Solar Power or Wind Power? How about using solar energy to create wind energy?

This is pretty interesting. Pennysleuth, a micro-cap investor newsletter, talks about a “Solar Tower of Power” being built in the Australian Outback. Basically, they’re creating a huge funnel made of clear plastic that will cover 25,000 acres. As the sun’s rays come thru the plastic, it heats the air inside, which then causes it to rise. As the air tries to squeeze into the smaller space at the top of the funnel, it speeds up, which creates wind that will turn the 32 wind turbines.

“The motion of air outside the tube is slow. Inside the tube, it’s very fast. How? Consider a bellows. A small squeeze causes a fast puff of air. The reason is that a large volume of air is trying to squeeze into a small opening. The only way that can work is for the air to move faster in the small opening. The Solar Tower uses this same principle.

As air rises up the tube it accelerates to 35 MPH and propels 32 wind turbines, which in turn are used to generate electricity. In the desert, where sunlight is almost constant during the day, this provides a reliable source of power. (For nighttime use, some of the excess power will be diverted to huge arrays of batteries that are drained at night and recharged during the day.)”

At least that’s the concept. The author does go on to talk about a small test unit in Spain built in 1981, and claims that the company Enviromission, Ltd has acquired the $1 million needed to buy the 25,000 acre sheep farm. However, he then goes on to say that they have not yet acquired the funding to fund the reported $500-$750 million price to actually build the Solar Tower. The company does claim to have signed a joint venture to build several solar towers in China.

We’ll wait and see if anything actually happens here.

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