Sunday, October 28, 2012

Energy Generation: Solar Tower

The Solar Tower technology is not simply solar energy. Solar Tower technology is created when the sun’s radiation is used to heat a large body of air, which is then forced by the laws of physics (hot air rises) to move as a hot wind through large turbines to generate electricity. A solar thermal power station using Solar Tower technology will create the conditions to cause hot wind to flow continuously through its turbines to generate electricity

A 50kW prototype Solar Tower plant was constructed and successfully operated in Manzanares, Spain in 1982. The prototype operated for seven years and conclusively proved the concept works. Data obtained from the prototype provided the basis for a scaled up 200MW generation plant. The single 200MW Solar Tower power station will provide enough electricity to power around 200,000 households. The energy output will represent an annual saving of more than 900,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the environment.

The Solar Tower is proposed to generate electricity 24-hours a day. Re-radiation of heat present in the ground under the collector zone will provide the energy source during the night. This special feature enhances the commercial viability of the power station and gives the solar tower a consistent competitive advantage over other forms of renewable energy generation.

For more details see a CNN article.

Energy Generation: Floating Solar Chimney

The Solar Tower's height creates the main obstacle to reinforced concrete structures since they have to solve problems related to the tower’s foundations, erection and the respective high construction costs.

The proposed innovation handles the obstacle of the rigid and concrete tower by changing the logic governing the plant. Given that the power producing natural phenomenon is based on the thermal air stream moved through the internal space of the chimney, the aim is not the chimney itself but the internal channel allowing the up drafting of the thermal air produced in its lower part by the solar collector’s greenhouse effect. Instead of trying to solve problems of ground foundation, unbending, heavy and high cost solar chimney structures, it proceeds with a light structure, made of a set of lifting balloon rings filled with a lighter than the air gas and thus balancing the structure’s weight with the buoyancy forces. Thus the structure named FSC can be higher  with a much smaller construction cost. The construction materials for these light structures are already in the market. Light structure problems at this scale have been solved in a variety of other projects already constructed.

Using the example of a FSC Power Station of 100 MW of a construction cost between 30 millions € to 60 millions € and of an annual production to 300 GWh and furthermore estimating the average selling price of its renewable KWh to 0.07 € and its production cost to less than 0.02 €, the repayment period for the investment will be between 2 years to 4 years. This Floating Solar Chimney Power plant can operate easily, following the appropriate maintenance, for 30 years.

see for more details.

1 comment:

  1. The World Goes Solar. Japan's FiT in July is among the highest in the world. Japan's FiT is shaking the solar market. Now, Asia has the same options. New solutions will be showed in Japan. This is it!
    As you know, earthquake in Japan is happening frequently. Floating solar panels installation is one of the best solutions for power crisis in Japan. So you have to reduce vibration to install Floating solar panels. Because, it makes many kinds of problems! Vibrations caused by wind, waves and external forces. New Floating Body Stabilizer for Floating solar panels installation has been created in South Korea. The Floating Body Stabilizers generate drag force immediately when Floating solar panels are being rolled and pitched on the water. Recently, these Floating Body Stabilizers have been used to reduce vibration of Floating Solar Panels in South Korea. You can watch New Floating Body Stabilizer videos on YouTube.,