Chicago EV Charging Station Powered by Wind

February 17, 2010 by Miranda Marquit weblog
Image source: Coulomb Technologies

( -- The "Windy City" is about to make use of that natural source of power, thanks to the addition of an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Last year, Chicago offered the first solar powered charging station, in an effort to create a situation in which the electricity being provided to plug in cars was clean. Now, Chicago offers the first wind powered EV charging station in the continental United States. (Hawaii has a wind powered EV charging station.)

The equipment is being provided by Coulomb Technologies, via its distributor Carbon Day Automotive. The is actually coming from a local law firm. The law firm has a partnership with MC Squared Energy Services, and is sending some of the power to the . The agreement uses energy from wind farms in Illinois. MC Squared provides clean energy to a number of commercial businesses.

Going forward, Coulomb hopes to create an entire network of rapid-charging stations that could serve as places for electric vehicle drivers to get power for their plug-ins. This would work with all-electric vehicles or with plug-in hybrids. The idea is to assuage fears that don't do much for the environment, since the that powers them comes from fossil fuel sources. If, however, more EV charging stations offer power from clean sources, then it would enhance the overall "green-ness" of the power grid.

Explore further: Tucson closer to having network of electric-car chargers

More information: Green Car Advisor:

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1 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2010
How much energy does this wind generator produce per year? Is it enough for a 10 mile hop? I doubt it.
5 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2010
How much energy does this wind generator produce per year? Is it enough for a 10 mile hop? I doubt it.

Commenting on an article without reading it first: bad form. To wit:
The agreement uses energy from wind farms in Illinois.

By the way, a large wind turbine (just a single nacelle) these days can have nameplate capacity of up to 5 MW. That means at full utilization it generates 5 MW each hour. Adjusted for varying wind conditions and maintenance downtime, let's say it's only 1 MW per hour on a sustained averaged basis. A full gas tank of a typical car, is roughly equivalent to about 100 KWh (including an assumption of 25% efficiency for a state-of-the-art piston engine, vs. 85% for a typical electric motor.) So a single such turbine could "fill up" 10 cars every hour -- provided there were actually batteries capable of holding 100 KWh...
not rated yet Feb 17, 2010
Well the article was a bit confusing when it said:
The wind power is actually coming from a local law firm

and that they are sending 'some' of their power on to the charging station. Now a law firm doesn't really require megawatts of power - and if they only send on 'some' of their power then what does that amount to? Not much.
not rated yet Feb 18, 2010
When I read that bit about the wind energy coming from a law firm, well, I smiled at the thought of a use for all that hot air. Ha!

The Norwegians are testing a 10MW turbine, and are planning an offshore farm utilising them. Now that's going to be useful.

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