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Thread: Australia's World's Tallest Structure

  1. #1

    Default Australia's World's Tallest Structure
    Sunday, 5 January, 2003, 03:20 GMT
    Australia plans world's tallest tower

    An Australian power company is planning to build the world's tallest structure - a solar tower - in the middle of the outback.

    The project is part of a global campaign to encourage the use of more renewable energy.

    Enviromission says the tower, at a proposed height of one kilometre (3,300 ft), will be more than twice the size of the world's current tallest freestanding building, the Canadian National Tower in Toronto. The one billion Australian dollar (US $0.56 bn) project is being backed by the Australian Government, and is expected to be completed in 2006 in the remote Buronga district in New South Wales.

    If successful, the structure could provide enough electricity for 200,000 homes. It will save more than 700,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases which may otherwise have been emitted by coal- or oil-fired power stations.

    Enviromission chief executive officer Roger Davey told Reuters news agency: "Initially people told me 'you're a dreamer', there's no way anything that high can be built, there's no way it can work".

    "But now we have got to the point where it's not if it can be built, but when it can be built."

    Huge monolith

    The proposed structure will have a width similar in size to a football field and will stand in the centre of a huge glass roof spanning 7km (4.3 miles).

    The sun will heat the air under the glass roof, and as it rises an updraft will be created in the tower, allowing air to be sucked through 32 turbines.

    The turbines will then spin, generating power 24 hours a day.

    The tower was invented by German structural engineers Schlaich Bergerman, who built a 200-metre-high demonstration power plant in Manzanares, Spain, in 1982.

    The tower proposal has received the support of the Australian and New South Wales governments, which have defined it as a project of national significance.

    The authorities plan to fit the tower with high intensity obstacle lights to prevent aircraft from crashing into it.

  2. #2

    Default Australia's Worlds Tallest Structure

    How will this thing generate power 24 hours a day, since there is no sun at night?

  3. #3

    Default Australia's Worlds Tallest Structure

    I am not an electrical engineer, so I don't know. *I assume that the energy will be stored in batteries, or will stay in some sort of static limbo *in the transmission wires, or maybe the updrafts will continue long after sunset the same way that thunderstorms operate. *Here is another link that I found.

    World's tallest tower to produce energy from desert
    January 4 2003
    By Garry Barker Technology Editor

    Australia's merciless sunshine is about to be harnessed to produce massive amounts of renewable energy. As part of the process, the tallest man-made structure built, a one-kilometre-tall tower, will rise from the red desert in the south-west of New South Wales.

    EnviroMission Limited, a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in August last year, plans to have its first $800 million solar-thermal electricity generator up and running in 2005 and four more operating by the end of 2010.

    Each of these power plants, the world's first large-scale solar thermal power stations, will produce 200 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply 200,000 households.

    The technology is relatively simple, but its execution on this scale will be one of the great engineering feats of recent times. It uses the basic principle that hot air rises. Enough hot air in a column tall enough, can produce phenomenal horsepower.

    Hot air, collected inside a vast, 7500-hectare greenhouse surrounding the base of the tower, will drive turbines set at various levels inside the tower - rather like a jet engine in reverse. The turbines will drive electrical generators, just as the water-driven turbines of the Snowy scheme drive their generators.

    The company says that by the end of this decade it will be able to supply clean, renewable energy to more than one million households, about one-eighth of the present total.

    EnviroMission says that each of its proposed towers would be capable of saving 830,000 tonnes of greenhouse carbon dioxide gas from entering the environment.

    Time magazine gives the project one of its 2002 Best Inventions awards, congratulating its engineer-designer, Professor Jorg Schlaich, a founding partner of Schlaich Bergermann and Partner, the German company that built the Munich Olympic Stadium, the Ting Kau Bridge in Hong Kong and the Montreal Olympic Stadium.

    The principle of the solar tower generator has been tested in a pilot plant built at Manzanares in Spain in 1982 under a joint venture between the German engineering company and the Spanish Government.

    This relatively small 50-kilowatt pilot plant
    operated successfully for seven years between 1982 and 1989.

    (Edited by amigo32 at 2:01 am on Jan. 7, 2003)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Fairfax, VA

    Default Any update on this?

    While the initial posts, this topic, are very interesting, I see nothing since last year. I will assume this planned project to create hot air (excuse me, solar energy) was simply hot air to begin with?

  5. #5


    I'm glad they've finally found a use for that wretched desert....

    sounds like something from Metacity Datatown to me!!

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