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What Is an Energy Tower?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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An energy tower is a type of device that is configured to produce electrical current using different types of energy sources, such as wind, water, or solar energy. The idea behind the tower is to combine different materials often used in the creation of electricity in a controlled setting and increase the rate of production while still keeping well within safety parameters. Typically, towers of this type often use what is known as a downdraft approach to achieve the activity that helps to create the flow of power within the tower.

One of the more common examples of how an energy tower functions is to combine the elements of air and water into a combination that helps to feed the turbines contained within the base area of the structure. A controlled spray of water is administered to the hot air rising in the tower, which in turn creates cooler air that is forced to the bottom of the tower structure. The wind force of the air as it is pushed downward helps to fuel the turbines and makes the generation of electrical current possible.

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Other designs for the energy tower make use of solar energy in the overall design. Some call for the use of solar panels to heat and maintain a certain humidity level for the air within the tower, which in turn aids in the conversion of the solar energy to electricity. With this design, the turbines may be located near the top of the tower rather than the bottom, or may rely on a controlled flow of cooler air into the tower at strategic points to feed turbines situated at the bottom of the structure. A configuration of this type does not usually require the use of water to cool the air, making it an excellent choice for towers located in relatively dry terrain.

The goal of any energy tower design is to produce electricity in a manner that makes the most efficient and responsible use of available resources, while still managing the effort in a way that is cost -effective. While there are working models for different energy tower types, the approach is still relatively new in terms of commercially creating energy for resale by utility companies. Ongoing research to refine the function of these towers is underway, as more and more nations seek methods of meeting the ever-increasing energy needs of both residential and commercial customers.

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