A new alternative energy solution is has been put to the test, and it's been given the go-ahead for production in Australia. It's a solar chimney.This new solar power station is based on solar tower ...
A new alternative energy solution is has been put to the test, and it's been given the go-ahead for production in Australia. It's a solar chimney.
This new solar power station is based on solar tower technology designed in Germany. An incredible thing about this new technology is the simplicity of its design, and its ingenious use of basic principles of physics to create energy.
So what is this new solar energy plant?
This new solar tower, also referred to as a "solar chimney," uses solar power to turn wind turbines.
Solar energy to turn wind turbines?
How does this work?
Well, the simplest way to describe it is to compare it to a huge greenhouse with a large chimney.
As we all know, hot air rises.
The greenhouse within the solar chimney system captures the heat of the sun. The heated air in the greenhouse is then allowed to escape through a huge chimney.
Before the air escapes through the chimney, it is forced to pass through wind turbines, which are in turn used to generate electricity. You can see a diagram of it here.
The beauty of this technology is that it uses centuries-old tried-and-true principles of updraft. This is the same principles used for chimneys in open fire places. When you light a fire in your fireplace, your house doesn't fill up with smoke. This is because of the suction which is created by the hot air rising up through the chimney. This pulls the smoke up through the chimney as well.
But in the case of the solar tower (solar chimney) we are not using a fire to create hot air. We are simply allowing the sun to do its thing: heat stuff up. In this case, the sun heats the air up, and the air then rises through the solar chimney as a result.
Australia is the first country to build this type solar energy power plant for commercial use.
The central tower will be over 3000 feet high and 400 feet in diameter.
It will use 750,000 cubic yards of concrete.
The solar energy collector (greenhouse) will contain thirty-million square yards of space. That's over three and a half miles in diameter.
It will have 32 wind turbines placed at ground level, each capable of creating 6.25 megawatts of electricity.
It will take 34 months to construct.
It will provide a total of 200 megawatts, which is enough to provide solar power in the form of electricity, for over 200,000 households.
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Learn more at about broad-scale solar power systems at Concentrated Solar Power and Global Solar Power.