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February 22, 2008



It's about time we used the oil company's tech to foster domestic production of energy and to providpe a new economy and avert war.

Dr. Hussain Alrobaei

Solar Chimney Power Plant (SCPP) could make important contributions to the energy supplies in Africa and Asia because more than enough space and sunlight are available there. However, an economic drawback of such power plants is the low overall conversion efficiency from solar energy to electricity, which negatively effect on the levelized solar electricity cost. Continuous improvement of the concept has involved the investigation of methods to increase power station efficiency and capacity in parallel to reducing design dimensions for greater commercial feasibility. From this standpoint the author proposes a new approach to prospective SCPP [1]. This approach includes the combining of the following grid connected technologies for proposed plants: Hybrid Geothermal / Solar Chimney Power Plant and Hybrid Geothermal / PV / Solar Chimney Power Plant. The novel proposed schemes of hybrid SCPP offer a number of potential advantages and represent an innovative way to reduce cost, optimizing the consumption of fossil fuel, and minimizing the environmental impact. They are based on thermal conversion, which allows hybrid operation with both solar heat and low temperature geothermal to continue generating electricity even when sunlight is not available. Attractive alternative is to use geothermal energy for electricity generation, because it is available around the clock and can be regulated according to the demand. Geothermal power generation could thus provide a major contribution to the basic supply of solar electricity. This is a major advantage since it enables operation according to the actual demand for electricity, without limitation to sunlight hours only and considerably improves SCPP ability to compete with conventional power plants.
The hybrid Geothermal / Solar Chimney power Plant (GSCP) has generated much interest because it offers an innovative way to continuous 24 hours-operation, and improve the maneuver characteristic, of grid connected SCPP. The main target of GSCP design approach was to achieve high renewable share with little or no fossil fuel back up requirements in electrical power grid. Moreover, there is an increase in the useful operating time of the SCPP by reducing the daily start-up and shut-down times due to continuous operation of the power conversion system. Continuous improvement of the GSCP concept has involved the investigation of methods to increase the efficiency of the collector zone of a GSCP. Solar photoVoltaic (PV) power is already in widespread use and the costs of PV systems keep on reducing. Consequently, there is growing interest in grid-connected PV systems. However, the solar PV array convert 8 : 15 % of the absorbed solar radiation to electricity, the rest dissipates as heat . This motivates a solar PV/ Thermal ( PV/T ) cogeneration system, where heat is removed from the transparent PV array, used to heat the air underneath a collector roof. Further, the heat production per square meter of solar PV array can be as much as four times greater than the electrical energy produced so putting this heat to use improves the system total efficiency and cost effectiveness. Thereupon, the transparent solar PV/T arrays proposed for adaptation to the GSCP concept will introduce the ability to dramatically improve the performance of the collector zone and introduce a method of solar power generation (previously unavailable to the concept) creating greater base load electrical power generation.
It is worthwhile to mention that the shear of thermal water can also be used as irrigation water once it has cooled down. Providing power, irrigation water, shadow and foreign exchange from the export of green power and revived agriculture, such multi-purpose plants could provide all what is needed to effectively combat desertification and create labor opportunities in the agriculture and food sector. Tourism and other industries could follow.

[1] Hussain Alrobaei, 2007, Hybrid Geothermal/Solar Energy Technology For Power Generation The Energy Central Network/ energycentral.com/centers/ knowledge/whitepapers.

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Irrigation would be much easier and smooth flowing with this system.

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desertification and create labor opportunities in the agriculture and food sector. Tourism and other industries could follow.


I try and learn something new everyday. Thanks for the information.


Thanks for such an informative article, it's been very useful.


Good food for thought here. Thanks for such an informative article, it's been very useful.

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But it still doesn't stop some of us from giving it a go. Sandals are designed so your feet are exposed

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Does this only work in desert areas, or desert climates? I ask since I see this is in Reno.

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This must be a good project if you are enthusiastic about it!

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So did they complete the testing that year? 3 years later and I'm wondering what's been going on with this.

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How fascinating, that they can inject the water underground like that and use it for this research.

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I'm so glad that the drilling was a success, stuff that involves drilling and work like this can be unstable and unreliable.

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How do you feel about this source of geothermal energy as opposed to the other sources of energy you've examined?

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Do you know if this is still going well in Australia?

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I haven't heard of 'hot dry' rock before, good to know!

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