On skyscraper forums, this solar tower has been proposed for a number of years now. While there is a small test one in Spain that shows the concept does work, it's basically a mixture of ecconomic cost and investment (like any gargantuan project) that has kept this from taking off.
I'll check the link in a moment but all videos have shown this to be a large central hollow cylinder (reinforced concrete) with a ring of panels at the bottom. Fans and vents at the edges of the circle take in cool(er) desert air and compress it through all the paths leading to the central tower. The hot air is passed through turbines / generators to make electricity, then escapes out the top of the central tower.
It'd be more amusing if they did indeed build it to 800 meters (the original one was planned between 500-1,000 meters). It'd only be ~90' short of the Burj Khalifa . Of course, the planned one at 1,000 meters would easily be the tallest freestanding structure ever built / tallest built by man but that's another topic for another time. Here, found the video I was trying to explain:
The concept is pretty neat for areas where it is planned (ie. the middle of nowhere in deserts). Too bad places won't fund these it seems.
Wow that OP article has HORRIBLE grammar!Edited by The-Real-Link - 7/27/11 at 9:45pm