What Is a Solar Tower?

Energy is becoming the most important resources of this decade, and our societies are growing more anxious about what form of energy, replaces our fast depleting sources of fossil fuels. One solution could be a Solar Tower.

Over half a millennium ago, Leonardo Di Vinci, worked with a feather, ink and parchment, dreaming of the future. Around 500 years later, one of his unique designs was of a “SolarTower.”

The first solar tower was built in the late 17th century in Spain, and lately has become a viable alternative energy source. Already France, Israel and Spain benefit from the use of this pre-industrial revolution technology, which generates solar electricity, as well as enables crops to be grown around it.

How Does a Solar Tower Work?

A solar tower is placed on a reinforced concrete base in areas prone to high levels of sunlight. On the top of the tower, solar panels move to catch the sunlight, which is in turn used to generate electricity for the homes, and industries in the area near the tower.

Beneath the tower, the excess heat the tower loses can be sealed in plastic covers, where crops are grown such as tomatoes, and lettuces. Thus creating a dual purpose for the tower, and the community it serves.

The most famous solar electricity tower is located in Seville, in Southern Spain. And generates enough power to offer electricity to 200.000 homes in the area, at a much lower cost than traditional electricity.

The Future?

The scarcity of traditional fossil fuels, plus the current distrust of nuclear power could mean that more solar towers are built, and can offer electricity to communities around the world.

The initial cost is the only expense, aside from maintaining the tower, whilst valuable crops can be grown to generate an income for the community. A win-win sustainable situation.

Leonardo Di Vinci’s dream has turned into a reality for several communities, and perhaps as technology advances, a Solar tower could become one of the many solutions to a probable future energy crisis.