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Acciona tests solar wrapper on wind turbine tower

The company hopes to increase the efficiency of turbine operations and test the solar technology

Spanish developer Acciona has installed 120 organic solar films on a steel wind tower to test supply of power to the turbine's internal systems from the 9.4kW of PV.

“This hybridisation project aims for the optimisation of the use of space for renewable energy production and will allow us to test the efficiency of the organic photovoltaic cell, a technology that we believe will have one of the fastest increases in efficiency,” says Belén Linares, energy innovation director at Acciona.

The company hopes to boost efficiency of the wind turbine's operations, since the power produced by the cells will supply its internal systems even when the turbine is idle.

Wind faces up to a solar-powered future

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The PV element was supplied German start-up by Heliatek, which claims its solar films – based on carbon, as opposed to silicon-based traditional panels – have 13.2% efficiency, the highest for organic cells.

The film technology was also chosen because of its flexibility, allowing it to be wrapped around the steel tower of the AW77/1500 machine. The 120 panels go as high as 50 metres and represent the first time a solar-wind hybrid didn’t deploy ground mounted PV, according to Acciona.

The tests are being carried out in the Breñas wind farm in Albacete, southern Spain. Acciona didn’t say how long the test will take.

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