The World’s Largest Wind and Solar Hybrid Array — Gimmick or Breakthrough?

By: | August 9th, 2014

Most renewable energy systems are “wind only” or “solar only”, etc. This makes sense for huge installations of solar panels or offshore wind farms, for example, but what about installations in small spaces, aka “small wind” or “small solar” areas like roof tops of buildings in urban areas?

Maximizing Energy Production & ROI On Limited Roof Space

A company called Windstream is pushing the boundaries of renewable energy by offering a new type of hybrid renewable energy solution for urban, suburban, and on and off grid environments. The company seeks to sell its product domestically in the United States and export internationally to help those who have no electricity at all or whose electricity is expensive. The system is also believed to be a solution for locations where wind or solar energy generation alone would not justify the expense of an installation.

In a rooftop installation at Myers Fletcher & Gordon, a law firm in Kingston, Jamaica, a hybrid “vertical axis wind turbines” (VAWT) and solar installation is producing 110,000 kW per year of energy (22kW of wind and 88kW of solar) from 5.2 direct normal sun irradiance and 6 m/s annual wind. The installation is about a quarter-mile from the Kingston coastline and regularly has wind gusts as high as 60 mph (96.5 kph).

A Consistent Energy Producing System

Myers Fletcher & Gordon investment, estimated at $35,000, based on the price of $600 for each of 50 SolarMills making up the array, will be recouped in less than four years and save the firm $2 million over 25 years, the expected lifetime of the system.

Windstream’s SolarMill platform was designed to mitigate daily and seasonal trends in wind and solar resources to keep the system capturing energy 24x7x365. The system uses proprietary “smart electronics” and the system, according to Windstream, offers the highest energy density currently available in the renewables market.

Windsteam Solar Mills are manufactured in Indiana, USA.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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