By Larry Dignan
Posting in Architecture
The 10 MW Tower in Dubai is quite a renewable energy machine. The skyscraper is pumping out 10 times the amount of energy it needs and is exporting power to the surrounding neighborhood.
The 10 MW Tower proposed for Dubai is quite a renewable energy machine. The skyscraper pumps out 10 times the amount of energy it needs to export power to the surrounding neighborhood.
Studied Impact, the architects who designed the 10 MW Tower, note that the tower has three energy producing systems: a horizontal axis wind turbine, a concentrated solar power armature and an updraft tower.
The architectural firm, which is led by Robert Ferry, notes:
The 10 megawatt measurement is the capacity of the tower. Based on local meteorological data the 3MW CSP and 2MW SU will operate for 2,400 hours per year. The 5MW HAWT would be operational for approximately 1,600 hours per year and much of that operation will be during the night when the other two systems are inoperable. The yearly output then of the building will be approximately 20,000MWh. The estimated embodied energy in the structure, the finishes and the construction of the 130,000m2 (GFA) building is estimated at 360,000MWh and the tower will neutralize its entire existence impact in less than 20 years through the clean energy it will generate—the first skyscraper ever to do so.
Pretty heady stuff. Inhabitat adds that the 10 MW Tower will be set off in a lot where it has clear access to sunlight on all sides.
Here are a few images via Studied Impact:
Mar 10, 2010
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I thought this was about the Burj Khalifa since it was explicitly in the present tense. Design possiblities are promising if ideal requirements are fulfilled. Mirror arrangements look very complex and critical. I think this indicates the experiments in the California deserts are having proven results to incorporate elsewhere like structures. Also noticed that this doesn't use PV panels and that is a good idea. Many people aren't aware of the actual performance, maintenance requirements, and MTBF for such systems. The technology for this is also problematic. Besides the arrangement, if the mirrors are coated then delamination could occur. Unsure the type of receivers/concentrators/transducers utilized but they could literally fry with little tolerance deviation. However, I believe this concentrates the rays onto a multi-looped heat exchanging system. Still, the cooling system requirements must be closely maintained. Besides the turbine and main fan, there is much plumbing and ancillary mechanical equipment to keep in optimum condition along with the electrical distribution. Somewhat complex but engineering will be the challenge. Impressive. My opinion, but why can't we do this in the USA instead of building stale strip malls, rehashing what is basically the same design plans that are given unproven LEED certifications, or piece-mealing the renewable energy goal using PV panels? I know there are several "experimental" power stations but I don't know if they are in full operational status yet. I'm mostly talking about the advancements in structures like this that would blow the USGBC's mind. I have hope that it works and can be scaled for many other high-density structures. I also have hope for power towers and micro-scale generators so that communities and people can be relieved of grid reliance as well as pollution. Anyway, I appreciate the links.
An idiot doubts reports by spewing ridiculous claims like "the expected lifetime of solar panels is about 12 years". Who even cares that they really last 20+ years? If you notice, there are not any solar panels on the building. A concentrated power armature is a large series of mirrors--and mirrors last a long time... Humans on Earth use only about 16 Terawatts. We only need to build about 20,000,000 of these towers around the globe and we have enough energy (assuming that the power can get to the towers from the sun, and from the building to the energy users).
Pragmatist: Is it (or will it be) cost effective. Presumably the putative builders have done their sums - where are they?
He says proposed, that's true, but if you read the entire first paragraph, it's ALL in the present tense. As in, The 10 MW Tower proposed for Dubai is quite a renewable energy machine. The skyscraper pumps out 10 times the amount of energy it needs to export power to the surrounding neighborhood. Also in the second paragraph there are more places where the tense is suggesting the present and not the future. The article is misleading to be sure, if you're not reading close enough, you'd think that this thing was already producing more electricity than it sues.But it hasn't even been built yet.
of the article, and says "will be" in the next to last line, about where it "will be" built. About everything is direct quote, so who's saying what?
As near as I can tell via some web searching, this tower is not exporting anything at all. I don't think construction has even started. Mr. Dignan's article, which is all present tense, masterfully obscures this point.
ken@: > ...the expected lifetime of solar panels is about 12 years. Nonsense. Most PV panels are guaranteed for 25 years. 40 year life expectancy is common.
Ken, as an after thought most solar panels are warrenteed for 20-25 years - that is they are expected to produce 80% of their rated ouput for that time frame. And most panels will still be producing power for a lot longer than that.
Ken, good question. Don't forget to add the value generated by the housing or office space provided by the building in your calculation. Also be sure to gross up the cost of Oil, natural gas, or whichever fossil fuel you choose so as to capture the negative environmental, social and health impacts of their usage. Let me know your answer
"...the tower will neutralize its entire existence impact in less than 20 years through the clean energy it will generate" That's a ridiculous statement. It's impossible to make that calculation without using the very worst pseudo-scientific estimates. Furthermore, the expected lifetime of solar panels is about 12 years. What will be the "environmental impact" of replacing those panels before the building has repaid the universe for its existence? But please, let's ignore the environmental impact. Does the building make economic sense? Can it produce electricity cheaper than if it were burning oil or natural gas taking into account the building's cost?