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Wuhai Inner Mongolia 200 kW solar chimney power plant prototype

'Solar chimneys' may help solve China's energy woes


Convection devices the size of skyscrapers generate electricity by heating air inside

PUBLISHED in South China Morning Post on Saturday, 19 April, 2014

Stephen Chen (binglin.chen@scmp.com)




A test updraft tower in Inner Mongolia could only be built to 50 metres, not the desired 200, because of a nearby airport.

Scientists are researching whether so-called solar chimneys, which rise half a kilometre or even higher from the earth, might produce enough clean energy to help reduce the mainland's chronic air pollution.
A test plant is running successfully in Inner Mongolia and scientists want to build full-size versions in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. The researchers have suggested the towers could be constructed inside new skyscrapers.

The technology involves covering an area of several square kilometres to create a greenhouse around a high chimney. The hot air produced in the greenhouse rises through the tower, driving turbines that generate electricity. The higher the tower, the stronger the updraft and the more power created.
The highest previous attempt to master the technology, which has been discussed for decades, ended in failure when a 195-metre tall tower in Manzanares, Spain, collapsed in 1989 due to structural failure.
But Professor Wei Yili , the leader of the project at Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology, said he was confident they could now build safe and efficient towers higher than a kilometre.
"The structural problem is no longer a problem for us. We have acquired patents for our technology and design," he said. "The towers will stand for a century, outlasting those who build them or see them built, like the Eiffel Tower."

The 50-metre high test "solar updraft tower" has been running in the Gobi desert in Wuhai for nearly four years.
Scientists wanted to build a chimney as high as 200 metres, but had to rein in their ambitions because of a nearby airport.

"This is the biggest regret of the project," Wei said. "Our power generation capacity and efficiency have been severely restricted by the limited height."
The project has managed to generate up to 4,800 kilowatt hours of electricity a day.
That is enough to power about 160 homes, based on average electricity usage figures in the United States.
Wei said they had used the data from the project to improve their mathematical modelling of the technology and had come up with new designs that could be used in big Chinese cities.
One of their designs integrated the solar tower into a high-rise building.
"Many Chinese cities are considering the construction of buildings more than 500 metres high, but have met strong resistance due to their high cost and energy consumption. The updraft tower will make a skyscraper 'green' and strengthen its physical stability as well," Wei said.
"If all new high-rise buildings are built with updraft towers, large cities' demand for coal-fired power plants will be significantly reduced; air quality improves, smog lessens."
But Professor Zhu Jianhua , an environmental engineering scientist at Nanjing University, said solar chimneys were impractical because they needed huge amounts of land and produced little power in return.
"Even if solar power plants are built all over the country and we put up wind farms in every windy area, we can't produce enough electricity to meet our rapidly growing energy needs," he said.
Professor Yuan Xingfei at Zhejiang University, who has studied the structure of solar towers, said it was still not clear whether chimneys up to one kilometre high could be built.
All modelling and designs were based on data collected from simulations because nobody had ever built a chimney more than one kilometre tall, she said.
"The upper part of the tower cannot be concrete and steel because they weigh too much," Yuan said.
"But if we use lighter materials such as carbon fibre we may see the top wobbling uncomfortably in the wind. We are still working to solve these problems."
Professor Zhou Xinping at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan , also studies solar updraft tower technology. Zhou said that a few years ago the department had contacted the municipal government in Shanghai about constructing a solar tower as the world's tallest man-made structure.
The Shanghai government showed interest and held several rounds of negotiations with Zhou's team, but the authorities pulled out due to technological and economic concerns.
Some officials were worried about the tower's physical strength, doubting whether scientists and engineers could meet the unprecedented engineering challenges.
But the government's biggest concern was the use of land, as several square kilometres of ground was required for the project's greenhouse, Zhou said.
An Australian company, EnviroMission, is pushing for the construction of the world's first commercial plant with a one kilometre-tall solar tower in the US state of Arizona.
"If they make it, our government will be totally convinced. Then some larger, higher projects will likely be approved and launched in China quickly," Zhou said.
A commercial updraft power plant would cost hundreds of millions of yuan on the mainland while challenging the country's manufacturing and engineering capabilities, he added.
Kim Forte, spokeswoman for EnviroMission, said the company was working on several projects in the US, but was also seeking opportunities in China with potential partners.
But Forte cautioned that Chinese authorities should consider many factors before launching a project on such an enormous scale, including the location and the local use of land.
"You certainly don't want to build in an area with many earthquakes," she said.
Zhou at Huazhong University said that solar chimneys would not only create clean energy, they would actively clean the air by sucking up dirty air at ground level and dispersing it at higher altitude.
"Each updraft tower will work as an extremely powerful and tireless air pump," Zhou said.
"The construction of a solar tower is expensive and the energy it produces will be higher in cost than that from coal-fired power plants, but if you consider the cost of other measures to combat with smog it's cheap and competitive."
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as 'Solar chimneys' may help solve energy woes


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The 3rd International Conference on Solar Updraft Tower Power took place from 26 to 28 October, 2012 at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, in Wuhan, China.
The homepage of the 3rd International Conference on Solar Updraft Tower Power Technology 2012 (SUTPT 2012) is available at
http://www.sutpt2012.org .


Bay Area in Wuhai Jinsha Inner Mongolia built a 200 kW solar chimney hot air experimental demonstration power plant.

在内 蒙古乌海金 沙湾地区兴建了一座200 kW的太阳能热风实验示范电站

该200 kw太阳能热风发电站的集热棚呈椭圆状布置,其面积为6 170 m2、集热棚出E1面积为251.4 m2,塔囱高度为53 m,塔囱直径为18 m。以当地沙子为吸热和储能材料, 在巨大太阳能集热棚的中央建造竖直塔筒,塔筒底部设有热风通道,内部安装涡轮发电机组,太阳能集热棚透明盖板采用钢化玻璃。该系统还结合风力发电。当有风时,打开迎风门,自动调节进风量,风力提高了涡轮机的驱动力,可直接利用太阳能和风能同时发电。
乌海金沙沙漠太阳能热风发电示范电站将成为世界首家沙漠太阳能热风发电示范电站。

内蒙古地区太阳能资源丰富,也具有大面积的沙摸、荒滩可供开发利用。
为此, 在内 蒙古乌海金 沙湾地区兴建了一座200 kW的太阳能热风实验示范电站。
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沙漠太阳能热风发电系统

该电站的建设不仅开辟了太阳能发电的新途径,而且具有重要的现实意义。
(1)该太阳能热风发电站只占用沙漠和荒地,不需征用有限的耕地,不会同粮食和果蔬生产发生冲突。
(2)该发电项目将大片的沙漠覆盖,是减少沙尘的有效方法,有利于防沙治沙工作推进,改良气候和改善生态环境,提高环境效益。
(3)底部隔水设计,可减少沙漠蒸发量,雨水收集系统可灌溉,绿化部分沙漠,加速提高当地空气质量。
(4)太阳能热风发电站运行时无需水,排出的是清洁空气,不会产生任何污染,环保性能好,能改善当地的生态环境,而且涉及的规模越大,社会效益越显著。
所以,此项目的研发对于新能源开发具有重要意义。利用可再生能源发电,缓解能源危机,为替代常规能源发电开辟道路;促进改善沙漠生态环境,减少政府用于沙漠治理的费用,实现环境和经济效益的双丰收;实现商业化太阳能热风发电站的建设,弥补多年太阳能热风发电站只停留在理论阶段的空缺,推动太阳能热风发电技术的快速发展。


太阳能是最原始的能源,地球上几乎所有能源都直接或间接来自太阳能。
同时太阳能具有资源充足,永恒,分布广泛,安全、清洁,技术可靠等优点。
21世纪内太阳能将成为全球主要能源之一。我国属太阳能资源丰富的国家之一,年太阳辐射大于1900 kW/m2的地区包括大部分国土,特别是人口密度不大的西藏、青海、新疆和内蒙古,地域辽阔,土地资源丰富,更适合建立太阳能发电基地。


协调发展的新型发电模式

杨培宏,内蒙古科技大学信息工程学院 范鹏翔,包钢集团公司生产部

摘要:该文在太阳能热气流发电系统的基础上构想出一种新型发电模式。这种发电模式将会更好地调和能源利用与环境之间的矛盾,实现能源、生态和环境的协调发展,大规模太阳能热气流发电系统则成为可再生能源发电的一种新技术,并会获得客观的社会效益和经济效益。特别是在沙漠地区发展这项太阳能发电技术,能够实现日光生电力,沙漠变绿洲的梦想。


全國首個太陽能熱氣流發電廠建成

最早将太阳能烟囱技术应用于发电的构想起源于德国的Schlaich教授,这位杰出的建筑工程大师在建设高大建筑时认识了烟囱效应,并于1978年提出了著名的太阳能热气流发电技术[4-5]。
近几年来,我国也加大了在这一领域的研究力度。据悉,国内第一个太阳能烟囱已于2002年12月在华中科技大学建成,它负责对有关项目进行实验及数值模拟研究。
2003年,潘垣院士开始在国内大力倡导太阳能热气流发电技术,提出建设太阳能热气流发电系统对中国能源发展以及改善生态环境方面有着深远影响,使得太阳能热气流发电技术的研究在国内已深受广大专家学者关注。
由内蒙古科技大学新能源研究所牵头的太阳能热气流发电实验基地在内蒙古乌海市建成,预计近期即可并网发电,其中,太阳能塔高为53 m,并由5台45 kW的8极异步发电机组成。若能够大规模推广太阳能热气流发电,不仅能够解决化石能源危机,环境污染,而且还能够解决内蒙古西部地区的沙漠化问题,能够真正做到能源、生态、环境协调发展。
目前,国内对太阳能热气流发电技术主要集中于以下几个方面:小型太阳能热气流实验装置的建设与实验;太阳能热气流发电系统的热力学分析;太阳能热气流发电系统的HAG效应;太阳能热气流发电系统在中国部分地区的可行性研究;太阳能热气流发电系统的涡轮机布置方案研究;大容量商业运行太阳能热气流电站可行性研究。


内蒙古自治区科技厅厅长徐凤君做客内蒙古新闻网视频直播间谈科技发展

阳能热风发电示范电站技术的应用
目前乌海金沙湾地区正在投建一座200 kW太阳能热风发电站。其工程规划装机容量为27.5 MW,总共占沙漠2.78x104 m2,总投资13.8亿。工程分三期进行,第一期工程2009年5月-2009年12月,建设200 kW太阳能热风发电示范项目,占沙漠4.0x104 m2,投资1 000万元;第二期工程2010年2月-2011年12月,建设2.2 MW太阳能热风发电系统,占沙漠2.2x105m2, 投资1.1亿元;第三期工程2012年1月一2013年12月,建设25.1 MW太阳能热风发电系统,占沙漠2.5lxl04 m2,投资12.6亿元。




乌海市金沙湾地区建造太阳能热风发电站的优势条件
能量密度低、日照波动大是太阳辐射的基本特征,也是人类在大规模开发和利用太阳能时难以逾越的障碍。
乌海金沙湾对于建设太阳能热风发电站具有独特的优势:
(1)能源充足,日照时间长。
(2)沙漠资源丰富,所需的蓄热介质沙子可就地解决。
(4)施工方法和建筑材料均可在当地获得,建筑材料只需玻璃、水泥和钢材等。
(5)地理环境优越,交通便利。
(6)拥有得天独厚的气候条件,属温带大陆性干旱气候区,全年多风少雨,有利于提高气流速度。
因此,乌海金沙湾沙漠地区沙漠适合建造太阳能热风发电站。


Solar Chimeny project for Shangai by Enviromission


Solar Chimeny project for Shangai by Enviromission

下載的科學出版2010
Download the Scientific Publication published in 2010


Solar hot air-flows power generation and its application in Wuhai of Inner Mongolia
沙漠太阳能热风发电技术及其应用

PDF Document 0.3 Mo
CHEN YishengL 1,2,YANG Yan l,WEIYili 2,YANG Jinghui l,TIAN yanrong 1
(1.School ofEnvironment and Energy,Inner Mongolia University ofScience and Technology,BaoTou 014010,China;
2.Institute ofNew Energy Power Generation,Inner Mongolia University ofScience and Technology,BaoTou 014010,China)

Abstract:Based on an analysis of the geographical conditions and solar-energy resources in the Golden Bay region in Wuhai of Inner Mongolia,the feasibility of constructing a solar hot air-flows power generating system was illustrated.
The construction of a pilot power plant of this type in Wuhai was described.
The implementation of this project is of great significance for the development of new energy resources and the commercialization of power generating systems of this type and will help US to promote the rapid development of the solar hot air-flows power generation.
Key Words:solar hot air-flows power generation;hot air-flows;clean energy

下載的科學出版2010
Download a second Scientific Publication published in 2010

协调发展的新型发电模式 由内蒙古科技大学新能源研究所牵头的太阳能热气流发电实验基地在内蒙古乌海市建成,预计近期即可并网发电,其中,太阳能塔高为53 m,并由5台45 kW的8极异步发电机组成。
The New Energy Research Institute of Inner Mongolia University of Technology led experimental solar chimney power base in Wuhai built near to the grid is expected, including, solar tower of 53 m high

PDF Document 2 Mo

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我国首次在沙漠用太阳能热风发电
据新华社呼和浩特12月27日电(记者勿日汗) 内蒙古自治区科技人员近日在内蒙古西部沙漠中建成沙漠太阳能热风发电站,首次将光伏发电和热气流发电技术结合在一起发电。
在内蒙古乌海市金沙湾,沙漠里耸立的类似水塔和温室大棚的塔筒和玻璃阳光房就是沙漠太阳能热风发电站。这台200千瓦的机组每年可以发电40万千万时,可节约标准煤100吨。
内蒙古科技大学教授、新能源发电领域专家魏毅立说,这个太阳能热风发电示范站里,发电的主要介质就是沙漠中随处可得的沙子,因为沙子是吸热和储能的材料。
目前,世界上太阳能发电主要有三种方式,即光伏发电、热发电和热气流发电。沙漠太阳能热风发电站就是利用太阳能产生热气流,带动发电机发电。

今后两年,计划在包头市、乌海市和鄂尔多斯市示范建设3个2.2兆瓦沙漠太阳能热风发电站,年发电330万千瓦时以上。

Solar Chimneys, Vortex, Energy Towers
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