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A Solar Chimney Power Plant

Our country is facing a number of problems on power generation.
The original target of increasing the generating capacity by 30,000 MW during
eight plan got reduced to 20,000MW and fears are now being expressed about by
achieing een this reduced target. This is ascribed essentially to a lac! of
sufficient financial resources. "riati#ation of generation with a iew to attracting
priate inestors, $ndian and %oreign countries is now considered a remedy to
oercome this difficulty.
There has been some progress in this direction but for away from our
expectation. Thus foreign inestors li!e &'( transpower in Orissa. 'nron ) in
Maharashtra and siemens ) Torrent in *u+rat. The process of inoling foreign
enterprises in the power sector has been long and arduous. Meanwhile, the load
demands are increasing fast while the addition to generating capacities are slow
and reliability small and the reliabilities and ,uantity of power supply are
deteriorating resulting in fre,uent interruptions and low oltage thus affecting
industrial and agricultural production and causing inconenience to the public in a
ariety of ways.
-ence solar and wind power generation adds large extent of power
generation in the target of achieing re,uirement. $t does not consume any type of
fuel, coal or any other natural resources and it does not polluted atmosphere by
exhausting poisonous gases in the atmosphere, it wor!s on simple principle only
conersion of one form to another form and rotates the turbine and gies electrical
S. T. B. C. E. Tul j apur.
A Solar Chimney Power Plant
. SO!AR "himney te"hnolo#y
How it works :-
(olar chimney wor! on the simple principle that hot air rises. & tall
chimney is built in the centre of a large transparent solar collector. The sun rays
will heat the air beneath of the collector and the warmed air, becoming less dense,
ascends through the chimney. The rising hot air will become denser and draw up
more air in the same fashion as a tall chimney. & turbine and electric generator
can also be added to produce electricity.
/asically solar chimney power plant is the combination of solar and
wind energy. $n which solar energy is used to heat the air and ma!ing air less
dense, which moes up with particular elocity and rotate the wind turbine.
&mbient air is drawn into the glass collector. This is warmed by
solar energy and rises up the chimney. The current of rising warm air dries a
turbine and the turbine is set at the base of chimney and dries the electrical

S. T. B. C. E. Tul j apur.
A Solar Chimney Power Plant
The solar chimney is basically hydraulic power plant, but instead of
water it uses hot air. /eneath a large glass roof air is heated. $t enters a ertical
tube placed at the center of the roof and creates an updrawght there inside the tube
0aplan ) type wind turbine with electrical generator and producing electricity.
1ontinuous 22 3hr 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.
(olar chimney power stations ma!es important contributions to the
energy supplies in &ftrica and &sia, because there is plenty of space and sunlight
aailable there solar chimney power stations are particularly suitable for
generating electricity in deserts and sun3rich wasteland. Their efficiency increase
with the height of the chimney, not linearly but exponentially. %or the power
stations to generate electricity economically not only large glass or plastic roof
surfaces are necessary, but also a ery high chimney. The height is needed simple
from the fact that the updraft is proportional to the height and also to ma!e best
use of the heat aailable.
The first solar chimney power plant was built and commissioned in
.453 in Man#anares, (pain. The pro+ect was funded by a research, grant awarded
by the *erman federal Ministry for 6esearch and Technology. This solar chimney
was in operation for approximately seen years. The successful operation of this
pilot plant led to the construction of two small3scale demonstration plants in (hri
(olar chimneys are technically ery similar to hydroelectric power
stations3 so far the only really successful renewable energy source, the collector
roof is the e,uialent of the reseroir, 8 the chimney of the pressure pipes. /oth
power generation systems wor! with pressure3stepped turbines, 8 both achiee
low power production costs because of their extremely long life span 8 low
running costs. The collector roof 8 reseroir areas re,uired are also comparable
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A Solar Chimney Power Plant
in si#e for the same electrical output. /ut the collector roof can be built in arid
deserts 8 remoed without any difficulty whereas useful 9often een populated:
land is submerged under reseroirs.
(olar chimneys wor! on dry air 8 can be operated without the
corrosion 8 caitation typically caused by water. They will soon be +ust as
successful as hydroelectric power stations. 'lectricity yielded by a solar chimney
is in proportion to the intensity of global radiation, collector area 8 the chimney
height. Thus, there is no physical optimum. The same output can be achieed
with a higher chimney 8 a small collector or ice3ersa. Optimum dimensions
can be calculated only by including specific component costs 9collector, chimney,
and turbines: for indiidual sites. &nd so plants of different si#es are built from
site to site3but always at optimum cost
S. T. B. C. E. Tul j apur.
A Solar Chimney Power Plant
$. SO!AR C%I&NE' "omponent(
&s we see that the solar chimney consist of a solar collector,
chimney and turbine and rest of the component i.e. generator, transmission is as
same in other power plants. The main components in solar chimney power plant
are as follows.
.. The solar collector.
2. The chimney
3. The wind turbine.
/y means of an absorber, a collector which can be used for space
heating. (olar collector transforms about 50; of radiation energy into heat. -ot
air for the chimney is produced by greenhouse effect in a simple air collector
consisting only of a glass of plastic film coering stretched hori#ontally 2 to < m
aboe the ground. -eight increases only ad+acent to the chimney base, so that the
air can be dierted to ertical moement without friction loss. This coering
admits short wae solar radiation component and retains long3wae radiation from
the heated ground. Thus, ground under the roof heats up and transfers its heat to
the air flowing radially aboe it from the outside to the chimney, li!e flow heater.
The air temp. rise could be 3=
1 in a well3designed collector. The total radius
re,uires for =MW, 30MW, .00MW is =00, .000 and .500 m respectiely.
"eripheral area of the collector can be used as greenhouse or drying
plants, at no extra cost and without significant performance loss. & collector roof
of this !ind is of long span and continuous maintenance can gie serice up to <0
years or more. 1ollector efficiency is improed as rise in temp. decreases. Thus,
a solar chimney collector is economic, simple in operation and has a high3energy
efficiency leel.
S. T. B. C. E. Tul j apur.
A Solar Chimney Power Plant
*6''> W-$T' $6 6'%7'?
*lass thic!ness 9mm: 2 2 2
7ong waes absorption 0. 4.5 0.4.5 0..=
7ong wae transmission 0.0000.5 0.0000.5 0.0000.5
(hort wae absorption 0.0= 0.0. 0.0@
(hort wae transmission 0.55< 0.4@ 0.5.
6efractie index ..=0 ..=0 ..=0
(pecific heat capacity 25. 25. 25.
Censity 9!gBm
: 2=50 2=50 2=50
Thermal conductiity 0.4 0.4 0.4
The chimney itself is the plantDs actual thermal engine. $t is a
pressure tube with low friction and loss 9 li!e a hydroelectric tube: because of its
optimum surface3olume ratio. The up3thrust of the air heated in collector is
approximately proportional to air temp. rise T in collector and olume 9i.e. height
and diameter of the chimney:. $n a large solar chimneys the collector raises the
temp. of air by TE3=
1. This produces an up3draught elocity in chimney of
about FE.= mBs. The efficiency of the chimney 9i.e. conersion of heat into
!inetic energy: is practically independent of T in collector and determined by
outside temp. To 9lower the better: and height of chimney 9higher the better:.
"ower E 0. 9-cBTo:G9(olar radiation at location:G9&rea of collector:
Thus, solar chimneys can ma!e particularly good use of the low rise
in air temp. produced by heat emitted by the ground during the night and een the
Meagre solar radiation of a cold winterDs dayH
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A Solar Chimney Power Plant
-oweer, compared with the collector and the turbines, the
chimneys efficiency is relatiely low, hence the importance of si#e in its efficiency
cures. The chimney should be as tall as possible e.g.I at .000m height can be
built without difficulty. 9 7et it be remind that T.F. Tower in Toronto, is almost
<00m height and serious plans are being made for 2000 m s!yscrapers in earth3
,ua!e3ridden Aapan.:
Mechanical output in the form of rotational energy can now he
deried from the ertical air3current in the chimney by turbines. Turbines in a solar
chimney do not wor! with stepped elocity li!e a free3running wind energy
conerter, but as a cased pressure3stepped wind turbo3generator, in which, similar
to a hydroelectric power station, static pressure is conerted into a pipe. The
energy yield of a cased pressure3stepped turbine of this !ind is about eight times
greater than that of the same diameter. &ir speed before and after the turbine is
about the same. The output achieed is proportional to the product of olume flow
per time unit and the fall in pressure at the turbine. With a iew to maximum
energy yield the aim of the turbine regulation concept is to maximi#e this product
under all operating conditions.
The turbine regulates air speed and air flow by means of blade tilt.
$f the blades are hori#ontal, the turbine does not turn. $f the blades are ertical and
allow the air to flow through undisturbed, there is no drop in pressure at the
turbine and no electricity is generated. /etween these two extremes there is an
optimum blade settingJ the output is maximi#ed if the pressure drop at the turbine
is about two thirds of the total pressure differential aailable. $f the air stream is
throttled the air ta!es longer to heat up. This increases the rise in temperature in
the collector. This in its turn causes increase ground storage and thus enhanced
night output, but also greater loss from the collector 9infrared emissions and
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A Solar Chimney Power Plant
conection:. Turbines are always placed at the base of the chimney. Fertical axis
turbines are particularly robust and ,uiet in operation. The choice is between one
turbine whose blades coer the whole cross3section of the chimney or six smaller
turbines distributed around the circumference of the chimney wall, here the blade
length of each turbine will a sixth of the chimney diameter. The diersion channel
at the base of the chimney is designed for one or six turbines as appropriate. /ut it
is also possible to arrange a lot of small turbines with hori#ontal axes 9as used in
cooling tower fans: at the periphery of the transitional area between canopy and
aailable technology. *enerator and transmission are conentional, as used in
related spheres.
$n a solar chimney there are no critical dynamic loads on blades,
hubs and setting e,uipment of the !ind met in free3running wind energy conerters
due to gustiness of the natural wind as the canopy forms an effectie buffer against
rapid pressure and speed changes. This ma!es these components structurally
simple and cheap to manufacture, and they also hae a long life span.
Turbine for Solar Chimney Power Station
S. T. B. C. E. Tul j apur.
A Solar Chimney Power Plant
Cetailed theoretical preliminary research and a wide range of wind
tunnel experiments led to the establishment plant with a pea! output of =0 !W on a
site made aailable by the (panish utility Knion 'lectricity %enosa in Man#anares
9about .=0 !m south of Madrid: in .45.352 with funds proided by the *erman
Ministry of 6esearch and Technology 9/M%T:
The aim of this research pro+ect was to erify theoretical data
established by measurement 8 to examine the influence of indiidual component
on the plantDs output and efficiency under realistic engineering and meteorological
To this end a chimney .4=m high and .0 m in diameter was built,
surrounded by a collector 220 m in diameter. The plant was e,uipped with
extensie measurement data ac,uisition facilities. The performance of the plant
was registered second by second by .50 sensors.
(ince the type of collector roof primarily determines a solar
chimneyDs performance costs, different building methods and materials for the
collector roof were also to be tested in Man#anares. & realistic collector roof for
large3scale plants has to be built 2 to < m aboe ground leel. %or this reason the
lowest realistic height for a collector roof for large3scale technical use, 2 m, was
selected for the small Man#anares "lant. 9%or output a roof height of only =0 cm
would in fact hae been ideal.: Thus only =0 0W could be achieed in
Man#anares, but this realistic roof height also permitted conenience access to the
turbine at the base of the chimney. This also meant that experimental planting
could be carried out under the roof to inestigate additional use of the collector as
a greenhouse.
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A Solar Chimney Power Plant
L'&6 "6O*6'((
.450 Cesign
.45. 1onstruction
.452 1ommissioning
.453B52 'xperimental phase 8 structural
Optimi#ation of the roof
.45=B5< $n operation, further improements to collector 8
.45<354 1ompletely automatic long3term operation phase.
The experimental plant in Man#anares ran for about .=000 hours from .452
onwards. The following tests were run in the course of the pro+ects I
Cifferent collector roof coering were tested for structural stability, durability
and influence on output.
The behaiour of the plant as whole was measured second by second 9ground
temperature, air temperature, speed and humidity, translucency of the
collector, turbine data, meteorology etc.
The groundDs storage capacity was tested in terms of collector temperature and
soil humidity. $n order to inestigate heat absorption and heat storage it was in
turn left as it was, sprayed with blac! asphalt and coered with blac! plastic.
Farious turbine regulation strategies were deeloped and testedJ
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A Solar Chimney Power Plant
Maintenance and running costs for indiidual components were inestigatedJ
The thermodynamic plant simulation program deeloped in all details in the
mean time was erified with the aid of the experimental results and
accompanying wind tunnel experiments, in order to ma!e reliable calculations
for any indiidual site data, meteorology and plant dimensions for daily 8
annual energy production by large solar chimneys.
TL"$1&7 "7&>T O"'6&T$>* "&6&M'T'6( %O6 "7&>T O% 6&T$>*
=,30 &>C .00 MW &6' *$F'> $> T&/7'
= MW 30 MW .00 MW
Civil Engineering
1himney height 9m: 22= @=0 4=0
1himney radius 9m: 2@ 22 =@.=
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A Solar Chimney Power Plant
1ollector radius 9m: === ..00 .500
1ollector height, external 9m: 3.= 2.= <.=
1ollector height, internal 9m: ...= .=.= 20.=
Me!"ni"l Engineering
Type of turbine "ropeller Type
>umber of turbine 33 3= 3<
Cistance of turbine from =3 52 ..=
1himney 1entre 9m:
&irflow rates 9mBs: 5 .0.2 .3.5
(haft power rating of .40 .0@. 32@2
$ndiidual turbines 90W:
/lade tip3to3wind speed ratio .0 .0 5
6otational speed 9.Bmin.: .=3 .32 .0=
Tor,ue 9!>m: ...4 @@.= 3.2.=
O#er"ting $"t" "t r"te$ lo"$
Kpward air draught speed 9mBs: 4.0@ .2.=4 .=.52
Total pressure difference 9pa: 353.3 @<@.. ..00.=
"ressure drop oer turbine 9pa: 3.2.3 <24.. 402.2
%riction 9>: 25.< <2.4 50.<
Temperature in collector 9
1: 2=.< 3..0 3=.@
Thus the successful operation of this pilot plant led to the
construction of two small3scale demonstration plants in (hri 7an!a, &ustralia and
$n &ustralia at Melbourne the worldDs tallest Man made structure
could soon be towering oer the &ustralian outbac! as part of a plan to capitali#e
on the global push for greater use of renewable energy. Mainly the team at
Man#anares wor!s with this plant combining 'niro3mission.
S. T. B. C. E. Tul j apur.
A Solar Chimney Power Plant
An "rtist%s ren$ition o& t!e sol"r !i'ne()
&ustralia power company 'niro3mission ltd. hopes to build a .,000
meter 93,300 feet: solar tower in south west new (outh Wales state, a structure that
would be more than twice the height of MalaysiaDs "etronDs Towers, the worldDs
tallest building. The plant haing seen !ilometer roof diameter and . !m
chimney height, and a 3 meter distance at outer periphery and 2= m distance at
inner periphery of solar collector roof. &nd which it allows to suc!ed hot air
through 32 turbines which generate power 22 hrs a day haing output expected to
<=0 *WByrs.
& 200 MW power plants is being built at Thar 9 Aaisalmar : by a
consortium of (hri 7an!a and *ermany at the cost of Ks M 2=0 billion which is
going to commissioned in year 200= according to 6a+asthan 'nergy Ceelopment
&gency 96'C&:3
/. A01anta#e( o2 SCPP
The adantages of (1"" are as follows.
.. $t proides electricity 22 hrs a day from solar energy alone. &t night, heat
absorbing or other sources in the Ngreen houseN would slowly release the
thermal energy built up during the day, maintaining the indoor3outdoor
temperature differential The solar chimney can operate around the cloc!,
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A Solar Chimney Power Plant
instead of depending on enironmental factors such as the wind needed for
wind farms.
2. >o fuel is needed, it needs no cooling water and is suitable in extreme
drying regions, it is practically reliable and a little trouble ) prone
compared with other power plant. The material concrete, glass and steel
necessary for the building of solar chimney power stations are eerywhere
in sufficient ,uantities.
3. $t does not exhausting poisonous gases or smo!e as in thermal power plant.
$t does not utili#es the sources of energy it does not unbalance the natural
2. &s in hydroelectric power plant due to storage of water the lac! of water to
agricultural land may arise problem of agricultural fields. This type of
problem is not arises in solar chimney power plant.
=. $t can use the infertile land for the construction such as desert land which
will cause to progress in that area.
<. The peripheral area of collector is used for the greenhouse cultiation for
drying plants.
%rom the aboe discussion this paper would li!e draw following conclusions.
.: The collector of solar chimney plant can use all solar radiation both direct and
diffused. (o, this plant techni,ue is also helping hands to those countries
where the s!y is fre,uently oercast.
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A Solar Chimney Power Plant
2: There are many regions in country which are deserts and soil donDt bear any
crop. &nd thus no contribution to man!ind. /ut installing plant there gie
excellent results.
3: The technology and the material to build such plants are aailable in the
country. -ence, such power plants are ery attractie in $ndia for bul! power
generation een in deserts. The capital cost is high, nearly @ croreBMW, which
can be reduced. -oweer, the cost of generation could be as low as 6s...<2
per 0W- in long run.
-ence due to arious adantages now most of the country are
attracting towards the generation of power by using solar chimney power plant
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S. T. B. C. E. Tul j apur.
A Solar Chimney Power Plant
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S. T. B. C. E. Tul j apur.