The Solar Tower: the Answer to our Energy Woes
The solar tower is about to revolutionize how the world looks at power. It is a renewable energy source that is currently in the works down in Australia taking up 25,000 acres of the outback. The project, which uses a solar updraft tower, is based on a prototype of the technology that hit Spain back in the 1980's. The concept involves a large green house like structure, called the collector, which heats the air inside via sunlight. The warmed air then travels up a large, hollow tower turning turbines which result in eco friendly power. Who knew that the common knowledge that hot air rises could have such large implications surrounding our power? Not only this, but the capabilities of such power structures allow energy to be harvested 24 hours a day with no wind required.
The solar tower that is to be constructed in Australia uses this technology on such a large scale that when all said and done, the tower in the plant will be the largest tower in the world, at over 3,000 feet. The power that it will supply, in turn, is quite large as well. According to Wikipedia a small, simple solar updraft tower has mighty power abilities:
One 200MW power station will provide enough electricity for around 200,000 typical households and will abate over 900,000 tons of greenhouse producing gases from entering the environment annually.
If a small plant can do this, there is no telling what one on the scale of Australia's will do. There are some estimates that the power that that one single plant can produce will be able to power over half of the entire country saving what once seemed an insurmountable quantity of harmful gases. The project down under has been in the works since 2006 and I found it very surprising that there isn't more media coverage of the huge project. It is time we demanded cleaner energy because, asAustralia is showing the world, it is within out reach.