American Company Develops World's First Solar and Wind-Powered EV Charger

The Wind & Solar Tower 6 photos
Photo: Change Wind Corporation
Magnetic Levitation Bearing technology illustrationIllustration of multi-speed sequential gearbox for wind turbines (patented)Self-cleaning solar panel for Wind and Solar TowerIllustration of Wind and Solar Tower with EV charging points installedAn older prototype of the Wind and Solar Tower without solar panels installed
An American company has presented a device that is meant to offer a solution to installing more EV chargers in places where the electrical grid is not in stellar condition. Called Wind & Solar Tower, the unit is a station that combines wind energy and solar energy, thus two types of renewable energy, with a megawatt battery and six EV quick-charging posts.
The entire system is 82-feet (24.9 meters) tall, but only occupies two square meters (21.5 square feet) of ground for itself, and it is imagined to have six charging points installed.

Those points are meant to allow the simultaneous charging of six EVs with up to 20 kW each. Its inventor initially set out to improve traditional wind turbines for farm use, but decided to use their skills to provide a solution to a different problem.

As Jim Bardia explained, conventional wind turbines are not efficient at generating power if they face gentle gusts of wind, so he first worked on a way to improve those. Both the Vertical Axis Wind Turbines and the Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines were examined. The company, Change Wind Corporation, decided to go for a distinctive design.

Eventually, he and his development team, which included friends and colleagues with whom he shared experience in motorsport, managed to build a model that could achieve that goal. The first model was deployed for five years in Pennsylvania, where it survived two hurricanes.

According to the inventor, the Wind and Solar Tower is more effective than conventional wind turbines due to its use of powerful permanent magnets, which are deployed within a floating-bearing levitation hub. The idea is that technology eliminates contact between moving parts, as well as reduces friction, which means an increase in the electrical output curve of the installation.

For further optimization, these towers were equipped with a multi-speed sequential gearbox, which is operated by a computer and helps generate electricity in wind speeds as low as 5 mph (ca. 8 kph), but also works in wind speeds as high as 75 mph (ca. 121 kph). Both existing turbine technologies cannot operate under the described conditions, Change Wind Corporation claims.

When not charging an electric vehicle, the energy generated from the new type of wind turbine is stored into an on-site battery array that has a capacity of 1,000 kW (one megawatt). Otherwise, excess energy is sent into the grid. Unlike other wind turbines, this tower also integrates a solar panel, which has a self-cleaning function for optimal performance.

We should note that other wind turbines have been adapted to charge vehicles before, while other companies have developed solutions to store renewable energy for later use. There are also solar-powered EV chargers out there, but none of the systems we know of have combined all these ideas into a single unit, as is the case with the Wind & Solar Tower.

According to its creators, the WST can generate 169,000 kilowatt-hours of non-polluting electricity each year, and the resulting resource may be used for over 600,000 miles (ca. 965,606 km) of pollution-free driving. That is the best-case scenario, where up to 8,400 EVs are topped-up each year from the tower, which allows for up to six vehicles to be charged at the same time.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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