Coal Exhaust Making a Solar Updraft Tower Work

In summary, the conversation discusses the idea of using a solar updraft tower to make carbon cleaner for the environment by filling it with exhaust from a gas/coal plant. The concern is that the tower may become too hot and result in toxic smog. The possibility of increasing energy available by adding a heat and additional gas source is also mentioned. The conversation suggests researching and calculating the potential energy available before promoting the idea.
  • #1
John d Marano
46
4
I was thinking of ways of making carbon cleaner for the environment. One of the ways I came up with is filling a solar updraft tower https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_updraft_tower with the exhaust from a gas/coal plant.

So you'd get a true greenhouse gas accumulation of heat going in the tower which will allow for a much smaller/realistic footprint/collector section of the tower. My concern, however, is that it will get very hot in the tower plus light from the sun and plus time will result in very toxic smog?!

It's been on my mind so let me know . . .
 
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  • #2
I think adding a heat and additional gas source of any kind will increase energy available to be captured. the question is whether it will increase the energy available enough to matter.
 
  • #3
John d Marano said:
One of the ways I came up with is filling a solar updraft tower https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_updraft_tower with the exhaust from a gas/coal plant.

You can estimate the energy available by assuming that you capture 100% of the thermal energy in the exhaust. That is proportional to the flow rate of gas times the temperature difference between the gas and ambient temperature at the top of the tower times the specific heat. In reality, it might be hard to capture more than 30% of that energy.

If you like to promote this idea, then you should do the research. Look up the numbers (via a little Internet searching) and do the calculation yourself. Then post here again with the result.
 
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1. What is a solar updraft tower?

A solar updraft tower is a type of renewable energy technology that uses the sun's thermal energy to create a continuous airflow, which can then be harnessed to generate electricity.

2. How does coal exhaust make a solar updraft tower work?

Coal exhaust, or waste heat from coal-fired power plants, is used to heat the air inside the solar updraft tower. This creates a temperature difference between the air inside and outside the tower, causing the air to rise and create a draft that drives the turbines to generate electricity.

3. What are the benefits of using coal exhaust for a solar updraft tower?

Using coal exhaust to power a solar updraft tower has several benefits. It reduces the amount of waste heat emitted from coal-fired power plants, making them more efficient and environmentally friendly. It also allows for the use of existing infrastructure and reduces the cost of building a new tower.

4. Is coal exhaust the only way to power a solar updraft tower?

No, coal exhaust is not the only way to power a solar updraft tower. Other heat sources, such as biomass or waste heat from industrial processes, can also be used. However, coal exhaust is a readily available and reliable source of heat, making it a popular choice for this technology.

5. What are the potential drawbacks of using coal exhaust for a solar updraft tower?

One potential drawback is the dependence on coal-fired power plants, which are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. While using coal exhaust can reduce these emissions, it does not eliminate them completely. Additionally, the use of coal exhaust may not be feasible in areas where there are no nearby coal-fired power plants.

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