A new wind tower facility to be built in Arizona in the United States will have an average generation capacity of 435 MW.
The tower is to be 685 m high. To put this into perspective, the tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 828 m. The wind tower would be taller than the One World Trade Centre at 541.3 m. The PETRONAS Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur are 451.9 m.
The idea is to induce a downward draft in the tower. The air is to travel downwards from the top of the tower and is to exit at the bottom, where wind turbines are to be located.
It is the reverse of a cooling tower. A cooling tower functions by transferring heat to air in the tower. The hot air rises, inducing an upward draft in the tower. The wind tower is to operate in reverse, by producing cooler air at the top of the wind tower. The cooler air then falls down into the wind tower, creating the wind to operate the wind turbines.
The cooler air is produced at the top of the wind tower by spraying fine water drops in the form of a fog. The water in the fog evaporates and absorbs heat out of the air, causing the air to cool. The cooler air is heavier than the surrounding air and it falls towards the bottom of the wind tower, creating the downward draft.
In order to operate, it requires only surrounding air that is relatively warm and dry. This is why the tower is to be located in Arizona, where the atmospheric conditions are more likely to be suitable.
The benefit of the wind tower over conventional wind turbines is that the tower should be able to produce power so long as the air is warm and dry, regardless of the wind speed of the surrounding air. This means the wind tower should be able to generate more constant power, with reduced intermittency.
It would seem that if the conditions are favourable, it only requires water and electricity for pumping facilities in order to start the power generation. Efficient transport of the generated power to consumers would require connection to a transmission network, which may require the installation of a generation substation.
No matter what type of renewable generation is being developed, BESST Engineering is able to provide electrical engineering and control solutions, from concept feasibility to detailed design, construction and commissioning.