Solar Towers - Introduction
Additional to the better known solar thermal energy technologies, an interesting concept know as a Solar Tower is making an entry into the Renewable Energy world. A Solar Tower is effectively a huge low greenhouse with a roof that gradually tapers up to a central tower. Cold air is drawn into the structure around the edges, and as this air warms, it creates a convection current which exits via the tower. The effect of warm air rising up through the tower is so substantial that large turbines can be installed to extract this concentrated solar wind.
The Solar Tower technology has been tested and proven with a successful small-scale pilot plant constructed in Manzanares Spain. The pilot project was the result of collaboration between the Spanish Government and the German engineering consultancy, Schlaich Bergermann and Partners who have lead the way in the design of solar towers. Australian development company EnviroMission Limited hope to have completed their first full scale 200MW solar tower by 2007.