GE 'Skypump' charges electric cars with wind power

Almost a year after they officially announced it, GE and vertical axis wind turbine company Urban Green Energy have announced the installationsource of the Sanya Skypump, a wind-powered charging station capable of recharging an electric car on wind energy.

Paul Sakuma/AP
In this December 2008 file photo, a General Electric (GE) logo is displayed at Western Appliance store in Mountain View, Calif. GE and vertical axis wind turbine company Urban Green Energy have announced the installation of a new wind-powered charging station.

Last year, GE and vertical axis wind turbine company Urban Green Energy announced the launch of the Sanya Skypump, a wind-powered charging station capable of recharging an electric car on wind energy alone.

Almost a year later, the two firms have just announced the official unveiling of the first Sanya Skypump to be installed in the world. 

Located in Barcelona, Spain, the 4-kilowatt wind turbine looks like any other vertical axis wind turbine from a distance. 

Get closer however, and you notice an electric car charging station neatly enclosed in the base of its 42-foot tower. 

Although the turbine itself will generate electricity at wind speeds greater than 7 mph, it does need wind speeds of around 24 mph before it is generating 3 kilowatts, the power generally needed for the slowest level 2, 240-volt charging station.  

At lower wind speeds, or higher level 2 charging loads, the Sanya Skypump can be connected to the grid to pull additional energy as required.

This makes it possible for the wind-powered charging station to offer up to 40 amps -- around 9 kilowatts -- of level 2 charging capability, despite a rated maximum wind turbine power output of 4 kilowatts. 

Although the first to be installed since its launch, the Spanish Sanya Skypump won’t be the last. 

Because of its compact design, the $30,000 Sanya Skypump can be installed in locations where traditional wind turbines cannot, making it ideal for large corporate parking lots.

Urban Green Energy and GE say that more Skypumps will be installed this year at various locations -- including Universities and shopping malls -- in the U.S. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.