Dec 17, 2023

24/7 Solar Towers Could Double Energy Output

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

If you want to improve the output of solar energy systems, why not also run them at night? That’s the question researchers in Qatar and Jordan addressed as they successfully devised a system that promises to more than double energy output of current solar power stations.

By combining two concepts—a solar updraft system and a cooling downdraft structure—researchers designed a model that could generate 753 MWh of energy annually. That’s enough to power roughly 753 homes for about five weeks or 1,500 60-watt light bulbs nonstop for a year.

The origins of the system, referred to as Solar Tower Power Plant, go back to 1982 when Spanish engineers constructed a chimney-like tower with a mechanical turbine at its base. Air within the tower was warmed by absorbing solar radiation, similar to a greenhouse. As the air heated, it created an updraft that rose and activated wind turbines that in turn generated electricity.

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