World’s first wind turbine with solar panels on its blades

In the pursuit of sustainable and innovative energy solutions, the unveiling of Soleolico in October 2023, at the Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander, Spain, marked a significant milestone. This unique technology combines the forces of wind and solar energy into a single system, making it the world’s first wind turbine with photovoltaic panels integrated into its blades. Developed over more than a decade of research, with an investment of over 5 million euros and the evolution of more than 30 prototypes, Soleolico wind turbine is a testament to the collaborative effort of brilliant minds and relentless dedication.

Design and technology

Soleolico distinguishes itself with its innovative “sails”—aerodynamic blades equipped with a patented magnetic blade guidance system that optimizes wind orientation, maximizing energy extraction. This integration of wind, solar, and storage generation capabilities allows for 24-hour green energy production. Additionally, the turbine features a unique, patented coating composed of natural agents that absorb and transform CO2, thus cleaning the air we breathe.

Advantages of vertical-axis wind turbines

As a vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT), Soleolico offers several benefits over traditional horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs). These advantages include higher efficiency, the ability to harness different types of winds, and a lower visual and environmental impact. The turbine’s design facilitates easier installation and maintenance, provides greater durability, and optimizes land utilization. Notably, Soleolico wind turbine operates quietly and poses no risk to wildlife, operating at a slow pace of approximately seven revolutions per minute.

Soleolico Wind Turbine with Solar Panels Wind Farm
Research from Oxford Brookes University suggests that efficient, compact vertical axis turbines could outperform traditional horizontal ones by over 15% in future wind farms, especially when paired. Images courtesy Soleolico

Environmental integration and performance

Dubbed the “First Technological Tree,” Soleolico is designed to harmonize with its surroundings, generating clean energy with minimal impact and actively eliminating greenhouse gases. Its wind capacity is notably superior, with performance up to 25% higher than current wind turbines, and the potential for a performance increase of around 15% when installed alongside other Soleolico units.

Versatility and integration

Soleolico wind turbine serves as an optimal solution for both self-consumption and grid-connected generation parks. It can integrate with any energy storage solution on the market and features an advanced battery recharge management system. The turbine’s tower can be custom-coated and 3D-printed to blend more seamlessly with the environment or to achieve a specific aesthetic, utilizing Pure.Tech technology for CO2 absorption.

Soleolico Wind Turbine with Solar Panels Team
Soleolico’s unique blades are coated with Pure.Tech technology, a solution that actively absorbs CO2, contributing to cleaner air with every rotation.

The Soleolico advantage

According to Pablo Fernández de la Torre, CEO and partner of Soleolico, this technology stands out as a comprehensive solution that addresses the basic energy needs of the population: accessibility, sustainability, and stability. The turbine’s design and photovoltaic support offer superior performance, providing a highly competitive energy price. Its environmental credentials are bolstered by low operational speed, noiseless function, and air purification capabilities.

Development plans and market potential

Fernández de la Torre shared ambitious development plans, aiming to cover 1% of the worldwide renewable energy market within ten to fifteen years, translating to the sale of 3-4 million Soleolico units. This goal underscores the company’s vision for a robust, global production capacity. Initial projects and expressions of interest from various institutions and companies, including IKEA, highlight Soleolico’s potential across diverse geographical areas.

Geographic suitability

Roberto de Arquer, Marketing Manager and partner, emphasized Soleolico’s operational efficiency in regions with constant wind, high solar irradiation, non-extreme temperatures, and minimal shade. Ideal for installation in areas with low energy access, optimal resource availability, limited space, or high visual sensitivity, Soleolico represents a versatile and environmentally friendly energy solution.

Soleolico Wind Turbine with Solar Panels Geographical Suitability
Soleolico excels across various settings, from seaside to cityscapes, due to its versatile design that maximizes wind and solar energy harvesting.

Conclusion

Soleolico’s innovative approach to combining wind and solar energy production in a single turbine is a significant advancement in the renewable energy sector. With its unique design, environmental benefits, and potential for global impact, Soleolico wind turbine is poised to play a fundamental role in the energy transition. Although pricing information is not specified, the technology’s benefits suggest a valuable investment in the future of sustainable energy. As the world moves towards greener energy solutions, Soleolico stands as a beacon of innovation and sustainability.

Source: Soleolico

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