Solar energy is only available during the day, whilst wind energy is available throughout the day, but it is more unpredictable as it depends on weather conditions.This discontinuity is smoothed out by combining solar and wind in a hybrid system. Both nature resources are complementary to each other since, while solar energy produces during sunshine hours, the wind speed is usually stronger during nighttime.A hybrid system consists of two or more sources of energy, in this case solar and wind power. The main components of the hybrid solar and wind system are the photo-voltaic modules, the wind turbine and the tower, the inverter, a controller and an optional energy storage system. The resulting electricity can be fed into the utility grid, stored in battery systems and/or used directly in DC/AC applications. It is important to note that due to the combination of both energy sources, the battery bank size requirement is reduced when it is needed.
ApriSolar has designed hybrid systems where solar photo-voltaic technology has been combined with vertical axes wind turbines as well as horizontal axes wind turbines. In this way, the first solution is oriented to inner-cities large consumers where the space is limited and the wind speeds are low, while the second responds to large areas of land for energy injection into the grid.
Energy storage can smooth out the delivery of variable energy resources such as wind and solar, by storing excess energy when the wind is blowing, and the sun is shining and delivering it when the opposite is happening. Energy storage is a technology that makes it possible. It can save money for customers, improve reliability and durability, incorporate sources of generation and help reducing the impact on the environment. Battery innovation takes place gradually and long validation cycles are needed before a new material can find its way into the mainstream market. The current off-grid energy industry is mainly dominated by two different battery technologies: lithium-based batteries, which are commonly used for smaller products, whereas bigger products like solar home systems have historically been powered by lead-acid batteries. The main challenges of both technologies remain their ability to be recycled and their sustainable use. ApriSolar is working with suppliers that guarantee the sustainability of their products through the life-cycle and ensure their batteries are recycled.
ApriSolar is cooperating with battery suppliers that are environmentally driven and that have opted for more sustainable, innovative and eco-friendly products based on saltwater technology and nickel technology. Technically a salt-water battery uses a concentrated saline solution as its electrolyte. That make it more secure as it is non-flammable and easier to recycle than batteries that use toxic or flammable materials.