Enviromission Solar Thermal Updraft Tower

This tower works because hot air rises

This tower works because hot air rises

The Unique Design of the Solar Thermal Updraft Tower

Australia is endowed with strategic advantages that make it a fertile ground for renewable energy solutions. In particular, its high solar insolation and sparse population (at least in some areas) has made it a hub for solar energy solutions. It is therefore not surprising that there are a lot of solar energy activities and companies in the country. One of such ambitious solar energy companies is EnviroMission.

The Solar Thermal Updraft Tower works a different way

The Solar Thermal Updraft Tower works a different way


EnviroMission is a newly public listed company whose objective is to provide large scale and affordable generation of power for the Australian electricity market. The company owns the exclusive right and license to solar tower technology, a technology that has been adopted from the development in solar solutions in Germany (and by extension Spain).

EnviroMission in the Arizona desert.

Sometimes it is the simplest of ideas that makes the most sense

Sometimes it is the simplest of ideas that makes the most sense

The company is carrying out site-specific engineering and land acquisition in order to build a full scale solar tower. In fact, it will be one of the tallest buildings in the world. It is hoped that the facility will have a 200 megawatt power generation capacity that will be sufficient to meet the energy needs of 150, 000 homes. Most importantly, it will make use of the available resources in Arizona and put them into good use.

For the solar updraft tower the hot air moves the electric generator turbines

For the solar updraft tower the hot air moves the electric generator turbines

The Technology Behind the Solar Updraft Tower

In 2002, EnviroMission purchased 24,000 of Topia station which was a sheep and wheat farm located in New South Wales at Buronga. The land is sunny and hot and is located just a few miles from the grid. The feasibility of the solar project was done by an independent body for the purpose of objectivity. The company had also secured a good working relationship with Macquarie Bank, one of the major financiers of infrastructure projects in Australia. The Australian federal government recognized the initiatives of the project as a Major Project Facilitation status.

The technology with EnviroMission is unique in that its facilities will have the ability to produce clean and renewable energy for more than eighty years with little or no maintenance. In fact, maintenance just requires turbines servicing once in a while. Generally, the tower just works as long as it stands. Therefore, the project is in tandem with the goals of the renewable energy which is to produce maximum energy with minimum resources.

The company makes use of solar towers. A solar tower is a solar idea or project that has been blown to gigantic proportions. The technology that is derived through the use of solar tower works on temperature differential and not absolute temperature. Moreover, the solar tower does not use uranium or coal but air and sunlight, thus making use of renewable energy. Most importantly, it does not contribute to pollution. The only emission produced by the solar tower is emission of warm air at its top.

Conclusion and the Future of EnviroMission

The government of Australia has set a big goal that will be a roadmap to a 100 % use of renewable energy in Australia by the year 2020. Consequently, companies such as EnviroMission will be relevant in the energy market now and in the future. Remarkably, EnviroMission has entered into a merger with SolaMission Technologies and consequently, it will be a more reliable and competent player in the energy market.

1 Comment

  • Phil Manke says:

    Read a book foretelling of these wind towers about a decade ago. I ‘think’ John Prine was the author but the exact name slips my memory. These seem to be worthy Peace idol monuments of an energy hungry world. As the book foretold, can they be faintly heard many miles away, or are they silent?

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