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Design, Construction, and Testing of a Small Scale Solar Chimney for Nomadic Herdsmen

[+] Author Affiliations
Ryan D. Chappell, Michael J. Congdon, Jesse J. French

LeTourneau University, Longview, TX

Paper No. ES2012-91194, pp. 33-38; 6 pages
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, July 23–26, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4481-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


The basic solar chimney concept remains largely unchanged since being proposed nearly a century ago. The air inside a collector heats up, and becomes less dense and begins rising toward the center of the collector as the covering is sloped upward towards a centrally located chimney. Heat and air flow increases as it moves toward the chimney. When a turbine is placed in this chimney, electricity can be generated from the air flow.

Using previously published research [1] on small scale solar chimneys, the authors designed and fabricated a small scale solar chimney. Performance variables were optimized to achieve peak performance and theoretical electrical output. The solar chimney was designed to achieve low material cost, and minimal maintenance effort without the use of heavy machinery.

The solar chimney designed by the authors was constructed and tested for implementation in remote regions where land space is practically unrestricted and electrical power is desired for lighting and communication. The project team conducted an assessment of one likely location for this solar chimney in Northern Mongolia during the summer of 2011. There are nomadic people groups who do not have electrical power but have vast amounts of land at their disposal. The solar chimney is a potential source of electricity for these people groups, as it was also designed to be transportable, lightweight, and inexpensive.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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