Monday, December 06, 2004

A Solar Chimney?

Alternative Energy Blog has this post on an interesting new energy generation idea - the "solar chimney". It works like this: the solar chimney essentially sits on top of an extremely large greenhouse which covers several square miles. "As the hot air rises, it would escape up a 990m tower in the centre of the structure. Wind turbo-generators mounted in the chimney would convert this 50km-an-hour rush of hot air into electricity."

As is evident from this picture, the chimney is huge - at 990m tall it dwarfs most modern wind turbines (200-400 ft tall). And its foot-print is several square miles wide. Obviously, siting just one of these behemoths is sure to prove complex - but then just one tower has the potential to produce over 100 MW.

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