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Augmented Updraft Tower and Battery

Oh I am So doing this...
  [vote for,

Between two large flat roofed buildings sits a 1950 sq. metre deck with a sand battery beneath its crawlspace, into which heat can be dumped.
The depth and volume of this heated sand is determined by the height of the water table.
The flat topped roofs suspend hundreds of vertical wind turbines which power resistance heaters contained within capsules of dry sand buried beneath the dirt of the crawlspace. Over time the entire pit will dry out creating more and more heat storage space.
These two buildings anchor the tension lines of an enormous black tent which has a tall tubular stack as it's centre support.
Within this stack is a Tesla turbine several stories high with curved intakes all the way up to the peak of the tent making the whole thing a fairly large solar/waste heat updraft tower generator.
Above this tent the tower is painted black to expand the gases even further than they already were when the sun is shining.
The base of this turbine runs all the way down through the floor and is held aloft on blocks which passively channel the air at a tangent causing it to tornado up the length of the chimney.
Mechanical governors keep the turbine from turning faster than optimum rpm, and when needed, power can be diverted to compressors blowing air through perforated heat resistant lines beneath the sand to fluidize it and release heat more quickly to meet fluctuating demand.

Since this generator will run day and night 365 days a year, any excess energy not turning my meters backwards will need to be dumped as heat further and further from the generator as existing areas reach their max temp, so, like the roots of a gigantic growing tree, insulated roofs over these extended regions will funnel, like invisible upside down rivers, all of this rising heat back to the central generator over and over again and we can walk around in it, in our sandals... in winter!

The gap between the deck and the lower edge of the tent should make a curtain of ever rising hot air. The chimney effect will cause this rising column of hot air to remain cohesive.
The boundary layer between that rising volume and the outer cold should create invisible walls where you can walk from winter temperatures to summer temperatures in a single step within a completely non-insulated structure.

Then we start feeding in the waste heat from industrial gas powered clothes dryers, and a restaurant...
...and the waste heat of the humans in the system, and septic fields... and... etc.

Picture this;

You're driving down the highway. It's minus 10 outside and suddenly you see an outdoor winter farmers market going down and everybody is wearing shorts and t-shirts.

Meanwhile the rising heat from three years ago is finally coinciding with the change of seasons and I find myself having to landscape and mow lawns all winter.

Solar updraft tower https://en.wikipedi...Solar_updraft_tower
[xaviergisz, Feb 13 2023]

The collapsed area is the largest square https://onedrive.li...Qt=sharedby&o=OneUp
page 11 [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 13 2023]

Augmented updraft tower https://imgur.com/a/R9ICuET
...heavy on the augmented. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 14 2023]

Prior Art https://i.insider.c...c4769bedd435d000020
By Dr. Seuss, no less! [a1, Feb 16 2023]

Schematic of a Tesla turbine https://www.researc...bine_fig1_317013818
[a1, Feb 17 2023]

Darwin Omni-directional guide structure https://www.youtube...watch?v=tknzpsaf4qg
[bs0u0155, Feb 17 2023]

Kite power https://www.smithso...our-home-180979894/
[a1, Feb 25 2023]

Fans, turbines https://xkcd.com/2744/
[a1, Mar 01 2023]


       Of all of the notions I've posted here, this is the one I most hoped for constructive criticism and feedback on guys.   

       I am going to quite literally attempt to create a self sustaining updraft tower capable of powering not just my place, but this entire unincorporated town and take it off the grid before increasing power bills cripple the region.   

       Like, for real. Hired engineers and the whole shebang... but they don't know me, and they got nothing on you guys.   

       Any advice will be greatly appreciated.   

       I get the gist, but I think I need a sketch. Get your crayons out...
neutrinos_shadow, Feb 13 2023

       I'm intrigued but could you provide a simple drawing? [+] in the meantime.
doctorremulac3, Feb 13 2023

       I have no idea whether this will work, but [+] anyway.
pertinax, Feb 13 2023

       I can link to the the blueprints of the building which collapsed, but just picture a 6400 sq. ft. structure, sandwiched between two perfectly intact structures, becoming a pancake under snow-load.   

       I cleaned that shit up.   

       The previous footing and intact deck structure, and in fact this entire property, sits on about twenty feet or so of sand... which is completely bizarre for this area, but you work with what you've got.   

       I plan to use every scrap of passive energy available to power resistant heaters underground to augment a solar updraft tower within the space left between the two intact buildings.   

       I want to take the biggest negative left hook I've yet been dealt and turn it into an uppercut of epic proportions.   

       Wait... what? Is there a story behind this? Did a building of yours fall down?
doctorremulac3, Feb 13 2023

       Yes. A previous owner took out about twenty feet of bearing wall and built a breezeway between what used to be a grocery store and a Simpson Sears without a permit.
Massive steel beam, two large steel posts but no footings beneath them.

       We got a snow/thaw cycle that built up enough layers of ice to bring down both of those stores.
You guys should have heard the sound.
I thought an airplane had crashed or something. Hypnopompic-jerked my ass right out of bed.

       So it's this huge negative that I've been agonizing over since last winter about how exactly am I going to flip this thing on its head and make it a plus.   

       So far I've salvaged enough materials to build a couple of houses, but to actually turn that dead space into a battery/generator which also doubles as a heated winter pavilion tent...   

       ...well that would be a thing.   


       I will work on a sketch or two tonight.   

       Cool, already gave a bun but I autobun anything with associated art.
doctorremulac3, Feb 13 2023

       Okay [link]   

       Hope this doodle make more sense than words... because I'm doing it. My latest heat-battery prototype and a fan is now keeping the laundromat work site heated for the cost of cooking a roast per day.   

       When I feed industrial waste heat into that turbine it is going to howl if not governed.   

       See, it is my opinion that when it comes to energy production we need to go back to the cottage industry approach.
If enough small generation stations can produce more than they use, and this feeds the grid, then you don't need mega generation stations to meet increasing electrical demand...
You just need more cottages.


       What the grid contributes in this scenario is big batteries and emergency backup power: lithium batteries are fine for cars and phones, but I understand that you can get similar performance for a fraction of the price from iron-air batteries, the only drawback being that they're too big and heavy to fit in the available space of a cottage (and certainly too big for an urban apartment). So, for storage, industrial-scale installations attached to the grid still make sense.
pertinax, Feb 14 2023

       For now. Sure. What about when prices triple in the next couple of years?   

       When they finish banning fossil fuel vehicles and have a monopoly on electrical power generation do you really think the prices will go down?   


       I think you might be confusing different "theys".   

       But sure, electricity prices may go up, and if you have enough space to generate your own (which you have), it's probably a good idea to do so.
pertinax, Feb 16 2023

       Yes the various they's do tend to overlap don't they?   

       //and if you have enough space to generate your own (which you have), it's probably a good idea to do so.//   

       Hey this shit's all new to me but...   

       Every single structure we build can be designed to passively store heat beneath it to leach upwards through that structure.
Every fucking one of them. This rising heat can be recouped and augmented to cycle itself indefinitely given minimal input... and easily.

       Yet paying your power bill or freezing to death in the winter is still a thing?   

       It kinda makes me want to puke a bit.   

       Good thing I've got a strong stomach.   

       The efficiency of the updraft turbine will be limited, like all heat engines, by the temperature difference between the hot and cold sources. May want to check the efficiency for an ideal heat engine for your temperatures.
sninctown, Feb 17 2023

       I'd also like to see more detail on the intended "Tesla Turbine full length of shaft." I thought the Tesla Turbine needed inlet tangential to some point in the circumference and outlet near the central axis (schematic linked). I don't think it's reversible, it wouldn't generate power by blowing through the other way.
a1, Feb 17 2023

       Tesla turbines aren't right for this application, or indeed many applications. They're tricky to hook up to a load since they have minimal start up torque, which is particularly bad with low pressure differentials and transient supply/demand situations.   

       Take a look at the Darwin omnidirectional guide structures <link>, a neat device I think you'll be interested in. Great for harvesting wind for power generation, but even better if you just need to move air around for ventilation.
bs0u0155, Feb 17 2023

       For the Tesla Turbine I had thought to tweak his design a bit.
The bore of the offset holes allowing the tornado to rise would be cut at an angle such that the slant of the holes in each disk would retard airflow and force the rising air to fill each gap before ascending further. This should create more torque than allowing the air to rise unimpeded.

       The Darwin airflow tower is interesting. I had a similar thought for the design of the portion of the chimney within the tent structure, except instead of forcing the air to travel in a linear direction it would be forced enter at a tangent which amplifies the tornado caused by the intakes on which the entire tapering chimney sits.   

       I only chose a Tesla turbine because it is something I can manufacture myself with minimal engineering needed.
There are probably better designs.

       When I add my Coanda Tornado design and trap the escaping tornado of hot air in a vortex ring and recoup that last teeny bit of loss by passing through one final generator over and over again until the heat dissipates, this system will have efficiency in the high 90% range.   

       // high 90% range //   

       I’d like to see the math on that.
a1, Feb 23 2023

       [a1] I was thrown to the wolves before graduating high school.
I don't know math.
I know efficiency.

       If excess electrical production returns as heat beneath the chimney, and if I can trap the small amount of heat which tries to escape the system and also turn that into heat beneath the chimney indefinitely...   

       ...you do the math.   

       What percentage of efficiency are we attaining currently with our power generation and storage systems?   

       I'm betting it's less than 50% after losses and dumped overproduction during non-peak usage.   

       It's a fucking joke.   


       So I'll just show you and then you can crunch the numbers after I do.   

       ...or somebody else will.   

       Either way, it won't be me. By the time I see my way clear to learn the things I should have already been taught, I have a feeling that I will no longer care to learn them... but we'll see.
Life has a strange way of making me learn things I don't want to on the fly if I care to survive.


       Oh yeah, I've scrapped the Tesla turbine concept as far as it pertains to spinning disks, too much torsional stress and linear deflection.
I'm now contemplating spinning silk kites based on his design which don't require an engineer at all to fabricate or get passed through legislative codes.

       ...unless 'they' intend to restrict kites.   

       // spinning silk kites based on his design //   

       What? Whose design?
a1, Feb 25 2023

       Why Nikola's turbine design of course, but with silk kites rather than rigid disks.   

       There are wind power systems that use kites (link), but they have nothing in common with a Tesla turbine. I can’t picture the intersection you’re proposing.
a1, Feb 25 2023

       Well picture an extended Tesla turbine with like one hundred disks made from silk, and the topmost kite is tethered to a swivel.
Each disk/kite has two or more holes arranged around its periphery.
These holes are offset slightly for each subsequent disk/kite.
The tapering Darwin turbine/chimney within the tent channels rising hot air creating a tornado which ascends through these holes to rotate the kites and exit out the top, where it is trapped in a vortex ring using the Coanda effect and turns a much smaller conventional turbine blade over and over again powering resistance heaters within the sand beneath the chimney so that little to none of the heat/wind is lost.

       If I am unsuccessful at utilizing all of the heat and some of it still escapes, well then I'll probably put an inflatable flailing arm tube dude at the top of the chimney just for shits'n'giggles.   

       Well, aside from the fact that it has little in common with a Tesla turbine, either configuration or operating principal, I think it’s a great idea. I mean the flailing tube thing.   

       On the whole I don’t think the rest of it will do much for energy recovery.
a1, Feb 25 2023

       Would you care to place a friendly wager?   

       A wager? With you? You went from saying you could get more energy out than you put in, to efficiencies higher than 90 percent, to saying you couldn’t be arsed to do the math.   

       Sure, YOU set up the wager but let me work out the spread and payoff numbers.   

       What are we betting on?
a1, Feb 27 2023

       I "can not" do the math. That is different than not being arsed to do so. Don't be putting words in my mouth or comparing apples to oranges by conflating one posting with another.
Bad form sir. Argue from a point of reason rather than attack.

       Kinda hard to have friendly bets when one party isn't friendly.   

       I'm wrong about this the same way I was wrong about the plandemic and our current energy "crisis" being massive con jobs.   

       The bet is that I can build a passive battery and power generation station which turns my meters backwards to where I'm producing more power than I am using.   

       That I think I can get more than 90% efficiency out of it would not be part of the bet.   

       How much power do you use annually? Approximately what percent of your annual power usage is converted to waste heat that could be captured by the tent?   

       What is area covered by the tent?   

       Someone here will be able to do a rough back-of-the-envelope calculation.
xaviergisz, Feb 28 2023

       Man, friendly don’t enter into it when a wager is involved.   

       You can learn at least some math if you set your mind to it. You can get help with parts that are beyond you for the moment (note [xaviergisz]’s remark). But as long as you keep insisting you CAN’T do math, it will continue to be true - and nobody will accept anything you say that involves numbers.   

       As for making the electric meter run backwards? A lot of folks do, with solar and wind. But I thought you wanted to wager specifically on recovering useful energy with a device you based on Tesla’s turbine design - but “with silk kites rather than rigid disks.”   

       Do you want to wager on whether or not your silks will work? You win if - and only if - 1) you reach the goal of running the electric meter backwards, and 2) all of the power you’re pushing back into the mains is coming from your novel turbine.   

       How much is the wager? And how long should we allow for you to prove it works (or inconceivable as it may seem, for you to admit it doesn’t)?
a1, Feb 28 2023

       //How much power do you use annually?//   

       No way to know. I bring more of this place back to life every month.   

       //Approximately what percent of your annual power usage is converted to waste heat that could be captured by the tent?//   


       //What is area covered by the tent?//   

       That one I can answer.
6400 sq. ft. with a 20 ft. deep sand battery beneath it sandwiched between two other flat topped buildings which almost equal the same square footage.

       I did a sketch.   

       [a1] As much as I would love to understand the language of mathematics, survival takes priority. The struggle I've gone through to try to put myself into a position to be able to learn that which you take for granted has been rather on the difficult side.   

       How arsed are you to learn the things I do know which you do not?   

       From what I can tell they are many.   

       As for the bet, meh, this thing I'm going to make tweaks itself and changes daily in my head.
I'm pretty sure I don't even need a structural chimney anymore which would kind of violate any previous bets which we might have made.

       You missed your window.   


       //Someone here will be able to do a rough back-of-the-envelope calculation.//   

       As much as I appreciate that... I honestly don't like to impose.   

       ...and it confuses the shit out of me because I'm trying to learn a language in order to understand or express what I can already see in my head. I've gone so long without it that it feels like strapping on weights now.   

       Shame really, I think I could have written a cool sentence or two if I'd been taught how.   

       Maybe even a paragraph by now.   

       There is an intersection between math and language, but the language required is structured and precise.
Voice, Mar 01 2023

       Might as well be Greek to me.
I know addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. For a year or so there I nailed geometry and trigonometry because they had to be taught visually...

       ...and then it was into the oil patch.   

       ...and now here we are.   

       How about this:   

       There is a heat exchange unit from an air conditioner blowing an average of 1000 BTU which can be piped in at 15 kilometers per hour. The summer is an average of 28 degrees, with a 15 degree difference between day and night. The winter average is -3 degrees with a 10 degree difference between day and night. The best insulation practical to provide has an r value of 30. The volume of the air space is 384,000 square feet. The area is 300,000 square feet.   

       You know, precise, usable numbers.
Voice, Mar 01 2023

       OK, 600m² area.   

       From wikipedia:   

       "A grade-school pupil's home do-it-yourself SUT demonstration for a school science fair was constructed and studied in 2012, in a suburban Connecticut setting.[43][44] With a 7-metre stack and 100 square metre collector, this generated a daily average 6.34 mW, from a computer fan as a turbine. Insolation and wind were the major factors on variance (range from 0.12 to 21.78 mW) in output."   

       Using solar alone you will get 6 times as much as this example, so 38mW. Maybe yours will better optimised, so lets round up to 100mW.   

       I'm going to guess that the energy conversion from waste heat using the chimney will be 10%. So add 10% of your waste heat energy to the 100mW.   

       I'm fairly sure you'd be better off installing solar panels.
xaviergisz, Mar 01 2023

       // from a computer fan as a turbine //   

       Curious hardware choice. Maybe good for a science fair proof of concept, off the shelf - but there could have been better options to harvest the power, shirley?
a1, Mar 01 2023

       // How arsed are you to learn the things I do know which you do not? //   

       Give me a reason to and I’ll think about it. There are great gaps in my own education, but when I need to learn something I make an effort. Some of the life stories you’ve shared tell me you’ve mostly done the same, but somehow when we get to math you stubbornly cling to “can’t.”   

       That word is not a mantra for success.
a1, Mar 01 2023

       //With a 7-metre stack and 100 square metre collector, this generated a daily average 6.34 mW, from a computer fan as a turbine.//   

       This is the usual outcome of harvesting energy from low grade sources. A look through the youtube channel videos of Robert Murray Smith, like the one I linked, show him running through a wide variety of interesting generator technologies. In the end, it's usually "Look at that! I've lit an LED!".   

       This is where the math becomes important before spending resources. Say the school project was scaled up to 6400 sqft (580m2) AND was made 10x more efficient? Now you have under 400mW. Which means you're FORTY FIVE TIMES LOWER in power output than a fast phone charger. Say you get 10x the area covered, 2x boost from economy of scale, and a 2x boost from wind assistance and your turbine is 2x better: 32W. With battery storage of energy harvested overnight, now you might run a laptop. It's important to know if something might work, or like in this case, you're off by a thousand fold.   

       /// from a computer fan as a turbine //   

       Curious hardware choice.//   

       It's fan blades spinning magnets next to coils, and if they're not very nearly free, they're very actually free. You're constrained by Betz's law when extracting energy from moving air (<60%) so there are upper limits to aerodynamic efficiency 50% for perfect glider wings aerofoils in ideal conditions 10% for whatever cobbled-together turbulent stuff you harvested from junk and hot-glued together. On the generator side? spinning magnets and coils are pretty well optimized in mass production, you'd have to spend real money to gain 10%, why do that when you can add 100 computer fans?
bs0u0155, Mar 01 2023

       oh no... he said the M word.
a1, Mar 01 2023

       I'll have to build a prototype to show you guys.
I'm talking about a 128,000 cubic foot sand battery which can potentially reach a temperature of five hundred degrees.
The air will not rush up a chimney but tornado up an ever tightening stack restricted and made more cohesive the higher it climbs, and like a figure skater pulling her arms in, it will become a maelstrom before it thinks it gets to exit. I don't need many magnets spinning past many coils, I just need many kites all turning a singular generator with many gear reductions.
That I've figured out how to lasso a tornado and trap it in a vortex ring means that any system I cobble together will be far more efficient than a computer fan up a tube.

       Now imagine how much more heat I've figured out how to add using a 12 ft. parabolic mirror when the sun is shining.   

       Any energy not extracted gets dumped back beneath as heat making the tornado stronger, and stronger and...   

       ...I don't even think I need a chimney anymore. I've made one from the air itself as high as I want it to go.   

       I guess I'll just have to show you.   

       // There are great gaps in my own education, but when I need to learn something I make an effort. Some of the life stories you’ve shared tell me you’ve mostly done the same, but somehow when we get to math you stubbornly cling to “can’t.”//   

       That gave me pause.
This is irrational I admit, but... the fact that I was denied a background in mathematics because of my inability to learn other than visually coupled with the education systems of the day orientated to exclude visual thinkers after Nikola made everybody shit their pants, makes me think that, whatever it was that I didn't get to learn, forced me to learn the thing I do know, and that if I now learn the thing I was denied, it will be at the cost of the other.


       Probably a psychosis or some shit, but, when I focus on numbers it takes up the portion of my brain I managed to learn how to deal without them.   

       I don't intuit anymore when I math. <shrugs>   

       Tore my ACL years ago and had to wait 10 months for an MRI. Went a year and a half as one legged tile setter because I couldn't bend one knee. (true story) I had to take a tax preparation course in order to work for my wife for a few months while I did physio after I was told it would have to be re-torn in order to do surgery. I told them no.   

       For the length of time I was in that course til the time I no longer needed to work with numbers not one single new idea crossed my mind.
Never had that before.
Scared me a bit.

       I don't want to lose this thing I can do.   

       So, as insane as it sounds, I am scared to learn math because of what I might have to give up to do so.   

       If I'm right it's not worth it, and if I'm wrong I've only deprived the world of whatever mathematical genius I could have contributed, which may have advanced the combined knowledge our species, and did not get passed through my own personal synapses... and that's even more narcissistic than thinking math might steal my intuition.   

       How would you feel about having to give up understanding math in order to learn to be able to trust your intuition?   




       Upside to that little story is that I can now do squats, run, bike, and I'd say that knee is about 87 or so percent of what it used to be. At 54 years of age that's not bad. I can still kick ass if I have to.   

       Had I let them operate on me I highly doubt that would be the case.   

       Off topic I know but lets you in on my general mind-set.   

       I like 'really' do not trust authority. Authority is bad m'kay? Nobody gets my trust without first earning it.   

       I find I have many fewer HB-worthy ideas when I'm chasing intellectual pursuits, but when life gets boring again they pick up again.
Voice, Mar 06 2023

       It sucks ass SO much but I learned how to escape myself and gain knowledge from nothing other than the pain.   


       I work myself to exhaustion.
I forget who I am.
Things pop into my head which make me research the words to go with them.

       In the twenty odd years you guys have known me... I've yet to change my tune.   

       Deal already.   

       //I don't intuit anymore when I math//
(Disclaimer: I am NOT a psychologist or anything related...)
That sounds very much like an autistic trait; very good at some things to the detriment of others. Like a savant who can find the 17th root of a 30 digit number in his head, but can't put on his socks. Only a finite amount of brain to share among the various needs of thinking.
Keep doing life in the way that works for you.

(from further up) //don't even need a structural chimney//
If I remember correctly (doubtful...) there's a "velocity squared" in there somewhere; so you do want the concentrating/accelerating effect of combining all the flow into a single chimney. It makes for better/easier energy extraction.
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 06 2023

       // I learned how to escape myself ... I work myself to exhaustion ... I forget who I am. ... Things pop into my head //   

       Damn, all this time I thought it was the weed.
a1, Mar 06 2023

       //That sounds very much like an autistic trait//   

They didn't really have words for whatever I am back then. I'm the kid that couldn't read a clock with the rest of the others.

       //Keep doing life in the way that works for you.//   

       Will do.   

       //Damn, all this time I thought it was the weed.//   

       Naw, the weed just slows me down enough for other people to not constantly ask me to talk more slowly.   

       I don't think they realize how short the average attention span is.   

       // no, the weed just slows me down enough //   

       Interesting. There are certainly times here where your writing is more... effusive. Is that when the stuff kicks in for you or when it's wearing off?
a1, Mar 07 2023

       Hold on, I have to look up Effusive.   

       Well that's just my general state of being. I am very grateful to still be kicking.   

       I chose the nicest sounding word I could. Discarded "energetic" as not being specific enough. Considered "agitated," "excitable", or "unhinged" also but thought you might not look kindly on those.   

       Always hard to pick the right word, isn't it?
a1, Mar 07 2023


       Although the meanings of words change so quickly nowadays that I'm sure they will all become compliments soon enough.
I am quite hinged, but am also quite fringed, and when God asked; "Normal?"
I'm glad that I cringed.


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