Modular Units for Solar Electricity Large Scale using Natural Convection



A configuration is suggested where a large area solar collector provides a flow of warm air into and through a large volume warm air store.  The height and elevated temperature of the latter creates a buoyancy force which draws ambient air through the configuration.  Incoming air is required to flow through a convergent-divergent nozzle where a turbine is placed in the throat of the nozzle.  By narrowing the throat of the nozzle, the kinetic energy of the air flow through the turbine can represent a large proportion of the solar energy absorbed.  A solar module is described with a 200 x 200m solar collector devised to harness solar energy with 50% overall efficiency that would generate up to 15 Megawatts electricity at maximum insolation.  Such units could be built on desert/scrub land at a density of 15-20 per square kilometer.  The ideas are theoretical only.  No experimental work has been conducted.


Full Text PDF