Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"You have to budget the number of fuzzy rules you use to control a system. It turns out, you can state the optimality principle in three words: 'patch the bumps.'"
- Bart Kosko

Solar Updraft Tower  
  A renewable-energy scheme that generates power from air movement inside a tall chimney.  

Willy Shorts was sold twenty acres of desert - and was determined to make it liveable. But how to get electrical power?

The plastic tube for his chimney would be fed through this sealer as a double tube, one inside the other, and sealed likewise every foot around its circumference into continuous long, slender air tubes as the chimney itself rose from the ground, supported by hot air forced into the air tubes thus created between its two walls.

As it reached its full height, the air pressure would be increased until the air-stiffened tubes were self-supporting, with the minor aid of a few guy-lines stretched down to tie points in a thousand-foot circle around the chimney's base.

Beneath the sealing unit was a large squirrel cage fan; and connected to the fan were four of the surplus generators which civil defense had so trustingly stored with him.

It was late in the afternoon as the plastic chimney begin to rise, and it had already reached the 500 foot mark before Willy was interrupted by the approaching cloud of automobile dust, as the Civil Defense unit descended upon him in increased numbers.

The plastic continue to climb, and Willy continue to ignore the onlookers. And eventually, an hour later, it reached its glorious one thousand feet of height.

As it neared its final few feet, the onlookers could see that it seemed to be strangely kneaded at the base in a constricting movement, as if mighty, unseen fingers were attempting to crush it inward. And as the final foot of plastic snapped off the reel and came to a halt in the sealing machine, there was a mighty roar as the air around them found escape up the suddenly opened chimney.

The squirrel cage the base quivered and begin to turn. Rapidly it picked up speed to the accompanying wind of it attached generators. In the laboratory behind them, and in several places on the ring of telephone poles about the chimney, lights spring brightly into being to compete with the waning sunlight casting its final golden glow across the desert.

From Shortstack, by Leigh and Walt Richmond.
Published by Analog in 1964
Additional resources -

In 1903, Isidoro Cabanyes, a colonel in the Spanish army, proposed the idea of a solar chimney power plant in the magazine La energía eléctrica.

Thanks to Winchell Chung for suggesting this item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Shortstack
  More Ideas and Technology by Leigh and Walt Richmond
  Tech news articles related to Shortstack
  Tech news articles related to works by Leigh and Walt Richmond

Solar Updraft Tower-related news articles:
  - Arizona Solar Updraft Tower By 2015

Articles related to Engineering
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Is There Life In Outer Space? Will We Recognize It?
'The antennae of the Life Detector atop the OP swept back and forth...'

Space Traumapod For Surgery In Spacecraft
' It was a ... coffin, form-fitted to Nessus himself...'

Tesla Augmented Reality Hypercard
'The hypercard is an avatar of sorts.'

A Space Ship On My Back
''Darn clever, these suits,' he murmured.'

Biomind AI Doctor Mops Floor With Human Doctors
'My aim was just not to lose by too much.' - Human Physician participant.

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.