Floating Solar Chimney Technology Scale Analysis

Christos D. Papageorgiou, Michael Psalidas, and Sotiris Sotiriou


Floating Solar Chimney scale effects


Solar chimney technology is a very promising solar thermal electricity generating technology. Solar chimney power plants have three major parts. A large greenhouse, a tall cylinder in the center of the greenhouse named solar chimney and an air turbine inside the solar chimney, geared to appropriate electric generators. Floating Solar Chimney (FSC) is a low cost alternative of the concrete solar chimney. The Floating solar chimney, as a lighter than air structure, can be raised anywhere and its cost is as low as 2% of the cost of the respective concrete chimney. Our approach includes a low cost greenhouse that can be used in FSC technology, which is also a low cost alternative to the usual glass roofed circular greenhouse related to the concrete chimney. This plastic covered low cost greenhouse could solve also the ingress of dust, which is a problem that could be a serious obstacle in desert installations of the FSC technology. Furthermore according to the construction cost and the electricity generation figures, we present a scale analysis of the FSC technology. Even with moderate height FSC structures of 650m, is possible the direct production cost to be approximately 45 USD/MWh. The unused mid-latitude desert or semi desert lands of high solar radiation in many countries in all the continents can be used for large-scale application of Floating Solar Chimney technology securing sustainability and mitigating global warming effects.

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