HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - It's called the GSW-7,000. It's a portable, self-contained, solar and wind turbine, electricity generator. It has been on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center since May to show alternative energy in action.
"We can supply something like an entire Red Cross field hospital. We can supply an entire operation for the Jackson County (Mississippi) Sheriff's Department, or other like sized entity," says Dennis Wingo, the Co-founder of the power unit's maker, Green Trail.
Wingo is talking about how his company's product might be used in a disaster area as power supply. It would certainly be appropriate for the power unit to be used that way, since the idea for it was hatched In Jackson County, Mississippi during hurricane Katrina in 2005. "There were no phones, there was nothing," says Dennis Wingo.
Green Trail was formed and began manufacturing the power units. Using 228-square feet of solar cells, and a wind turbine, the unit can supply 7,000 watts of electricity. There are batteries for times when there's no sunlight, or wind. According to Wingo, it's not enough power to run air conditioners for comfort, but it's plenty for a field hospital, or a communications center.
GSW-7,000 units are already in use in several locations in the western U.S., from a mine sight, to a ranger station in Yellowstone National Park. Wingo says he's working with the military to see if the units could be used in places like Afghanistan, and of course they are perfect for disaster sites
Right now, with the scope of the damage from Hurricane Isaac still being determined, the alternative energy display at the Space & Rocket Center, might be moved south to help with the disaster response. Dennis Wingo says he's just waiting on the call.