By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Design
The Sanya Skypump, adds renewables in the mix by offering solar and wind-powered recharging for electric vehicles.
With electric vehicles looking more and more like the way forward, some critics have begun raising concerns over a series of potential problems that may arise.
They're questioning whether a strained and aging electric grid can handle the impending surge in power demands while some are even claiming that the transition to EVs would actually lead to more pollution since much of this electrical power is generated though the burning of coal, another dirty fossil fuel.
As much as proponents of the technology would hate to admit it, these purported consequences are quite legitimate and widely substantiated. For instance, companies have been forced to resort to activating expensive “peaker plants” during intervals of high demands, a problem that can be exacerbated with the arrival of energy-hungry plug-in vehicles. And with as much as half of the grid's electricity coming from coal, more electric cars can mean more coal plants being constructed to meet growing demand.
But that doesn't mean we're locked into these less-than-ideal scenarios. With a little ingenuity, there may soon be more options for renewable sources of electricity.
One novel technology that power giant General Electric is piloting, the Sanya Skypump, adds renewables in the mix by offering solar and wind-powered recharging. The company just announced that it's partner in the project, Urban Green Energy, will be installing the first stations starting this fall in New York, Beijing, and Barcelona in preparation for a planned worldwide roll-out in early 2012.
- Recharge an electric car without plugging in
- New technology may help electric cars charge up quicker
If the Skypump looks familiar, that's because the station is a technological cross between GE’s WattStation and UGE’s Sanya hybrid wind/solar streetlamp, which enables it to function similarly to other plug-in charging stations except it uses a combination of a wind turbine and solar panels to harness energy and convert it into readily usable electricity. It's designed to easily integrate into upcoming construction projects and can be installed in the garage or outside, as well as retrofitted into existing homes. Charging takes four to eight hours and although the hybrid solar and wind power technology won't be enough to offer 100 percent renewable energy, GE Product Manager Michael Mahan says that it will at the very least "offset a significant amount of the usage of a commercial charging site."
While it'll take a lot more than something like the Skypump to quiet the naysayers, the technology does demonstrate that, with a lot of innovation still to be had on all fronts, a clean energy future is very much in the cards.
(via Press Release)
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- $20,000, 350-mile-per-charge electric car only a few years away
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- Video: car’s body frame doubles as an EV battery
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Jul 26, 2011
Well done. Thanks for your pofessional article. In addition to SkyPump, Hummer Wind Turbines are mutil-certified and have being exported to hundreds of countries and areas in the past 10 years.
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I'll bet the profit margin on this is more than 500% of what it cost to build. It is amazing the profits some of these small turbine companies show on just 100 units sold per year. And then there are the tax breaks which allowed GE to pay $0.00 corporate income taxes on over $13 billion earned in 2010. Say what you want about the oil companies tax credits. At least all of them paid something in taxes.
I'd go for this idea and would love having two or three on my 5 acres but we do need to lower the cost so we can actually afford them. Is this really that complicated or has the greed factor once again reared its ugly head? If we can afford it without requiring a second mortgage that we'll never get paid off in 20 years, then I'd jump at using this technology. The same goes as far as all electric cars yet no, Chevy comes up with a $36,000 Volt and is given high praises. Maybe others out there think a $750 a month car payment is no big deal, but that's not what I'd call a payment I can just add to my monthly bills. Why can't we start offering no frill electric cars with an 80 mile range that's big enough to hold my wheelchair and then keep the power topped off with one of these wonderful little pieces of art for a price that won't put us in the poor farm? Am I asking for the impossible?