There have been numerous attempts before to produce a combo solar+wind power generator, but so far none have met success. Solar panels tend to wear out rather quickly due to the powerful air currents generated by wind turbines, which drastically limits the system’s efficiency.
But now, the combined efforts of the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, the Moscow Power Engineering Institute and a Zelenograd-based solar panel manufacturer have finally borne fruit.
Valery Perevalov and Leonid Primak, the two scientists in charge of the project, told Sputnik that they came up with this concept back in 1998, but it took them nearly two decades to create a working prototype and prove its advantages to prospective buyers.
"Russia is a pretty unique country when it comes to alternative energy. The average wind speed and insolation in our country are much lower than those in leader-states of 'green power' generation like Denmark, so foreign systems of this type usually perform poorly in our parts," Perevalov said.
Furthermore, the new power generator had to be better than its competition to have a chance to compete against coal and oil – two energy resources that are traditionally very popular in Russia.
"And we did it! Even the prototype has an overall efficiency of 40 percent, all the while being practically noiseless. And by calculating the cost of energy produced over a ten-year period, we can basically offer electricity 2.5-3 times cheaper than most energy networks in Russia," the inventor said.
The new power generator is also extremely durable, capable of enduring powerful gusts of wind which are far from uncommon in Russia.
The generator is scheduled to be tested in Kaliningrad Region soon, and the first commercial batch is expected to be produced by the end of 2017.