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Solar tower technology:

This would seem to me to overcome some of the difficulties with traditional solar or wind, most important it seems to reduce the intermittency problem with these sources. Of course, that tower is larger than the Empire State Building, and we still need thousands of miles of wires to connect these things to the grid and major electrical use centers.

4 Responses to “This is Cool, or Hot, or Cool … whatever, it’s pretty awesome”

  1. ZT says:

    The link says the “small scale” prototype (which is huge, judging from the picture) generated 50 kw. According to the EIA, the average US home consumed 11280 kWh, an average of 11280/(365.25*24) = 1.287… kw. That prototype looks like it takes up almost as much space as the number of homes it can run.

    I couldn’t find average power consumption for the Empire State Building (which you compared the tower’s size to), but I did find that peak consumption is nearly 10 mw- an entire order of magnitude above what this thing can generate.

    Still pretty cool though, and hopefully there’s room for major improvements. But I’m not giving up on nuclear power and natural gas yet.

  2. Steve says:

    This technology seemed pretty cool when I first heard of it almost 10 years ago. Turns out it isn’t much better than windmills for power to capital costs and operating expense. Spain ran a very large test version, they did not build any afterwards.

  3. Otto Maddox says:

    Now the Mojave desert is going to fill up with these.

  4. RIT_Rich says:

    Sounds like another scam. Notice in their FAQ they talk of capacity factor, and they say “solar tower modeled at 50%+”. Modeled at. Does it mean that it will have a capacity factor of 50%? Hmm. Most solar and wind projects are also “modeled at” much higher capacity factors than they actually end up demonstrating in the real world.

    A tower of 1,000m and 130m in diameter. This would make it about 170m taller than Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made structure in the world. All this for a 200MW planned capacity? This has got to be a joke.

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