Scientists from the University of Liverpool have upgraded an everyday wind turbine with innovative set of spinning solar blades. The entire team, led by Dr. Joe King, unveiled an innovative solution to perplex critics who state wind turbines are useful only while the wind is blowing. Well, their design even doubles the functionality of conventional turbines by integrating photovoltaic technology. The team however faced some problems. There was a real anxiety that the turbines could blind aircraft pilots and anyone living in the vicinity. Besides this, on hot days, the turbines would create lethal solar rays, which could set buildings on fire if concentrated. In order to cope up with such issues, scientists invented a tinted solar panel that does not mirror sunbeams. The team is now resolving on where to install their model solar wind turbine. “We are confident that we could transform the world’s vital renewable energy needs”, said Dr. King.
However the team has faced problems. Early computer simulations found that the turbine mounted solar panels would cause blinding beams of light to shoot out across the surrounding area. There was a real concern that the turbines could potentially blind aircraft pilots as well as anyone living in the vicinity. Not just that, but on a particularly hot day the turbines would generate ‘lethal’ solar rays that could set buildings on fire if concentrated.
“The last thing we want is for our turbines to cause plane crashes and fires, so we’ve devised a ‘tinted’ solar panel that doesn’t reflect sun beams. Our early prototype looked like a massive disco ball when it is was operational, but our solution now prevents that.”
The team is now deciding where to install their prototype solar wind turbine. “Due to the poor amount of sunlight in the UK, we’re definitely looking abroad,” Dr. King said. “Personally I believe an ideal place would be Ireland. It’s close by, has strong winds, wonderful summers, plus my family live there so I can go visit!” Expect the solar wind turbine, dubbed the “Heat Waver”, to be set for a summer installation in a few months. “We still have several tests to run,” Dr. King said, “but we are confident we can transform the world’s renewable energy needs. Just think what our turbines could do in countries like Australia.”