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Urban heat island towers

Suck heat out of cities and add moisture
  [vote for,

There is a well-documented effect whereby cities suffer from higher temperatures known as the heat island effect. This effect, coupled with ground level ozone and other irritants in the city's are, make for a less than pleasant environment.

What I propose is that instead of endure this heat, we put it to work: In the middle of dense urban areas, construct a tower, which as airtight at the upper floors Hopefully, ten stories up shall give enough momentum, but more height can be added in bigger cities with greater needs.

In the tower, place a pool of water-- the water need not be very pure, I suspect seawater would work quite well. Have tubes go out to street level, with protective grates so children and rodents can't be sucked in.

Place a fan blowing upward at the top of the tower, so as to suck at the water-- suck the city air up through the water.

In the pool, have a thin grate, like a colendar, only flat, so that the air bubbling up through the water have higher surface area contact with the water-- this should reduce the airborn dust the makes it thru the process, and increase evaporation.

Basically, a giant humidifier, but the exit of the vapor will be high enough so as not to produce ground level humidity-- instead it will move heat upwards and away from the humans who don't want it.

Chemicals can be added to react with smog, or perhaps CO2, and the towers could be cleaned at night when it is cooler outside.

The transport of moisture might even be enough to form clouds, or at least significantly contribute to them, further cooling the ground level.

While the energy expended to suck the air away, the money saved by reduced air conditioning should offset some of the costs, and the layers of gunk which will build up should be enough to convince the public the air is being cleaned.

Hopefully the gunk won't be very toxic, and can find some commericial use-- or at least have some useful chemicals extracted from it. If seawater is used, there's always the salt at least.

Madai, Apr 29 2004

(?) [Madai]'s link as a link http://www.mdsharris.com/ag/know/3.htm
no charge for this service [po, Oct 04 2004]

(?) Cited link-moist air rises http://www.sou.edu/...ctures/moisture.pdf
this should mitigate ground level humidity [Madai, Oct 04 2004]

cited link-- effective cooling at 75% humidity http://www.portable....com/evap/evap.html
[Madai, Oct 04 2004]


       Nice attempt, but I fear that messing with some heats, temperatures, and overall moister might really screw things up.
Spider7, Apr 29 2004

       The heat island effect is actually quite pleasant in cooler times of the year, particularly when it makes the difference in precipitation type.   

       Anyway, you lost me by about the 6th paragraph.
waugsqueke, Apr 29 2004

       Of *course* it will screw things up-- the question is, how much, and what does it say about the unintentional moisture being put into the air? I don't think mankind's *intentional* screwups could *possibly* be worse than there unintentional screwups, such as oil spills, destroying the ozone layer, and Celine Dion.   

       If the tower does bad things, they can always shut it down and turn it into a tourist attraction.   

       And, to make it clear, during pleasant, cool days, the system would not be turned on. It would be turned on when it's hot and unpleasant, probably 80F at a minimum.   

       As for thunderstorms, while obviously if a couple of tornados get created, the tower will be have be shut down, but a thunderstorm would be just what the doctor ordered!   

       http://www.mdsharris.com/ag/know/3.htm atmospheric fixation = good.
Madai, Apr 30 2004

       humidity doesn't make you cooler, it actually has the opposite effect, so this would probably increase air conditioning costs. Also it's harder to cool/ compress moist air than dry air.   

       Surprisingly enough there are some offcie towers that are located near enough to the ocean that take in cold water to use for air conditioning systems. However it is a closed loop system ( the water never touchs the air ).
SystemAdmin, Apr 30 2004

       SystemAdmin, I know humidity is unpleasant, that is why the exit point is up high off the ground-- it should not contribute to humidity, it should blow away or become clouds.   



       If anything, by forcing the humid air up high enough, such a system would DROP the local humidity, and even if it does not, this system would still be a boon for cities which are very hot and very dry.   


       moist air tends to rise, so once we get it ten stories up, it should continue climbing.
Madai, Apr 30 2004

       Make it solar powered, and open to the public for swimming.   

       Moisture in the air wouldn't be a terrible problem. Although humidity of the air will increase, the temperature of the air would decrease, keeping the overall energy of the air about constant.
Worldgineer, Apr 30 2004

       Solar is optional. Since electricity is electricity once you put in on the grid, whether or not you would solar-plate this thing would be based on whether or not you would solar-plate any building.   

       As for being open for public swimming, I suspect the water will get VERY VERY dirty even if special chemicals aren't added for pollution control. I wouldn't wanna swim in it.
Madai, Apr 30 2004

       I suggest solar because it's electrical demand will coincide directly with sunshine hours. Silly to have the electric company provide capacity to run this thing all the time when you only need to run it when the sun's out. Though you're right - you could put solar panels elsewhere for the same effect.
Worldgineer, Apr 30 2004

       True, solar panels would probably work well for this, however, I would not require this machine to be "off the grid"   

       Also, because the optimum location would be in the middle of a large city with tall buildings, there might be the luxury of good sun-- some adjacent skyscraper might block the sun out.
Madai, Apr 30 2004


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