Driving through western Pennsylvania on interstate 99, you will see large wind turbines perched atop the Allegheny Mountains. Driving east on the turnpike, you can see a dairy processing facility that uses solar energy collected on hundreds of panels in the pastures next to the plant. Both are examples of the forward thinking citizens of the fine state of Pennsylvania. Renewable energy sources have yet to yield an issue free replacement for fossil fuels, but they are getting better. The idea I had was why can’t these two things be combined?
We all understand that wind turbines have issues when the wind just isn’t blowing. The solar panels have the necessity of needing sun to do their job, something that is only available at most a little more than half the day. That pesky night time just always seems to get in the way. After some quick research, it seems a team at Liverpool University in the United Kingdom has had a similar idea.
While the problems associated with these are currently being worked on (such as glare on the panels blinding pilots and other drivers alike) there is also the fact that you must still pay for the raw materials to manufacture not one but two new generator types. The anti-glare technology will advance just as the efficiency of these machines rises and the price falls. The future is bright, and if we have any luck, a little windy too.