Wind energy may benefit from man-made windFebruary 6, 2013
Man-made wind energy could be the future
It is no secret that the U.S. has become enamored with wind energy and other forms of clean power. The federal government has been pouring support into wind energy very aggressively over the past two years, even extending a vital tax credit to ensure that more projects receive the financial support they need to take form. The issue with wind energy has long be in the realm of cost, however, which has proven problematic enough to keep wind energy from widespread adoption.
Downdraft Tower introduces a new idea to wind energy
The answer to the cost problem of wind energy may actually lie with man-made wind. Clean Wind Energy Tower, Inc., a company devoted to wind energy, has developed a new system that could change the way the U.S. uses wind as a renewable power source. The company has developed what it calls the Downdraft Tower, which is designed to generate strong wind currents that will activate wind turbines and produce electricity. The Downdraft Tower accomplishes this aim through the use of solar energy and various other technology.
Tower incorporates solar energy
The tower is a massive, hollow cylindrical structure. The tower is designed to facilitate a power downdraft, which is created when water meets hot, dry air. The top of the tower is equipped with solar technologies that are used to heat the air. A fine mist of water is sprayed at the top of the tower as well. As this water evaporates, the heated air becomes dense and falls to the bottom of the tower at speeds approaching 50 miles-per-hour. The base of the tower houses two tunnels, through which the wind current is funneled and captured by turbines waiting just outside.
Initiative may help reduce wind energy costs, but is costly itself as well
The initiative has been innovative enough to capture the attention of ARPA-E, the Department of Energy’s future technology research branch. Though the Downdraft Tower may have the potential to address some of the issues associated with wind energy, it may not be able to solve the problem of cost. Theoretically, the tower would be able to reduce the cost of wind turbine installations, as very few would be required to exploit man-made wind currents. The tower itself, however, is a significant financial investment and will require the use of a massive amount of water, which is itself a precious resource.