CA2975109A1 - Solar and wind energy collection system and method - Google Patents

Solar and wind energy collection system and method Download PDF

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Publication number
CA2975109A1
CA2975109A1 CA2975109A CA2975109A CA2975109A1 CA 2975109 A1 CA2975109 A1 CA 2975109A1 CA 2975109 A CA2975109 A CA 2975109A CA 2975109 A CA2975109 A CA 2975109A CA 2975109 A1 CA2975109 A1 CA 2975109A1
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solar
energy
wind
wind turbine
power
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CA2975109A
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CA2975109C (en
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Dawn Lavigne-Ottman
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Dawn Lavigne-Ottman
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Priority to US201461996023P priority Critical
Priority to US61/996,023 priority
Application filed by Dawn Lavigne-Ottman filed Critical Dawn Lavigne-Ottman
Priority to PCT/US2015/027773 priority patent/WO2015168008A1/en
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F03MACHINES OR ENGINES FOR LIQUIDS; WIND, SPRING, OR WEIGHT MOTORS; PRODUCING MECHANICAL POWER OR A REACTIVE PROPULSIVE THRUST, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • F03DWIND MOTORS
    • F03D7/00Controlling wind motors
    • F03D7/02Controlling wind motors the wind motors having rotation axis substantially parallel to the air flow entering the rotor
    • F03D7/026Controlling wind motors the wind motors having rotation axis substantially parallel to the air flow entering the rotor for starting-up
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02SGENERATION OF ELECTRIC POWER BY CONVERSION OF INFRA-RED RADIATION, VISIBLE LIGHT OR ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT, e.g. USING PHOTOVOLTAIC [PV] MODULES
    • H02S10/00PV power plants; Combinations of PV energy systems with other systems for the generation of electric power
    • H02S10/10PV power plants; Combinations of PV energy systems with other systems for the generation of electric power including a supplementary source of electric power, e.g. hybrid diesel-PV energy systems
    • H02S10/12Hybrid wind-PV energy systems
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05BINDEXING SCHEME RELATING TO WIND, SPRING, WEIGHT, INERTIA OR LIKE MOTORS, TO MACHINES OR ENGINES FOR LIQUIDS COVERED BY SUBCLASSES F03B, F03D AND F03G
    • F05B2220/00Application
    • F05B2220/70Application in combination with
    • F05B2220/708Photoelectric means, i.e. photovoltaic or solar cells
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E10/00Energy generation through renewable energy sources
    • Y02E10/50Photovoltaic [PV] energy
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E10/00Energy generation through renewable energy sources
    • Y02E10/70Wind energy
    • Y02E10/72Wind turbines with rotation axis in wind direction

Abstract

A solar and wind energy collection system, wherein solar power is gathered to perform the task of restarting the wind turbine. The system includes a wind turbine assembly with the wind turbine assembly including a plurality of wind turbine blades, a control system, a wind turbine blade positioning motor, a support structure, a solar energy collecting system including a thin film solar amorphous silicon photovoltaic material secured to the wind turbine support structure, and a wind turbine blade positioning control system that is operatively connected to the solar energy collecting system and the wind turbine blade positioning motor.

Description

TITLE:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR RESTARTING A WIND TURBINE
USING CLEAN ENERGY
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119 to provisional application Serial No. 61/996,023 filed April 28, 2014, herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to wind turbines. More specifically, the present invention relates to a solar and wind energy collection system, including a solar energy collecting system adhered to a wind turbine's tower wherein the solar energy system is preferably including thin film photovoltaics and where one or more photovoltaic cells collect energy from light to generate electricity. This locally generated electricity is then used for restarting the wind turbine thus increasing the reliability of wind turbines to generate power.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Wind energy power has been used for centuries. Initially in mills, then for pumping water and more recently, wind turbines have been introduced to generate electricity for use by consumers. In recent decades, wind energy has become a viable source of energy production and it is in the mix of energy options provided to a consumer by electric companies who have realized greater stability by the inclusion of renewable energies into their of energy generation profile.
In recent years, this significant increase in the use of wind energy, a renewable energy, is due to environmental and economic concerns coupled with improvements in technology that have greatly increased the efficiency and cost per kilowatt (kW) of these systems. Improvements in both materials and turbine design have increased the efficiency and decreased the cost per kW of power produced.
However the approach still has certain drawbacks, including the dependence on variable environmental factors like adequate wind speed and the cost competitiveness with fossil fuels. Once factored in, other costs such as pollution and environmental damage give reason to pause and encourage an increased use of renewable energy sources.

Besides wind turbine systems, other environmentally friendly systems have also made great strides of late. For example, solar power has benefitted from the development of thin film photovoltaic materials. Such solar collectors are less expensive to produce and easier to install and work with. Also, their efficiencies are making giant steps forward making them more effective on a per area basis. Still, the generation of solar power is not yet cost-competitive (without factoring in environmental costs like pollution) with fossil fuels.
In addition, this approach relies on at least one variable environmental factor (sunshine) which is not always available. For example, at night, when no sunshine is available, solar systems will provide no power, thus potentially interrupting energy flow if relied on too heavily in a grid system. One solution has been to co-locate wind and solar energy collection systems.
The co-locating of solar and wind energy collection systems in a single hybrid power generator has advantages such as fewer interruptions in energy generation. Sun and wind availability are always correlated at a wind turbine's location, yet when both solar and wind systems are working simultaneously greater energy generation per unit area of land and increased peak production per unit area of land occurs. This decreases the overall costs of production and reduces costs associated with maintenance due to economies of scale.
Accordingly, there is a need for a system that generates electrical power from renewable sources and that maximizes energy generation while minimizing interruptions due to environmental factors. There is a need for a system that generates energy from renewable sources at an improved cost per kW.
Currently, most wind based power systems are idled at various times and during various conditions. For example, many wind turbine power systems cannot operate below a certain wind speed. In other systems, it may not be desirable to operate the wind turbine when wind speeds exceed a certain velocity. Regardless of the reason, ultimately, these idled wind turbines must be restarted.
Most large wind turbine power systems are operatively connected to a power grid system which is routing power from power plants to end users. Today's power plants are predominately fossil fuel based systems. Power for a wind turbine restart is currently taken
2 from the existing power in the grid, meaning wind turbine systems are likely restarted using power originating at a fossil fuel based power plant.
Additionally, relying on grid power for a wind turbine restart means relying on grid infrastructure. Downed power lines, transformer issues and the like can cause disruption not only to the end user, but can also prevent a restart of a wind turbine power system that could otherwise provide power to the grid.
When a wind turbine is shut down due to wind speeds or other weather conditions, the wind turbine's blades are turned out of the wind by performing a yaw maneuver. This yaw maneuver protects the internal mechanical workings typically found in the nacelle of the wind turbine. Yet, once the weather has passed and the wind speeds are slowed, the wind turbine blades can be turned back into the wind and the turbine restarts power generation. To turn the wind turbine blades back into the wind, another yaw maneuver is executed. As a matter of practice, the power required to execute this maneuver is pulled from grid power and this maneuver is delayed when grid power is unavailable.
That is, the wind turbine cannot execute the yaw maneuver to provide power, if power is already unavailable, thus leaving an already disabled energy provider without the ability to provide power when it is most needed.
One of the advantages of renewable energy is that it usually is available when other power is not. Without the restart of the wind turbine, this advantage is lost to the energy provider/power company and the consumer.
Recently, the solution of adopting a non-renewable energy source was adopted as diesel generators were installed in wind turbines. Yet this "solution" is fraught with challenges including the storage and supply of the diesel fuel plus the need for physical manpower to start the diesel generator. Being man-power intensive presents a set of problems immediately following foul weather when the movement of man and materials is often disabled. Moreover, diesel generators are not a renewable energy source, thus turning the renewable energy solution presented by wind and/or solar power into one still reliant on a dirty fuel start. In addition, the maintenance and fuel management of these diesel generators drains both manpower and financial resources as the generators are maintained and fuel is delivered to and stored at the wind farm. All in all, this solution, although workable, has many flaws.
3 However, according to the Wind Turbine Systems Engineering Meeting at NREL
in 2013, the restart power of a wind turbine has moved to using Diesel generators and away from using grid power to ensure that wind power continues to be produced when grid power is unavailable to restart the turbine.
The use of wind turbines to generate electricity is well known in the prior art. These turbines generally include a vertical tower which supports a turbine operatively connected to a propeller which spins on a horizontal axis or to another device designed to take advantage of the moving wind. Alternative designs and orientations are shown and discussed here.
Known prior art wind turbines with a solar component include systems such as that shown and described in U.S. Patent No. 6,372,978 entitled Wind/Sun Solar Collection System, which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference. This system uses separate solar panels and wind turbines requiring a vast footprint. However, many wind turbine "farms" are installed on land which is also put to other uses. For example, many wind turbine farms are located in agricultural areas where farming of the surrounding land is also desired. It is therefore desirable to provide a solar and wind collection system which minimizes its overall footprint and thus the amount of land required for its use.
Similarly, U.S. Patent No. 6,097,104 entitled Hybrid Energy Recovery System, which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference, describes a system that collects energy through separate solar and wind generators. Again, the solar panels and separate wind turbine take up a large area. Moreover, only enough solar energy is collected to support some energy needs of the wind turbine, such as emergency backup power, but the system is not large enough and does not produce enough power to execute the required yaw maneuver of today's power generating wind turbine. In addition, this design does not support a solar energy collection capability that is added to the wind turbine power for purposes of a hybrid power generation capability as with the present invention.
Attempts have also been made to provide power generation from two renewable energy sources, but they have major structural difference as with the system design disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 4,551,631 entitled Wind and Solar Electric Generating Plant, which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference, where the system includes a separate wind generator or turbine which has a roof or other similar structure covering that supports an array of solar cells. The system uses a wind turbine which rotates about a
4 vertical shaft. Such arrangements require a much larger footprint and thus tend to take up too much space for large scale use. Although the platform of solar cells may provide an additional source of energy when the sun is shining, the platform also serves to divert the natural wind flow thereby altering the effectiveness of the wind turbine. In addition, such a system results in additional cost for the construction of the roof platform, as well as added maintenance for the additional structure. Furthermore, many areas of the country, which receive substantial snowfall, are not well suited for utilizing these systems.
Other attempts have been made to include solar panels on the fan blades of a wind turbine as in U.S. Patent No. 5,254,876 entitled Combined Solar and Wind Powered Generator with Spiral Blades, which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference, and U.S. Patent No. 7,045,702 entitled Solar-Paneled Windmill, which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference. Similarly, in U.S. Publication No. 2008/0047270 Al entitled Solar Windmill, which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference, where the solar panels are mounted on the surface of the flaps and fins. The inclusion of the solar panel or cells on the fan blades, fins or flaps limits the solar energy collection area and does not generate enough power to execute the required yaw maneuver. In addition, it does not create the effectiveness of combining the two renewable energy sources for a hybrid power generation capability. In these designs the solar power does not augment the efficiency of the wind turbine's power generation capability as does the hybrid wind and solar energy collection systems of the present invention.
In U.S. Patent No. 7,345,374 entitled Decorative Windmill With Solar Panel, which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference, the solar energy collector is sized and selected to provide for the functional requirements of electrical devices associated with the windmill use or for the decoration of the windmill only. The solar generation capability is not used to be part of a hybrid energy generation system as with the present invention nor does it generate enough power for the required restart power.
In U.S. Patent No. 8,432,053 entitled Wind Turbine Solar Control System, which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference, the solar energy system does not provide the power required to execute the yaw maneuver of wind turbine blades.
It is thus desirable to develop a new and improved wind turbine system which would overcome these difficulties while providing better and more advantageous overall results.
5 OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide a wind turbine system that maximizes the use of renewable energy to restart the wind turbine's blades via the required yaw maneuver.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a wind turbine output augmentation while using renewable energy, specifically thin film solar photovoltaics.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a solar power system that is used for reliable restarts.
It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are merely exemplary of the invention, and are intended to provide an overview or framework for understanding the nature and character of the invention as it is claimed. The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the invention, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate the invention; and together with the description serve to explain the principles and operation of the invention.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
An alternative that stays in the realm of power generation utilizing renewable energy is presented. As in the present invention the use of solar power is a better option than current diesel generators because it does not require someone to physically access the wind turbine to restart it and it does not require the storage and maintenance of fuel at the wind turbine's site; it is a less-expensive (free) way to restart the wind turbine compared to buying the grid power from the energy company or purchasing diesel fuel because it is a RENEWABLE-ENERGY solution; and it adds value by providing solar output power to augment wind power as output of the wind turbine.
In the present invention, the solar power generated is the power required to support wind turbine operations; specifically, the power required to execute the yaw maneuver of the wind turbine blades to restart wind power energy generation.
The use of solar power improves the overall efficiency of the power generating system as well as achieving an increase in the dependency of the overall power generating system. Upon conversion of the solar energy, not only are restart power functions executable, but ongoing supplemental power generation is achieved. This hybrid wind
6 turbine employing this solar photovoltaic system increases the maximum energy output of the wind turbine.
The solution presented by this invention is to use solar power to restart the wind turbine. Accordingly, this solution utilizes solar photovoltaics creating a hybrid wind turbine design. The solar power produced generates the required power to restart the wind turbine. This solution by using solar power is a renewable solution to this problem and is a less dangerous, less man-power intensive, and more reliable solution. Also, the solar power system can be electronically connected so that it is remotely activated and thereby does not need to wait until a technician can start a generator. In addition, the power produced by the solar photovoltaics can be added to the wind turbine output thereby achieving a higher overall output in renewable energy production.
The invention is applicable to wind turbines and will be described in relation to wind turbines, however, the invention has broader applications and may also be adapted for use in other power systems.
In these respects, the hybrid wind and solar turbine according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provide an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of generating the restart power to execute a wind turbine's blade's yaw maneuver as well as augmenting the generated power. The purpose of the present invention is to provide a new hybrid wind turbine and solar PV method which has many of the advantages of the turbines and includes new features resulting from a new hybrid wind and solar turbine which is not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by any of the prior art turbines, either alone or in any combination thereof.
In general, the main purpose of the present invention is to provide power for the wind turbine yaw maneuver and a more efficient and dependable power generation system utilizing wind and solar power generation and having features allowing the opportunity to harvest two renewable energy types into a hybrid power generation capability.
This makes a wind turbine more fault-tolerant and increases its dependability as a power source.
The present invention relates to a solar based power system to restart a wind turbine's power production/generation. This is an environmentally friendly combination of wind turbine and solar energy collectors that restart a wind turbines after the blades are stationary. Under certain wind conditions the blades of the wind turbine are stopped. When
7
8 PCT/US2015/027773 the conditions no longer exist, the blades need to be rotated into the wind so that the blades face into the wind and collect wind energy. Turing the wind turbine's blades is called a yaw maneuver. The power required to execute the yaw maneuver is generated from a thin-film solar photovoltaic system secured to a common support structure; the wind turbine's tower.
When not required for the yaw maneuver, the same thin-film solar photovoltaic system generates an output that augments the power generation of the wind turbine. The hybrid energy collection system includes the wind turbine and a thin film solar energy collecting system that is adhered to the wind turbine tower. To show the effectiveness of the solar power system's ability to generate the required power to maneuver the wind turbine's blades, an academic analysis is provided.
This hybrid wind turbine's energy output is controlled by a power management program and may be combined with the solar power energy that is generated from solar photovoltaic material through an electrical subsystem associated with the wind energy collection system, an electrical subsystem associated with the solar energy collection system, and/or a combination and control subsystem conductively coupled to both the electrical subsystem associated with the wind turbine and the electrical subsystem associated with the solar energy collection system.
The power that is used does not "start" the blades but it is used by the rotational blade assemble to turn the turbine blades into the wind and change the pitch of the blades so that the wind can start the blades turning. While turbines are different based upon manufacturer and when manufactured, most have 690 volt systems and there are typically three 7.5Kw (or 22.5 kilowatts total) delta motors connected to turn the turbine's blades change the yaw and therefore this system may be applied to various types of wind turbines.
Technological advances have allowed us to increase the power output generated by a wind turbine by increasing the length of a wind turbine's blades. To support this increase in blade length, the height of a wind turbine tower continues to increase thereby increasing the surface area upon which to attach the thin film solar photovoltaics. In addition, technological advances in thin film solar photovoltaic efficiencies will result in larger augmentations to the hybrid wind turbine's output.
Since 1980, wind turbine towers have gone from 24 meters to 114 meters in height.
Using a 60 meter tall wind turbine tower, the total surface area is calculated to be 258 square meters. Considering the power needed for the yaw maneuver and using a commercially available thin film solar photovoltaic ribbon of cadium-telleride on an amorphous silicon thin film solar photovoltaics, the power needed to support this maneuver can be produced as each 144 Watt ribbon will cover 2.16 square meters of the wind turbine tower. When the available surface area of the wind turbine tower (258 sq.
meters) is covered, the solar power produced will be enough to support the yaw maneuver of the wind turbine blades. Academically an output of more than 50 kilowatts will be realized and the wind turbine yaw maneuver requires 17 kilowatts.
Through the addition of solar PV to a wind turbine that is the hybrid renewable energy wind and solar turbine of the present invention there is a decrease in wind power production intermittency with an increase in the power generation capability.
The present invention is unique compared to other designs as it utilizes the wind turbine tower surface area to increase the wind turbine's power generation capability. To attain this, the present invention generally comprises a hollow tower with an outer shell constructed to support solar cells as well as provider a support tower for the wind turbine. By using the surface area of the cone-like structure of most wind power generation turbines, we have a large surface for the placement of solar PV. By integrating PV materials into the wind turbine support structure, we achieve an increase in the wind generator's power generation capability and an enhancement of the wind generator's dependability.
Although some of the prior art provide a source of wind and solar power generators in one location, none of each of the prior art references a system including solar photovoltaic material on the turbine tower body. By placing the solar photovoltaic material on the tower or body of the wind turbine, there is no increase in the footprint, whether the wind turbine is located on land or on water, with the present invention.
On the wind turbine tower with the placement of the solar PV material in a partially vertical axis, there is a reduced risk of being covered in snow or debris due to this vertical placement and thereby reduces the maintenance. In addition, the vertical placement along the body of the tower ensures that the natural wind flow is not diverted and therefore has little or no interference with wind dynamics or the effectiveness of the wind turbine.
The present invention intends to solve the problem of what to do when the wind does not blow and the potential for power outage is greatest. It provides a workable solution for a large portion of that time and has the advantage of augmenting the power
9 production capability when the wind does blow. As solar energy use becomes more popular as an environmentally non-invasive form of power generation, users of this technology save money while gaining a power source that is dependable.
The Return on Investment (ROT) of wind turbine power generation capabilities can be reduced as the power generation potential is increased by the present invention. This increase in efficiency makes hybrid wind turbines more cost effective than any prior art.
For example, on a wind farm, this hybrid wind and solar power generation capability exceeds the power generation capability of the wind turbines while keeping the landscape or seascape footprint the same. This hybrid systems employing solar and wind power preferably will incur no or little energy costs and once installed, will be comparatively easy and inexpensive to maintain.
The present invention relates to a solar photovoltaic power generation capability to augment a wind power generation capability. The problem the invention solves is that of when the wind does not blow, a wind turbine produces no power. The solution of the present invention is to use another renewable energy capability for power generation in the absence of wind and the present invention uses solar energy. The use of solar energy as a source of energy is well known within the art. The present invention was conceived to solve the problem so that when the sun is shining, even if the wind is not blowing, power can be produced.
The present invention can be used on any wind power generation capability supported by a self-supported tower. The invention is made by adding Solar PV
to the outside of the wind turbine tower, electrically wiring it to the inside where power collection takes place as the wind turbine generated power is combined for a total power output generation capability. This capability is based on two main criteria:
the efficiency by which the photovoltaic material converts sun energy to electrical energy and the size of the solar array.
The dependability of wind power generation is enhanced by partially addressing the concern of the loss of a power generation capability when the wind does not blow. When the wind is not blowing, solar energy is collected during the daytime via photovoltaic material or solar panels electrically connected to the output of the wind turbine. This invention makes wind power generation a more dependable energy source for renewable power generation.

The present invention is used to produce power during the daylight hours and when the wind blows. The solar PV will produce electrical power during daylight hours. If the wind is blowing, the wind turbine will produce electrical power and the power produced by the Solar PV will add to the power production capability of the wind turbine.
If the wind is not blowing, the Solar PV will ensure that the wind turbine continues to have a power production capability, thereby reducing outages.
In an embodiment of the present invention, the use of power plastic solar photovoltaic material can be placed on the portion of the tower, which receives direct sunlight. This embodiment is presented for ease of construction as the solar PV material is lighter in weight and less rigid and is less costly. This embodiment will reduce the upfront cost of the hybrid capability while having the flexibility of this solar PV
material.
The placement of the solar PV in one embodiment of the present invention includes the use of thin film solar photovoltaic material and this reduces the cost of the PV material and the upfront costs of the hybrid capability. Thin film solar photovoltaic having a good solar efficiency in shaded areas can be placed on the portion of the wind turbine tower where there is relatively little direct sunlight. By adding thin film solar PV
to the shaded portion of the wind turbine tower, an increase in the solar energy production capability will be realized.
The present invention has a wide range of uses from large commercial wind generation capabilities to the small wind power generator. In addition, the present invention could be used for wind turbine towers located on land or on water.
It is anticipated that the water-based hybrid wind turbine would produce more power than the land-based hybrid wind turbine due to the light reflective qualities of the water which would increase the solar photovoltaic system's power production capability.
Further advantages of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuing description. The present invention provides renewable energy to the motor of a wind turbine's blade control system. The start-up of the blades allows the wind turbine to operate more continuously, generating more energy. This solar power system may be applied to various types of wind turbines whose blades that are run on an electric motor.

The system would use sun and wind power to more efficiently generate electricity.
The system could be set up so that each wind turbine has a dedicated solar power system and control system.
However, the system could be designed to share certain elements or to share an array of elements. For example, a wind farm comprising a group of wind turbines could utilize the power of a different wind turbine's solar restart system.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Features and aspects of the present invention will be better understood and will become apparent when consideration is given to the detailed description that follows with reference to the drawing, wherein:
Figure 1 is a first embodiment of a wind turbine's tower with the addition of solar photovoltaic according to the present invention.
Figure 2 illustrates an embodiment of a two wind turbines in different positions on their respective wind turbine towers to show an example of the yaw maneuver according to the present invention.
Figure 3 is a block diagram of the electrical circuit of the solar power energy flow to the rotational blade electrical circuit assemble to support the wind turbine's restart and also details the combined wind power and solar power output.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
The present invention will be described as it applies to its preferred embodiment. It is not intended that the present invention be limited to the described embodiment. It is intended that the invention cover all modifications and alternatives which may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention.
The energy system according to the present invention includes a solar energy system and a wind energy system where the solar energy system is used to generate the power required to execute a yaw maneuver to restart wind power generation.
When not required to restart the wind turbine, the solar energy production augments the wind turbine power output creating a hybrid energy output which is managed by the combination system. The operation of the present invention can be monitored with user-controlled software, referred to herein as a control system In operation, the control system controls and coordinates the solar energy system, the wind energy system and the combination system.
Referring now to Figure 1 in the drawings, the preferred embodiment of a hybrid wind turbine and solar photovoltaic system 10 according to the present invention is illustrated. Hybrid wind and solar power generation system preferably comprises of a tower or frame 14, a wind turbine12, and a solar photovoltaic assembly 22.
Referring now to Figure 2 in the drawings, the preferred embodiment of the wind turbine and solar photovoltaic system 10 according to the present invention is illustrated beside the same embodiment with the wind turbine's blades in the yawed position. Shown are the tower 14, the wind turbine 12, and the solar photovoltaic assembly 22.
Referring to Figure 3 in the drawings, the electrical system block diagram according to the present invention is illustrated. The major structural parts of the wind turbine of Figure 1 with solar on tower 10 are: the wind turbine assembly 12;
the wind turbine tower 14 and the solar photovoltaic assembly 22 are the wind electrical system 30;
the solar electrical system 40; the combination system 50, and the control system 60. The solar photovoltaic and the wind turbine generated power are fed to the Power Converter 44 of the Control System 60 located inside of the wind turbine tower 14, as shown in Figure 1, where the output is fed back to the wind turbine's yaw maneuver systems in the nacelle 20 when needed or are combined into a single output power by the combination system 50, as shown in Figure 3, which is inside the wind turbine tower 14.
The wind energy system 12, as shown in Figure 1, preferably comprising of a wind energy collection system, a control system, and a wind energy conversion system is preferred. In addition, the wind energy system may include a synchronous power generating capability (as in grid tied systems) or non-synchronous power generating capability (as in stand-alone systems).The wind energy collection system 12, as shown in Figures 1 and 2, preferably comprises of a tower 14, and a wind turbine assembly 16, 18, 20. The tower 14 is preferably a solid structure or a lattice frame structure made up of legs and cross members. The wind assembly 16, 18, 20 is preferably attached to the top of the tower 14 with a rotational blade assembly 16 attached to a swivel bracket with a wind vane rigidly attached to the other end of the swivel bracket to keep the rotational blade assembly 16 always properly facing into the wind when collecting wind energy. The rotational blade assembly 16 is secured to a generally horizontal axle 18 which is operatively connected to a generator 20. A transmission may be included if desired between the axle 18 and the generator 20. The tower 14 is preferably constructed of metal, but may be constructed of plastic, wood or any other suitable material as desired.
As shown in Figure 3, the hybrid energy system preferably comprising of a power combination system 50, a control system 60, and a power output system is preferred. This combination process includes power converters 54 and inverters 56 and charge controllers 58 considered standard with wind turbine power production and solar PV power production capabilities. The difference will be the combining network to add these two power generation capabilities outputs together to one hybrid, yet integrated power source.
As also shown in Figure 3, the solar energy system 40 preferably comprising of a solar energy collection system 22, a control system, and a solar energy conversion system is preferred. The solar energy collection system 22 comprises of the solar photovoltaic collectors or cells 24 and other necessary circuitry 52 for receiving and collecting solar energy and converting the solar energy into electrical energy. The solar energy system 40 is preferably conductively coupled with electrical conductors to the control system 60 that directs the generated energy.
In operation, the solar energy collection system 22 preferably converts solar energy into electrical energy. The purpose of the solar energy system 40 is preferably to convert solar energy into electrical energy and to deliver the generated electrical energy to the control system 50, or one or more electrical systems, or a rechargeable electrical power source.
The solar control system 52 preferably comprises circuitry, microprocessors, memory devices, sensors, switches, and other electronic components necessary to partially or fully direct electrical energy from the solar energy collection system 22 to the control system or to the combination system or to other control systems where the electrical energy is needed, or to a rechargeable electrical power source.
As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the solar collectors 24 may be located on any suitable wind turbine tower surface, however it is preferred that the solar collectors 24 be optimally exposed to solar light. In alternative embodiments, a variety of solar photovoltaic materials may be used and arranged to optimize the solar energy collection capability.
However, when the rechargeable electrical power source is fully charged, the solar energy collection system 22 preferably delivers electrical energy to the combination system 50 where the electrical energy is combined with the wind energy produced by the wind turbine and then delivered to the grid as output power. For example, the electrical energy is first directed to power electrical systems to execute the yaw maneuver via the control system 60 or it could be directed to the combination system 50 to produce an output when wind energy production is not possible.
The control system 60 is integrated with the solar energy system 40, the wind energy system 30 and the hybrid energy combination hybrid energy system 50 and the control system 60 to control each system's output and monitor each system's input. For example, when an input of electrical energy is sensed from any system, the input is measured. The measured input is then compared to the desired output. If the measured input exceeds the desired output to an intended source, modifications to the system are made. For instance, should both the solar and wind generators operate at maximum capacity, the power output 70 may likely exceed the allowable output to an electrical grid.
In such situations, the control system will instruct the wind assembly 12, shown in Figure 1, which operates on top of the tower 14 to rotate about the tower 14's vertical axis executing a yaw maneuver and turning the blades out of the wind. Such rotation is accomplished by a positioning motor as is well known in the art. In this manner the wind assembly 12 is no longer facing directly into the wind, but rather is being rotated by only a component of the wind's velocity. Such yawing of the wind assembly 12 will reduce the power output to meet the requirements of the power management program of the control system.
In addition, should the power management program sense there is no wind at the present time, the wind energy system 30 can be shut down to conserve power.
Similarly, should the power management program in the control system detect an input from a photo sensor that it is no longer sunny, the power management program will shut down the solar energy system 40, shown in Figure 3. Finally, the power management program in the control system can also control the distribution of any power generated to ensure all subsystems of the hybrid wind turbine system 10 and the solar photovoltaic system 22 operate within limits as desired.
Electrical power systems would be located within the hollow center of the body of the tower 14, shown in Figure 1, which will also protect them from adverse weather conditions. These systems, shown in Figure 3, include the control system 60, a wind electrical power system 30, a solar electrical power system 40, and a power combination system 50, plus a switch and output 70.
The present invention is a vast improvement to the dependability of wind turbine power production as it substantially reduces power outages caused when the wind does not blow. The efficiency of the wind power generation capability is increased as well. The focus of the present invention is primarily on the use of the power produced by the solar photovoltaic material 24 on the tower 14 of a the wind turbine to restart the wind turbine via a yaw maneuver and the ability of the solar photovoltaic system 10 and, as shown in Figure 1, to combine with the output energy of the wind turbine to produce a hybrid power output solution.
Figure 2 shows two hybrid wind turbine and solar photovoltaic systems 10 with two potential orientations of the wind turbine blades 16. The orientation of the solar photovoltaics 24 are shown in one orientation although the orientation possibilities are many, only one is shown here yet this does not exclude other orientation possibilities.
The solar photovoltaics 24 in Figure 1 can be flexible photovoltaics such as thin film or power plastic or can be integrated into the building material of the sold body tower 14 (shown in Figures 1 and 2) or to the structural elements or members of a lattice tower. The solar photovoltaics 24 can be structures added to the outside of the solid or lattice tower 14.
The solar photovoltaics 24 is electrically coupled to the solar electrical system through small openings in the tower structure. The solar photovoltaic material 24 is preferably placed to fully encircle the tower 14's surface area or placed to efficiently maximize solar energy capture. As described in the embodiments, various types of solar photovoltaics 24 may be combined.
In Figure 1, all electrical coupling takes place inside the tower 14 such as the control system 60 as shown in Figure 3 as well as the wind electrical system 30, the solar photovoltaic electrical system 40 and the combination electrical system 50.
The electrical power systems for the wind turbine and solar photovoltaic system 10 as shown in Figures 1 and 2 would preferably be housed to protect against weather and located in the center of the solid body of the wind turbine tower. The wind turbine and solar photovoltaic system
10 shown in Figure 1 preferably comprises a solid, but generally hollow tower 14 generally constructed of reinforced cement or other suitable material.

The present invention has been described so as to be understood by one of skill in the art who is able to understand that minor variations to the present invention may be done without diverging from the spirit and scope of the invention, which is to be limited only by the claims appended hereto.

Claims (17)

What is claimed is:
1. A solar and wind energy collection system comprising:
a wind turbine assembly having a plurality of wind turbine blades each configured to selectively perform a yaw maneuver, a wind energy collecting system configured to receive and convert wind energy into electrical energy, and a support structure;
a solar energy collecting system including a thin film solar photovoltaic material secured to the wind turbine support structure and configured to receive and convert solar energy into further electrical energy;
a wind turbine blade positioning motor;
a wind turbine control system operably controlling the wind turbine blade positioning motor;
a combination system operatively connected to the solar energy collection system and the wind energy collection system; and a control system configured to provide a desired output of integrated energy output by selectively directing the further electrical energy from the solar energy collecting system to either the plurality of wind turbine blades to perform the yaw maneuver, or to the combination system to augment the electrical energy generated by the wind energy collection system when the yaw maneuver is not required.
2. The solar and wind energy collection system of claim 1 wherein the control system instructs the wind turbine control system to perform the yaw maneuver when the integrated energy output exceeds a maximum allowable output.
3. The solar and wind energy collection system according to claim I wherein the combination system is operatively connected to an energy grid.
4. The solar and wind energy collection system according to claim I wherein the thin film solar photovoltaic cells secured to the support structure fully encircle at least a portion of the support structure.
5. The solar and wind energy collection system according to claim 1 wherein the wind turbine includes one of a synchronous power generating capability or a non-synchronous power generating capability.
6. The solar and wind energy collection system according to claim 1 wherein the solar energy collecting system is configured to be remotely controlled.
7. The solar and wind energy collection system according to claim 1 wherein the wind turbine comprises a plurality of wind turbines; and wherein each of the plurality of wind turbines is associated with a dedicated solar power system and a dedicated control system.
8. The solar and wind energy collection system according to claim 1 wherein the wind turbine comprises a plurality of wind turbines sharing a common power system and common control system.
9. The wind turbine and solar photovoltaic system according to claim 1 further including a power management program.
10. A method of operating a wind turbine, the method comprising the steps of:
generating electrical energy from solar energy with a solar energy collecting system located on a wind turbine support structure, and from wind energy with the wind turbine;
transferring the electrical energy associated with the solar energy from the solar energy collecting system to a motor to perform a yaw maneuver with a wind turbine blade;
and selectively routing the electrical energy from the solar energy to either the motor or an integrated energy output comprising the electrical energy associated with both the solar energy and the wind energy based, at least in part, on a difference between a measured input of the electrical energy and the integrated energy output.
11. The method of claim 10 wherein the integrated energy output is associated with a combination system operatively connected to a solar energy collection system and a wind energy collection system.
12. The method of claim 11 further comprising the step of remotely controlling the solar energy collection system.
13. The method of claim 10 further comprising the step of supplying the integrated energy output to a utility grid.
14. The method of claim 10 further comprising the step of managing the integrated energy output supplied by the wind turbine with a control system.
15. The method of claim 14 wherein the control system is alerted to a grid power shortage.
16. The method of claim 14 wherein the control system automatically causes a modification to a wind turbine blade position based on a condition.
17. The method of claim 16 wherein the condition is a power output maximum condition.
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