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Portable Power Center wind turbine fits into a shipping container

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October 20, 2012

In an average wind speed of 12 mph (20 km/h), the PPC is said to produce 12 kW of power

In an average wind speed of 12 mph (20 km/h), the PPC is said to produce 12 kW of power

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Wind turbines have the potential to be very useful in providing renewable power to remote communities which have little or no infrastructure. Unfortunately, larger turbines tend to require a relatively involved set-up, with specialist gear needed to construct and maintain the turbines. The Portable Power Center (PPC) by Uprise Energy innovates in this regard by providing a self-contained unit which folds within a shipping container, and can be transported by truck.

The PPC is rated as a 50-kilowatt (kW) turbine, and San Diego-based Uprise Energy states that it puts out enough power to provide electricity to up to 15 average U.S. homes during 12 mph (roughly 20 km/h) winds, with that number increasing to 71 homes in 20 mph (32 km/h) winds. Each of the turbine blades are 21 ft (6.5 meters) long, and when operational, the entire height of the machine is around 80 ft (24 meters), with a weight of roughly 12,000 pounds (5,300 kg).

The PPC is still in development at the moment, but when it is released, complete units wil...

The PPC features an Energy Conversion System (ECS) – essentially a proprietary on-board computer which monitors local weather patterns and adjusts itself to best capture the wind, rotating a full 360 degrees when necessary. The ECS adjusts blade pitch and speed, and if the wind becomes too strong, it will park the rotor and lay the mast down to avoid damage. Further to this, the ECS stores excess energy so that when the wind is low, the machine draws on the stored power, ensuring a constant supply of power.

Uprise Energy CEO Jonathan Knight told us that if the machine sees an average wind speed of 12 mph (20 km/h) over a 20 year period, the power it produces will work out at around $0.10 for each kilowatt per hour.

The PPC is still in development at the moment, but when it is released, complete units are expected to be available for US$240,000.

The promo video below offers further information on how the PPC will be transported and deployed.

Source: Uprise Energy via TreeHugger

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam is a tech and music writer based in North Wales. When not working, you’ll usually find Adam tinkering with old Macintosh computers, reading history books, or exploring the countryside with his dog Finley.   All articles by Adam Williams
14 Comments

Nice. The one problem I see though (and sorry to be such a pessimist), is what is easy to drive to a location and set up is also easy to break down and drive off with—by thieves—especially is remote locations.

yrag
20th October, 2012 @ 11:40 am PDT

yrag I completely agree with you and I appreciate people like myself that offer ups flaws with products. The device is $240,000. More likley it will be set up in locations where people are, as you don't need this much power to run a remote weather station for example. I am fairly sure if the power goes out in the middle of the night that people will take notice. But I do agree with you that it is possible and in some countries profitable to steal such things. I am sure a simple GPS or lo-jack like device be enough protection.

Michael Mantion
20th October, 2012 @ 04:48 pm PDT

$240,000/unit! Now I can just buy one and ship it to China where it can be properly mass produced

Wole King
20th October, 2012 @ 05:24 pm PDT

WK (or was that HK) Rip it off in china all you like....

Likely any patentable ideas within are locked down so you will have to be happy selling it for a pittance in the 3rd world, not in the major markets for these expensive toys....

All the best...

MD
21st October, 2012 @ 02:22 am PDT

OK, how and where do they store the supposed excess energy and how long will this stored energy last at the 50kW level?

Also what autonomy does this stored energy give?

If there are no reasonable answers to those questions then this is only an extremely expensive toy. Not the sort of thing anyone would could rely on to provide base load electricity.

ivan4
21st October, 2012 @ 02:23 pm PDT

Remote aboriginal communities in Australia may be a market for you -even if only as a back up for rapid deployment

Sandra Baxendell
21st October, 2012 @ 06:26 pm PDT

At _last_!

I grew up in south Alberta, where we have the powerful Chinook Winds. They often blow at 50mph, with gusts to 80mph, which blows Yankee semitrailer trucks off Highways 3 and 2...

So _I_ have mused about all-electric semitruck & trailer, Emergency Power systems, which have 2 folding tower windturbines (1 at each end of the trailer), plus 5 layers of solarpower panels, which fold out to both sides. All of the above is there to recharge the lead-acid batteries stuffed into the 60 foot long trailer. All wheels, truck and trailer, have electric motors built-in, in order to avoid problems with lack of diesel fuel in a disaster zone.

:

UNfortuneately, a mite of calculation shows that even a 60 foot trailer cannot hold enough lead-acid batteries to give enough plate area for a long-term no-wind condition. Long term is more than 3 days, by the way. And you can do your own calculations.

Note: the Japanese-designed Gigawatt storage battery, such as has been installed in Texas, is huge and heavy = about 25 trucks to transport it from the US West Coast to Texas...

Neil Frandsen
22nd October, 2012 @ 08:45 am PDT

just assuming that the system delivers kwh as projected :

1/winds of 12 m/sec are not the most usual; to be realistic 8 m/s should be used for cost calculations

2/ what is included in the 240,000$ price tag ? the container ? batteries ?

3/ what is projected full cost $/kwh ?

as usual the devil is in the details

Vintech
22nd October, 2012 @ 09:40 am PDT

How about a second container semi containing lithium batteries? For transportation, they could be rigged as a tandem.

morriss003
22nd October, 2012 @ 10:09 am PDT

Energy from a renewable source in remote regions is the principle objective.

To be free from the constraints of power transmission systems.

To provide an option to diesel generators.

The first goal is to capture the winds energy, and then decide how to use it. Energy storage comes in many forms; Choices include, pump water, compress air, charge batteries, make water from air, dissociate hydrogen from biomass, flywheel, or use the electricity like any other generator, fed directly, or into the grid.

Cost per kW is 10 cents, but in some cases cost is not relevent. A similar capacity solar system requires 10,000 SF of panels and costs double to set up. Diesel, if you can acquire fuel and safely transport to the remote location without pirating, over $1.00 per kW.

No product is the perfect solution for every application. There are many considerations (including security) to the application and cost evaluation.

The PPC, with its power and portability, is a game changer. It offers options previously not thought to be available.

Best regards, Jonathan @ Uprise

Jonathan Knight
22nd October, 2012 @ 10:13 am PDT

I understand the concepts quite well, but the cost of "portability" about doubles the price. Or is "transportable" a better market position?

I'm interested to know some performance data from the generator. I'm working on a 5 blade design with 10' variable pitch blades and highly variable magnetic flux control induction generator. Extracting all available, highly variable energy with low cut in and high cut out, based upon controlling strength of the magnetic field is my design goal.

Lets hear about the technology of this products generator please. Is it PM?

Seems plant batteries would have a better economy or regular (modern/new) (old technology) deep cycle lead acid.

Now if it were used as a replacement system or charge station for electric cars, lithium may have some use, but because of the use in a vehicle, not as a power station battery, entirely due to cost/kw.

Seilertechco
22nd October, 2012 @ 01:43 pm PDT

Apps for:

Temp Emergency power

Events power gen IE Woodstock, etc.

pumping water.

rural use?

camp sites

Search Rescue Team home base camp.

Stephen N Russell
22nd October, 2012 @ 05:23 pm PDT

If I were to spend US$240,000. on such a piece of equipment, I would expect to have it grid-tied when not otherwise deployed. Selling power back to the grid could offset the initial cost. But I agree, it needs more of a battery bank, for stand alone duty.

kellory
7th November, 2012 @ 06:24 pm PST

Wow! Pretty cool wind generator - (first impression).

$240,000 is a bit steep for 50kW max though.

A 50kW diesel genset, with extended range tank & control system would be a fraction of this price, about $50k - $70k. And it will sustain 50kW for as long as there is a fuel supply - and it's not difficult to transport several hundred gallons of it at a time.

In terms of payback & maintenance $240k still doesn't sound like a really good deal. I hardly think it would be maintenance free...

Where wind power does come into it's own is in very isolated places that in a lot of cases can't be driven to easily, or at all, so a permanent installation would be more cost effective, combined with a small diesel genset &/or a PV system.

Grid tied and using the on board batteries for peak lopping/shaving are probably going to provide the best payback, if this is possible.

Drafty01
3rd January, 2013 @ 11:49 am PST
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