During the Independent Activities Period (IAP) at MIT during January, SIGUS held two workshops developed around the Solar Updraft Tower concept as a way to generate sustainable electric power. The workshops exploited big building atriums, surrogate chimneys, with solar heat collecting aprons to generate turbine driven power, triggering new building forms and city elements. The workshops build on the previous exploration and exhibits at energy shows at MIT, Harvard Business School, and regional conferences. The workshops included students from MIT, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and from the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi. Research Associate Ahmad Alozn from Masdar Institute, Dr. Martin Scoppa formerly from SUTD, and Dr. Reinhard Goethert from MIT-SIGUS mentored the workshops. Sponsorship was from the MIT/SUTD collaboration. The "hands-on" workshops challenged participants toward a non-polluting future by brainstorming sketch designs for reconfiguring urban form in response to buildings as electrical generators. A new cityscape is envisioned from the shift of energy supply to individual buildings, suggesting a new "smart city" concept.
The design workshop used a site with chimney outside of Boston as a test case, the Bradford Mill in Concord, Massachusetts.
A parallel 2-week technical workshop tested airflow/energy output characteristics from different solar tower configurations using scale models.
Efforts are continuing toward funding a detailed research effort to explore the practical application of the concept.
ELECTRIC CITY - BUILDINGS AS ENERGY GENERATORS WITH NEW URBAN FORM: click here
Brief Overview Reports
SOLAR UPDRAFT TOWERS IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS (DESIGN): click here
EXPERIMENTS WITH SOLAR UPDRAFT TOWER MODELS (TECHNICAL): click here