Use of conventional wind turbines to harness solar energy using natural convection



Wind turbines represent the most successful source to date of renewable energy ... but wind is unpredictable.  Solar energy is the ideal source of renewable energy because of its abundance, availability and predictability.  The author believes it should be possible to harness solar energy commercially using natural convection.  A solar air collector and warm air store generate a flow of warm air.  If this is required to flow through a venturi, some of its excess thermal energy is converted into kinetic energy.  This can be harnessed by a turbine sited in the throat of the venturi.

These principles are used to devise a configuration that will supply a 100 m diameter turbine with air flow at 15 m/s at maximum insolation.  The solar air collector suggested is cylindrical with a height of 50 m and diameter 360 m.  The upper section is conical with the horizontal rotation turbine at the highest level of the configuration of overall height 70 m.  Such a turbine would have output 15.6 MW at insolation 750 w/sq m and efficiency of over 20%.  Output will  rise and fall in line with insolation.

The author asks experts in wind and solar energy to consider and develop the proposal.  The concept is of a commercial wind turbine that creates its own wind - from solar energy.


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