Drive Like the Wind… Not!

What’s the problem with electric cars? They still plug into the grid, causing pollution. But new home  wind generators can charge your little car right up, maybe…

According to Fast Company‘s Michael Corin, “The Skypump’s vertical rotor blades (capturing multi-directional wind more effectively than horizontal turbines) sit atop a 42-foot tower, about the height of light and power towers already common in suburbia. This drives a four-kilowatt generator as long as wind speeds are above 7 mph, and achieves peak output at wind speeds of about 26 mph. For now, the Skypump is designed for commercial uses such as parking lots. A similar setup already powers streetlights. But the turbine can be combined with a wall-mounted home WattStation to create a residential version, zoning laws permitting.”

The article encourages you to “Power your car up with the personal wind turbine out back behind the rose garden. That’s now possible with the release of a wind-powered EV charging station developed by GE and Urban Green Energy known as the Sanya Skypump.”

But solar and wind experts at Hotwire say “Not So Fast” will your car go if you depend on this wind! “Vertical axis wind generators are very inefficient compared to horizontal axis designs.” And if you live in West Florida, there is not enough oomph to go around.

“Pinellas County does not get enough sustained wind to make ANY wind generator cost effective. Plus, you would have to mount it on a tower 30′ above any surrounding structures or trees in order to get up high enough to be in ‘clean air’, undisturbed by turbulence created by obstacles upwind of the blades. That’s a high tower, and I doubt that 1.) the customer would want to pay the purchase & installation price and 2.) the county would permit it.”

John adds “Dewey, briefly, no. Not only that, but no way, forget about it. There is not enough consistent strong wind in Pinellas to make it work, besides the fact that vertical axis wind generators still have a long way to go.You can, however use solar to augment an electric car. I have modified a Mitsubishi Expo into an electric car, and placed solar panels onto it, but most of the recharging will take place from an outlet. We have a solar array on our roof that provides most of the power for our house, and that will also recharge the batteries in the car.”