Hybrid Gas-Wind Turbine System Works All The Time

How to keep the energy flowing when the wind’s not blowing? Hybrid Turbines, Inc. of Lafayette, Colorado, has a novel solution: a hybrid gas-wind turbine system that makes use of biogas or natural gas to spin wind turbine generators 24/7.

The patent-pending SmartGen gas-wind turbine system utilizes a small, ground-based turbo-compressor to compress air, which is then used to drive a turbo air motor directly connected to the wind turbine generator.  This system can apparently be connected to any existing wind turbine generator, creating a consistent and reliable stream of energy, no matter what the weather is doing–and if biogas were used, it would be 100% renewable, too. (Even if natural gas were used, the carbon emissions are half that of coal.)


image via Hybrid Turbines, Inc.

“Large wind turbines, even in good wind resource areas, typically generate rated power only 30% of the time because the wind blows intermittently or at a low wind velocity,” explains Hybrid Turbines’ President Nick Verini, in a statement. “This SmartGen system, which can be retrofitted to existing wind turbines, enables them to generate power at their rated capacity 100% of the time. It can also be incorporated into new wind turbine designs.” He points out that if all 35 GW of  America’s wind farms were fitted with SmartGens, the increased output would represent the generation capacity of twenty-five 1,000 MW nuclear power plants.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.


  • Reply June 7, 2010

    Frida Payle

    This sounds like the recent Simpsons episode, where the Simpsons get a wind turbine, go off grid, and keep the turbine turning by using fans plugged into their neighbor’s power.

  • Reply June 8, 2010

    El Rucio

    Actually, large wind turbines generate at or above their AVERAGE rate about 40% of the time. They very rarely generate at their full capacity. Their average rate may be anywhere from 20% to 40% of capacity. It would likely be more efficient — and possibly even less polluting — to just build one natural gas–powered generator INSTEAD of the wind turbines, not in addition.

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