If flexible solar film were placed on the blades of larger windmills...?

Would there be a great increase in energy output, or a relatively unnoticeable increase in energy. If that makes any sense.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    To borrow a line from "The Hunt for Red October"...Sure, you could do it; why would you want to? Why do you need solar power when you have wind?

    The power output would be very small by comparison, probably on the order of tens of watts at most, even if the wind turbine just so happened to be facing towards the sun at the time.

    At present, solar cells, particularly thin film cells, are not very efficient- only converting 5-9% of sunlight into electricity. A conservative figure would be about 40-70 watts per square meter. Therefore, in order to maximize your power production, you want to cover a rather large area, at least several hundred square meters.

    Also, the solar cells would add extra weight to the blades, decreasing their speed, and increasing the stresses on the axle and on the blades themselves, possibly reducing the service lifetime....

    It is unlikely that such a scheme would be "cost effective"......

    If you are that desperate to combine solar and wind power, a better idea would be to mount the cells on the side of the *tower*, rather than the blades. That way, you could make sure the cells were always facing in the best direction to receive the most sunlight.

    But keep thinking anyways, you never know when you'll hit on a truly great idea.

    Hope that makes sense, Good luck


  • 1 decade ago

    The blades of modern windmill designs are small in surface area and are carefully shaped for aerodynamic performance. Putting a solar film on them would probably force more of a compromise in the aerodynamics than would be made up by the photovoltaic output from the film.

  • 1 decade ago

    polymer based solar cells, which are the only real flexible cells that exist, are still essentially research projects.

    as someone has mentioned, they only produce about 5-6 percent efficiency tops

    they also dont last very long at full efficiency.

    organic electronics are not yet at the point where they can see real mainstream success.

    even OLEDs lack in the blue region, as most blue leds only have lifetimes of a few thousand hours.

  • 1 decade ago

    the blades would not be lined up with the sun properly, so they would produce less than if you just put them on the ground and pointed them at the sun.

    likely an idea that would not happen,

    but keep thinking,

    you never know when you will find something that no one ever thought of before

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  • 1 decade ago

    well if there aren't any conduits or generators between the film and the blades there wouldn't be any energy at all, ya?

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