TECHKNOW: Things to come - Tower power

TECHKNOW: Things to come - Tower power - Solar power demands direct sunlight, one of the reasons why the Government's alternative energies are now directed at wind turbines. But now structural engineers Schlaich Bergermann of Stuttgart plan to put turbines and sun together to generate 200MW of electricity even when the sky is overcast.

by James Woudhuysen, James@Woudhuysen.com
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Solar power demands direct sunlight, one of the reasons why the Government's alternative energies are now directed at wind turbines. But now structural engineers Schlaich Bergermann of Stuttgart plan to put turbines and sun together to generate 200MW of electricity even when the sky is overcast.

Place a giant glass disc two to six metres above ground, fix a concrete chimney 1km tall to the centre, so the whole thing resembles the flare of an giant upended trumpet. Fit wind turbines at the base to convert the updraught into electricity. Easy to build and maintain and ideal in desert regions where land is cheap and sun plentiful.

EnviroMission in Australia plans to open the world's first solar tower of power in 2005. The cost? A cool dollars 800 million.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Subscribe

Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today