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How Australia got hot for solar power (Business 2.0/CNNMoney){Solar tower}

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 07:27 PM
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How Australia got hot for solar power (Business 2.0/CNNMoney){Solar tower}
Down under, they're all over alternative energy - starting with a 1,600-foot tall "solar tower" that can power a small city.

By Todd Woody, Business 2.0 Magazine assistant managing editor
August 2 2006: 9:17 AM EDT
***
It's a dead-calm antipodean winter's day, the silence of this vast ranch called Tapio Station broken only by the cry of a currawong bird. Davey, chief executive of Melbourne renewable-energy company EnviroMission, aims to break ground here early next year on the world's first commercial "solar tower" power station.

"The tower will be over there," Davey says, pointing to a spot a mile distant where a 1,600-foot structure will rise from the ocher-colored earth. Picture a 260-foot-diameter cylinder taller than the Sears Tower encircled by a two-mile-diameter transparent canopy at ground level. About 8 feet tall at the perimeter, where Davey has his feet planted, the solar collector will gradually slope up to a height of 50 to 60 feet at the tower's base.



Acting as a giant greenhouse, the solar collector will superheat the air with radiation from the sun. Hot air rises, naturally, and the tower will operate as a giant vacuum. As the air is sucked into the tower, it will produce wind to power an array of turbine generators clustered around the structure.
***
And although its final dimensions are still being tweaked, the 50-megawatt Tapio Station plant is just the small model: A half-mile-tall version is in the works for China, and EnviroMission is scouting sites in the American Southwest for other possible skyscraping power plants.
***
And once the solar tower's capital costs are paid off, the price of producing electricity should drop dramatically, as operating and maintenance costs are expected to be minimal. Despite its monolithic scale, the technology behind the tower is based on an elemental scientific truth: Hot air rises. The solar tower's only moving parts are its turbines.
***
more: http://money.cnn.com/2006/08/01/technology/towerofpower...

Also short blurbs on doings in wind, wave, and biomass energy.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 07:37 PM
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1. Innovation...
Edited on Wed Aug-02-06 07:38 PM by girl gone mad
is happening in countries that foster scientific research. Meanwhile, the backwards thinking fundies and lazy corporations control the US and we're stuck paying inflated prices for outdated technologies.
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