Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Solar slope

Bit like a tower, but with less supports
  [vote for,

Solar towers seem like a great idea. They have 3 main parts – plastic green house to heat air (easy) – big fans to generate power from moving air (baked) – humungous tower acting as a chimney for hot air to zoom upwards (expensive).

Thus proposed here, is to find a mountain that is somewhere near the tropics. On its southern slope, have a large tunnel or extended aircraft hanger construction going from the base to the summit. Minimum support would be required as everything would be ~10m of floor level (even if the floor is 2km above sea level). From base of the sloping chimney extend the fans and green house. Bingo – no large costly tower.

To add efficiency, another chimney could go down the northern slope. It would be fed with warm dry air, now cooled with a water spray so it is heavy, wet, cold air. So the northern chimney would suck air from the southern chimney, causing additional air to zoom through the system, producing more power.

saedi, Dec 12 2010

Revelstoke. Nice place to visit, but you really don't want to work there. http://en.wikipedia...e,_British_Columbia
Bbrrrrrrrrrrrrr. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 13 2010]

Mountainside Solar Chimneys Mountainside_20Solar_20Chimneys
Redundant. [spidermother, Dec 16 2010]


       I liked the return chimney, until I thought about it. I am pretty sure you'd be better off using the water in an hydroelectric manner. And how do you get the water up the mountain in the first place?
baconbrain, Dec 12 2010

       hmmm, if the system was contiguous, (hey! there's my word o the day), water vapour from the lower south slope would travel up the chimney, condense and then become ice crystals at highter altitudes, blow over the top and re-condense on the down slope all by itself. There would need to be a way of dislodging ice build-up but that's just details.   


       If the updraught were as impressive as it ought to be, you could sell tickets to let people ride it to the top using smallish parachutes.   

       Oh, hang on. The fans.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2010

       [2 fries], that's very good thinking.
baconbrain, Dec 13 2010

       Well, I was working in a place called Revelstoke last week and the fellow I was working for there said that it is Canadas only in-land rainforest. Something to do with the confluence, (wrong word, but it works), of three valleys meeting up with a fourth, that channels water upwards to dump on one spot continuously.   

       From [link];
"24.47 meters of snow fell on the town during the winter of 1971-72. That works out to just over 80 feet of snow."

       See the water wants to get out if left to its own devices but it is trapped in a series of bowls that funnel hot air up to where it can no longer rise.
Give it a straw and it should suck itself over the bowl as long as it is just a smallish portion of the whole.


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