Global Solar Updraft Tower Market: Snapshot
Although the capital investments are being discouraged due to the large area required and the high initial cost incurred in constructing a very large new structure, the solar updraft tower market is witnessing a renewed interest, especially in sunny remote areas. Since solar updraft towers technology is the only renewable energy technology that can produce electricity from low temperature heat, its demand is likely to rise significantly in the near future. Recently, a few novel projects have been proposed in several countries, such as Africa, the U.S., and Australia; however, capitalization is becoming a severe issue for market players.
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A conventional solar updraft tower has a considerably lower power conversion rate in comparison with the other technologies used for solar thermal collection in the high temperature group. The low cost per sq. mtr of solar collection, however, balanced the low conversion rate to some extent. A 100 MW unit generally requires a 1,000 m tower and a 20 square kilometers greenhouse. A 200 MW unit with the same tower needs a collector of 7 kilometers in diameter.
The efficiency of a transpired solar collector is almost double than a glazed collector. The additional improvement in efficiency can be gained through modifying the design of the turbine and chimney to increase the speed of the air by using…