Solar Wind Energy Tower

  • Building Design Expert
  • 3 years ago

The energy tower is a device for producing electrical power. The brainchild of Dr. Phillip Carlson,[1] expanded by Professor Dan Zaslavsky and Dr. Rami Guetta from the Technion.[2] Energy towers spray water on hot air at the top of the tower, making the cooled air fall through the tower and drive a turbine at the tower’s bottom. An energy tower (also known as a downdraft energy tower, because the air flows down the tower) is a tall (1,000 meters) and wide (400 meters) hollow cylinder with a water spray system at the top. Pumps lift the water to the top of the tower and then spray the water inside the tower. Evaporation of water cools the hot, dry air hovering at the top. The cooled air, now denser than the outside warmer air, falls through the cylinder, spinning a turbine at the bottom. The turbine drives a generator which produces the electricity. The greater the temperature difference between the air and water, the greater the energy efficiency. Therefore, downdraft energy towers should work best in a hot dry climate. Energy towers require large quantities of water. Salt water is acceptable, although care must be taken to prevent corrosion, so that desalination is an example to solve this problem. The energy that is extracted from the air is ultimately derived from the sun, so this can be considered a form of solar power. Energy production continues at night, because air retains some of the day’s heat after dark. However, power generation by the energy tower is affected by the weather: it slows down each time the ambient humidity increases (such as during a rainstorm), or the temperature falls. A related approach is the solar updraft tower, which heats air in glass enclosures at ground level and sends the heated air up a tower driving turbines at the base. Updraft towers do not pump water, which increases their efficiency, but do require large amounts of land for the collectors. Land acquisition and collector construction costs for updraft towers must be compared to pumping infrastructure costs for downdraft collectors. Operationally, maintaining the collector structures for updraft towers must be compared to pumping costs and pump infrastructure maintenance.

Text courtesy of Wikipedia