The Solar Nozzle - A Research Proposal



A theoretical model is described for harnessing solar energy using natural convection.  A solar absorber is sited at the base of an empty open-ended conical vessel made of glass or transparent polymer.  Convection currents are established that dissipate the heat absorbed.  Warm air rises from the absorber drawing ambient air from beneath to replace.  As the air rises, the narrowing cross-section of the conical vessel multiplies the vertical air flow velocity.  A turbine sited at the top of the open-ended cone can harness the kinetic energy of the air flow generating electricity.   A possible laboratory model is described of height 1m and absorber area 4m2 which could generate up to 1.5 kilowatts output.  The author asks readers to conduct research work on such an experimental model.  If successful the solar nozzle described and/or larger versions could generate electricity for individual homes in advanced countries and for rural villages in developing countries.

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