Friday, February 25, 2005

Another new idea

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This is a pretty interesting idea, and massive: Solar Tower of Power Finds Home

From the article:This tower will generate 200,000 megawatts. I know that the nuclear power plant in Raleigh generates 800,000 megawatts and that handles most of the city, so this is a significant amount of power.

It is funny that it is in Australia -- It fits right in with the Australia Project.

Comments:
This is by far the coolest and most innovative alternative energy idea I've seen. I hope they pull it off.
 
Another variation on the power tower concept is to use an array of mirrors to focus sunlight on a central tower.

Boeing has been involved in testing the concept. From their site:


The power tower operates by focusing the sun's energy with hundreds of mirrors, called heliostats, onto a heat receiver located on top of a tall tower. This receiver collects the concentrated solar power and elevates the temperature of a molten salt by several hundred degrees. The heated molten salt is pumped to a storage tank, then through a heat exchanger where water is converted to steam to drive a conventional electrical turbine generator. During periods of peak power demand, darkness or cloud cover the stored molten salt continues to feed the energy needs to generate electricity

http://www.boeing.com/assocproducts/energy/powertower.html
 
This thing hasn't been built yet, and will need to be twice the height of the CN Tower. How many places can comfortably accept a hollow tower that tall, with a 25,000 acre skirt around its base? Very few with high winds and/or heavy snowfall, I'll wager. How will the collector be keep clean of snow, or even sand?
 
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