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The WindTamer Corporation has come up with what looks like the kitchen sink of renewable energy, combining a wind turbine with a micro-mini smart grid, solar energy and power storage. The U.S. Army' RDECOM (Research, Development and Engineering Command) has been testing a portable version of the wind turbine system, called "Power on Demand," and so far they

Microgrids

All-in-One Portable Wind Turbine Tested (and Liked) by U.S. Army

The WindTamer Corporation has come up with what looks like the kitchen sink of renewable energy, combining a wind turbine with a micro-mini smart grid, solar energy and power storage. The U.S. Army’ RDECOM (Research, Development and Engineering Command) has been testing a portable version of the wind turbine system, called “Power on Demand,” and so far they

U.S. Army RDECOM test new WindTamer portable wind turbine system at Aberdeen Proving GroundThe WindTamer Corporation has come up with what looks like the kitchen sink of renewable energy, combining a wind turbine with a micro-mini smart grid, solar energy and power storage. The U.S. Army’ RDECOM (Research, Development and Engineering Command) has been testing a portable version of the wind turbine system, called “Power on Demand,” and so far they like what they are seeing. WindTamer has also installed stationery versions for several small businesses. The appeal of the system is its ability to smooth out spikes in supply and demand, and deliver a steady and reliable stream of energy by switching seamlessly between multiple sources.

WindTamer’s Mobile Wind Turbine System

The mobile version of the WindTamer was developed by the company in partnership with RDECOM engineers. The turbine, which looks like an oversized bullhorn, is mounted on a trailer that is also equipped with solar panels and an onboard energy storage system. If needed the system can draw power from the grid but the goal is to have a rapidly deployable, fully mobile off-grid system that can supply 100% of its users’ energy needs from wind and solar, using an advanced storage system to smooth out spikes in supply and demand. The system was installed last August at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and so far RDECOM officials are pleased with the results, as reported at length by Gene Marcial over at forbes.com.

Micro Wind Turbines for Everyone

Marcial also describes WindTamer’s business angle, which is to provide individual companies with their own energy storage capabilities along with wind and solar power, so they can avoid drawing power from the grid during the more expensive peak use periods. This could make the system cost-competitive with conventional energy even in locations where wind and solar access are not nearly sufficient to meet a company’s overall demand. The available wind and solar only need to be enough to recharge the batteries between peak use periods.

Peak Demand and Cheap Energy

WindTamer execs are not the only ones realizing that alternative energy can be more cost-competitive by focusing on peak demand pricing. Researchers at the University of California, for example, have come up with a solar installation calculator linked Google Earth, which enables homeowners and solar installers to calculate the most efficient angle for solar panels during peak use periods when grid-supplied energy is more expensive.

Note: WindTamer’s Board of Directors has approved a name change for the company, to Arista Power, Inc., pending approval at an upcoming shareholder meeting.

Image: RDECOM logo courtesy U.S. Army RDECOM on flickr.com.

 
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Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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