Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

An Untapped, yet Viable Energy Alternative: Solar Chimneys

  • Photo by Donald Tetto

Chris Elliott

A solar chimney is a way of harnessing the sun’s light energy in the form of heat to produce winds that can generate electricity with the use of turbines. One of the most important aspects of the solar chimney is a cone in the center that is used to direct the hot air upward into the chimney where the turbines are located. Using computer technology based on genetic evolutionary algorithms, this cone, as well as other aspects of the apparatus, can be optimized to maximize energy output. Three solar chimneys will be built after extensive computer simulations have determined the most favorable characteristics for energy production followed by real-world testing to assess the accuracy of the computer analyses.