The company (formerly Clean Wind Energy Tower, Inc) is actively seeking financial partners to build the first tower near San Luis, Arizona. The tower design is being called a “revolutionary solution” to harnessing the sun’s power.
Unlike photovoltaic, the power generated from the tower is a mix of heat and water. In fact, the company designed and holds the patent for this unique hybrid solar wind tower and describes the tower energy as sustainable, free and never-ending with the capability of producing energy 24/7 365 days a year. Because of the design, the wind created by the downdraft is incredibly powerful.
How It Works
According to the company website, the patented downdraft tower is a hollow cylinder that uses a “water injection system near the top and wind tunnels containing turbines near the bottom”.
The height of the proposed tower will be a staggering half-mile (2,640 feet). At this height, the atmosphere is hot and dry and heated the sun. Water is then injected near the top of the tower and weight the dry air, sinking it to the bottom of the tower. This action creates a wind force that’s strong enough to drive the turbines. (1)
When the air is heated by the sun’s solar rays along with the water, the combination creates a powerful downdraft wind. This in turn powers the turbines that turn the generators. According to Industry Tap, the single tower design is touted as producing the same amount of energy currently produced by the Hoover Dam. (2)
Applications Beyond the Desert
The solar tower isn’t limited to just desert locations. It is versatile enough to be used in other geographic regions. For example, in areas where there are wind conditions that make it conducive, “the exterior of the Tower may be constructed with vertical “wind vanes” that capture the prevailing wind and channel it to produce supplemental electrical power”.
This makes the tower a “dual renewable energy resource”.
For a world obsessed with the carbon footprint of industries, the tower leaves “virtually no carbon footprint”. In addition, it has no fuel consumption requirements for operating. And great news that few industries can boast, the tower has no waste production. With no environmental impact and no fossil fuel consumption, the tower seems to be a genuine solution to a world energy crisis.
In addition to the design of the Solar Wind Energy Tower, the company also created a “Proprietary Global Energy Generation Calculator”. This software can “determine the energy generation capabilities of its Towers based on the climate in geographic locations around the world”.
The company states that using this tool along with its other technologies, it can plan and target global positions for the towers to produce worldwide energy needs.
Producing Clean Cheaper Energy
In a comparison chart of Wind, Solar and The Tower’s Solar/Wind production costs, it’s easy to see that the Tower requires significantly less acreage, 1/5 the installation cost and has twice the lifespan of wind turbines and solar photovoltaic farms. (3)
The energy produced by the Tower can be generated for 1/3 the cost of these other alternative energy systems.
Another important point is that unlike the photovoltaic the tower can still produce when the sun isn’t shining.
Unlike wind turbines, the Tower can still produce when the wind isn’t blowing. These properties make it a dependable and reliable alternative energy source.