In Depth: Desert skyscrapers could be a wind ‘game-changer’

Construction of two sky-scraping wind-driven “downdraft towers” that could eventually supply electricity to more than three million homes is on track to start in 2014, after Clean Wind Energy (CWE) was given the green light to proceed with the 5GW mega-project.

The US company’s revolutionary power-station concept, to be built on a 6,880-hectare site near San Luis, southwest Arizona, is based on what would be the world’s tallest man-made structure — a 914-metre hollow tower — outfitted with a water-spray system.

It is able to generate 2.5GW from a high-speed stream of “downbursts” of air within the tower to turn an array of turbines in the foundation.

The downdraft tower concept is not new — it was hatched in the 1980s by US inventor Phillip Carlson and has been developed by researchers including the Log in to read complete article.

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