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02/11/2013 08:58 AM     print story email story  

ARPA-E Summit Hosts Next Generation Renewable Energy Technologies

SustainableBusiness.com News

Solar Wind is one of eight startups that will pitch their ideas at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C., later this month.

This important program of the Department of Energy supports development of radical solutions to our energy challenges and fosters development of some of the most innovative ideas and companies.

Since ARPA-E launched in 2009, it's funded 285 projects with $770 million. 17 projects have attracted over $450 million in private sector capital after ARPA-E's initial investment of $70 million.

Five program areas are intended to spark breakthrough technologies:

  • Plants Engineered to Replace Oil
  • High Energy Advanced Thermal Storage
  • Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies
  • Green Electricity Network Integration
  • Solar Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology

As an example, we wrote about Solar Wind's technology last year, which can produce energy from both solar and wind.  In sunny locations that have low or inconsistent winds, solar heat produces wind. 

The company's skyscraper-sized "Downdraft" towers are 2,250-feet tall and each can generate electricity for 1.6 million homes, the company claims. 

Solar Wind Energy Tower Inc. (formerly called Clean Wind Energy Tower (CWET.PK)) has two demonstration towers planned for Arizona and plans for a second pair in New Mexico.

The tower is a hollow cylinder with a solar-powered water spray system at the top that creates a fine mist along the opening.

As the mist cools the air, it becomes heavier and falls through the cylinder at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. This manufactured "wind" drives turbines at the base of the cylinder, generating electricity. The design also allows for external vertical wind turbines, which would increase the generating capacity.

Here's a video on how the tower works:

Here's their website:

Website: http://cleanwindenergytower.com/tower.html



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