The following narrative demonstrates the benefits of a hybrid energy system where the principal components, solar panels and wind turbines, work in conjunction with an energy storage and power grid system.
When reviewing electrical power options for remote (often times off-grid) regions, there are three primary options one would likely consider: Solar Power, a Diesel Powered Generator or a Wind Turbine. Comparing these three is interesting, but not always equivalent.
Electrical energy provides great benefits to those who are connected to a grid. For the billions who are not connected to a grid, the solution is local or portable power generators. Virtually millions of small communities, remote and isolated, need small or medium generators. Fuel powered generators are high in cost per kWhr, fuel supply is risky and unreliable. The solution is generating electricity renewably, where it is needed.
The energy of a wind gust is typically 8 times that of the steady wind flow. A modern wind turbine has constraints preventing it from capturing the increased energy in a wind gust. A modern wind turbine, on average, captures 25% of the available kinetic energy from wind flow.
Renewable energy is imperative. While no renewable source is the answer for all of our energy needs, wind energy has its attributes. Unlike the sun, wind is everywhere all the time. Wind power has become reasonably cost effective compared to other renewable forms. However, wind is not as cost effective as it should be.
The area under the wind curve is critical to understanding the importance of wind machines and their ability to capture a reasonable percent of that energy.