10m cone could produce 59kW

Former Member of Parliament Dr Alan Williams has come up with a design of solar generator that unlike some of his other projects, looks like something that could quite inexpensively be constructed and tested


He calculates that if one were to build a glazed 10m high cone, 10m across at the base and with a 1m wide aperture at the top, maximum UK summer insolation could yield up to 59kW output from a turbine and generator positioned at the throat.

In his concept, a gap is left between the base of the cone and the ground to allow access of air. What he describes as, “An abundantly perforated solar absorber several layers thick or of honeycomb structure is placed in the lower levels above the base of the cone”. He also observes that, “It is vital that the delta T should be kept as low as possible – a solar absorber depth of up to 1m should be allowed with a fine structure that allows dozens of collisions for each molecule of air with absorber surface so there is rapid and complete equilibration”.

The basis of the idea, that is the solar heating of air which then rises is the same as that underlying the idea of the solar chimney being built by EnviroMission in Australia, but he calculates that a simple cylinder will not be very efficient and ensure complete conversion of thermal energy into kinetic energy unless it is at least 92km tall.

More information from: http://www.globalwarmingsolutions.co.uk

Tom Shelley

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