 out of work

# Wisconsin elevated to high flu category after spike in cases

# Fiveable closes on $673,000 funding round, enters ‘growth mode’

# Lands’ End sued by Delta Air Lines employees who claim uniforms cause health problems



– Wisconsin egg producers set new records as demand for cage-free continues

– December class III milk price dips to $19.37


– Wisconsin residents head to Illinois to buy legal weed


– Nutrition assignment at Dane County school draws complaints

– Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair competition is next week


– Foresters fear winter, wood market might hamper storm cleanup


– Wipfli buys Denver-area accounting firm, eyes Colorado expansion


– Milwaukee Regional Innovation Center angel fund invested $40,000 into startups


– Lands’ End sued by more Delta Air Lines employees over uniforms


– Deere completes expansion of Horicon Works facility


– Johnson Foundation at Wingspread appoints new president


– Fiserv CEO Yabuki buys Malibu mansion from Olympian Shaun White for $11.8M


– How a jazz drummer helped get Wisconsin-based Sentry to Maui


– Delta plane slides off taxiway at Green Bay airport


– Border battles: When it comes to clean energy, Minnesota outshines Wisconsin


– Your right to know: Pollution records must be open


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

Fox Cities Chamber: January Business Breakfast Bytes Focuses on Cybersecurity for Small Business

Good Land Wing Co.: To open in Brookfield