It’s called the Greenerator (thanks to my Twitter pal SolarKnowledge for pointing out this one), and it’s the sort of renewable energy device that offers apartment dwellers a way of generating sustainable energy without the attached real estate.
The brainchild of Jonathan Globerson, a product designer who fills the spectrum from prototype developer to web marketer guru, the Greenerator at first glance looks like a decorative wind spinner, but closer examination reveals a surprisingly aesthetic marriage of vertical axis wind turbine and flexible solar panels.
Consisting of a double helix of flexible solar panels, as well as a saucer-shaped generator, controller, ultra-capacitor and inverter for the wind generation portion, the Greenerator can reportedly power a 32-inch flat panel TV.
According to Globerson, the device will save 6 percent of a user’s electric bill and prevent 2,000 pounds of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) over its lifetime. Add the fact that it looks hella cool, and can probably hypnotize balcony dwellers on a hot summer afternoon, and you have the best of all possible worlds.
The advantage of the Greenerator is that it can be hung from an apartment balcony, or at the edge of the roof soffit (with a landlord’s permission), and in the latter case might even take advantage of the “roof effect” via its magnetic levitation (maglev) technology – two features widely touted by the Mag-Wind, a maglev vertical axis wind turbine that also reportedly benefits from roof updrafts (though we don’t hear much about this roof effect anymore).
Globerson’s device uses thin-film solar cells, which are cheaper to manufacture and use fewer rare earth materials, another plus in its favor. In fact, many thin-films are ink-jet printed with organic dyes (e.g. thiophene derivatives of acyl bromides and carboxylic acids, or cationic dyes).