Sun or wind? The one between photovoltaic and wind power is not a bad duel. Usually, the roofs of buildings are equipped with solar panels: easier to install and less bulky and visible. However, the wind is a much more available source of energy than the sun: it has no timetables and also works at night.
Now a Japanese company, the Ibis Power, has developed a hybrid system that could make everyone agree. It's called PowerNEST and combines solar and wind energy in a sort of "hat" that supplies electricity to medium and high-rise buildings.
How does PowerNEST work?
The system looks like a wind turbine equipped with inclined rotors and solar panels. The combination of the two systems increases the energy production up to 10 times compared to conventional solar panels.
Ibis power achieves these results by adding peripheral fins around the turbine structure. This improvement "guides" the wind towards the inside of the wind turbine, increasing the flow from 40% to 60% thanks to'venturi effect. In essence, it greatly increases the wind speed on the turbine.
PowerNEST combines the turbine with a bifacial solar roof to capture more sunlight, which is cooled by the same air current as the wind turbines. According to Ibis power, this process can power a 15-story building completely silently, unlike wind turbines.
PowerNEST could be a feasible and interesting way: it adapts to local weather conditions and optimizes energy production, regardless of external conditions.
To work best, the system must be installed on a building of at least 5 floors with at least 50 m² of floor space. The amount of energy produced, of course, also depends on the geographical orientation and obstacles around the building. With the right parameters, PowerNEST can solve three problems: reduce your energy bills, cut your carbon footprint and meet emissions standards. Not bad.