The Ravenna Public School system in Nebraska has added a wind-solar hybrid energy system on-site. Funded by a private grant, this is the first integrated wind-solar hybrid installation at a U.S. public school, according to the installers.
The hybrid energy system, which combines a 1.7 kW wind turbine with a ground-mounted solar array, was installed by Maine-based Pika Energy, which manufacturers wind-solar hybrid systems, and GenPro Energy Solutions, a Piedmont, S.D.-based provider.
According to Pika Energy, the hybrid system enables the public school system to generate power from two forms of energy: wind and solar. The wind-solar installation connects in parallel to a hybrid inverter. Rather than requiring a separate inverter for each energy source, Pika's DC microgrid enables Ravenna to combine the power sources to the utility AC grid through the larger central inverter – enabling more flexibility in site layout, design and grid management.
Additionally, Ravenna can access information about all of its renewable energy sources and electrical loads from a single Web-based interface.
For more on hybrid energy systems, including the marriage of wind and solar, check out Hybrid Energy Innovations here.