Solar Wind Energy Tower (SWET) with a focus on "solar wind downdraft tower" structures for producing electricity last month announced it got the green light from San Luis, Arizona, to develop such a tower in the city, which is located on the southwest corner of Arizona, a border town to San Luis, Sonora, Mexico.
As the name "solar wind downdraft" suggests, the company has developed what is described as a hybrid solar-wind technology approach that can harness the power of a downdraft, created when water is introduced to hot dry air. The company said that its hybrid system is able to outperform pure solar collectors that produce only when the sun is shining and also wind turbines that produce only when the wind is blowing. Instead, the company has a hybrid advantage of being able to produce abundant, clean, affordable electricity.
The tower that SWET has in mind is located in a hot dry area. The tower structure is a hollow cylinder reaching skyward into the dry atmosphere heated by the solar rays of the sun. The water introduced by the injection system near the top of the Tower evaporates and is absorbed by the hot, dry air. The air becomes cooler, denser and heavier than the outside warmer air and falls through the cylinder at speeds up to and in excess of 50 mph. The air is diverted into wind tunnels surrounding the base of the tower where turbines inside the tunnels power generators to produce electricity. (Each tunnel has a dedicated generator-room, with multiple-sized generators, powered by the patented drive system. The tower produces clean electricity, 24 hours day and night, 365 days a year.)
Solar Wind Energy Tower has now secured the site for its first tower project in the U.S. and this tower will sit on a 600-acre piece of land in San Luis. The company may have the tower ready for operation as soon as 2018.The site is convenient to public utilities and the electrical substation for the city of San Luis, according to a news release, which said the water needed for tower operations will be provided by the City of San Luis at an agreed-upon contract rate for a minimum period of 50 years.
A Bloomberg report about the tower said the project is being proposed by the company near the Mexico border to prove the concept, with the goal of licensing the process to developers.
The press release noted that the company's "standard business model "now and will continue to be the licensing of its patented process and know-how to developers around the world," Nonetheless, said the release, "management chose to devote significant resources to guarantee that a site could be developed in the U.S. and become a standard of highly efficient, affordable, renewable energy production moving forward." Once the component parts for a tower project in San Luis are in place, "Solar Wind Energy is confident that the door will swing wide open for additional projects in the U.S. and around the globe."