06 September 2006

What If You Could Just Float Your Solar Chimney?

Solar energy towers are a good way to tap the sun's thermal energy to produce electricity. But they are very expensive, cumbersome, and time-consuming to construct. Since time is money, all of those construction days are subtracted from the bottom line.

But what if you could fabricate your chimney on the ground in a factory, then float the chimney above your turbines and heat collector? Peswiki gives more details in a recent feature.

Given that the power producing natural phenomenon is based on the thermal air stream moved through the internal space of the chimney, the aim is not the chimney itself but the internal channel allowing the up drafting of the thermal air produced in its lower part by the solar collector’s greenhouse effect.

Instead of trying to solve problems of ground foundation, unbending, heavy and high cost solar chimney structures, it proceeds with a light structure, made of a set of lifting balloon rings filled with a lighter than the air gas and thus balancing the structure’s weight with the buoyancy forces. Thus the structure named FSC can be higher giving to its respective Power Plant higher efficiencies (up to 5% for FSCs up to 3 Km) with a much smaller construction cost. The respective solar collectors become smaller due to the higher efficiency and thus with lower costs.

The construction materials for these light structures are already in the market. Light structure problems at this scale have been solved in a variety of other projects already constructed.

The proposed innovation constitutes the backbone of the proposed “Solar Aero-Electric Power Plants” (SAEPS) that may demonstrate construction costs ranging between 400 ÷ 700 USD/KW or even less producing at least 3000 KWh/per year per rated KW. Thus the production cost of KWh by these SAEPPs could be less than 1.5 cents of USD.

Using the example of a FSC Power Station of 100 MW of a construction cost between 30 millions € to 60 millions € and of an annual production to 300 GWh and furthermore estimating the average selling price of its renewable KWh to 0.07 € and its production cost to less than 0.02 €, the repayment period for the investment will be between 2 years to 4 years. This Floating Solar Chimney Power plant can operate easily, following the appropriate maintenance, for 30 years. [1] (http://www.floatingsolarchimney.gr/faq.htm)


This pdf document will give you all the information you need to consider the merits of this concept.

Solving the renewable energy problem and getting the world off its fossil fuel addiction, will not be easy are quick. But it can be extremely profitable for anyone who can do it--and that is why a lot of intelligent and resourceful people are being drawn to the renewable energy field.

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