Researchers over at the Israel Technion Institute of Science seem confident in building a product to easily produce enough energy to power 15 to 20 times the total electricity being used by the world today. Not only that, they’re also claiming that it could be used as a desalination device which could reverse global warming.
Since 1983, the concept called the “Energy Tower“, has been in the works with 150 man-years spent researching, designing, testing and analyzing.
Professor Dan Zaslavsky, the project founder, says the 3,000-foot tall tower works on the basic principle of convection - in which hot air rises and cold air falls. With a diameter of 1200 feet, it could take advantage of the flow of cold and warm air.
Water would be added to the top of the tower to cool the hot air at the top, and the heavy cooled air would sink downwards, picking up speed as it falls. It finally be used to power turbines at the tower’s base connected to a generator to produce the electricity.
Since the Energy Tower relies on sun power for hot air, the tower is considered to be a type of solar power. Forty countries have been identified as ideal regions to place the tower since it works best in hot, dry climates such as areas in the Middle East, North Africa, Mexico, California, and Australia.
If created, the researchers expect energy to come cheap at about 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour which is less than a third of the cost for power in Israel currently. It’s also cheaper than solar, wind and hydro-electric power.
As for it reversing global warming? The Energy Tower could cool the Earth by creating a “Hadley Cell Circulation” which is a natural process when the earth cools itself near the equator. If the tower could cool the air around it, in desert regions, the Energy Tower could aid in the global cooling process.
The researchers are still waiting for investors to finance the project to build a prototype. If successful, it could generate cheaper energy for large populations and greatly have a hand in aiding the worlds energy outlook.