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Recycled solar towers

Re-use abandoned smokestacks for solar towers
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To be cost-effective purpose-built solar chimney has to be extremely large - around one kilomtre in height.

This size icnreases the cost and the risk of the project and no full-sizesolar towers have been built to date.

A prototype solar tower was successfully buitl and operated in spain in the 1980s. The tower was 195 metres in height and had a collector 240 metres in diameter.

That's big but not nearly as big as the propsoed one kilomtere tower.

Proposal: Rather than building solar towers from scratch use smokestacks from obsolete industrial buildings - you'd just need to install the sollector and the turbines.

The Greenbank power plant in Ipswich Australia was demolsihed recently. If it had been converted to a solar tower the grid connection would already have been in place.

Iangould, Oct 25 2006

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       We've talked about solar towers here before - but for completeness, how much energy does a 1km tower, with a 1.188km^2 footprint produce?   

       Am I right in thinking that the covered area could be used for horticulture or other activities that might benefit from a controlled climate?
zen_tom, Oct 25 2006

       Greenbank's stacks were nowhere near high enough or large enough to be useful as solar towers. Also, the economics of solar towers (wrt expected life and capital payback) rely in part on negligible land value - whereas old industrial buildings of course are usually on sites too small for a solar tower footprint and in locations that have alternative use values far in excess of a solar tower project.   

       Not to mention that they would tend to rip the landing gear off jumbos if they were too close to major cities...
ConsulFlaminicus, Oct 25 2006

       [zen_tom] from memory, about 200MW. And yes. Enviromission in Australia was looking at horticulture under the canopy, as the site was close to irrigation water.   

       [CF] A lower tower requires a smaller canopy. And there's no reason the canopy couldn't be part of a dual-use/multiple use development ie a low rise mixed use urban renewal development with horticulture and canopy on the roof.   

       Gets a bun from me. There's a 200 meter tower not far from my house, in an abandoned industrial site.
BunsenHoneydew, May 02 2007

       Those old towers are often in bad shape. And a brick tower to hold up a light weight solar reception device seems like overkill.   

       Also those towers are usually surrounded by rather valuable land that people would rather use for condominiums or car parks rather than reflecting solar energy.
Galbinus_Caeli, May 04 2007

       As someone who lives in St. Louis, I have to take umbrage with this comment: //Also those towers are usually surrounded by rather valuable land that people would rather use for condominiums or car parks rather than reflecting solar energy.//   

       Most land that abandoned factories/plants sit on, at least here in the states, is as close to worthless as you can get. Besides usually sitting in industrial zones that are usually bereft of any hope of economic growth, they are also often very polluted sites that would take tens of millions of dollars more to clean up than it does to have the landowner sit on the property, not develop it, and just pay land taxes.   

       Anything that uses that land, in any way, gets a bun from me. So, a 200-m solar tower isn't at its peak efficiency. So what? It's already built, and can be reinforced pretty easily, I'd guess.
shapu, May 04 2007

       [Shapu] I am in Atlanta, and I have seen a number of those smokestacks go down so condo communities can be built in the past couple of years. (I can think of three specifically. Old steel mill, mattress factory, unknown factory next to Grady Homes.) Maybe St. Louis is just a couple years behind Atlanta in this regard.
Galbinus_Caeli, May 04 2007

       Brilliant reuse of a brownfield. I love it. I foolishly assume that the inside of the tower will be smooth enough to give good draft. Now all you add is the canopy and start cranking out the watts.   

       It'll never generate the kind of power the original fossil facility did, but it's way cheaper to run.   

       Big abandoned bun.
elhigh, May 17 2007

       Methinks [Galbinus_Caeli] is thinking of the -other- kind of solar tower - a field of reflectors aimed at a target. This is the kind with a thermal collecting skirt creating a hot updraft through the chimney. Air turbines are mounted in the base.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 15 2007


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