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Virtual Height Aided Solar Chimney: A New Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Khaled I. E. Ahmed

Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Ali K. Abdel-Rahman, Mahmoud Ahmed, Wael M. Khairaldien

Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt

Paper No. IMECE2011-65819, pp. 1267-1273; 7 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Renewable energy source deployment is growing rapidly as it reduces CO2 emissions and increases diversity and security of supply. Solar chimney (SC) is a promising large-scale power technology, which absorbs solar radiation and converts parts of solar energy into electric power free of CO2 emissions. A major problem of Solar Chimney Power Plant (SCPP) is its low conversion efficiency as determined by the thermal performance of the system. However, the conversion efficiency of SCPP significantly increases with the SC height increase. The current paper proposes a new design of a virtual height aided solar chimney. In this new system the solar chimney is aided with a passive cooling system at the top of the chimney and a passive solar heater at its base to virtually mimic larger heights of the chimney. The new design has been simulated numerically for development and optimization. The numerical study is done in two stages to examine this concept. In the first stage, numerical results are obtained for the effect of the chimney height on the inside air flow speed. Then, in the second stage, the effect of decreasing the temperature at the chimney exit and the effect of increasing the temperature at the chimney base on the air flow speed are examined separately for small chimney heights. Then the combined effect of the two actions is investigated at a wide range of chimney heights. The numerical results have shown that the localized base heating and exit cooling have significantly enhanced the chimney performance for chimney heights up to 500m. A chimney with height of 300m gains an increase in the air velocity more than 25% due to the heating and cooling actions. Virtual height aided Chimney with original height of 300m acts similarly to a conventional chimney with height of 500m due to the effect of base heating and exit cooling actions. This air flow velocity increase reflects 100% increase in the expected generated electric power. Further detailed results are presented and discussed.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Design , Solar energy



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