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.

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
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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