First postulated in 1931 by Isidoro Cabanyes who discussed it in the magazine 'La energía eléctrica', this concept uses several key effects to work; the chimney effect, greenhouse warming and low velocity wind turbines.
The sun's radiation is used to heat a large body of air under an expansive collector zone (green houses in this case),
Solar Up Draught Tower Principles
which is then forced by the laws of physics (hot air rises) to move as a hot wind through large turbines to generate electricity. A Solar Tower power station will create the conditions to cause hot wind to flow continuously through 32 x 6.25MW pressure staged turbines to generate electricity.
One of the major advantages of a Solar Tower over other renewable and traditional coal & nuclear energy producers is a Solar Tower does not use any water in the energy production process.
A US Department of Energy report 'Reducing water consumption of concentrated solar powerelectrictity generation', states coal, nuclear and heliostat CSP technology (power tower) utilize approximatley 500 gallons of water per MWh of power produced.
The Solar Tower project earmarked for Arizona will abate the approximate usage of 528 million gallons of potable water (drinking water) per annum.'
Solar Up Draught Tower with Thermal Storage
Artists Impression of the Finished 'Power Station'
When using green houses crops can be grown and/or some heat energy can be retained overnight using water filled tubes as can be seen in this schematic below. This allow for the generation of power over a 24 hour period.