The proposed portable energy generation system will enable the conversion of either wind energy or solar energy, whichever is available, into useful electricity to power increasingly vital electronics. It is a collapsible wind turbine, integrated with solar cells.
The proposed technology utilizes an innovative design to combine a wind turbine with solar cells, so that the total system is both light weight and compact to enable personal carry. It is a downward wind turbine with the hub housing in a teardrop shape upstream of the blades, so that this system adjusts itself to face the wind automatically without the need (and weight/complexity) of an actuated yaw system. The front face of the hub housing has a pivot fixture for the wind turbine tower, which consists of a telescoping carbon fiber rod for compact carriage. The telescoping tower pivots to line up with the hub housing longitudinal axis in the carry configuration, which is to be subsequently enclosed by the carriage cylinder wall, formed by the four pultruded carbon fiber blades.
Flexible solar cells are integrated in the blade surfaces, so the total system can still generate energy even when wind speed is low. The system has multiple work modes. When there is both wind and sunlight, the system can extract wind and solar energy at the same time in a dual power mode. In low wind condition, the blades can be positioned side by side to form a sizable solar panel, which is to be mounted onto the top of the tower in solar only mode.
Based on initial design, the proposed technology is capable of generating 300 Watts at a weight of 15 lb and the size of a personal camera tripod. This technology can be used for disaster relief, emergency response, field survival, etc.
The technology is scalable to satisfy more challenging energy needs. A prototype is constructed to prove feasibility, as shown in the accompanying video.