Downdraft tower firm gets makeover

US downdraft power-tower developer Clean Wind Energy has changed its name to Solar Wind Energy (SWE).

The company says the new identity is meant "to more accurately and categorically define the nature of its business and to eliminate the confusion of associating its technology with traditional wind turbine technology".

Two SWE towers - hollow 685-metre cylindrical structures equipped with a water-spray system, each designed to generate 850MW from high-speed “downbursts” of air that turn turbines in their foundations - are planned for a maiden development in Arizona. Another pair is on the cards for a site in Mexico.

"We view ourselves as a hybrid solar/wind technology, now reflected in the name," says chief executive Ronald Pickett.

"The simplicity of our solution is comprised of harnessing the natural power of a downdraft created when water is introduced to hot, dry air within the confines of our tower structure."