Solar Wind Energy Tower Inc. (SWET) is making changes to its downdraft tower technology by reducing expected capital costs and improving projected financial performance with the goal of bringing the downdraft tower to market.
The company completed weather data models that confirm the first tower height was lowered from 3,000 feet down to 2,250 feet. Reducing the downdraft tower’s height and shape enables the structure to be built much more affordably using the newest formulations of industrial concrete.
This construction method is much faster than building pre-cast sections on the ground and transporting each section to the required level. The time to construct each tower is reduced along with the cost of construction.
This development was made possible by using software that can calculate and predict energy production by our Solar Wind Downdraft Towers given local weather data. By feeding the weather data for southwestern Arizona/ Northern Mexico into the program, the tower’s height and diameter was adjusted along with the amount of water added as fuel to create a desired amount of energy. The outcome dictated the optimum size of the towers height and width.
Solar Wind Energy can now evaluate potential tower sites around the world and calculate and predict the shape and size of the tower and the amount of electricity that can be produced in any region. Multiple towers can be deployed in “compounds” using the same cranes, water source, delivery, manufacturing and construction systems and labor forces.
Under the most recent design specifications, the first San Luis tower is expected produce abundant, inexpensive electricity with a design capacity on an hourly basis, of up to 1,250 MWh gross. Using a 60 percent capacity factor, the company expect the tower’s potential hourly yield equates to 600 MWh, from which about 18.5 percent will be used to power its operations, yielding about 500 MWh available for sale to the power grid.
Factoring in lower capacities during winter days, the average daily output for sale to the grid for the entire year is about 435 MWh per day. Currently in California avoided costs are running about $0.11 per kWh. As an independent power producer of clean renewable energy, the company will be selling power directly to the power grid rather than directly to consumers.
Solar Wind Energy’s downdraft tower technology is designed to harness the natural power of a downdraft created within the confines of the Solar Wind Downdraft tower structure, a hollow cylinder reaching skyward into the hot, dry atmosphere heated by the solar rays of the sun. The water introduced by the injection system near the top of the tower evaporates and is absorbed by the hot, dry air. The air becomes cooler, denser and heavier than the outside warmer air and falls through the cylinder at speeds up to and in excess of 50 mph and is diverted into wind tunnels surrounding the base of the tower where turbines inside the tunnels power generators to produce renewable electricity.
Solar Wind Energy Inc. is based in Annapolis, Maryland.