The Enviromission Solar Thermal Updraft Tower – Australia technology

EnviroMission, Ltd. is a renewable energy developer of sustainable “green” energy solutions for the energy market. EnviroMission aims to be one of Australia’s leading producers of clean renewable energy. EnviroMission holds the proprietary rights to Solar Tower technology, a large-scale renewable energy technology based on simple fundamentals of physics — hot air rises. Solar Tower technology has the potential to offer competitive renewable energy with equal reliability to fossil fuel generators.

The Australian Solar Tower Concept

EnviroMission’s inspirational program to adapt innovative Solar Tower technology to US conditions and construct the world’s first large-scale solar thermal power station is set to deliver a renewable energy solution that will also be a destination and extreme engineering icon.

The scale of the first 200MW power station will capture worldwide attention and attract significant added value through tourism and agribusiness.

A single 200MW Solar Tower power station will provide enough electricity to power around 100,000 households, similar to the number of homes in a city the size of Burbank (California, USA) or Palm Bay (Florida, USA).

The energy output will represent an annual saving of more than 900,000 tonnes of greenhouse CO2 gases from entering the environment, with an outstanding Life Cycle Analysis of 2.5 years.

The Technology.

A Solar Tower power plant- sometimes referred to as a “Solar Chimney” or “Solar Updraft Tower” is a Solar Thermal Power Plant that combines the use of a solar air collector (canopy) and a central updraft tower to generate a solar induced convective flow which drives 32 x 6.25MW pressure staged turbines to generate electricity.

The Technology is made up of three components.

solar updraft tower










The Tower.

The Tower is the thermal engine of the Solar Tower technology. In it, heat is transformed into mechanical energy. The updraft inside the tower, produced by the rising lighter, hot air, is essential for this. The greater the velocity of the Tower, the higher the column of air is and the stronger the updraft. Therefore, a high-capacity power plant should have the highest Tower possible.
The Canopy

The canopy converts a large percentage of the insulation into heat, which in turn, heats the air trapped under the canopy roof or is stored in the ground soil thermal storage system. One of the main objectives of the canopy is to lose as little heat as possible into the ambient.
The Turbines

The Turbines transform the energy from the heat and pressure of the air into mechanical energy and the generator converts it into electricity. They work like the well known Kaplan Turbines used in hydro-electric power plants.

Small Scale Pilot Plant

Solar Tower technology has been tested and proven with a successful small-scale pilot plant constructed in Manzanares Spain. The pilot project was the result of collaboration between the Spanish Government and the German designers, Schlaich Bergermann and Partner.

The plant operated for seven years between 1982 and 1989, and consistently generated 50kW output of green energy.

The pilot plant conclusively proved the concept works and provided data for design modifications to achieve greater commercial and economic benefits associated with an increased scale of economy.

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