Wind power has traditionally been dominated by a single basic approach, multiple giant wind turbines spread over the land or offshore, each one depending upon the wind to provide enough spin to generate a meaningful amount of energy. Now imagine a wind energy system that is completely different. Instead of dozens of giant windmills covering the prairie or offshore, imagine a single impressive tower, similar to a power plant cooling tower but larger, standing alone in the desert. While a single wind turbine may generate 5 megawatts or more on a good day, imagine a wind powered unit that is able to generate hundreds of megawatts by itself, without even depending upon the wind.
As amazing as that sounds, it is exactly what Solar Wind Energy is already in the process of building. The company's approach to capturing atmospheric energy is not about existing wind motion, but rather about converting the heat energy held in dry desert air into physical motion that can then be captured by multiple embedded wind turbines. That's why "Solar" is the first word in the company's name. The sun's energy does drive normal wind, but only a portion of the energy captured by our atmosphere manifests itself in physical wind motion. Much of the absorbed energy is in the form of heat, and capturing that heat energy is what Solar Wind Energy is all about.
Their system is designed to do this through the use of water sprayed into the hot air sitting in the tower. As the heat energy from the air evaporates the water, the air immediately cools and becomes more dense. The cool heavy air plummets earthward within the confines of the tower, pulling in hot dry air behind it which is then cooled. The process continues until there is a virtual avalanche of heavy air falling to the ground at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. At the base of the tower, the wind is diverted to multiple wind turbines built into the tower. The turbines capture the wind motion, generating electricity.
For information on Solar Wind Energy, visit cleanwindenergytower.com
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