A Model for Estimating the Potential of “Energy Towers”

A Model for Estimating the Potential of “Energy Towers” in a GIS Environment
Talia Altman, Dan Zaslavsky, Rami Gueta, Yerach Deutcher and Yohay Carmel
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“Energy Tower” is a technology for producing renewable and clean electricity by means of cooling hot and dry air, which is continuously supplied to arid lands. We assess the potential of an Energy Tower by incorporating topographic and meteorological parameters into a computational model, providing evaluations for the net power production and the electricity production cost. We formulate a highly simplified model for the Energy Tower’s flow, setup and process a spatial dataset of topographic and Meteorological upper air parameters. The model was applied to the Australian continent. A model simulation of one annual cycle enabled the ranking and selection of promising sites. The highest potential for energy towers is in the Port Headland region, where favorable meteorological and topographic conditions would result in high average net power (»370 ± 160 MW), potentially providing the electricity needs of ~0.5 million people, for an economically competitive costs (3.5 ¢KWh).