This rooftop wind-powered microgrid withstood 105 mph gusts

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Dallas-based Hover Energy, which makes wind-powered microgrids with solar and storage, is going to begin commercial-scale production in January 2023. And potential customers can feel confident about the resiliency of the company’s rooftop-mounted microgrids – one survived 105 mph winds during Hurricane Ian.

Hover Energy’s Wind-Powered Microgrid is a combination of Hover’s patented 36kW wind turbine and solar.

It’s installed as an array on the windward edge of a building’s roof. The aerodynamic design uses the building as a sail and delivers commercial-scale power.

A direct drive generator reduces friction and allows for low cut in speeds. The solar PV array installed in the center of the roof acts as a complement to the turbine array, generating power during daylight hours.

The energy captured by both sources is directed to Hover’s Integrated Energy Management System where the energy is combined, cleaned, and converted into three-phase AC power that is directly linked to the building management system.

Excess power, such as power generated at night, can be stored in batteries. Hover Energy says tests have proved that its microgrid can offset 100% of a building’s power consumption in most cases. Time of use remains the only challenging factor, as with any microgrid.

The company partnered with global electronics manufacturer Jabil in 2017 in order to test its rooftop array system. Hover Energy installed its first array system on Jabil’s building in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 2021, to test it out.

Here’s Hover Energy’s microgrid on Jabil’s roof in the face of Hurricane Ian’s gales:

Hover’s CEO Chris Griffin said:

There is constant experimentation in the renewable energy sector, but only a small percentage of these ideas make it through testing and are made available to the market at scale.

Hover spent nearly 8 years in R&D, followed by two years of rigorous testing at our installation site in St. Petersburg, Florida. We know of no other wind technology that has survived two hurricanes (i.e. Ian) and is still functioning properly.

Fully confident in our technology, we are thrilled to kick off scale manufacturing, which will take place in Memphis, Tennessee.

Read more: Could rooftop wind give rooftop solar a run for its money?

Photo: Hover Energy


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