One of the great aspects of technology is the ability to make vast improvements in design and efficiency on items that have been around for many years. In recent years the improvements in design and efficiency for residential wind turbines has been vast, bringing with it hopes and dreams for future generations.
A Colorado company is introducing a system that will allow wind turbines to generate power even when the wind is not blowing. The SmartGen hybrid gas-wind turbine enables wind turbines to produce energy at periods of low wind, by turning the turbine with compressed air generated at the base of the tower from a turbo-compressor that is run on natural gas or biogas.
Even more importantly, the SmartGen system can be retrofitted into existing wind turbines, allowing existing facilities to increase their performance. This is likely to be particularly compelling for installations seeking to extend their production while remaining free of fossil fuels. In areas where biogas production is also available nearby, a wind power facility that is generating renewable energy credits could likely also produce power from biogas in this manner as another form of renewable power and thereby remain 100% renewable energy based.
A smart clutch disengages the wind blades from the machinery when the compressor is engaged. The company also notes that the exhausted air from the air motor cools dramatically when it is released, which can help provide cooling for the generator nacelle and may even help prevent fires in the housing.
One of the brilliant parts about this idea is that it can be retro fitted to existing wind turbines. That means wind turbines just like the DIY Wind Turbine that i built and shared the amazing wind turbine plans with you last year can benefit from these fantastic design improvements. One of our readers, Mike Doolan also did a reader review of this wind turbine that he built and is keen to make further improvements like this. I am already living 100% “off the grid” with my residential wind turbine however because my wind turbine feeds the excess power back onto the grid i am able to benefit more than before. Why do i benefit? Because i sell the excess power generated from my home made wind turbine back to the utility company and get a credit check in the mail each month….with this improvement i will be able to generate more energy and make more clean, green energy and get paid for it!