Sky-scraping Tower Will Power 100,000 Homes with Hot Air

October 5, 2011 by  
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A 2,600-foot tower planned for the Arizona desert will be the world’s second tallest structure and will be able to power 100,000 homes through hot air alone. The solar updraft tower , designed by EnviroMission, will work by collecting hot air as it rises from the heated ground surrounding it.  The very tall, narrow tower increases the strength of the hot air flowing upward, where it will turn 32 turbines along the way. The tower will be able to produce 200 MW of electricity each day and, unlike solar power technologies, will be able to produce electricity at night too since heat from the ground will still be flowing upward and it will operate without the use of water. This technology comes at a pretty steep price — $750 million to build — but since hot air is free, the operating costs going forward will be very minimal and the tower should last at least 80 years. The tower will be made of concrete, which is a very carbon-heavy material, but the clean energy produced by the tower should cancel out the carbon emissions of making it within 2.5 years. via CNN

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Sky-scraping Tower Will Power 100,000 Homes with Hot Air

University of Maryland Wins 2011 Solar Decathlon

October 5, 2011 by  
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The WaterShed, designed and built by a team from the University of Maryland, is the winner of the 2011 Solar Decathlon . In addition to winning the overall competition, the Maryland entry also took first place in the Architecture category and second place in the Market Appeal category, and was in the top 5 in almost every category, including two other categories where they tied with several other teams for first place. The winning house is just 876 square feet (81.4 square meters) in area. It not only utilizes solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal, but also incorporates water collection, greywater filtration, and an edible garden wall among its numerous features. Second-place in the Decathlon was won by Purdue University, and the team from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand received the third-place award. link: Maryland Solar Decathlon Page

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University of Maryland Wins 2011 Solar Decathlon

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