Via Goodcleantech, 01-04-2011
For researchers at the University of Liverpool, wind turbines weren’t enough. They need to be solar powered wind turbines.
The design aims to fix one of the main issues with wind turbines: that they’re essentially useless when there’s no wind at all. By having photovoltaic solar cells included on the spinning blades as well, the turbines will also be able to generate power via the sun, thus making them more useful.
One unintended problem, though, based on computer simulations is that the moving solar cells produce bright beams of light. These could potentially be temporarily blinding for people nearby, which could be especially dangerous for pilots.
Currently the team is looking for a place to start testing the turbines, preferably outside of England where wind and sunlight aren’t available in large amounts. “We are confident we can transform the world’s renewable energy needs,” Dr. Joe King told Inhabitat. “Just think what our turbines could do in countries like Australia.”