French startup Unéole has developed a rooftop system that combines solar and silent wind turbines. It claims its system can produce 40% more energy than standalone rooftop solar arrays. It is now testing the device, with plans to commercialize it by 2023.
French startup Unéole has developed a solar and wind hybrid innovation for rooftop applications. The company claims the scalable, silent unit can produce 40% more energy than standalone rooftop solar.
“Our solution is made for flat top rooftop buildings more than 10 meters high. The higher they are, the less perturbated the wind will be,” Louis Dubar, a business engineer at Unéole, told pv magazine.
The system includes a scalable galvanized steel structure with a row of 2,000 W wind turbines topped with solar panels, for a total height of about 4 meters. The right number of wind turbines and PV panels per structure is project-specific. The company claims the solution works with all solar panels on the market.
“The project will depend a lot on the building. The roof size and what the final costumer wants will affect the number of solar panels we can install,” Dubar said. “Our solution is to install the steel structure on the strong points of the building that will frame our wind turbines and support the photovoltaic panels.”
The company claims that the energy yield is 40% higher than standalone solar. It said this offsets the higher capex of its hybrid solution.
“With our solution we can install two to four times more photovoltaic panels than a standard [rooftop solar] installation,” said Dubar. “We are installing these panels four meters high from the rooftop, so we can cover every technical structure that is installed on the rooftop.”
For a system installed in a 1,000 sqm rooftop, the company estimates a total cost of €300,000 ($302, 385) to € 500,000. The price includes the cost of the solar panels, wind turbines, steel structure, wiring, and project studies performed by Unéole.
The company is currently developing algorithms to determine the adequate number of wind turbines and PV panels for each project. Last year, it started testing the system in a field in the CD2e LumiWatt site in Loos-en-Gohelle, France. Unéole expects to commercialize and install the first hybrid solution by late 2023 in France. It plans to expand to neighboring countries in 2024.