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Old July 7th, 2010, 01:33 AM   #421
CULWULLA
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SOLAR TOWER TECHNOLOGY has somewhat slowed down?
any starting up anytime soon?
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Old July 7th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #422
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CULWULLA View Post
SOLAR TOWER TECHNOLOGY has somewhat slowed down?
any starting up anytime soon?
most projects were visionary, but im sure in the next years it will come up again with rising prizes is a technology like this needed more than ever
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Old July 7th, 2010, 10:38 PM   #423
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I dont think we will see any of these anytime soon. (if ever) The power output compared with high investment cost is just too low. Its better option to build solar or wind powerplants.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:27 AM   #424
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impressive!!
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 02:21 PM   #425
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Interesting
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 10:10 PM   #426
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http://www.gizmag.com/enviromission-...newable/19287/


Twice the height of the Empire State - EnviroMission plans massive solar tower for Arizona

By Loz Blain
11:03 July 21, 2011

An ambitious solar energy project on a massive scale is about to get underway in the Arizona desert. EnviroMission is undergoing land acquisition and site-specific engineering to build its first full-scale solar tower - and when we say full-scale, we mean it! The mammoth 800-plus meter (2625 ft) tall tower will instantly become one of the world's tallest buildings. Its 200-megawatt power generation capacity will reliably feed the grid with enough power for 150,000 US homes, and once it's built, it can be expected to more or less sit there producing clean, renewable power with virtually no maintenance until it's more than 80 years old. In the video after the jump, EnviroMission CEO Roger Davey explains the solar tower technology, the Arizona project and why he couldn't get it built at home in Australia.





How Solar Towers Work

Enviromission's solar tower is a simple idea taken to gigantic proportions. The sun beats down on a large covered greenhouse area at the bottom, warming the air underneath it. Hot air wants to rise, so there's a central point for it to rush towards and escape; the tower in the middle. And there's a bunch of turbines at the base of the tower that generate electricity from that natural updraft.

It's hard to envisage that sort of system working effectively until you tweak the temperature variables and scale the whole thing up. Put this tower in a hot desert area, where the daytime surface temperature sits at around 40 degrees Celsius (104 F), and add in the greenhouse effect and you've got a temperature under your collector somewhere around 80-90 degrees (176-194 F). Scale your collector greenhouse out to a several hundred-meter radius around the tower, and you're generating a substantial volume of hot air.

Then, raise that tower up so that it's hundreds of meters in the air - because for every hundred metres you go up from the surface, the ambient temperature drops by about 1 degree. The greater the temperature differential, the harder the tower sucks up that hot air at the bottom - and the more energy you can generate through the turbines.





The advantages of this kind of power source are clear:
  • Because it works on temperature differential, not absolute temperature, it works in any weather;
  • Because the heat of the day warms the ground up so much, it continues working at night;
  • Because you want large tracts of hot, dry land for best results, you can build it on more or less useless land in the desert;
  • It requires virtually no maintenance - apart from a bit of turbine servicing now and then, the tower "just works" once it's going, and lasts as long as its structure stays standing;
  • It uses no 'feed stock' - no coal, no uranium, nothing but air and sunlight;
  • It emits absolutely no pollution - the only emission is warm air at the top of the tower. In fact, because you're creating a greenhouse underneath, it actually turns out to be remarkably good for growing vegetation under there.

The Arizona Project

While this is not the first solar tower that has been built (a small-scale test rig in Spain proved the technology more than a decade ago) EnviroMission has chosen to build its first full-scale power plant in the deserts of Arizona, USA.

The Arizona tower will be a staggering 800 metres or so tall - just 30 meters shorter than the colossal Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest man-made structure. To put that in context - it will stand more than double the height of the Empire State building in New York City, and it'll be as much as 130 meters in diameter at the top. Truly a gigantic structure.

Currently undergoing site-specific engineering and land acquisition, EnviroMission estimates the tower will cost around US$750 million to build. It will generate a peak of 200 megawatts, and run at an efficiency of around 60% - vastly more efficient and reliable than other renewable energy sources.

The output has already been pre-sold - the Southern California Public Power Authority recently signed a 30-year power purchase agreement with EnviroMission that will effectively allow the tower to provide enough energy for an estimated 150,000 US homes. Financial modelling projects that the tower will pay off its purchase price in just 11 years - and the engineering team are shooting for a structure that will stand for 80 years or more.





Considering that a large city like Los Angeles requires total power in the region of 7,200 megawatts, you'd have to build a few dozen solar towers up to the same size as the Arizona project if you wanted to completely replace the existing, primarily coal-based energy supply for that city's 3.7 million-odd residents. So it's not an instant solution - but then, its short projected payback period and virtually zero operating costs make it a very sound economic proposition that competes favorably against other renewable sources.

Under the terms of the pre-purchase agreement, the Arizona tower is due to begin delivering power at the start of 2015. Watch this space!


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Old July 22nd, 2011, 10:21 PM   #427
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Wow! Talk about making lemonade out of lemons! Given the intense need for energy in that region of the country it makes sense to prop up a few of these things! Thanks for posting.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 11:18 PM   #428
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first the chicago post office vision and now this? yay for america!
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 11:27 PM   #429
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Wow!!! This is amazing technology if it works out in practice! I'm looking forward to hearing more news about this. 200 megawatts is some serious energy.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 11:34 PM   #430
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wow there sure has been a lot of recent project announcements for the US. would be awesome to see this built and more like it. seems like a very good way to harvest clean energy.
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 12:27 AM   #431
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I hope this new proposal for a solar updraft tower is a bit more serious than the previous proposals we had in this thread that never came to be.
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 04:52 AM   #432
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are there estimates of how expensive building and getting it started will be and how many years it takes for it to be actually profiterable? i would really enjoy them going up. though i could believe that before they build it as the tallest structure they will build smaller ones in diameter and height for actual test purposes and stuff, say ~200m. i cant imagine that they build a one kilometer tower without any experience in these terms

edit: im just reading some more things and found out that there were prototypes and test towers, so nevermind what i just said
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 09:30 AM   #433
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Also they have signed agreement with government to start deliver power in 2015, so that really looks serious now. Hope everything goes as planned and we will see this monstrous tower in four years
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 09:46 AM   #434
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World's Tallest Structure back in the US? I'm down

Although I'm sure China/Dubai will build something taller soon after lol
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 12:42 PM   #435
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerZavatar View Post
how many years it takes for it to be actually profiterable?
The article says 11 years.
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 02:09 PM   #436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrykus View Post
Also they have signed agreement with government to start deliver power in 2015, so that really looks serious now. Hope everything goes as planned and we will see this monstrous tower in four years
building this monster in 4 years will be a hard task
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 02:14 PM   #437
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Well, its layout is pretty simple and straight-forward, all you gotta do is keep pumping concrete.
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 02:23 PM   #438
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Well this is pretty fast I agree, and they have to start soon to meet that deadline. But after all, yes it is huge structure but yet, very simple. The formwork would just go up with no reconfigurations, and with no works on windows, or door holes. Independently works can go on the ground panels simultaneously with the tower. So although it is fast I think it is possible.

Just for the reference remind yourself that in Mumbai they are going to build 720m tower in just three years which is not some simple structure, but extremely complicated building.

//edit droneriod bit me to it

btw I don't know if you watched the video, but there is going to be an observation deck on top of it. If build that would be almost twice the height of the one in burj khalifa, surely with some awesome views
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Last edited by patrykus; July 23rd, 2011 at 02:31 PM.
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 02:28 PM   #439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droneriot View Post
Well, its layout is pretty simple and straight-forward, all you gotta do is keep pumping concrete.
yes i know that the structure is simple, but its dimensions are massive, i mean diameter of over 200m. i mean it's massive and all... i would love to see it, but wow damn in 4 years?
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 02:36 PM   #440
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I could imagine entire concrete plants would have to work for this one full time
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