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A Novel Thermally Induced Draft Air Power Generation System for Very Tall, Man-Made and Natural Geo-Physical Phenomena

[+] Author Affiliations
Francis A. Di Bella, Jonathan Gwiazda

Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Paper No. IJPGC2002-26098, pp. 987-995; 9 pages
  • 2002 International Joint Power Generation Conference
  • 2002 International Joint Power Generation Conference
  • Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, June 24–26, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3617-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3601-0
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


It is well known that one of the necessities of designing very tall buildings is the need to control the internal and external airflows through the building. Presently, air flow control is required for maintaining proper ventilation for not only the occupants at 15–25 cfm per person (ref. 1) but also the electrical equipment generates heat at approx. 0.8 cfm/sq.ft. (ref. 2) for 2 to 3 W/ft2 (ref. 3). It is also well known that a 1,000+ ft. conduit (for example, an elevator shaft or an utility air chase within a skyscraper) extending into the atmosphere will have its top opening at lower atmospheric pressure and temperature than the opening at ground level. The difference is caused by the differences in the weight of the high air columns. For example, the air conditioning within the building includes considerable waste energy (albeit very low grade energy) from the building’s HVAC system. Increasing the air temperature, decreases the density of the air column achieves the desired effect: that of establishing more of a pressure differential across the inlet and outlet of the pneumatic conduit. The addition of heat certainly is energy consumption unless, as the disclosure claim states, it can be recovered from the building’s otherwise wasted energy sources. An alternative method for establishing a significant pressure differential would be to use a rather large pneumatic-ejector device on the top of the building that utilizes the Bernoulli effect to draw air upward, through the air conduit, using the high velocity air streams that are prevalent at those altitudes. If a pressure differential can be maintained then a continuous airflow (cfm) will be induced through such a conduit. A continuous air flow rate, and not one that is effected by land based obstacles or the sun’s heating and cooling of low level air masses, is ideal for generating a consistent level of electric power. This phenomenon has not been utilized for power generation. For a skyscraper, the conduits are ready-made: the under-utilized elevator columns or air chases. For this study the power generation from Pneumatic Column Power Recovery can also include free standing towers that can collect solar energy or even naturally occurring structures such as very deep mountainous chasms that could serve as a natural air draft. This paper will present an analysis of using wind-columns that are over 1,000 ft. tall together to generate power with state-of-the art wind turbine generators. The paper will conclude with a very bold, some would say: fanciful suggestion, that such power generation opportunities are available in enormous magnitudes if the formulations presented here are extended to man-made and natural geo-physical phenomenon that can be gargantuan in stature and thus produces a proportional increase in power recovery opportunity.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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