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Hybrid Solar-Wind Energy Tower to Be Built in AZ

Posted on the 09 May 2014 by Dailyfusion @dailyfusion
A novel hybrid solar-wind power plant to be developed in ArizonaA novel hybrid solar-wind power plant to be developed in Arizona. (Credit: Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc.)

Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. last month announced that the City Council of San Luis, Arizona, approved the development of the first “solar wind downdraft tower,” a hybrid solar-wind power plant, in the city.

This hybrid solar-wind power plant is comprised of a tall hollow cylinder with a water injection system near the top and wind tunnels containing turbines near the bottom.

To start, a series of pumps deliver water to the tower’s injection system at the top where a fine mist is cast across the entire opening. The water introduced by the injection system then evaporates and is absorbed by hot dry air which has been heated by the solar rays. As a result, the air becomes cooler, denser and heavier than the outside warmer air, and falls through the cylinder at speeds up to and in excess of 50 mph. This air is then diverted into wind tunnels surrounding the base of the Tower where turbines inside the tunnels power generators to produce electricity.

In geographic areas where atmospheric conditions are conducive, the exterior of the solar wind downdraft tower may be constructed with vertical “wind vanes” that capture the prevailing wind and channel it to produce supplemental electrical power.

The company has now secured the site for its first tower project in the U.S.—a 600-acre piece of land in San Luis. The site is convenient to highways, rail service, public utilities, as well as the electrical substation for the city of San Luis. The water needed for operations of the Tower will be provided by the City of San Luis at an agreed upon contract rate for a minimum period of 50 years. That combined with its convenience and ideal weather conditions make this site a perfect location for the company’s first solar wind downdraft tower.

Ron Pickett, CEO of Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. stated, “This is the most significant event in the history of our Company. Together with our expert Teaming Partners, we have devoted over three years to the research and development of this ‘game-changing’ energy solution and are thrilled to see our vision coming to fruition. This milestone allows us to advance into definitive discussions with power purchasers, potential joint venture partners, and financing sources which will enable the Tower to be built on time and within budget.”

Pickett added, “It gives us great pleasure to see Solar Wind Energy Tower transitioning from a ‘Development Stage’ company to that of a full scale ‘Development’ company. Together with our partners, we remain committed to bringing our renewable energy Towers online in the City of San Luis, other parts of the U.S. and worldwide to meet increasing energy demands, all while reducing our carbon footprint, creating jobs and contributing to local economies.”

According to the company’s press-release, the project is to produce electricity as early as 2018.

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