Thursday, July 20, 2006

EnviroMission Solar Tower



EnviroMission is an Australian based group building the worlds first large scale (200MW) solar tower, capable of generating enough clean electricity to power around 200,000 typical Australian households, with no greenhouse gas emissions. The equivalent energy produced conventionally would pump over 900,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasses into the environment.

Originally the plan was to build a much larger structure 1 kilometre tall, though mid 2005 EnviroMission announced that they plan to build a smaller scale version. Of course this announcement was met by pessimists as evidence of failure of the project, however the project is still on track and appears to have strong potential, even if the planned large scale tower is delayed in favour of establishing wide scale commercialisation.

Building smaller towers may look like a simple downsizing of the technology, but the reality is that smaller towers offer far greater potential for the technologies future. Thanks to several developments in the technology (namely increased efficiency of the collector zones and greater storage capacity allowing constant energy generation), the smaller scale towers are now economically viable. Where once it was thought a megalith tower was required to be economically viable, it now appears that smaller towers are viable, greatly increasing the technologies scalability.

The company is still focused on building the large facilities, but is developing smaller 50MW facilities for demonstration purposes consistent with the LETDF Grant application, which is focused on allowing wide scale commercialization of low emission technologies through technology demonstrations.



Waterville Investment Research has a thorough review on the technology and the company, and things are looking promising for the future of solar towers.

The Discovery channel has an interesting documentary about solar tower technology.

Renewable Energy World also has an interesting article on solar towers published last year.

5 Comments:

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Michael Anissimov said...

God that thing is tight. I got to write an article on solar towers for my job at wiseGEEK.

Welcome to the blogosphere, btw. Not too many Australian blogs on these topics.

 
At 7:17 PM, Blogger Omnitir said...

Thanks Michael. I checked out your article, nice work.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to offer much of a different perspective on these topics as an Australian, but I find it all very interesting, so I’ll see how I go.

Solar towers are a brilliant idea. It’s a shame really that there is so much focus on PV panels and wind turbines when there are several other alternative energy technologies out there with considerable potential. I’d love to see these solar towers become common place one day.

 
At 5:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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