A German company has created what appears to be the first integrated solar vertical axis wind turbine. Obviously, the advantage here is that when one resource isn’t available, the other may still come through to help produce some energy.
The company, Bluenergy AG, based their design on sailing engineering. The wind rotor is rotated by two spiral-formed vanes. According to the site, the installation costs relatively little, produces no noise or significant shadowing, and can be easily maintained from ground level. It also appears that the vertical wings can be lowered horizontal for access as well. One interesting design highlight claimed by the site is that the solar cells are cooled by the rotation of the turbine and thus generate more electricity. Anyone know if this would add significant output?
In order to increase the efficiency of the solar cells not turned directly towards the sun during spin, the cell’s surface has a Dendrite system which absorbs the sun light from all angles. The company page doesn’t specifically mention any distributors, but there does appear to be a push in the U.S. to get the technology out there. Current models in design range in output from 2KW for homes to 8KW for commercial use. And get this — while it only needs winds of 4mph to start spinning, it’s power rated for speeds of up to 90mph! The system 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. A beautiful combo of renewable energy.