Renewable Energy Hybrids Merced CA

Now, the realization that solar energy is not as effective everywhere is giving rise to renewable energy hybrids. A case in point is the new Solarwind turbine, developed by Bluenergy.

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Renewable Energy Hybrids

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Solar and Wind Join Forces to Save the Earth

Author: Tina Metcalf

It took the realization that car emissions were causing climate change to spark interest in, and development of, hybrid vehicles.

The figures don't lie, and studies show that every gallon of gasoline burned contributes 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, the primary culprit in global warming. This doesn't even take into account other harmful emissions like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides or sulfur dioxide.

Now, the realization that solar energy is not as effective everywhere is giving rise to renewable energy hybrids. A case in point is the new Solarwind turbine, developed by Bluenergy.

Subsuming form to function, this uniquely beautiful but highly efficient solar/wind energy system, based on the concept of a vertical axis wind turbine, has blades whose surfaces are coated with a fluoropolymer (think Teflon). These curving blades are able to capture sunlight from any angle, and provide wind energy at speeds as low as four miles per hour, with a cutoff speed of 90 miles per hour. The dome-shaped base encloses the generator and an inverter which converts DC to AC for household use.

At $35,000 (or $7 per watt installed), it's still expensive, but the 1,100 kilowatt hours generated per month are more than adequate for most household's electricity needs. More important, the Solarwind turbine produces energy in the winter, when sunlight in the Upper Midwest is often absent but wind speeds are significant, and in the summer, when sunlight is abundant and wind speeds light.

The Solarwind is relatively inexpensive to install, produces very little noise and - at a slim six feet wide - very little shadowing, and at 18 feet tall is easily maintained from ground level.

In fact, its size is the only drawback to roof mounting, which would enhance both its solar and wind capacity. You understand the principle behind roof-mounted solar panels, but did you also know that roof-mounted small wind is enhanced by what residential wind developers call the "roof effect"; that is, the tendency of wind speeds to rise sharply along specific gradients like a 5/12 to 7/12 roof pitch?

Hybrid alternative energy systems, like hybrid cars, are still in their infancy, meaning some of the "bugs", or negative aspects, may take years to work out. There is also some question as to their cost/benefit ratios - a question that can't reasonably be answered before they have been in use for a while. In the meantime, keep an eye on these hybrids, which promise the best of both worlds in the not-too-distant future.

In the meantime, you can invest in proven solar. Simply visit Cooler Planet's handy solar installer page to find a solar expert in your area who has the expertise and products that deliver clean, green energy now and well into that future.

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Cooler Planet is a leading solar resource for connecting consumers and commercial entities with local solar Installers. Cooler Planet's solar energy resource page contains articles and tools such as our solar calculator to help with your solar project.

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