At present the state of the planet is of huge concern, the environmental crisis is certainly spurring on some amazing innovation in the field of renewable energy systems. The truth of global warming demands that we aggressively pursue innovative methods to produce clean affordable energy while restoring our environment’s health. Solar power and wind power are the two main available sources of power on our planet. Both are renewable energy sources and are abundant all year round in all areas, but still produce less than 5% of the world’s electric power.
We are now capable to combine the most powerful and abundant forces of nature, available to all of us every day. Take for example this very interesting device – a vertical axis wind turbine embedded with solar cells. So if the sun’s shining, but the wind is not blowing you’ve still got juice; and vice-versa. If you have both that is even better.
Although solar power or wind power alone can fluctuate but when used together they provide a reliable source of energy. In many areas once the sun is strongest the wind speed is low and while the wind speed is highest the sun is often the weakest as in winter. The ideal solution is to join these two forms of energy sources to create a constant energy flow. This hybrid system balances out the fluctuations in these powers to give a more smooth flow.
A German company has created the first integrated solar vertical axis wind turbine. The company, Bluenergy AG, based their design on sailing engineering. Elements Projected to Comprise the First Generation Bluenergy Solarwind™ Turbine are:
- Solar cell Encapsulation technology: Solar cells are covered by layers of pure fluoropolymer (a clear film) in spite of standard glass or aluminum. In order to increase the efficiency of the solar cells, the cell’s surface has a Dendrite system which absorbs the sun light from all angles.
- Double-helix shaped Wind Vanes: The wind rotor is rotated by two spiral-formed vanes. According to the site, the installation costs comparatively little, produces no noise and can be easily maintained from ground level.
- Generator: The generator has rare earth magnets functional on its rotor, providing high efficiency. The fixed winding of the rotor is constantly activated through these magnets, so that the generator straight away delivers power even at low revolutions per minute.
- Inverter: The inverter merges the solar electricity and wind generated electrically into one current. The output is standard AC current.
- Bearings: The Turbine Axis: The axis is a hollow, re-enforced steel pole, using a double frictionless bearing system to reduce resistance, while increasing efficiency. This unique bearing system permits self-stabilization of the rotating turbine, so that even in very high winds, the heavy material stresses and loads are reduced and remain completely balanced.
How it works
The solar wind turbine generator uses solar panels to collect light and convert it to energy along with wind turbines to collect energy from the wind. Solar wind charge controllers control the charging of the energy before it is stored in the battery banks. An inverter, positioned in the battery bank, alters the current from DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current which is the type of power used in the majority homes and businesses).
Advantages of solar wind turbine:
- Utilization of wind and sun energy makes it a unique and beautiful design.
- The device is harmless for people, animals and nature.
- Uses winds from all directions.
- Totally noiseless (no sounds besides the wind) because of its spiral shape and the speed of rotation does not exceed the wind speed.
- It starts charging with very low wind speeds.
- It does not require shutdown during heavy storms; highest RPMs yield highest electricity output.
- It requires low maintenance and repair cost.
- The generator is located in the base on the ground, hence requires easy maintenance, system monitoring, and replacement of all parts.
- No repairs or replacements at tall heights, as compared to traditional turbines in which propellers and generators are mounted on tall towers.
- No cranes are needed as it includes Hydraulic up-righting of the turbine from the ground.
- No operating or fuels costs are needed as both the solar radiation and the winds are provided by Nature.
- Consistent energy generation throughout the year (during winter from more wind, during summer from more sun)
- Using solar cells on the wind vanes increases the power output of the wind turbine by approximately 30-35% and allows electricity to be made even when the wind is calm.
- Both the wind and solar energies are renewable energy sources and are abundant all year round in all areas, but still produce less than 5% of the world’s electric power.
- Solar wind turbine produces about 50% more electricity than traditional horizontal propeller turbines, higher yield from both low and high wind speeds and from the solar cells.
- Solar wind turbine only needs winds of 4mph to start spinning, its power rated for speeds of up to 90mph!
- In Solar wind turbine, solar cells are cooled by the rotation, maintaining electrical generation efficiency.
- In Solar wind turbine no gears are needed as contact-free current flows from the rotation of the wind vanes into the generator.
- The system of Solar wind turbine comes with an inverter in the base that will deliver either 120v or 240v AC into a home or net metered directly into the grid.
- The Solar wind turbine is harmless for people, animals and nature.
- Current models of solar wind turbine range in output from 2KW for homes to 8KW for commercial use.