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Solar Energy is the energy received from the Sun. The solar energy flux reaching the Earths
surface represents a few thousand times the current use of primary energy by humans. The potential
of this resource is enormous and makes solar energy a crucial component of a renewable energy
portfolio aimed at reducing the global emissions of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Nevertheless, the current use of this energy resource represents less than 1% of the total electricity
production from renewable sources. Even though the deployment of photovoltaic systems has been
increasing steadily for the last 20 years, solar technologies still suffer from some drawbacks that
make them poorly competitive on an energy market dominated by fossil fuels: high capital cost,
modest conversion efficiency, and intermittency. From a scientific and technical viewpoint, the
development of new technologies with higher conversion efficiencies and low production costs is
a key requirement for enabling the deployment of solar energy at a large scale.
Solar radiation represents the largest energy flow entering the terrestrial ecosystem. After
reflection and absorption in the atmosphere, some 100,000 TW hit the surface of Earth and undergo
conversion to all forms of energy used by humans, with the exception of nuclear, geothermal, and
tidal energy. This resource is enormous and corresponds to almost 6,000 fold the current global
consumption of primary energy (13.7 TW). Thus, solar energy has the potential of becoming a
major component of a sustainable energy portfolio with constrained greenhouse gas emissions.
Solar radiation is a renewable energy resource that has been used by humanity in all ages.
Passive solar technologies were already used by ancient civilizations for warming and/or cooling
habitations and for water heating; in the Renaissance, concentration of solar radiation was
extensively studied and in the 19
century the first solar-based mechanical engines were built. The
discovery of photovoltaic effect by Becquerel in 1839 and the creation of the first photovoltaic cell
in the early 1950s opened entirely new perspectives on the use of solar energy for the production
of electricity. Since then, the evolution of solar technologies continues at an unprecedented rate.
Nowadays, there exist an extremely large variety of solar technologies, and photovoltaics have
been gaining an increasing market share for the last 20 years. Nevertheless, global generation of

solar electricity is still small compared to the potential of this resource. The current cost of solar
technologies and their intermittent nature make them hardly competitive on an energy market still
dominated by cheap fossil fuels. From a scientific and technological viewpoint, the great challenge
is finding new solutions for solar energy systems to become less capital intensive and more
efficient. Many research efforts are addressing these problems. Low-cost and/or high-efficiency
photovoltaic device concepts are being developed. Solar thermal technologies are reaching a
mature stage of development and have the potential of becoming competitive for large energy
supply. Intermittency is being addressed with extended research efforts in energy storage devices,
such as batteries and other electric storage systems, thermal storage, and the direct production of
solar fuels (typically hydrogen). All these are valuable routes for enhancing the competitiveness
and performance of solar technologies.
Solar radiation is an electromagnetic wave emitted by the Suns surface that originates in the
bulk of the Sun where fusion reactions convert hydrogen atoms into helium. Every second
J of nuclear energy is released by the Suns core. This nuclear energy flux is rapidly
converted into thermal energy and transported toward the surface of the star where it is released in
the form of electromagnetic radiation. The power density emitted by the Sun is of the order of
of which ~1370W/m
reach the top of the Earths atmosphere with no significant
absorption in the space. The latter quantity is called the solar constant.
The spectral range of the solar radiation is very large and encompasses nanometric wavelengths
of gamma and x-rays through metric wavelengths of radio waves. The energy flux is divided
unevenly among the three large spectral categories. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation (<400nm) accounts
for less than 9% of the total; visible light (VIS) (400nm<<700nm) for 39%; and infrared (IR) for
about 52%. As shown in Fig.1.1, the pattern of the solar spectrum resembles closely the radiation
of a perfect black body at 5800K. In the figure, AM0 indicates the Air Mass Zero reference
spectrum measured and partially modeled outside the terrestrial atmosphere. Radiation reaching
the Earths surface is altered by a number of factors, namely the inclination of the Earths axis and
the atmosphere that causes both absorption and reflection (albedo) of part of the incoming
radiation. The influence of all these elements on solar radiation is visible in the ground-level
spectrum, labeled AM1.5 in Fig.1.1, where the light absorption by the molecular elements of the
atmosphere is particularly evident. Accounting for absorption by the atmosphere, reflection from
cloud tops, oceans, and terrestrial surfaces, and rotation of the Earth (day/night cycles), the annual
mean of the solar radiation reaching the surface is 170W/m
for the oceans and 180W/m
for the
continents. Of this, about 75% is direct light, the balance of which is scattered by air molecules,

water vapour, aerosols, and clouds. Of the 162PW of solar radiation reaching the Earth, 86PW hit
its surface in the form of direct (75%) and diffused light (25%).

Fig.1.1 Extraterrestrial (AM0) and ground-level (AM1.5) spectra of the solar radiation.
The energy quality of diffused radiation is lower (75.2% of energy content instead of 93.2% for
direct light), with consequences on the amount of work that can be extracted from it. 38PW hit the
continents and a total energy of 0.01TW is estimated to be destroyed during the collection and use
of solar radiation for energy services.

Fig.1.2 Solar radiation energy flow diagram (units in TW).

This estimation includes the use of photovoltaics and solar thermal plants for the production of
electricity and hot water. Similar estimates are shown for wind energy (0.06TW), ocean thermal
gradient (not yet exploited for energy production), and hydroelectric energy (0.36TW).
The global solar energy potential ranges from 2.5 to 80TW (see Appendix). The lowest estimate
represents around 18% of the total current primary energy consumption (13.7TW), and exceeds
10% of the estimated primary energy demand by 2030 (21.84TW). More optimistic assumptions
give a potential for solar energy exceeding 5 fold the current global energy consumption.
Despite the relatively low power density of the solar flux, solar energy has the potential of
supplying a non-negligible fraction of our energy needs. In the case of the US for example, the
total electricity demand (418GW in 2002) could be satisfied by covering a land surface of 180km
square with photovoltaics. This surface represents 0.35% of the total land area and roughly
corresponds to the surface covered by roads in the country (3.6
). All US electricity could
hence be potentially produced by covering the paved roads with photovoltaic (PV) modules.
The market share of solar energy is still low. Current electricity generation from PVs is only of
the order of 2.6GW compared to 36.3GW for all renewable energies, hydroelectric power
excluded. Developed countries are steadily increasing their investments in solar power plants, and
IEA projections for 2030 give an enhancement of solar electricity generation up to 13.6GW
However, this amount will not exceed 6% of the total electricity production from non-hydro
renewable energies. It is worth noting that passive solar technologies for water heating, not
included in these statistics, represent a fairly large amount of power. IEA estimates a power
production of 5.3GW in 2002 and an increase up to 46GW by 2030.
The major causes of the slow deployment of solar technologies are:
The current relative high capital cost per kW installed compared with other fossil fuel based
and renewable technologies,
The intermittent nature of the energy input, and hence the requirement for energy storage
systems to match the energy supply with the electricity demand and to decrease the capital cost.
In a medium term, energy storage will be a key requirement for intermittent renewable energies
to become more competitive versus fossil fuels.
Over the past 30 years, solar cell efficiencies have continuously improved for all technologies.

Among the most important accomplishments to be noted are the 24.7%-efficient c-Si solar cell,
the 18.4%-efficient CIGS solar cell (NREL), the 16.5%-efficient CdTe solar cell (NREL), and the
39%-efficient GaInP/GaAs/Ge triplejunction solar cell under 241-suns concentration (Spectrolab).

Fig. 1.3 Progress in photovoltaic cell efficiencies.
Research on dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) and organic solar cells (OSCs) began only
during the last decade. The last reported record efficiencies are 10.4% for DSSCs and 5.7% for
OSCs. Despite the notable progress made in the improvement of the efficiencies of all these
technologies, achieved values are still far from the thermodynamic efficiency limits of ~31% for
single junctions, 50% for 3-cell stacks, impurity PVs, or up- and down converters, and 54-68% for
hot carrier- or impact ionization-based devices. Furthermore, the efficiencies of commercial (or
even the best prototype) modules are only about 50% to 65% of these champion cells. Closing
these gaps is the subject of ongoing research.
The solar-to-electric efficiency of solar thermal technologies varies largely depending upon the
solar flux concentration factor, the temperature of the thermal intermediary, and the efficiency of
the thermal cycle for the production of mechanical work and electricity. Parabolic troughs and
power towers reach peak efficiencies of about 20%. Dish-Stirling systems are the most efficient,
with ~30% solar-to-electric demonstrated efficiency. The performance of these systems is highly
influenced by the plant availability.
Solar energy is promoted as a sustainable energy supply technology because of the renewable
nature of solar radiation and the ability of solar energy conversion systems to generate greenhouse

Gas-free electricity during their lifetime. However, the energy requirement and the environmental
impact of PV module manufacture can be further reduced, even though recent analysis of the
energy and carbon cycles for PV technologies recognized that strong improvements were made
both in terms of energy and carbon paybacks.
In the case of pc-Si, energy payback calculations are not straightforward because todays PV
industry usually recrystallizes silicon recycled from the semiconductor industry. Calculations
reported in 2000 by E. Alsema give estimates of the life-cycle energy requirement embodied in,
respectively, frameless sc-Si and pc-Si PV modules of 1580kWh/m
(11.4kWh/W) and
(8.8kWh/W). By 2010 the requirement of electric energy for these PV technologies
is forecasted to decrease to 890kWh/m
(5.6kWh/W) and 720kWh/m
(4.7kWh/W). Assuming
12% conversion efficiency (standard conditions) and 190W/m
of sunlight energy flux, this results
in a payback time of about 4.5 years for near-term pc-Si PV modules. As illustrated in Fig. 5, more
recent estimates of the energy payback time for polycrystalline silicon (pc-Si) technologies are
about two years.

Fig.1.4 Energy payback times PV for average southern Europe insolation (190W/m
For thin films, the energy required to deposit the active layer is negligible compared to forming
crystalline silicon wafers. Instead, the major energy sink is the energy embodied in the glass or

stainless steel substrate, the film deposition process, and facility operation. These energy costs are
similar for all thin-film technologies (CIGS, CdTe, -Si), varying only in the film deposition
processes. An estimate for the frameless -Si module electricity requirement is 330kWh/m

(4.3kWh/W). According to these estimates and assuming 7% conversion efficiency (standard
conditions) and 190W/m
of available sunlight flux, the payback time for current thin-film PV
systems is around 2.8 years. More recent estimates give shorter payback times for thin-film
technologies of about one year.
In a rooftop- or ground-mounted, grid-connected PV system the BOS components and module
frames represent a non-negligible fraction of the total energy requirement. For a rooftop-mounted
system another 120 kWh/m
should be added to the overall lifecycle energy requirement, resulting
in a payback time of about 3.5 years. Support structures for ground-mounted systems would add
about another year to the payback period. Despite the wide range of payback times that can be
found in the literature, all estimates remain higher than for other renewable sources such as wind.
It is interesting to note that analysis of fossil-fuel energy production has suggested that it has
similar energy payback periods to PV technologies if the costs for mining, transportation, refining,
and construction are included in the calculation of the life cycle of fossil fuels.
The CO2 savings (other pollutants are also avoided, including NOx, SO2, and particulates) from
displacing fossil fuels with photovoltaic systems depend upon the regional fossil fuels mix and the
solar irradiance; values range from 270g to >1050g of CO2/kWh. The world average is about 660g
of CO2/kWh. Assuming an average of 5.5 hours of sunlight per day, a 1kW PV panel would give
a yearly CO2 savings of 1330kg. The CO2 payback time from avoided emissions also depends on
the local energy mix and the panel efficiency. Assuming an energy cost for a sc-Si panel of
and the average of 660g of CO2/kWh, the manufacture of a 1m
panel produces ~400
kg of CO2. If we assume 12% efficiency and a solar irradiance of 1kW/m
, it takes 3300kg of CO2
to produce a 1kW PV plant, which is paid back in avoided emissions at 1330kg/year for a total
time of 2.5 years. Higher cell efficiencies lower both the energy and CO2 payback time, as do
manufacturing techniques that are more energy efficient.
The major safety and environmental issues related to the manufacture of photovoltaics are
1) The safe handling of gases used for surface treatment or the growth of thin films e.g. AsH3, SiH4
GeH4, PH3, B2H6, and H2Se, and

2) The toxicity of some semiconductor components e.g. Cd. It is generally believed that safe usage
of potentially hazardous materials in PV manufacturing is possible and that the electronics
industry has already made significant progress in dealing with similar materials. Nevertheless,
further investigation could lead to the replacement of toxic components and thus eliminate most
of the concerns about the environmental risks of photovoltaics.
Recycling is an important strategy to be considered to enhance the public acceptance of PV
technologies, to conserve rare minerals such as tellurium, and to reduce the energy requirement of
PV manufacturing. Recycling cost estimates are 0.2-0.4$/W for CdTe modules (at a process scale
of 2MW), and about 0.13$/W for c-Si cells at an operational scale of 150,000 c-Si cells per year
(for comparison the production of a c-Si cell not module costs about 1.50$/W).
A wide variety of solar technologies have the potential to become a large component of the
future energy portfolio. Passive technologies are used for indoor lighting and heating of buildings
and water for domestic use.

Fig.1.5 Solar energy conversion paths and technologies considered in this survey.
Also, various active technologies are used to convert solar energy into various energy carriers
for further utilization.
Photovoltaics directly convert photon energy into electricity. These devices use inorganic or
organic semiconductor materials that absorb photons with energy greater than their band gap
to promote energy carriers into their conduction band. Electron-hole pairs, or exactions for


organic semiconductors, are subsequently separated and charges are collected at the electrodes
for electricity generation.
Solar thermal technologies convert the energy of direct light into thermal energy using
concentrator devices. These systems reach temperatures of several hundred degrees with high
associated energy. Electricity can then be produced using various strategies including thermal
engines (e.g. Sterling engines) and alternators, direct electron extraction from thermionic
devices, See beck effect in thermoelectric generators, conversion of IR light radiated by hot
bodies through thermo photovoltaic devices, and conversion of the kinetic energy of ionized
gases through magneto hydrodynamic converters.
Photosynthetic, photo (electro) chemical, thermal, and thermochemical processes are used to
convert solar energy into chemical energy for energy storage in the form of chemical fuels,
particularly hydrogen. Among the most significant processes for hydrogen production are
direct solar water splitting in photo electrochemical cells or various thermochemical cycles
such 1qas the two-step water-splitting cycle using the Zn/ZnO redox system.
Solar energy refers primarily to the use of solar radiation for practical ends. However, all
renewable energies, other than geothermal and tidal, derive their energy from the sun.
Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive or active depending on the way
they capture, convert and distribute sunlight. Active solar techniques use photovoltaic panels,
pumps, and fans to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include selecting
materials with favorable thermal properties, designing spaces that naturally circulate air, and
referencing the position of a building to the Sun. Active solar technologies increase the supply of
energy and are considered supply side technologies, while passive solar technologies reduce the
need for alternate resources and are generally considered demand side technologies.
Sunlight has influenced building design since the beginning of architectural history. Advanced
solar architecture and urban planning methods were first employed by the Greeks and Chinese,
who oriented their buildings toward the south to provide light and warmth. The common features
of passive solar architecture are orientation relative to the Sun, compact proportion (a low surface
area to volume ratio), selective shading (overhangs) and thermal mass. When these features are
tailored to the local climate and environment they can produce well-lit spaces that stay in a
comfortable temperature range. Socrates' Megaron House is a classic example of passive solar

Fig.1.6 Passive house designed specifically for the humid and hot subtropical climate.
The most recent approaches to solar design use computer modeling tying together solar
lighting, heating and ventilation systems in an integrated solar design package. Active
solar equipment such as pumps, fans and switchable windows can complement passive design and
improve system performance.
Urban heat islands (UHI) are metropolitan areas with higher temperatures than that of the
surrounding environment. The higher temperatures are a result of increased absorption of the Solar
light by urban materials such as asphalt and concrete, which have lower albedos and
higher capacities than those in the natural environment. A straightforward method of counteracting
the UHI effect is to paint buildings and roads white and plant trees. Using these methods, a
hypothetical "cool communities" program in Los Angeles has projected that urban temperatures
could be reduced by approximately 3 C at an estimated cost of US$1 billion, giving estimated
total annual benefits of US$530 million from reduced air-conditioning costs and healthcare
Agriculture and horticulture seek to optimize the capture of solar energy in order to optimize
the productivity of plants. Techniques such as timed planting cycles, tailored row orientation,
staggered heights between rows and the mixing of plant varieties can improve crop yields. While
sunlight is generally considered a plentiful resource, the exceptions highlight the importance of
solar energy to agriculture. During the short growing seasons of the Little Ice Age, French
and English farmers employed fruit walls to maximize the collection of solar energy. These walls
acted as thermal masses and accelerated ripening by keeping plants warm. Early fruit walls were
built perpendicular to the ground and facing south, but over time, sloping walls were developed to
make better use of sunlight.

Fig.1.7 Greenhouses in the Westland municipality of the Netherlands grow vegetables & fruits
In 1699, Nicolas Fatio de Duillier even suggested using a tracking mechanism which could
pivot to follow the Sun. Applications of solar energy in agriculture aside from growing crops
include pumping water, drying crops, brooding chicks and drying chicken manure. More recently
the technology has been embraced by vinters, who use the energy generated by solar panels to
power grape presses.
Greenhouses convert solar light to heat, enabling year-round production and the growth (in
enclosed environments) of specialty crops and other plants not naturally suited to the local climate.
Primitive greenhouses were first used during Roman times to produce cucumbers year-round for
the Roman emperor Tiberius. The first modern greenhouses were built in Europe in the 16th
century to keep exotic plants brought back from explorations abroad. Greenhouses remain an
important part of horticulture today, and plastic transparent materials have also been used to similar
effect in polytunnels and row covers.
Solar vehicle, Solar-charged vehicle, Electric boat, and solar balloon.
Development of a solar-powered car has been an engineering goal since the 1980s. The World
Solar Challenge is a biannual solar-powered car race, where teams from universities and
enterprises compete over 3,021 kilometers (1,877 mi) across central Australia
from Darwin to Adelaide. In 1987, when it was founded, the winner's average speed was 67
kilometers per hour (42 mph) and by 2007 the winner's average speed had improved to 90.87
kilometers per hour (56.46 mph). The North American Solar Challenge and the planned South
African Solar Challenge are comparable competitions that reflect an international interest in the
engineering and development of solar powered vehicles. Some vehicles use solar panels for
auxiliary power, such as for air conditioning, to keep the interior cool, thus reducing fuel

Fig. 1.8 solar cars like the Nuna3 race through a 3,021 km course from Darwin to Adelaide
In 1975, the first practical solar boat was constructed in England. By 1995, passenger boats
incorporating PV panels began appearing and are now used extensively. In 1996, Kenichi
Horie made the first solar powered crossing of the Pacific Ocean, and the sun21 catamaran made
the first solar powered crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in the winter of 20062007. There are plans
to circumnavigate the globe in 2010.

Fig.1.9 Helios UAV in solar powered flight
In 1974, the unmanned Astro Flight Sunrise plane made the first solar flight. On 29 April
1979, the Solar Riser made the first flight in a solar-powered, fully controlled, man carrying flying
machine, reaching an altitude of 40 feet (12 m). In 1980, the Gossamer Penguin made the first
piloted flights powered solely by photovoltaics. This was quickly followed by the Solar

Challenger which crossed the English Channel in July 1981. In 1990 Eric Scott Raymond in 21
hops flew from California to North Carolina using solar power. Developments then turned back to
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with the Pathfinder (1997) and subsequent designs, culminating
in the Helios which set the altitude record for a non-rocket-propelled aircraft at 29,524 meters in
2001. The Zephyr, developed by BAE Systems, is the latest in a line of record-breaking solar
aircraft, making a 54-hour flight in 2007, and month-long flights are envisioned by 2010.
A solar balloon is a black balloon that is filled with ordinary air. As sunlight shines on the
balloon, the air inside is heated and expands causing an upward buoyancy force, much like an
artificially heated hot air balloon. Some solar balloons are large enough for human flight, but usage
is generally limited to the toy market as the surface-area to payload-weight ratio is relatively high.
Solar hot water and solar combisystem.

Fig. 1.10 Solar water heaters facing the Sun to maximize gain
Solar hot water systems use sunlight to heat water. In low geographical latitudes (below
40 degrees) from 60 to 70% of the domestic hot water use with temperatures up to 60 C can be
provided by solar heating systems. The most common types of solar water heaters are evacuated
tube collectors (44%) and glazed flat plate collectors (34%) generally used for domestic hot water;
and unglazed plastic collectors (21%) used mainly to heat swimming pools.
As of 2007, the total installed capacity of solar hot water systems is approximately 154 GW.
China is the world leader in their deployment with 70 GW installed as of 2006 and a long term
goal of 210 GW by 2020. Israel and Cyprus are the per capita leaders in the use of solar hot water
systems with over 90% of homes using them. In the United States, Canada and Australia heating
swimming pools is the dominant application of solar hot water with an installed capacity of 18 GW
as of 2005.

Solar heating, Thermal mass, solar chimney, and solar air conditioning.

Fig.1.11 Solar House in the US used Seasonal thermal energy storage for year-round heating
In the United States, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems account for
30% (4.65 EJ) of the energy used in commercial buildings and nearly 50% (10.1 EJ) of the energy
used in residential buildings. Solar heating, cooling and ventilation technologies can be used to
offset a portion of this energy.
Thermal mass is any material that can be used to store heatheat from the Sun in the case of
solar energy. Common thermal mass materials include stone, cement and water. Historically they
have been used in arid climates or warm temperate regions to keep buildings cool by absorbing
solar energy during the day and radiating stored heat to the cooler atmosphere at night. However
they can be used in cold temperate areas to maintain warmth as well. The size and placement of
thermal mass depend on several factors such as climate, day lighting and shading conditions. When
properly incorporated, thermal mass maintains space temperatures in a comfortable range and
reduces the need for auxiliary heating and cooling equipment.
A solar chimney (or thermal chimney, in this context) is a passive solar ventilation system
composed of a vertical shaft connecting the interior and exterior of a building. As the chimney
warms, the air inside is heated causing an updraft that pulls air through the building. Performance
can be improved by using glazing and thermal mass materials in a way that mimics greenhouses.
Deciduous trees and plants have been promoted as a means of controlling solar heating and
cooling. When planted on the southern side of a building, their leaves provide shade during the
summer, while the bare limbs allow light to pass during the winter. Since bare, leafless trees shade
1/3 to 1/2 of incident solar radiation, there is a balance between the benefits of summer shading

and the corresponding loss of winter heating. In climates with significant heating loads, deciduous
trees should not be planted on the southern side of a building because they will interfere with winter
solar availability. They can, however, be used on the east and west sides to provide a degree of
summer shading without appreciably affecting winter solar gain.
Solar still, solar water disinfection, solar desalination, and Solar Powered Desalination Unit.
Fig.1.12 Solar water disinfection in Indonesia

Fig.1.13 solar powered sewerage treatment plant
Solar distillation can be used to make saline or brackish water potable. The first recorded
instance of this was by 16th-century Arab alchemists. A large-scale solar distillation project was
first constructed in 1872 in the Chilean mining town of Las Salinas. The plant, which had solar
collection area of 4,700 m
, could produce up to 22,700 L per day and operated for 40 years.
Individual still designs include single-slope, double-slope (or greenhouse type), vertical, conical,
inverted absorber, multi-wick, and multiple effect. These stills can operate in passive, active, or
hybrid modes. Double-slope stills are the most economical for decentralized domestic purposes,
while active multiple effect units are more suitable for large-scale applications.
Solar water disinfection (SODIS) involves exposing water-filled plastic polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) bottles to sunlight for several hours. Exposure times vary depending on
weather and climate from a minimum of six hours to two days during fully overcast conditions. It
is recommended by the World Health Organization as a viable method for household water
treatment and safe storage. Over two million people in developing countries use this method for
their daily drinking water.
Solar energy may be used in a water stabilization pond to treat waste water without chemicals
or electricity. A further environmental advantage is that algae grow in such ponds and
consume carbon dioxide in photosynthesis, although algae may produce toxic chemicals that make
the water unusable.

Solar pond, Salt evaporation pond, and Solar furnace.
Solar concentrating technologies such as parabolic dish, trough and Scheffler reflectors can
provide process heat for commercial and industrial applications. The first commercial system was
the Solar Total Energy Project (STEP) in Shenandoah, Georgia, USA where a field of 114
parabolic dishes provided 50% of the process heating, air conditioning and electrical requirements
for a clothing factory. This grid-connected cogeneration system provided 400 kW of electricity
plus thermal energy in the form of 401 kW steam and 468 kW chilled water, and had a one hour
peak load thermal storage. Evaporation ponds are shallow pools that concentrate dissolved solids
through evaporation. The use of evaporation ponds to obtain salt from sea water is one of the oldest
applications of solar energy. Modern uses include concentrating brine solutions used in leach
mining and removing dissolved solids from waste streams. Clothes lines, clotheshorses, and clothes
racks dry clothes through evaporation by wind and sunlight without consuming electricity or gas.
In some states of the United States legislation protects the "right to dry" clothes.
Unglazed transpired collectors (UTC) are perforated sun-facing walls used for preheating
ventilation air. UTCs can raise the incoming air temperature up to 22 C and deliver outlet
temperatures of 4560 C. The short payback period of transpired collectors (3 to 12 years) makes
them a more cost-effective alternative than glazed collection systems. As of 2003, over 80 systems
with a combined collector area of 35,000 m
had been installed worldwide, including an
860 m
collector in Costa Rica used for drying coffee beans and a 1,300 m
collector in Coimbatore,
India used for drying marigolds.
Solar cookers use sunlight for cooking, drying and pasteurization. They can be grouped into
three broad categories: box cookers, panel cookers and reflector cookers. The simplest solar cooker
is the box cooker first built by Horace de Saussure in 1767.

Fig.1.14 The Solar Bowl concentrates sunlight on a movable receiver to produce steam for cooking.

A basic box cooker consists of an insulated container with a transparent lid. It can be used
effectively with partially overcast skies and will typically reach temperatures of 90150 C. Panel
cookers use a reflective panel to direct sunlight onto an insulated container and reach temperatures
comparable to box cookers. Reflector cookers use various concentrating geometries (dish, trough,
Fresnel mirrors) to focus light on a cooking container. These cookers reach temperatures of 315 C
and above but require direct light to function properly and must be repositioned to track the Sun.
Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics ,
or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). CSP systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking
systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaics (PV) converts light into
electric current using the photoelectric effect.

Fig.1.15 View of Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System from Yates Well Road, San Bernadino
County, California. The Clark Mountain Range can be seen in the distance.
Commercial CSP plants were first developed in the 1980s. Since 1985 the eventually 354
MW SEGS CSP installation, in the Mojave Desert of California, is the largest solar power plant in
the world. Other large CSP plants include the 150 MW Solnova Solar Power Station and the 100
MW Andasol solar power station, both in Spain. The 250 MW Agua Caliente Solar Project, in the
United States, and the 221 MW Charanka Solar Park in India, are the worlds largest photovoltaic
plants. Solar projects exceeding 1 GW are being developed, but most of the deployed photovoltaics
are in small rooftop arrays of less than 5 kW, which are grid connected using net metering and/or
a feed-in tariff.

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to
focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. The concentrated heat is then used as a heat source
for a conventional power plant. A wide range of concentrating technologies exists; the most
developed are the parabolic trough, the concentrating linear Fresnel reflector, the Stirling dish and
the solar power tower. Various techniques are used to track the Sun and focus light. In all of these
systems a working fluid is heated by the concentrated sunlight, and is then used for power
generation or energy storage.
A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell (PV), is a device that converts light into electric current using
the photoelectric effect. The first solar cell was constructed by Charles Fritts in the 1880s. In 1931
a German engineer, Dr Bruno Lange, developed a photo cell using silver selenide in place of

Fig.1.16 MW solar park in Germany
Although the prototype selenium cells converted less than 1% of incident light into electricity,
both Ernst Werner von Siemens and James recognized the importance of this discovery. Following
the work of Russell Ohl in the 1940s, researchers Gerald Pearson, Calvin and Daryl Chapin created
the silicon solar cell in 1954. These early solar cells cost 286 USD/watt and reached efficiencies
of 4.56%. By 2012 available efficiencies exceed 20% and the maximum efficiency of research
photovoltaics is over 40%.
1.6.12 OTHERS
Besides concentrated solar power and photovoltaics, there are some other techniques used to
generated electricity using solar power. These include:
Dye-sensitized solar cells,

Luminescent solar concentrators (a type of concentrated photovoltaics or CPV technology),
Bio hybrid solar cells,
Photon Enhanced Thermionic Emission systems.
Solar chemical, solar fuel, and photosynthesis. Solar chemical processes use solar energy to
drive chemical reactions. These processes offset energy that would otherwise come from a fossil
fuel source and can also convert solar energy into storable and transportable fuels. Solar induced
chemical reactions can be divided into thermochemical or photochemical. A variety of fuels can be
produced by artificial photosynthesis. The multielectron catalytic chemistry involved in making
carbon-based fuels (such as methanol) from reduction of carbon dioxide is challenging; a feasible
alternative is hydrogen production from protons, though use of water as the source of electrons (as
plants do) requires mastering the multielectron oxidation of two water molecules to molecular
oxygen. Some have envisaged working solar fuel plants in coastal metropolitan areas by 2050- the
splitting of sea water providing hydrogen to be run through adjacent fuel-cell electric power plants
and the pure water by-product going directly into the municipal water system. Another vision
involves all human structures covering the earth's surface (i.e., roads, vehicles and buildings) doing
photosynthesis more efficiently than plants.
Hydrogen production technologies been a significant area of solar chemical research since the
1970s. Aside from electrolysis driven by photovoltaic or photochemical cells, several
thermochemical processes have also been explored. One such route uses concentrators to split
water into oxygen and hydrogen at high temperatures (2300-2600 C). Another approach uses the
heat from solar concentrators to drive the steam reformation of natural gas thereby increasing the
overall hydrogen yield compared to conventional reforming methods. Thermochemical cycles
characterized by the decomposition and regeneration of reactants present another avenue for
hydrogen production. The Solzinc process under development at the Weizmann Institute a 1 MW
solar furnace to decompose zinc oxide (ZnO) at temperatures above 1200 C. This initial reaction
produces pure zinc, which can subsequently be reacted with water to produce hydrogen.
Thermal mass, Seasonal thermal energy storage, Phase change material, Grid energy storage,
and V2G. Thermal mass systems can store solar energy in the form of heat at domestically useful
temperatures for daily or interseasonal durations. Thermal storage systems generally use readily
available materials with high specific heat capacities such as water, earth and stone. Well-designed
systems can lower peak demand, shift time-of-use to off-peak hours and reduce overall heating and
cooling requirements. Phase change materials such as paraffin wax and Glauber's salt are another

thermal storage media. These materials are inexpensive, readily available, and can deliver
domestically useful temperatures. The "Dover House" was the first to use a Glauber's salt heating
system, in 1948.

Fig.1.17 The 150 MW Andasol solar power station. The tanks of molten salt to store solar energy
so that it can continue generating electricity even when the sun isn't shining.
Solar energy can be stored at high temperatures using molten salts. Salts are an effective storage
medium because they are low-cost, have a high specific heat capacity and can deliver heat at
temperatures compatible with conventional power systems. The Solar Two used this method of
energy storage, allowing it to store 1.44 TJ in its 68 m
storage tank with an annual storage
efficiency of about 99%.
Off-grid PV systems have traditionally used rechargeable batteries to store excess electricity.
With grid-tied systems, excess electricity can be sent to the transmission grid, while standard grid
electricity can be used to meet shortfalls. Net metering programs give household systems a credit
for any electricity they deliver to the grid. This is handled by 'rolling back' the meter whenever the
home produces more electricity than it consumes. If the net electricity use is below zero, the utility
then rolls over the kilowatt hour credit to the next month. Other approaches involve the use of two
meters, to measure electricity consumed v/s electricity produced. This is less common due to the
increased installation cost of the second meter. Most standard meters accurately measure in both
directions, making a second meter unnecessary.
Pumped-storage hydroelectricity stores energy in the form of water pumped when energy is
available from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation one. The energy is recovered when
demand is high by releasing the water, with the pump becoming a hydroelectric power generator.



At present, a number of energy sources are utilized on a large scale such as: coil, oil, gas and
nuclear. Continuation of the use of fossil fuels is set to face multiple challenges namely: depletion
of fossil fuels reserves, global warming and other environmental concerns and continuing fuel price
rise. For these reasons, the existing sources of conventional energy may not be adequate to meet
the ever increasing energy demands. Consequently sincere and untiring efforts shall have to be
made by the scientists and engineers in exploring the possibilities of harnessing energy from
several non-conventional energy sources (solar, biomass, tidal, hydrogen, wind and geothermal
energy) which they are seen as possible solution to the growing energy challenges. According to
energy experts, unconventional energy sources can be used for electric power generation which
receives a great attention. Power generating technology based on green resources would help many
countries improve their balance of payments.
Being the most abundant and well distributed form of renewable energy, solar energy
constitutes a big asset for arid and semi-arid regions. A range of solar technologies are used
throughout the world to harvest the suns energy. In the last years, an exciting innovation has been
introduced by researchers called solar chimney. It is a solar thermal driven electrical power
generation plant which converts the solar thermal energy into electrical power in a complex heat
transfer process. 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 developing countries to promote the rapid development of the solar hot air-flows power
The basic physical principles of centralized electricity generation with solar chimney power
plants (SCPPs) were described by Haaf et al in 1982. After the pilot plant in Manzanares had gone
into operation in June 1982, the first experimental results confirmed the main assumptions of the
original physical model. Later, on the basis of experimental data from July 1983 to January 1984,
a semi-empirical, parametrical model was proposed for predicting the monthly mean electrical
power output of the pilot plant as a function of solar irradiation. The model predictions agreed
reasonably with the experimental data for the exceptionally dry months July- October 1983, but
the model failed to simulate the wet months following heavy rainfall in winter and spring 1984.

It was realized, that natural precipitation entering the collector has a fundamental influence on the
collector performance via evaporation, plant growth and infrared absorption in the collector air .a
refined parametrical model was therefore proposed, which includes at least the long term,
seasonally varying effect on rainwater on the plants performance and allows the simulation of large
plants in climates similar to the climate in Manzanares. The cost of electricity generation were
estimated in and calculated in details in.
Many researchers around the world have introduced various projects of solar tower. Around
1500, Leonardo Da Vinci made sketches of a solar tower called a smoke jack. The idea of using a
solar chimney to produce electricity was first proposed in 1903 by the Spanish engineer Isodoro
Cabanyes. Another earlier description was elaborated upon in 1931 by the German science writer
Hans Gunther. He proposed a design in the 25 August 1903 issue of La Energia Elctrica,
entitled Projecto de motor solar. In this bizarre contraption, a collector resembling a large skirt
heats air, and carries it upwards towards a pentagonal fan inside a rectangular brick structure
vaguely resembling a fireplace (without a fire). The heated air makes the fan spin and generate
electricity, before it escapes up a 63.87 m tall chimney, cools, and joins the atmosphere.
In 1926, Prof Engineer Bernard Dubos proposed to the French Academy of Sciences the
construction of a Solar Aero-Electric Power Plant in North Africa with its solar chimney on the
slope of the high height mountain after observing several sand whirls in the southern Sahara.
It is claimed that an ascending air speed of 50 m/s can be reached in the chimney, whose
enormous amount of energy can be extracted by wind turbines.

Fig.2.1 (a) The spit of Leonardo da Vinci. (b) Solar engine project proposed by Isodoro Cabanyes.

The academy recommended the Duboss idea be followed up, especially in French North
Africa, which has no fuel and needs power. As a matter of fact Dubos had the North African Atlas
Mountains in mind when he developed his plans. In 1956, he filed his first patent in Algeria. It was
artificially generate ancestry atmospheric vortex in a sort of round-shaped Laval nozzle and recover
some energy through turbines. Nazare received a French patent for his invention in 1964. In 1975
the American Robert Lucier filed a patent request based upon a more complete design. This patent
was granted in 1981. Starting in 1982, a team led by the German civil engineer Jrg Schlaich took
the initiative and constructed a prototype in Manzanares Spain, with a 200 m high and a maximum
power output of 50 kW. In 2002 Time Magazine identified this project as one of the best inventions
of the year. The operating principle is considered revolutionary but is based on very common
Knowledge: Warm air rises.

Fig.2.2 Principle of Professor Duboss power plant.

As presented in the figure 2.5, a Solar Updraft Tower converts solar radiation into electricity by
combining three well-known principles: the greenhouse effect, the tower and wind turbines in a
novel way. Hot air is produced by the sun under a large glass roof. Direct and diffuse solar radiation
strikes the glass roof, where specific fractions of the energy are reflected, absorbed and transmitted.
The quantities of these fractions depend on the solar incidence angle and optical characteristics of
the glass, such as the refractive index, thickness and extinction coefficient. The transmitted solar
radiation strikes the ground surface; a part of the energy is absorbed while another part is reflected
back to the roof, where it is gain reflected to the ground. The multiple reflection of radiation
continues, resulting in a higher fraction of energy absorbed by the ground, known as the
transmittance-absorptance product of the ground. Through the mechanism of natural convection,
the warm ground surface heats the adjacent air, causing it to rise. The buoyant air rises up into the
chimney of the plant, thereby drawing in more air at the collector perimeter and thus initiating
forced convection which heats the collector air more rapidly. Through mixed convection, the warm
collector air heats the underside of the collector roof. Some of the energy absorbed by the ground
surface is conducted to the cooler earth below, while radiation exchange also takes place between
the warm ground surface and the cooler collector roof. In turn, via natural and forced convection,
the collector roof transfers energy from its surface to the ambient air adjacent to it. As the air flows
from the collector perimeter towards the chimney its temperature increases while the velocity of
the air stays approximately constant because of the increasing collector height. The heated air
travels up the chimney, where it cools through the chimney walls. The chimney converts heat into
kinetic energy. The pressure difference between the chimney base and ambient pressure at the
outlet can be estimated from the density difference. This in turn depends upon the temperatures of
the air at the inlet and at the top of the chimney. The pressure difference available to drive the
turbine can be reduced by the friction loss in the chimney, the losses at the entrance and the exit
Fig.2.3 Solar chimneys in the Moroccan Fig.2.4 The solar tower of the professor NAZAR
desert envisioned

kinetic energy loss. As the collector air flows across the turbine(s), the kinetic energy of the air
turns the turbine blades which in turn drive the generator(s).

Fig.2.5 Solar chimney power plant description

The major component of a solar chimney power station is the solar collector. Solar energy
collectors are special kind of heat exchangers that transform solar radiation energy to internal
energy of the transport medium.

Fig.2.6 Collector design options

The collector is the part of the chimney that produces hot air by the greenhouse effect. It has a
roof made up of plastic film or glass plastic film. The roof material is stretched horizontally two
or six meter above the ground. The height of the roof increases adjacent to the chimney base, so
that the air is diverted to the chimney base with minimum friction loss. This covering admits the
short wave solar radiation component & retains long-wave radiation from the heated ground. Thus
the ground under the roof heats up & transfers its heat to the air flowing radially above it from the
outside to the chimney. The structure of the collector changes to the covering material we used.
Significant research effort has been put into the construction, simulation and operation of the
solar chimney collector. Two types of collectors were tested by Pasumarthi and Sherif (1997):
1) Extending the collector base and
2) Introducing an intermediate absorber.
The experimental temperatures reported are higher than the theoretically predicted
temperatures. The authors explain that one of the reasons for this behavior is the fact that the
experimental temperatures reported are the maximum temperatures attained inside the chimney,
whereas the theoretical model predicts the bulk air temperature. An analytical model has been
presented by Schlaich (1995). Early numerical models have been presented by Krger and Buys
(1999), Gannon and Von Backstrm (2000), Hedderwick (2001) and Beyers et al. (2002). Krger
and Buys (1999) present work in their paper specific to the solar chimney collector. Krger and
Buys (2001) present a detailed plant analysis also with a transient collector to predict the maximum
powers for a one year operational cycle.
In Lombaard et al (2002) investigation, the temperatures of the insulated collector plate
and glass cover of an horizontal solar collector were measured and compared to theoretically
predicted values for different ambient conditions. By employing an appropriate equation for
the prediction of the heat transfer between the cover and the natural environment, good
agreement was obtained between the theoretically predicted and experimentally measured
values. M. O. Hamdan (2004) presented an analytical model to predict the performance of a solar
chimney power plant. The turbine head have a very strong effect on the second-law efficiency and
total harvested power. In 2005, Canadian E. Bilgen and J. Rheault proposed the construction of the
solar collector in a sloppy and tapered (with high altitude) section. This idea is of course a brilliant
and new idea because the angle of inclination would aid in providing sufficient and effective area
of the collector to receive solar radiation, thereby improving the solar collector efficiency. And
improving solar collector efficiency would increase the amount of useful heat needed to warm up
the cold air.

Fig.2.7 Bilgen and Rheault model.
Pretorius and Kroger (2006) evaluated the influence of a developed convective heat transfer
equation, more accurate turbine inlet loss coefficient, quality collector roof glass, & various types
of soil on the performance of a large scale solar chimney power plant. Various collector types using
dry & humid air have been analyzed by N. Ninic. This idea is of course a brilliant & new idea
because the angle of inclination would aid in providing sufficient & effective area of the collector
to receive solar radiation, thereby improving the solar collector efficiency. A mathematical model
for the sloped solar chimney power plant is proposed. The model includes a flow detail inside a
collector &the interactive mechanisms between the collector, turbine & chimney.
Bernardes et al. developed a comprehensive mathematical model to analyze large scale solar
chimney power plant system with a double and single collector canopy with an energy storage
layer and turbine performance being considered, comparing simulation predictions to experimental
results from the prototype plant at Manzanares, and evaluated the operational control strategies
applicable to SUPPS .
Bonnelle (2003) suggests using a collector with a nerve like structure, leading to a partial
separation of the main functions of the collector, which are
1) Collecting heat and
2) Transporting hot air to the tower.
But, it is still to be proven if such a departure from the standard configuration with a simple
glass roof would really improve the collector performance.

Fig.2.8 Bonnelles solar collector configuration.

Chimney or tower tube is the main characteristic of the solar chimney station. The tower, which
acts like a large chimney, is located at the center of the greenhouse canopy and is the thermal
engine for the technology. The tower creates a temperature differential between the cool air at the
top and the heated air at the bottom. This creates the chimney effect, which sucks air from the
bottom of the tower out of the top. The chimney of the plant is extremely high and will need a
stable base while still allowing free flow of air through the turbine. It would also be advantageous
to have the turbine as low as possible in the chimney to make its construction simpler.
There are various different methods for constructing such a tower: free-standing reinforced
concrete tubes, steel sheet tubes supported by guy wires, or cable-net construction with a cladding
of sheet metal or membranes (figures 9-10). The design procedures for such structures are all well
established and have already been utilized for cooling towers; thus, no new developments are
required. Detailed static and structural-mechanical investigations have shown that it is expedient
to stiffen the tower in several stages, so that a relatively thin wall material will suffice. Our solution
is to use bundles of strands in the form of flatspoked wheels which span the cross-sectional
area of the tower. This is perhaps the only real structural novelty in these towers as compared to
existing structures.


Fig.2.9 Different technologies of chimneys.
Schlaich (1994) suggested the reinforced concrete as a building material structure towers high.
Studies have shown that practically this method of construction is the alternative most sustainable
and cost-effective. Such towers can also be constructed using other technologies including: guyed
steel towers which frame is covered with nets of steel cables, membranes or trapezoidal metal films
(1994). The maximum height for solar chimney is 1000 m. To support high chimney structure and
gigantic solar, compression ring stiffeners are installed with a vertical spacing.

Fig.2.10 Chimney construction shapes (Bernardes, 2004).

The turbine of the solar chimney is an important component of the plant as it extracts the energy
from the air and transmits it to the generator. It has significant influence on the plant as the turbine
pressure drop and plant mass flow rate are coupled. The specifications for solar chimney turbines
are in many aspects similar to those ones for large wind turbines. They both convert large amounts
of energy in the air flow to electrical energy and feed this into a grid. But there are also various
important differences. The following characteristic are typical for solar chimney turbines in
contrast to wind turbines.
In solar chimneys power plant the turbines are ducted, and their maximum theoretically
achievable total-to-total efficiency is therefore 100% the Betz-limit, which is applicable to ducted
ones. The direction of the oncoming air flow is known and remains constant. The turbines are
protected from harsh weather conditions but have to cope with higher temperatures. The large
volumes of collector and chimney act as a buffer preventing large fluctuations in air flow speed,
i.e. dynamic loads on the turbine blades and all the other rotating components are comparably low.
Furthermore, the turbine pressure drop in SCCPs is about 10 times bigger than in wind turbines.
Various turbine layouts and configurations have been proposed for solar chimneys power
conversion unit (PCU) .A single vertical axis turbine without inlet guide vanes was used in the
pilot plant in Manzanares. Configurations with multiple vertical axis turbines has been proposed
as well , and so have turbine layouts consisting of one pair of counter-rotating rotors, either with
or without inlet guide vanes. The air circulation inside the plant, the pressure drop and the flow
rate can be adjusted by varying the pitch angle of the blades of the turbine. In order to predict solar
chimney conversion unit performance various mathematical models have been developed. The
following literature survey focuses on the solar chimney turbines. Many studies were conducted to
evaluate the pressure drop across the turbine as a part of the total available pressure difference in
the system: Haaf et al. (1983), Mullet (1987), Schlaich (1995), Gannon and Von Backstrm (2000),
Bernardes et al. (2003). Gannon (2002) and Gannon & Von Backstrm (2003) investigated the
performance of solar tower power plant turbines. Turbine design and layout suggestions are made,
while an experimental model is used to predict turbine performance and efficiency. Later, the same
authors (2004) have developed analytical equations in terms of turbine flow and load coefficient
and degree of reaction, to express the influence of each coefficient on turbine efficiency. The
objective of this work was to predict solar chimney turbine efficiency and operating characteristics
to help in solar chimney power plant design optimization. Liu et al. (2005) carried out a numerical
simulation for the MW-graded solar chimney power plant, presenting the influences of pressure
drop across the turbine on the draft and the power output of the system.

The turbine considered in this study is of the axial type, with radial inflow inlet guide vanes
(stator blades) (figure 12) .Von Backstrm et al. (2006) developed two analyses for finding the
optimal ratio of turbine pressure drop to available pressure drop in a solar chimney power plant for
maximum fluid power. The objective of the study was to investigate analytically the validity and
applicability of the assumption that, for maximum fluid power, the optimum ratio of turbine
pressure drop to pressure potential (available system pressure difference) is 2/3 .
To determine preliminary design parameters, and operating conditions of solar chimney
turbines, two counter-rotating turbines, one with inlet guide vanes, the other without, are compared
to a single-runner system. The design and off-design performances are weighed against in three
different solar chimney plant sizes. In this study Denantes and Bilgen (2006) have concluded that
the counter-rotating turbines without guide vanes have lower design efficiency and a higher off-
design performance than a single-runner turbine. The technical possibility of utilizing the total operating potential was suggested
Partly for generation of the turbine work, and partly for the maintenance of the GVC air flow
structure above the ground level. Basic assumptions preceding GVC physical modeling were
provided. A significant analogy exists between GVC-flow structures and natural tornados thereby
playing the role of an almost experimental confirmation that the proposed GVC structure is
technically achievable (2006).
Von Backstrm and Fluri (2007) conducted a study and developed two analyses for finding the
optimal ratio of turbine pressure drop to available pressure drop in a solar chimney power plant for
maximum fluid power. Nizetic et al (2010) developed a simplified analytical approach for
evaluating the factor of turbine pressure drop in solar chimney power plants. This factor (or
pressure drop ratio in turbines, according to the total pressure drop in the chimney) is important
because it is related to the output power. The determined factor (or ratio) values of the turbine
pressure drop are found to be within a value range consistent with other studies. It was concluded
that for solar chimney power plants, turbine pressure drop factors are in the range of 0.80.9. This
simplified analytical approach is useful for preliminary analysis and fast evaluation of the potential
of solar chimney power plants. The relationships between the turbine extraction power, the
temperature rise across the turbine, the velocity and the mass flow rate are presented in the work
of Koonsrisuk (2012).
Using the Spanish prototype as a practical example, Tingzhen et al (2008) carried out a numerical
simulation of a solar chimney power plant system coupled with a 3 blade turbine. This study
showed that the average velocity of the chimney outlet and the mass flow rate decrease with the

increase of turbine rotational speed. With turbines it is now possible to get power in form of
rotational energy out of the vertical air current in the chimney. The turbines are basically more
closely related to the pressure staged hydroelectric turbines than to the speed stepped open air
turbines. Similar to the water power plant the static pressure is reduced in a pipe. The efficiency is
approximately eight times higher than the efficiency of speed stepped open air turbines. The
velocity of the air is in front of and behind the turbine the same. The authors concluded that the
average temperature of the chimney outlet and the turbine pressure drop inversely, while the
maximum available energy, power output and efficiency of the turbine each has a peak value.
Koonsrisuk et al. (2010) conducted a study in which the collector, chimney and turbine are modeled
together theoretically, and iteration techniques were then carried out to solve the mathematical
model developed. It was developed to estimate power output of solar chimneys as well as to
examine the effect of solar heat flux and structural dimensions on the power output. Results from
the mathematical model were validated by measurements from the physical plant actually built.
The results show that the plant size, the factor of pressure drop at the turbine and the solar heat
flux are the important parameters for the performance enhancement.
3-D Numerical simulation of the SUPPS couple with turbine conducted by Ming et al. indicated
that it is a little difficult to simulate the turbine region and much more meshes are needed to
accurately describe flow, heat transfer and output power performances of the system. It was
concluded that it is impossible to realize the simulation procedure simultaneously including regions
of the solar chimney power plant system, the ambience and the 3-D turbine due to the limitation
of grids number. The research work conducted by Pastohr et al. indicated years ago that it is also
an efficient way to realize the object by simplifying the 3-D turbine to be a 2-D reversed fan with
pressure drop across it being pre-set. This method was also verified by Xu et al. and Ming et al.
and was proven to be effective to alleviate the mesh pressure by 3-D turbine region without
significantly total performance of solar chimney power plant. Ming et al. conducted a study
considering the turbine as a reversed fan with pressure drop across it being pre-set although 3-D
model for the SUPPS and the ambience is selected. To simulate different output power of the
turbine, the authors assign the pressure drop a group of values ranging from 0 to 200 Pa at an
interval of 20 Pa.
A numerical simulation method for the solar chimney power plant system was conducted by
Al-Dabbas (2011). The results of comparison between the simulated model and the Spanish
prototype with a 3-blade turbine show that with the increase in the turbine rotational speed, the
average velocity of the chimney outlet and the system mass flow rate decrease, the average
temperature of the chimney outlet and the turbine pressure drop inversely, while the maximum
available energy, power output, and efficiency of the turbine each has a peak value.

Fig.2.11 Vertical view and top view of three turbine configurations: (a) single vertical axis type;
(b) multiple vertical axis type; (c) multiple horizontal axis type.

Fig. chimney turbine layout.

The ground under the collector roof behaves as a storage medium, and can even heat up the
air for a significant time after sunset. The efficiency of the solar chimney power plant is below
2% and depends mainly on the height of the tower. As a result, these power plants can only be

constructed on land that is very cheap or free. Such areas are usually situated in desert regions.
However, this approach is not without other uses, as the outer area under the collector roof can
also be utilized as a greenhouse for agricultural purposes. Water filled black tubes are laid down
side by side on the black sheeted or sprayed soil under the glass roof collector (Fig. 14). They are
filled with water once and remain closed thereafter, so that no evaporation can take place. The
volume of water in the tubes is selected to correspond to a water layer with a depth of 5 to 20 cm
depending on the desired power output.
Since the heat transfer between black tubes and water is much larger than that between the
black sheet and the soil, even at low water flow speed in the tubes, and since the heat capacity of
water (4.2 kJ/kg) is much higher than that of soil (0.75 - 0.85 kJ/kg) the water inside the tubes
stores a part of the solar heat and releases it during the night, when the air in the collector cools

Fig.2.13 Principle of heat storage underneath the roof using water-filled black tubes.

Fig.2.14. Effect of heat storage underneath the collector roof using water-filled black tubes.

Kreetz (1997), also furnished with ground water storage systems of solar chimney examined
the effect of the power of time, depending (Bernardes, 2004).His calculations showed the
possibility of a continuous day and night operation of the solar chimney. Hedderwick and Pretorius
et al. (2004) studied and discussed the temperature distributions in the ground below the collector
are also presented.
It is thus found that the ground plays an important role in the energy consumption. Pretorius et
al. compared the power outputs of six different ground types: sandstone, granite, limestone, and
sand, wet soil and water. They found that the SCPPs employing the wet soil and the sand have the
lowest and highest power outputs respectively, and different materials lead to varying power
outputs during the daytime and at night. Pretorius also concluded that increased ground
absorptivity holds positive effects on annual solar chimney power output. Hammadi (2008) have
developed a mathematical model for a solar updraft tower with water storage system. This study
studied the effect of thermal storage system on the power production of the plant. the obtained
results showed that The thickness of the water storage layer is shifted the peak value of the output
power far away from mid-day and more smoothing the output curve .
Ming et al (2009) analyzed the characteristics of heat transfer and air flow in the solar chimney
power plant system with energy storage layer. Different mathematical models for the energy
storage layer have been developed, and the effect of solar radiation on the heat storage
characteristic of the energy storage layer has been analyzed. Simulation results show that the heat
storage ratio of the energy storage layer decreases firstly and then increases with the solar radiation
increasing from 200 W/m2 to 800W/m2 and that the average temperature of the chimney outlet
and the energy storage layer may increase significantly with the increase of the solar radiation. An
experimental study was conducted in Baghdad by Chaichan focusing on chimney's basements kind
effect on collected air temperatures. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of
basement types on the air temperatures of a prototype solar chimney designed and constructed for
this purpose. Three basements were used: concrete, black concrete and black pebbles basements.
The results show that the highest temperature difference reached was with the pebble ground. The
effects of storage parameter, such as the solar radiation, the ambient temperature, and the heat
storage capacity for ground materials on the power plant operation time were also investigated. To
analyze the performance of a solar chimney with energy storage layer Zheng et al (2010) have
carried out a numerical study. The response of different energy storage materials to the solar
radiation and their effect on the power output were analyzed. This study has shown that soil and
gravel could be used as energy storage material for solar chimney system. Ming et al performed
unsteady numerical simulations to analyze the characteristics of heat transfer and air flow in the
solar chimney power plant system with energy storage layer. The authors established mathematical

models of the different parts of the system. They have studied the effect of solar radiation on the
heat storage characteristics of the energy storage layer. The numerical simulations showed that it
is beneficial for the utilization of soil, with comparatively higher heat capacity, as the material of
energy storage layer, which could effectively modulate the temperature and power output
difference of the solar chimney power plant between the daytime and night. The simulation results
showed that the larger the conductivity of the energy storage layer, the lower the surface
temperature of the energy storage layer.
Fanlong et al (2011) adopted in their research the hybrid energy storage system with water and
soil to decrease the fluctuation of solar chimney power generating systems. The authors established
mathematical models of fluid flow, heat transfer and power output features of solar chimney
including an energy storage layer. Also the influence of the material and depth of energy storage
medium upon power output has been analyzed. The simulation results demonstrate that hybrid
energy storage system with water and soil can effectively decrease the power output fluctuation.
Najmi et al (2012) have chosen Paraffin as the material of energy storage layer. In this study,
an unsteady conjugate numerical simulation of the system was done by FLUENT software. The
operation condition of the system was simulated when the solar radiation value was changed with
time according to the actual situation. Due to the energy storage effect of phase change materials,
the system had output power of 1.3W at night. Moreover because of the continuous work of the
heat storage layer, in the same condition of solar radiation, the air velocity and maximum output
power increased with the system operation days extended.
Xu et al. (2011) performed a numerical simulation of a solar chimney with an energy storage
layer similar to the Spanish prototype. An experimental investigation of the effect of ground
temperature changes on the solar chimney system were carried out by Buutekin.



The power output of a solar chimney depends on parameters such as the ambient conditions
and structural dimensions of the system. The former includes quantities such as the solar radiation
Intensity and ambient temperature, whereas the latter includes the height and radius of both the
chimney and collector.
In order to make the interrelationships comprehensible, the fundamental dependencies and
influence of the essential parameters on the predictable power output of a solar chimney power
plant are presented here in a simplified form for the three main components of the solar chimney
power plant -the solar collector, the chimney and the wind turbine.
The wind turbine generator fitted at the base of the chimney converts free convection flow into
rotational energy. The pressure drop Ps across the turbine can be expressed from Bernoulli
= P


. v
The theoretical useful power Pwt at the turbine becomes
= v
From the above equations the power of wind turbine will be zero at Ps=0 and at Ps= Ptot.
It takes a maximum between these extremes at
= _
The maximum power is achieved when two thirds of the total pressure difference is utilized
by the turbine and can be expressed as
. A
. u (4)
The maximum electrical power from the solar chimney is obtained by multiplying Eq. (4) by
wind turbine efficiency that contains both blade, transmission and generator efficiency.
3.1.1 Specification of Turbine
Type- Inward radial flow turbine,
Material- Aluminium,
Minimum wind velocity-15m/s.

Fig. 3.1 Turbine
The chimney of the plant is extremely high and will need a stable base while still allowing free
flow of air through the turbine. It would also be advantageous to have the turbine as low as possible
in the chimney to make its construction simple.
A solar chimney collector converts available solar radiation G onto the collector surface Ar into
heat output. The collector efficiency can be expressed as a ratio of the heat output of the collector
as heated air Q

and the solar radiation G times Ar


. u
Heat output Q

at the outflow from the collector under steady conditions can then be expressed as a
product of the mass flow m, the specific heat of air cp and the temperature difference between
collector inflow and outflow T

= m . c
. T (6)
m =
. v
With colldensity of air at temperature T0+ T at collector outflow/chimney inflow, vcoll= vc
is the air speed at collector outflow/chimney inflow, and Ac chimney cross section area.
For collector efficiency this gives.


. v
. A
. c
. T
. u
To evaluate collector performance, it is necessary to know the mean plate temperature,


= u. A
. . 0
. A
. (T
) (9)
Here represents the effective absorption coefficient of the collector, taken as 0.9; is the
transmissivity of the collector glazing, taken as 0.88; Tp is the plate temperature; Tamb is
ambient temperature and Ul is the overall heat loss coefficient. The overall heat loss coefficient, in
K, of a single glazed collector can be obtained from the following relation
0 = S.S +u.u24t
Where tp is the plate temperature in
The heat transfer to the air inside collector from the plate is

= h. A
. (T
) (11)
Where h is the convective heat coefficient between plate and air and T2 is the temperature
of air inside the collector.

Fig. 3.2 Collector and Chimney Specification of Collector
Glass Roof Collector Area-7.068 m

Collector Temperature-40
c (approx.)
Average Height of Collector-0.15m
No. of Guide Vanes-6
The chimney converts the heat flow Q

produced by the collector into kinetic energy and potential

energy. Thus the density difference of the air caused by temperature rise in the collector works as
driving force.

A pressure difference Ptot is produced between chimney base and the surroundings
= g. _ (

. uh (12)
With g acceleration due to gravity, Hc chimney height, e air density in outer environment and
c air density in the chimney. The total pressure difference causing the draught in the chimney
increases with chimney height and the density difference. It can be divided into a static
and a dynamic component, neglecting friction loss
= P
The static pressure difference drops at the turbine; the dynamic component describes the
kinetic energy of the airflow. The power contained in the flow is the product of total pressure
difference and the volumetric flow rate of air
= P
From which the efficiency of the chimney can be established


(1S) Specification of chimney
Chimney Height-2m
Chimney Radius-0.2m
Material- Fiber

3.3.1 Description
The solar chimney power plant combines three familiar components: a solar collector, a solar
chimney, and power conversion unit which include one or several turbine generators. The turbines
are driven by air flow produced by buoyancy resulting from greenhouse effect inside the collector
(Fig. 3.3). The main function of solar chimney systems is to convert solar energy into electrical
energy. In the collector, the solar energy will be transformed into heat energy. The chimney
converts the generated heat energy into kinetic energy, which will be transformed into electric
energy by using a combination of a wind turbine and a generator. The collector in solar chimney
system consists of support matrix, column structure and transparent roof. A large air collector is
formed, when a transparent glass or plastic roof supported above the ground by column structure

and support matrix is stretched out horizontally many meters. The height of the roof slowly
increases along a radius from the periphery to the center to guide inward airflow with minimum
friction losses.

Fig. 3.3 Schematic illustration of a solar chimney power plant
This glass or plastic roof allows the transmission of the shorter wavelength solar radiation but
blocks the longer wave length radiation emitted by the ground. As a result, the ground under the
roof heats up, which, in turn, heats the air flowing radially above it.

Fig. 3.4 Solar Chimney

The soil surface under the collector cover works as a storage medium, which saves a part of the
incoming solar radiation during a day and releases it later during the night. This mechanism is
capable of providing a continuous supply of power all year round. The chimney situated in the
collector centre is the actual thermal engine of the solar chimney power plant. The up thrust of the
air heated in the collector is proportional to the rise in air temperature flowing in the collector and
its volumetric flow rate. Suitable turbines located at the base of chimney convert kinetic energy of
the up-flowing air inside chimney to mechanical power in the form of rotational energy. The typical
solar chimney turbine is of the axial flow type. The principle of operation of these turbines is
similar to the turbo generators used in hydroelectric power stations, where the static pressure is
converted into mechanical work. The power output achieved is proportional to the product of the
volume flow rate and the pressure drop across the turbine. The air flow through the turbine can be
regulated by varying the turbine blades pitch angle. This mechanical energy can be converted into
electric energy by coupling the turbine to the generator. Solar chimneys do not necessarily need
direct sunlight. They can exploit a component of the diffused radiation when the sky is cloudy. The
lack of system dependence on the natural occurrence of wind, which is intermittent, makes it a
very attractive development.

Fig. 3.5 Schematic layout of solar chimney power plant.

This pressure difference will be called the available driving pressure and symbolized as ptot.
Neglecting friction losses, ptot can be subdivided into a turbine extraction component representing
the pressure extracted at the turbine, and a dynamic component describing the kinetic energy of
the airflow:
= p
Let us define the ratio ps/ptot as x, so that
= xp
Using the standard definition for dynamic pressure, we obtain

wIth turb
Without the turbine, the maximum flow speed is achieved and the whole driving potential is used
to accelerate the flow, so that

no turb
Substituting Eqs. (2)- (4) into Eq. (1) yields,
wIth turb
= v
no turb
(1 x) (S)
The theoretical power extracted by the turbine can be determined from the energy equation and
Gibbs relation from classical thermodynamics:

= m _vup

Substituting Eqs. (2) And (5) into Eq. (6) and using m =
wIth turb
,we obtain:

= A
. 1 x. v
no turb
. x. p
The optimal x for the maximum power extraction can be obtained by assuming that Vno turb and
ptot are not functions of x and solving W

x = u. The result for the optimal pressure ratio is
Consequently, maximum power is obtained when the turbine extraction pressure is 2/3 of the
available driving pressure, corresponding to the value that most researchers have utilized. Using

our assumptions, the optimal pressure ratio of 2/3 is valid only for the constant-driving-pressure
systems (i.e. for the constant air temperature increase).Equation (7) shows that the plant power
output can be increased by adjusting the turbine extraction pressure.
Let height of Chimney Hc=2m; Diameter of chimney dc=0.2m;
Diameter of roof of collector dr=3m; Temperature outside=20
Density of outside air 1=1.204Kg/m
; Measured velocity of air at inlet V1=1.4m/s.
Therefore, from continuity equation
= A
A1=Area of collector perpendicular to velocity of air,

= u.uS14 m s
u.4S 1.4
= 2u.u6m s
Therefore, Mass flow rate =cVcAc

= 1.12820.060.0314=0.71 kg/s,
c = Density at inlet of chimney,
Taking = collector absorption coefficient = 0.65,
Global solar radiation (I) = 1017 w/m
= 1.uuS K} kgK = 1uuS}kgK.
T =
Collector loss coefficient U=15 w/m2K
. 6S 1u17
. 71 1uuS
= S.7K

= S.7 T
= T
+S.7 = 29S +S.7 = 298.7K
q" = I 0T = .6S 1u17 1S S.7 = S7S.SSWm

= P



= 1u1Suu +
u.71 S7S.SS
1.2u4 1uuS 29S
ln _
2 1.2u4

= 1u1Suu +u.u221 211.29 = 1u1u88.7S Pa

287 298.9

Piessuie P
= 1u1Suu _1
9.81 2
1uuS 29S
28 7
1u1Suu Pa
Guessing Pressure P3 = 60000 Pa
= 298.7 _
= 2S7.SSK

287 2S7.SS


= u.uS14 m s
= 2S7.SS
9.81 2
= 2S7.S1K

287 2S7.S1

= P


= 1u1Suu +
(u.812 +1.S72) 9.81 2 +_


= 1u1u64.42Pa
|P3 GIVEN P3 CALCULATED | < Acceptable value



u.71 2
1.179 +u.812
(1u1u88.7S 1u1u64.42)
= 17.SS watt.
= P
= 1u1Suu 1u1u64.42 = 2SS.S8 Pa
Overall, the solar chimney concept has much to offer. It is unique in its ability to convert low grade
heat into usable energy. A system can be built using cheap and abundant materials, such as plastic
and metal. It is simple to operate and maintain. It can supply a certain amount of steady (base load)
power. It also doesnt require fancy solar cells, complex mirrors, or expensive water-cooling
systems. Apart from working on a very simple principle, solar chimneys have a number of special
1. The collector can use all solar radiation, both direct and diffuse. This is crucial for tropical
countries where the sky is frequently overcast.
2. Due to the soil under the collector working as a natural heat storage system, updraft solar
chimneys can operate 24 h on pure solar energy, at reduced output at night time. If desired,
additional water tubes or bags placed under the collector roof absorb part of the radiated energy
during the day and release it into the collector at night. Thus solar chimneys can operate as
base load power plants. As the plant's prime mover is the air temperature difference (causing
an air density difference) between the air in the chimney and ambient air, lower ambient
temperatures at night help to keep the output at an almost constant level even when the
temperature of natural and additional thermal storage also decreases without sunshine, as the
temperature difference remains practically the same.
3. Solar chimneys are particularly reliable and not liable to break down, in comparison with other
power plants. Turbines and generators - subject to a steady flow of air - are the plant's only
moving parts. This simple and robust structure guarantees operation that needs little
maintenance and of course no combustible fuel.

4. Unlike conventional power stations (and also some other solar-thermal power station types),
solar chimneys do not need cooling water. This is a key advantage in the many sunny countries
that already have major problems with water supply. 5. The building materials needed for solar
chimneys, mainly concrete and glass, are available everywhere in sufficient quantities. In fact,
with the energy taken from the solar chimney itself and the stone and sand available in the
desert, they can be reproduced on site.
5. Solar chimneys can be built now, even in less industrially developed countries. The industry
already available in most countries is entirely adequate for solar chimney requirements. No
investment in high-tech manufacturing plants is needed.
6. Even in poor countries it is possible to build a large plant without high foreign currency
expenditure by using local resources and work-force; this creates large numbers of jobs while
significantly reducing the required capital investment and thus the cost of generating electricity.



Other propositions about unconventional solar chimneys were presented in the literature such
as: sloped, floating, geothermal and hybrid cooling towersolar chimney and chimney solar pond
The first study of a sloped solar chimney was proposed by Bilgen et al. The basic concept
explored by this author is to construct a chimney with a collector in a sloppy section. Later, S. V.
Panse et al. explored this concept though differently and considered that the inclined face of the
mountain itself acts as the chimney as well as the solar energy collector. The authors have studied
the feasibility of the concept of Inclined Solar Chimney and study the factors affecting its power
output. In another study, Zhou et al. suggested that a hole can be excavated at the center of a high
rising mountain, which will act as the chimney. The collector area would be spread around the
mountain. A sloped solar chimney power plant, which is expected to provide electric power for
remote villages in Northwest China, has been designed for Lanzhou City. The designed plant, in
which the height and radius of the chimney are 252.2 m and 14 m respectively, the radius and angle
of the solar collector are 607.2 m and 31 respectively, is designed to produce 5 MW electric power
on a monthly average all year. This kind of solar power plant has a sloped solar collector and a
short vertical solar chimney. It is called the sloped solar chimney power plant (SSCPP). Reports
of SSCPP are few comparing to the study of the classical solar chimney power systems by F. Cao
et al. More recently, Cao et al work (2013) have compare the performance of a conventional solar
chimney power plant (CSCPP) and two sloped solar chimney power plants (SSCPPs) with the
collector oriented at 30 and 60, respectively. Air is heated by solar radiation under a low circular
glass roof open at the periphery; this and the natural ground below it form a hot air collector.
Continuous 24 hours-operation is guaranteed by placing tight water-filled tubes under the roof.
The water heats up during the daytime and emits its heat at night. These tubes are filled only once,
no further water is needed. In the middle of the roof is a vertical chimney with large air inlets at its
base. The joint between the roof and the chimney base is airtight. As hot air is lighter then cold air
it rises up the chimney. Suction from the chimney then draws in hotter air from the collector, and
cold air comes in from the outer perimeter. Thus solar radiation causes a constant up draught in the

chimney. The energy this contains is converted into mechanical energy by pressure-staged wind
turbines at the base of the chimney, and into electrical energy by conventional generators.

Fig. 4.1 Schematic of a sloped solar chimney power plant
The floating solar chimney technology was presented by Papageorgiou in a series of papers. A
Floating Solar Chimney (FSC) power plant is made of three basic parts:
A large solar collector with a transparent roof supported a few meters above the ground, open
at its perimeter (the greenhouse).
A tall lighter than air cylinder in the center of the solar collector (the Floating Solar Chimney)
A set of air turbines geared to appropriate electric generators placed inside or around the FSC
(the turbo-generators).
The chimney in this system is not made of concrete, but of a flexible material and floats on air
with the help of a lighter gas like helium. The chimney essentially has a heavy base and the walls
are filled with a lighter gas. The support rings allow air to enter and pass through them freely, so
that the chimney does not yield under wind pressure. Due to its patented construction the FSC is
a free standing lighter construction than air structure and behaves like bending when external
winds appear. The energy source, for the electricity generation, is the horizontal solar irradiation
passing through the transparent roof of the greenhouse and partly trapped by the greenhouse effect
of the transparent roof. Thus the ground below the greenhouse is heated and consequently its
thermal energy is transferred to the moving air entering the greenhouse and moving towards the

FSC bottom entrance. In all continents there are plenty of sunny places, with annual horizontal
solar irradiation in the range of 1650- 2400 KWh per m.

Fig.4.2 Floating solar chimney scheme.

Fig. 4.3 An indicative presentation of the Floating Solar Chimney

In orders to increase the efficiency of the solar chimney power station, some approach were
proposed in the literature such as: a hybrid geothermal solar chimney power plant (figure 4.4). This
novel technology allows the thermal conversion of energy by operating with both solar and low
geothermal energy. This proposition allows the generation of electrical energy even when sunlight

is not available. Thus, during cloudy days and at night, a full geothermal operation mode or the
combination of solar and geothermal can ensure the working of the installation.

Fig.4.4 Hybrid geothermal solar chimney HYBRID COOLING TOWER- SOLAR CHIMNEY
Based on the conventional solar chimney system, Zandian et al. have introduced a new concept
capable to produce more electrical energy by recapturing the rejected heat from the condenser
supplemented by the solar energy gain from the solar collectors.
The working principle of this system is as follow: The ambient cool air enters the system from
the open base periphery and passes through the radiators and cools the condenser water within its
path. The heated air then passes through the space under the transparent roof and gains more heat
from solar radiation. The transparent roof and the ground below it act as a collector and heat up
the flowing air more. The buoyant airflows radially towards the center of the system, where some
Inlet Guide Vanes (IGVs) direct it through a wind turbine, which is installed at the throat of the
chimney. The air drives the turbine in its path and generates electrical power similar to that in solar

In 2002 a small prototype combining a solar pond with a chimney was constructed at the RMIT
Campus in Bundoora (20 km north of Melbourne). The diameter of the chimney was 0.35 m and
the height was only 8 m. The tower was constructed from flexible circular ducting as used in
domestic heating systems. Since this material is flexible the duct was supported by the structure of
a small experimental aero generator which was within a few meters of a small experimental solar
pond of approximately 4.2 m diameter and 1.85 m depth (see figure 4.5).
Later, Akbarzadeh et al. have examined the concept of combining a solar pond with a chimney
to produce power in salt affected areas. The authors have proposed two scenarios to produce
electricity by solar pond-chimney combination. In the first one a non-direct contact heat exchanger
is utilized, while the unit on the second one uses a direct contact heat exchanger (see figure 4.6).
Heat is removed from the solar pond by extracting hot brine from just below the interface between
the gradient layer and the bottom convective zone and pumping it through a water-to-air heat
exchanger inside the tower. After delivering its heat, the water is returned to the bottom of the solar
pond. Thus the ambient air is heated and as a result the desired draft is created inside the tower.

Fig 4.5 The photograph of the Bundoora prototype
The induced air flow can be utilized by an air turbine to produce power. Lu Zuo have presented
a new solar chimney power system with integration of sea water desalination is introduced for the
production of electricity and fresh water. More recently, a concept using solar chimney system to
drive both power generation and seawater desalination suitably at a site adjacent to the sea was
proposed by Wang et al.

Fig 4.6 Concepts for combining a chimney with a solar pond to generate power
Thermal energy from solar pond is used to drive a Rankine cycle heat engine. Hot water from
the bottom level of the pond is pumped to the evaporator. Where the organic working fluid to
vaporized. A 2000 sq. solar point equipped with a 200 kW has been constructed in Australia
SCPPs are promising for large-scale utilization of solar energy, and extensive research has
been carried out to investigate its huge-potential over the world. Based on an Analysis of the
geographical conditions and solar-energy resources in many countries, the feasibility of
constructing a solar hot air-flows power generating system was illustrated.
Schlaich Bergermann has designed, constructed and operated an experimental plant with a peak
output of 50 kW on a site made available by the Spanish utility Union Electrica Fenosa in
Manzanares (about 150 km south of Madrid) in 1981/82, with funds provided by the German
Ministry of Research and Technology (BMFT). The aim of this research project was to verify,
through field measurements, the performance projected from calculations based on theory, and to
examine the influence of individual components on the plant's output and efficiency under realistic
engineering and meteorological conditions. Erection of the plant was completed in 1981, and after
a phase of improvements, continuous operation started in 1983 and continued until 1989.

In May, 1982 Spaniards living near the small central town of Manzanares, 150 km south of
Madrid, saw a strange giant arising. It was a metal tower nearly 200 m high made of sheet steel
rings, surrounded by an array of plastic sheeting 240 m across. The main characteristics of the
prototype are illustrated in table I. The developers claim that The Manzanares plant achieved an
electricity efficiency of 0.53% but SBP believe that this could be increased to 1.3% in a large 100
MW (e) unit with detail improvements (Schlaich, 1995). The efficiency of these plants increases
with size. The capacity factor measured at Manzanares was 10% but it is claimed this would rise
to 29% in a 200 MW (e) unit. The Manzanares plant was retrofitted for a test with black plastic
containing water mining scrap can be used for this purpose. The SBP technology originally used
plastic sheet glazing at Manzanares, but this encountered severe structural instability close to the
tower due to induced vortices. Toughened glass is likely to be used for all future plants. Because
of size, array-cleaning cost is an important area of concern. However, other maintenance costs
associated with this approach seem to be very low.

Fig.4.7 The solar updraft tower in Manzanares, Spain (construction in 1982, SBP)
The solar chimney pilot plant in Manzanares, Spain, has demonstrated the technical feasibility
of electricity generation with solar chimney power plants. Electrical power output is a function of
a global irradiation, but also depends on meteorological and environmental conditions. The pilot
project worked for about eight years until the chimney support wires rusted out and the chimney

was blown over in a storm, but it did prove that the concept was scientifically sound. To get
meaningful amounts of power out of such a system (that is to get megawatts instead of kilowatts)
requires construction of a substantially taller chimney. The taller the chimney, the stronger the
updraft; the stronger the updraft, the more power you can generate.
Table I. Data and design values of the pilot Parameters Manzanares prototype plant.
Tower height (m) 194.6
Tower radius (m) 5.08
Collector radius (m) 122
Chimney weight (kg) 125.10

Average height of the collector (m) 1.85
Number of turbine blades 4
Turbine blade profile FXW 151
Radius velocity 1 :10
Radius transmission 1 :10
Collector temperature T (C) 20
Nominal output (kW) 50
Glass roof- collector area (m
) 6000

In 2001, a company called Enviromission announced that it planned to build a 200 MW solar
chimney in southwest Australia that could generate 4000 times more power than the Manzanares
system. The Australian firm is working with the German consultants Schlaich Bergmann. But to
get that kind of power, Enviromission must construct a solar chimney thats 130 meters in diameter
and 1000 meter tall, which is more than 11 times the height of the statue of liberty and nearly twice
as tall as Torontos CN tower. Enviromission would have to break a world record for its solar
chimney to become a reality. Also, to create enough warm air to flow through that chimney will
require a plastic or glass covered solar collection area of up to 35 square kilometers, roughly
equivalent to 5000 NFL football fields. The project is expected to cost nearly $ 1 billion.
The 1000 m tower will be built from reinforced concrete and strengthened by horizontal metal
supports that can also act as platforms. The air temperature under the collector roof will be around
30C and the wind speed will be about 32 km/h. Energy will be extracted from this flow using 32
turbines set horizontally in the transition area. The turbines will be purposely built from lightweight
alloy materials, with 10 blades coupled to synchronous generators. The turbines will receive air at
around 60C to 70C.

Enviromission has two projects planned for Arizona, in 2011, secured $ 30 million in funding
to cover early developments costs. Solar chimneys are also being considered in other parts of the
world. Projects are on the drawing board in the European Union and Africa, including a solar
chimney in Namibia dubbed Green tower that would reach 1.5 kilometers into the sky and require
a solar collecting greenhouse covering 37 square kilometers. None of these commercial scale
projects have reached construction phase, and there is no certainty they will.

Fig. 4.8 Enviromission power plant scheme.
The region of Jinsha Bay Wuhai in Inner Mongolia (China) has built an experimental prototype
solar chimney of 200 kW. The total planned capacity until December 2013 this project is 27.5 MW,
representing a total of 2.78 million m2 of desert occupied by greenhouses as a collector and a total
investment of 1.38 billion Yuan. The construction of the Chinese prototype was performed in three
The first phase of the project has already been completed between May 2009 and December
2010 and helped build a prototype solar chimney 200 kW demonstration occupies 40,000 m2
of desert tower or chimney 53 m high and 18m in diameter, representing an expenditure of 1
million Yuan.
The second phase of the project has just started in February 2011 and lasted until December
2011 to complete the construction of a power plant based on 2.2 MW solar chimney. This

system demonstration will occupy 220,000 m2 of desert and the planned investment is 110
million Yuan.
The third phase of the project will be carried out between January 2012 and December 2013,
to allow the construction of a solar chimney power plant of 25.1 MW, with a greenhouse
collector occupying a desert region of 2.51 million, the investment will be 1.26 billion Yuan.
4.2.4 OTHER SOLAR UPDRAFT TOWERS Jinshawan Updraft Tower
In December 2010, a solar updraft tower in Jinshawan in Inner Mongolia, China started
operation, producing 200-kilowatts of electric power. The 1.38 billion RMB (USD 208 million)
project was started in May 2009 and its aim is to build a facility covering 277 hectares and
producing 27.5 MW by 2013. The greenhouses will also improve the climate by covering moving
sand, restraining sandstorms. Ciudad Real Torre solar
There is a proposal to construct a solar updraft tower in Ciudad Real, Spain, entitled Ciudad
Real Torre Solar. If built, it would be the first of its kind in the European Union and would stand
750 meters tall nearly twice as tall as the current tallest structure in the EU, the Belmont TV Mast
covering an area of 350 hectares (about 865 acres). It is expected to put out 40 MW of electricity. Bostwana Test facility
Based on the need for plans for long-term energy strategies, Botswana's Ministry of Science
and Technology designed and built a small-scale solar chimney system for research. This
experiment ran from 7 October to 22 November 2005. It had an inside diameter of 2 m and a height
of 22m and was manufactured from glass-reinforced polyester material, with a collection base area
of approximately 160 m2. The roof was made of a 5 mm thick clear glass that was supported by a
steel framework. Namibian proposal
In mid-2008, the Namibian government approved a proposal for the construction of a 400 MW
solar chimney called the 'Green tower'. The tower is planned to be 1.5 km tall and 280 m in
diameter, and the base will consist of a 37 km2 greenhouse in which cash crops can be grown. Turkish model
A model solar updraft tower was constructed in Turkey as a civil engineering project.
Functionality and outcomes are obscure. Mountainside Solar Draft Tower - In 1926 Prof Engineer
Bernard Dubos proposed to the French Academy of Sciences the construction of a Solar Aero-

Electric Power Plant in North Africa with its solar chimney on the slope of a large mountain. A
mountainside updraft tower can also function as a vertical greenhouse. Arctic Solar draft tower
A Solar updraft power plant located at high latitudes such as in Canada, could produce up to
85 per cent of the output of a similar plant located closer to the equator, but only if the collection
area is sloped significantly southward. The sloped collector field is built at suitable mountain hills,
which also functions as a chimney. Then a short vertical chimney is added to install the vertical
axis air turbine. The results showed that solar chimney power plants at high latitudes may have
satisfactory thermal performance.


There are vast solar technology applications that are possible, if applied through a correct
means. Our project utilizes lower grade heat developed by the collection of solar energy under the
roof or say collector, to convert it into electricity. The solar chimney power plant mainly works on
the principle that hot air rises & cold air takes its place. The density difference of air generated by
change in temperature helps in creating a pressure difference too. This pressure difference is further
utilized to rotate the turbine which in turn rotates the generator beneath it to generate electricity.
As per calculations the model designed aims to generate 10 watt electricity.
A solar chimney plant is capable of generating electricity as high as 400MW. As this project
requires a large area, it may be setup in an unused or an isolated area (such as desert).Also there
can be many future modifications, in order to increase its efficiency to an optimum level.
As per the calculations done the following results can be estimated:
1. The solar chimney power output= 17.33 watt
2. The total pressure difference generated by the solar chimney= 235.58 Pa


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