Arizona Solar Updraft Tower By 2015

A solar updraft tower is planned for the Arizona desert by EnviroMission, an Australian firm. The completed tower will be 2625 feet tall, and will output about 200 megawatts.


(Planned solar updraft tower)

Solar updraft towers combine three technologies to produce power: the greenhouse effect, the chimney effect and wind turbine. Sunshine heats the canopy at the base of the tall chimney causing air to flow upwards towards the turbines at the base which then convert that flow into electricity. The solar tower requires low maintenance, no feed stock (uranium, coal etc.) and emits no pollution.

At 2625 feet, the tower will be two and a half times the size of the Empire State building and is close to the height of the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa. EnviroMission believes the tower will generate a peak of 200 megawatts, which is enough to power around 150,000 US homes. The tower is projected to run at an efficiency of 60% with no maintenance until it hits 80 years old.

The project cost will be $750 million, but the company projects that the purchase price will be repaid in 11 years. The Southern California Public Power Authority has already signed a 30-year agreement with the Australian company to purchase power.

This idea was popularized in the 1964 short story Shortstack by Leigh and Walt Richmond.

The plastic tube for his chimney would be fed through this sealer as a double tube, one inside the other, and sealed likewise every foot around its circumference into continuous long, slender air tubes as the chimney itself rose from the ground, supported by hot air forced into the air tubes thus created between its two walls.

As it reached its full height, the air pressure would be increased until the air-stiffened tubes were self-supporting, with the minor aid of a few guy-lines stretched down to tie points in a thousand-foot circle around the chimney's base.

Beneath the sealing unit was a large squirrel cage fan; and connected to the fan were four of the surplus generators which civil defense had so trustingly stored with him.

It was late in the afternoon as the plastic chimney begin to rise, and it had already reached the 500 foot mark...
(Read more about the Richmonds' solar updraft tower)

Via DigitalTrends; thanks to Winchell Chung of Project Rho for pointing this out.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/29/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.' - Larry Niven, 1970.

Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...' - Paul Di Filippo, 1985

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.

SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.