In the race to transition to all-electric powertrains, the question of where the electricity will come from is often pushed aside, leading to fears that the supposedly clean EVs of the future will in fact rely on carbon-producing fossil fuel power stations when it comes time to plug in at a charging station. To that end, new and innovative renewable energy solutions are needed to ensure the EV transition has a positive impact on emissions. Now, a new hybrid power generation system that utilizes both wind and solar energy will make its debut at the 2023 Detroit Auto Show.
Framed as the world’s only hybrid power station, the Wind and Solar Tower incorporates a vertical axis wind turbine capable of utilizing wind from any direction, which is paired with a rotating, circular solar panel. This combo is capable of providing energy in a variety of weather conditions, and is not required to be connected to the broader energy grid, making it a good choice for remote areas. In addition, the solar cells are self-cleaning, upping the efficiency that much more. The new system can be integrated with an EV charging station.
A 1:18 scale model of the Wind and Solar Tower will be on display at the 2023 North American International Auto Show (better known as the Detroit Auto Show) in conjunction with the Plug and Play Startup Arena at Automobili-D. According to the company that developed the Wind and Solar Tower, a full-sized tower was built and operated for five years, supposedly surviving two hurricanes during that time. The combination of solar and wind power generation can provide 252 kilowatts, serving as a charging station with Level 4 capabilities at 380 kilowatts and 1,000 volts. The charging station can also include up to a megawatt of battery storage.
“With present federal rules calling for a high level of EV sales, it’s obvious we simply don’t, or won’t, have the power to charge the electrics,” said the inventor of The Tower, Jim Bardia. “Without significant infrastructure changes, utilities will burn more fuel to power today’s electric plants or build more dirty plants to try to come close to generating the amount of electricity needed. Both of these are expensive, dirty and backward solutions.”