Putting solar panels on the roof (or side) of your skyscraper is so 2008. If you really want some efficiency without all those complicated photovoltaics. If you really love renewable energy, and you also like EXTREME temperatures, you should just buckle down and put a solar power tower at the top of your skyscraper.
And that's the idea of the Almeisan Tower that's been designed for Za'abeel park in Dubai.
The tower would be a home to an observation deck, a cafe, a children's library and community meeting space, and would produce enough electricity to power itself, and several neighboring buildings. The solar power portion, at the top, would simply be a bunch of rotating mirrors that focus the sun's light on a point at the peak of the structure. That point would get so hot that water pumped through would vaporize, and turn a steam turbine to create electricity. It's not a new idea, eSolar is building several of these plants in America now, and Abengoa's solar thermal towers have been producing power in Spain for years.
But I've never seen anyone planning on sticking one on top of a building.
Solar thermal power is generally more well suited to centralized power generation, where lots of energy can be produced off-site on cheap land in sunny areas. But I'm not going to fault the building's designer, Robert Ferry, for thinking outside the box. I hope this thing gets built, if only because it's kinda awesome.
written by Fi, July 14, 2009
written by Fred, July 14, 2009
|< Prev||Next >|