Advertisement

GE 'Skypump' Charges Electric Cars With Wind Power

Follow Nikki

Last year, GE and vertical axis wind turbine company Urban Green Energy announced the launch of the Sanya Skypump, a wind-powered charging station capable of recharging an electric car on wind energy alone.

Almost a year later, the two firms have just announced the official unveiling of the first Sanya Skypump to be installed in the world. 

Located in Barcelona, Spain, the 4-kilowatt wind turbine looks like any other vertical axis wind turbine from a distance. 

Get closer however, and you notice an electric car charging station neatly enclosed in the base of its 42-foot tower. 

Although the turbine itself will generate electricity at wind speeds greater than 7 mph, it does need wind speeds of around 24 mph before it is generating 3 kilowatts, the power generally needed for the slowest level 2, 240-volt charging station. 

Sanya Skypump

Sanya Skypump

Enlarge Photo

At lower wind speeds, or higher level 2 charging loads, the Sanya Skypump can be connected to the grid to pull additional energy as required.

This makes it possible for the wind-powered charging station to offer up to 40 amps -- around 9 kilowatts -- of level 2 charging capability, despite a rated maximum wind turbine power output of 4 kilowatts. 

Although the first to be installed since its launch, the Spanish Sanya Skypump won’t be the last. 

Because of its compact design, the $30,000 Sanya Skypump can be installed in locations where traditional wind turbines cannot, making it ideal for large corporate parking lots.

Urban Green Energy and GE say that more Skypumps will be installed this year at various locations -- including Universities and shopping malls -- in the U.S. 

+++++++++++

Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (10)
  1. I smell a little bit of green-washing here.

    Generally speaking, traditional horizontal axis wind turbines produce more power at a lower cost.

    Also, wind power increases in a cubic relationship with wind speed. This means that you need to locate wind turbines in very windy locations to get anything out of them.

    Let's consider this more "evocative" than practical. Really a symbol of good intend rather than actual good practice.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  2. I guarantee you cannot even define what greenwashing is. How is GE and Urban Green Energy, both companies who have defined themselves through their sustainable practices and providing the world with renewable energy products, using deception to trick the public into thinking they are energy conscious when they truly are not? Do a little research there John and then come back to us. Thanks for trying
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  3. They certainly won't have to put up signs or a billboard to advertise that there is a charging station located under the wind turbine.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  4. Why not just provide 17 solar panels for the cars? It will double as sun shade..
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  5. It won't work at night.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  6. @David: Actually, David, wind tends to come more at night (in the windier precincts of the U.S., anyhow) than during daylight hours. So in some ways, a combined wind-solar station may provide more total energy-generating uptime.

    The nighttime power presents a problem for wind alone because it comes when demand is lowest--which is why utilities want energy storage capability, to hold the electricity until it's needed in peak demand periods.

    Such storage may include bunkers of the same large lithium-ion cells that go into electric-car batteries. If costs come down and lifetime is clearer, it could be a huge win-win for the two industries together.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  7. Let's see how much it costs to charge a car this way:

    4kW x 20% capacity factor = 7,000 kWh/year for 10 year operational life
    $30,000 at 5% ROI for 10 years = $49,000 PV

    $49,000/70,000 kWh = $0.70/kWh (not including ongoing maintenance costs)

    In a 2013 plug-in Prius that travels 3-mi/kWh and 48-mi/gallon..that's equivalent to paying 48-mi x ($0.70/3-mi) = $11.20 per gallon
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  8. Well, at $0.70/KWh, that is much higher than Solar cost.

    But why only 10 year operational life? (Bearing are the only thing that would need replacement or maintenance, assuming no gear box) Also, why only 20% capacity factor? You would assume that they install wind power at a location where wind is frequent and often...
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  9. The operational life of the system is 20 years.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  10. Matt; lets try that analysis with a realistic price for the gasoline used. or better yet, lets move half the oil subsidies to renewables like wind, solar, etc. and see how the TCO converges
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Advertisement

Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you
Go!

Find Green Cars

Go!

Advertisement

 
© 2014 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.
Advertisement