The Airtower is a hybrid of Solar Updraft Power Plant (SUPP) technology and a highrise building. SUPPs consist of giant circular greenhouses, heating air through sunlight exposure, and a very high chimney, creating a strong thermal updraft. A windturbine at the chimneys base gathers the electrical energy.
Any skyscraper provides the crucial element for this highly efficient technology: Height. The integration of SUPP systems into highrise buildings only requires two low-tech structures: a hollow tube in the buildings core, serving as chimney, a large greenhouse structure surrounding the building.
SUPPs can achieve peak outputs beyond 200MW, depending on greenhouse size, tower height, and the climate around the building site. As a comparison: The nuclear power plant Fukushima Daiichi 1 had peak outputs of 420MW.
SUPPs work best in areas with significant temperature difference between air and ground. Also, the greenhouses require enormous footprints. Thus deserts or semiarid regions are ideal building sites for SUPP technology.
Since high performance power plants are usually dirty, dangerous, or bound to certain terrain constraints, great amounts of energy are lost in transportation. The integration of SUPP technology into highrise buildings however allows for placements within or next to city developements. Source by Julian Breinersdorfer Architekten.
Location: Arid or semiarid regions
Architect: Julian Breinersdorfer Architekten
Project Team: Eric Wolfgang Eisenhut, Martino Pacchetti, Julian Breinersdorfer
Images: Courtesy of Julian Breinersdorfer Architekten