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Hybrid Wind Turbines Can Generate Power without Wind

By: Hanif Bhatti on August 31st, 2010

A wind turbine / image source: ecogeek

A problem with normal wind turbines is that they can’t generate power or electricity when the wind is not blowing to a certain level, however, this could change with the introduction of a hybrid wind turbine that can run on natural gas or biogas when there is no or low wind.

According to Ecogeek, a US based company Hybrid Turbines Inc. is working on a system “SmartGen hybrid gas-wind turbine” that enables wind turbines to generate 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.”

The most interesting thing is that the SmartGen system can be retrofitted into existing wind turbines, allowing existing facilities to increase their performance.

“The exhausted air from the air motor cools dramatically when it is released, which can help provide cooling for the generator and may even help prevent fires in the housing. Large wind turbines, even in good wind resource areas, typically generate rated power only 30% of the time because the wind blows intermittently or at a low wind velocity,” explains the company.

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