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AbruptSLR

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Super Chimney Concept
« on: September 09, 2013, 08:05:06 PM »
The following links lead to descriptions of a potential solution to both greenhouse warming and to a possibly economic source of sustainable energy using a "Super Chimney" concept:



http://www.superchimney.org/co2.html
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ivica

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 09:11:10 PM »
AbruptSLR, thanks.

Gathering basic info:

Homepage of Solar Chimneys website: http://www.solar-chimney.biz/
"...website dedicated to the description of all the different types of Meteorological Reactors: solar chimneys, energy towers, floating, vortex towers, etc;"

The only place where I see some sort of discussion wrt Super Chimney is at Wikipedia Talk page for "Solar updraft tower":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Solar_updraft_tower

JimD

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 10:34:45 PM »
It sounds a lot like science fiction. 

I am very skeptical of what I saw on the video and read on the Wiki page that ivica supplied.  While it appears to be true that there are or have been a few solar updraft power plants built which worked, extrapolating from them to a 5000m tall floating (for want of a better word) tower may not follow.

Previous designs were based upon standard construction techniques using concrete and metals.  Supported by the ground.  This design is supposed to be anchored to the ground and float like a hot air balloon. It is supposed to contain turbines inside to generate electricity.  The multi-layer fabric which constitutes the tower is supposed to support the structure which holds the turbines as well as the cabling to the turbines.  It also needs to be strong enough to not only support 5000 meters of its own mass and the turbines and equipment, it also has to withstand the wind forces of storms.  I can imagine the forces a 100 mph wind would exert on a structure this tall.  many points of possible failure.

I would like to see an analysis by some top quality mechanical/structural/materials engineers which indicated that there are indeed materials which could withstand the stresses generated in this scenario which the tower could be constructed of and that the design is a valid concept.  Is it actually buildable, can it be erected in the fashion proposed, is it a safe design, etc. 

What about the various safety concerns.  If the mushroom top fails does it fall down?  What happens when there is a night with freezing temperatures at these desert locations (I have personally seen below freezing temperatures in Saudi Arabia and Iraq in the winter); does the lift go away and the tower fall?  If the tower wall tore in a high wind it would have to fall so does that mean that nothing could be located any closer to the tower than 5000 meters, 10,000 meters?
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Neven

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 11:09:35 PM »
After 1.40 minutes the narrator says: the temperature in our atmosphere drops 10 degrees C for every 1000 metres.

So, it's -75° C on Mount Everest?
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2013, 12:00:39 AM »
I do not know whether Michael Pesochinsky's concept has any merit for further consideration or not, but to answer Neven's questions, the average temperature at the top of Mt. Everest in January is -36 oC and in July is -19 oC:

http://answers.wikia.com/wiki/How_cold_is_it_at_the_top_of_Mt.Everest

According to first following link, it looks like Michael Pesochinsky proposed an early version of his concept in 2008, but apparently this early concept was not cost effective, and now Michael Pesochinsky says (see the second link) that his new improvements to his original concept makes his latest version more practicable:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/11/11/idUS128476+11-Nov-2008+PRN20081111
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/9/prweb5154624.htm

To address some of JimD's points: (a) Pesochinsky's concept the weight of the turbines and electrical equipment would be supported a concrete substructure founded on earth (see the attached figure); (b) the question of whether the system would work at night, or when it gets cold; it may be possible to set the system up over warm water (say the Red Sea, or the Gulf of Baja California); and I have seen past concepts with greenhouse structures over the warm water to raise the ambient surface temperatures and to promote marine culture;  (c) regarding the danger of these dynamic chimney's falling down: (i) the concrete substructure should be at least 200 to 500 feet tall, and having water all around would reduce the damage from the fabric structure if it were to fall; and (d) the resisting the wind force calculations is matter of numbers.

Note: I forgot the attachement in my original post so here it is.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 01:33:28 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Vergent

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 03:51:53 AM »
The electrical generation at the bottom with a fabric tube will not work. In order for it to draw in air with enough force to generate electricity, there would have to be a negative pressure in the chimney. This would collapse the fabric chimney at the bottom. this collapse would slide up the chimney to the top. this would interrupt the outflow, the chimney would collapse.

Even without the turbines, wouldn't there have to be a negative pressure in the chimney to draw in air? Whatever the pressure to draw air in, the force on the cloth tube would be the same. Cloth tubes are not very good at holding negative pressure. I see multiple failure modes. What happens in a temperature inversion? It would be fun to watch, from a sufficient distance. I am reminded of the ending to "Zorba, the Greek"

A cloth chimney might be stable if you had fans rather than generators. That way you could keep a positive pressure in the cloth tube.

Vergent

AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 06:08:08 AM »
Vergent,

You make very good points, and as the Super Chimney apparently has not found an investor for a prototype, there are probably more failure modes than the concept can support.  Nevertheless, as I have nothing to lose, I will throw-out the following possible solutions to the short-comings that you raise:
- If the concrete tower substructure were a hyperbolic shell say 250 m tall and the fabric tube had lightweight (gas filled) compression hoops, then maybe the flexible tube could get high enough so that the negative gauge pressure above the turbines at sea level was higher than the atmospheric pressure at the elevation that the compression hoops stopped.
- Perhaps the outside of the flexible tube could be black to absorb sunlight during the day to help with economics.
- Perhaps a greenhouse around the base of the concrete hyperbolic shell could add heat to the ambient air and raise its pressure where it enters the turbines.

Obviously, the illustrations provided by Pesochinsky are pre-conceptual and have not received any serious engineering input.  Nevertheless, I think that the basic concept is interesting as it would allow society to continue on the BAU path that it is likely to take anyway; while possibly offering one of the least risky geoengineering concepts that I have come across.

Best,
ASLR
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 03:34:13 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Neven

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 08:30:29 AM »
This idea reminds me of this other chimney I read about years ago (don't know if it ever got built):

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ivica

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 09:32:55 AM »
...(don't know if it ever got built):

Wiki on EnviroMission says:
"
EnviroMission has begun moving forward to build two 200 MW solar updraft towers in Arizona.[6] In October 2010, they received approval from the Southern California Public Power Authority to sell electricity generated from the facilities.[7] Construction is due to begin sometime in 2013.
"
The Talk page has additional info.

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2013, 01:00:29 PM »
The following links lead to descriptions of a potential solution to both greenhouse warming and to a possibly economic source of sustainable energy using a "Super Chimney" concept:

Call me skeptical, but I think there are a few things being neglected in it?

If the air could be accelerated to 300mph - what about friction against the walls? Turbulence in the flow?

What about loss of heat through the walls? Why would the chimney be drawing warmer air up even if did work at first? Wouldn't it set up a localised convection current whereby colder air would be drawn back down the outside of the chimney? Wouldn't that tend to cool the surface and reduce any effect? (ie incoming solar radiation would be an ultimate limit)

Is gravity (ie air density) being taken into account? Speed of air movement isn't the only indicator of the energy contained - mass is also a factor.

What energy return on investment would you see? How expensive would the energy be?

Just a few obvious criticisms - I can't help but feel people tend to look around for the fancy sci-fi solutions (not accusing you of that, more the people who are expounding on the idea) when common sense answers are right in front of their noses - eg wind turbines, concentrating solar thermal, etc

AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2013, 04:41:47 PM »
Neven / Ivica,

Thanks for the links to the EnviroMission information.  I attached the accompanying pdf article about their La Paz County project in Arizona (which also mentions a solar updraft tower built in Spain in the 1980's which proved that the concept functioned), with a 762 m tall concrete tower, while the Super Chimney pre-conceptual proposal goes up to 5,000m.  Obviously, if the EnviroMission project has investors then it must be competitive commercially with windpower.

I suspect that the EnviroMission project at 762 m would not have the same global cool effect as the Super Chimney at 5,000 m; so the Super Chimney (if feasible) might merit more government subsidies, so that when we get to 2050 (and we are still following RCP 8.5 95% CL) we will have the option to consider using something similar to a Super Chimney.

In addition to adding a 250m to a 800m tall concrete tower, some compression hoops in the lower portion of the fabric tube, and a greenhouse around the base of the tower; other changes to the Super Chimney concept that might make sense include:

(1) Forming a lake underneath the greenhouse for better efficiency at night (& to keep the fabric tube inflated at night).

(2) Using a fabric tube that is the same diameter as the top of the hyerbolic shell concrete tower (say 70 to 80m dia), which would decrease friction and heat transfer, and would reduce the amount of fabric required per unit of air flow.

(3) Design the mushroom cap at the top of the fabric tube to act as an air foil to help control the fabric tube.

Obviously, the thrusting action of the mushroom cap entails head loses as compared to the EnviroMission concept; but the higher air velocities (reportedly upto 300 mph) might still above for the use of the turbines (which create a head loss) and the thrusters at the same time.

Just random thoughts.

Best,
ASLR
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JimD

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2013, 05:46:11 PM »
Lots of good points.

I still find the strength of material question puzzling.  How much does a 5000 m by 80 m diameter structure made out of this fabric weigh?  Can it even hold its own weight?  I am assuming that the lift that holds this structure up is the pressure of the rising column of air on the mushroom cap.  This means that the entire weight is hanging from the cap chimney connection point.  Then if you have a 300 mph wind rising in the structure and pushing against the mushroom cap how much additional force does that add?  We are anchored at the bottom after all.  And when there is a big storm blowing how much additional force does that add?   These are tremendous forces.  Have we invented materials which can take this kind of stress.

What about fatigue issues.  This thing is going to flex, twist and maybe vibrate.

What about temperature fatigue.  The temperature at the bottom is going to be a lot lower than at the top.  We have temperature differential issues as well as temperature caused by friction of the air moving so fast.  What effect does this have on our chimney material.  Will dust in the air column act as an abrasive and eat the material of the column away?

Even though ASLR thinks that placing the chimney over water would be best  I note that the artists renditions show them over desert.  This chimney is going to be sucking in a LOT of air and this would also present issues of sucking in a lot of dust at times, and maybe birds.  I am not really worried about the birds so much (sorry PETA) but the dust could have a very detrimental effect on the turbines.  Another issue would be the fast moving column of air filled with dust generating a significant charge.  How would this be dealt with?  We are going to have to ground this structure to deal with that as well as issues with lightning (assuming that we are not generating our own lightning with the fast moving dust/air column).
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2013, 06:47:07 PM »
Not to seem like a proponent of the Super Chimney, but:

- The video says the fabric will be layered with internal voids and would be buoyant, so maybe it supports some of its weight by displacing the surrounding atmosphere with hot air, hydrogen, helium, or a partial vacuum in the voids of the fabric.

- The dust and static electicity are all good reasons to have water around the base of the tower, and the Super Chimney video says that the chimney will promote local rainfall which will promote the growth of ground cover in a desert setting.

- The turbines could be used to partially regulate air flow velocities.

- Fatigue would need to factored into the service life of the fabric for repair and replacement.

- Regarding abrasion of the air on the inside of the fabric tube, there are abrasion resistant coatings that could be includes on the interior.

Of course all of these engineering refinements can add cost to the final version of this concept.

These, and other issues, would all be problems to be solved for any investors/funders for any such scheme.

Best,
ASLR
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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2013, 08:20:07 PM »
This chimney is going to be sucking in a LOT of air and this would also present issues of sucking in a lot of dust at times, and maybe birds.

I'm very skeptical on this score, about it sucking in a lot of air, let alone at 300mph.

Why would it? Why does that follow?

If you were designing insulation for a window - the bigger the gap the less effective the insulation is in terms of convection currents forming to move heat between the two surfaces. Wouldn't it therefore follow that a pipe - being enclosed - will be less efficient at transporting heat upwards than the open and unrestricted atmosphere?

If you did manage to erect such a pipe and stuck it up into the atmosphere - at that instant - it will contain a cross section of the atmosphere inside it - same temperature (and hence density) air at any given height.

What process starts it convecting upwards significantly at all, let alone with the fury implied to extract large amounts of energy? Why wouldn't the air just behave as a fluid medium where the pressure of air outside the pipe will tend to equalise the masses of air within the pipe with the surroundings? If the air outside the pipe is warmer and lighter - then cooler less dense air would flow down the pipe until equalised. If the air outside the pipe became denser and cooler then air would rise in the pipe - until the pressure was equalised (this will be more intuitive if you visualise the different densities of air as an interface between two more different fluids such as water and air).

So, er, how exactly does it work? How do you start the convection? What perpetuates it and prevents the simple equalisation process stated above from happening?

AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 06:39:19 AM »
Ccgwebmaster,

While I am not a scientist (nor the developer of this concept), nevertheless a solar updraft tower was built and operated (not economically) in Spain in the 1980's so the concept can function (however this does not mean that it can solve global warming or produce economic power).  To answer your question of how to start the flow, at the very least in the EnviroMission tower to be built in Arizona, the thermal energy (reduced density air) generated beneath the greenhouse would force a draft up the tower as the air beneath the greenhouse is not at ambient conditions (of course fossil fuel could be used to temporarily produce hot air in order to prime the updaft).  Also, everyone should realize that in the Super Chimney the 300mph speed only occurs at the very top of the fabric tube at El 5,000m (the video says that velocities increases exponentially with height so the velocities at the bottom of the tower/chimney are much lower.  You also might want to read the Wiki link provided by ivica which discusses the principles involved.

To switch focus, I present the following out-of-the-box alternate ideas off the top of my head for possibly further improving the Super Chimney concept:

- If the fabric tube were designed to taper so as to narrow from bottom to top, then probably both the mushroom cap (which eliminates a significant source of head loss) and any buoyancy voids (which reduces the thickness and expense of the fabric) in the tube could be eliminated, as the upward force on the inside tapered wall could possibly support the weight of the fabric uniformly along the length of the tube.
- Tapering the fabric tube also allows it to be folded inside of itself (with a reasonable bending radius) and nested within a hyberbolic concrete shell substructure, so that if the concrete shell were say 674m tall (with a turbine in the bottom 50m of the shell) then the 4,326m tapered fabric could be nested within the upper portion of the concrete shell, folded with seven 618m long layers of tapered fabric tube.
- The tapered fabric tube could be raised by putting a temporary dome at the top of the tube, and pressurizing/heating the air inside the concrete shell, and once at full elevation the temporary dome could be removed.  Also, with the use of shape-memory polymers in the fabric, if the tapered tube could be designed to collapse back down into a nested configuration within the concrete shell.
- As a side point it should be possible to use the chimney to lift items into the upper atmosphere
- As another idea, circa 2040, retrofit the La Paz County Arizona solar updraft tower to accommodate a 4,300m long fabric Super Chimney, as a proof of concept facility.

I am traveling so I will not be able to respond quickly.

Best,
ASLR
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TerryM

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2013, 07:45:35 AM »
ASLR
Don't know where to start. The CN Tower in Toronto at <550M was the worlds tallest freestanding structure for decades and until quite recently. Structures this tall are very expensive and difficult to build. If we were to add the strain of an additional 4,500M fabric structure I'd guess the strains would be impossible.
If you've seen those blown up fabric advertizing structures at used car lots you've probably noticed that even in moderate winds they are blown flat. The drag from 5,000M of fabric in the wind would tear the structure apart.
It's an interesting concept but I don't think our material science has evolved to the point that it could be built.
Terry

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2013, 10:40:50 AM »
While thinking about materials etc. perhaps it is good to see what people think about more challenging concept: Space elevator.

One participant on the Talk page gave link to his article: Why we'll probably never build a space elevator,

AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2013, 02:42:03 PM »
Terry,

Material limits are real, but your objections could all be made about the internet during the early 1970's.  Probably on smaller structures such as the one in Arizona and then slowly build up in steps.  But as I am not a developer, so we will just need to wait and see what unfolds.

Best,
ASLR
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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2013, 05:23:28 PM »
While I am not a scientist (nor the developer of this concept), nevertheless a solar updraft tower was built and operated (not economically) in Spain in the 1980's so the concept can function (however this does not mean that it can solve global warming or produce economic power).  To answer your question of how to start the flow, at the very least in the EnviroMission tower to be built in Arizona, the thermal energy (reduced density air) generated beneath the greenhouse would force a draft up the tower as the air beneath the greenhouse is not at ambient conditions (of course fossil fuel could be used to temporarily produce hot air in order to prime the updaft).

Not to worry, I found the element I was missing - the addition of a large area surrounding the base of the tower to "collect" solar energy and warm the air up. Trouble is, then I suspect it would only work well during the day time when the sun was mostly shining (I'm a little skeptical how much solar energy could be stored, though the image below does imply it) - like photovoltaic solar power - and would think concentrating solar thermal power would be a much better use of the land area and materials.



- As a side point it should be possible to use the chimney to lift items into the upper atmosphere

Or we could just use lighter than air craft - powered or tethered?

Still, it doesn't seem completely unviable (even if it does have the feel of solution looking for problem). If you want a strong lightweight material to fabricate a tower held up by air pressure out of - aluminised mylar is pretty good. You might not need even need it to be aluminised if you're not trying to contain gas as perfectly as possible (for its thickness gas permeability is remarkably low once you've coated the mylar with a few layers of aluminium atoms).

The diagram on Wikipedia linked above seems to make more sense - no mushroom cap, turbines at the bottom of the tower (should be just as much energy to harvest at the bottom as the top...). I'm still a bit skeptical (need to spend more time digging around the idea).

AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2013, 03:01:47 PM »
As I might has distorted the Super Chimney's central concept with some of my responses, I that that I would make a small attempt to set the original story straight.  In the original concept:

(a) the concrete substructure is only about 60m high (not 700m) and has a diameter of 20m, and if the greenhouse concept this I introduced works to increase the driving pressure then the fabric tube may not collapse at El 60m.  If it true that this works then this should save a substantial amount of money.

(b) the material for the fabric tube is suppost to be like that used in a hot air balloon which according to the internet is: "the fabric is woven from two kinds of yarn, nylon and Dacron (polyester). There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Nylon is lighter and stronger, but Dacron can withstand higher temperatures. The woven fabric is actually a mesh structure that allows air to pass through it. Most fabrics have a tensile strength of 40-100 lb (18.16-45.4 kg) per inch-wide strip.  To contain the air, the woven fabric is coated with a sealant. The most common is polyurethane, plus additives like neoprene (synthetic rubber) or silicone, and an ultraviolet inhibitor to protect the coating from breaking down because of the sun. The number of coats is determined by air tightness balanced with material fragility."  Such materials are highly flexible and strong, and the original concepts says that the fabric will be layered and with include insulating material.

(c) Regarding temperature gradients, pressure gradients and air density gradients, I attach the following images.  All of which shows that the original concept uses reasonable temperature gradients, and is aware that as the air velocity increases with height the air density drops so the force against the fabric is less than some readers seem to fear.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2013, 09:50:26 PM »
The following website provide a variety of different types of information about solar-towers (updraft towers) including about the Super Chimney:


http://www.solar-tower.org.uk/super-chimney.php

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AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2013, 12:21:12 AM »
I also thought that I would note that Mike Pesochinsky offers to answer questions about his concept at the following e-mail address:

mike@superchimney.org.

Also, his website offers the attached table with different theoretical configurations for his Super Chimney concept.

That said, I am concerned that like any other geoengineering concept, that this approach has the potential to further disrupt the atmospheric circulation patterns which has the potential to make weather/climate patterns worse (at least locally).
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2013, 04:43:48 PM »
I e-mailed a few questions to Mike and I got the following responses embedded after the question:

a) Have you considered placing a greenhouse around the bottom perimeter of each Super Chimney (as the EnviroMission tower has, in order to increase the temperature differential and to promote updrafting?
 
That is the major difference between Solar Tower and Super Chimney. Super Chimney does not have solar collector because it does not need it to function. Also solar collector would be counterproductive to the goal of fighting Global Warming.
 
(b) Is there a risk that the flexible tube will descend at night, or during a temperature inversion event?

Yes ,it is possible. However, by making chimney taller and wider we increase its stability. So for example the preferred size 20mX5000m can withstand 30 degrees temperature drop from +30 to 0 which is good enough for the most tropical deserts.
 
(c) Without a greenhouse around the base of the Chimney, is there a risk that in the lower portions of the flexible tube that the external pressure will (at least temporarily) exceed the interior pressure, thus causing the flexible tube to collapse?

Correct.  At the start of the process we will have upper layers having very high updraft and lower layers almost  zero updraft . That can cause vacuum in the middle of the chimney and collapse. To avoid we need to consider inertia of the system:  the start should be slow and it can be controlled by openings of nozzles in the mushroom cap. Also the Fabric of the chimney should have coil  inside, like most vacuum hoses have. That coil will be useful for retraction and storage of the chimney.
 
(d) Could the flexible tube be designed to descend in a controlled manner, or could it collapse in an uncontrolled manner?

About design: as I said above coil should be used for controlled descend/ascend. Collapse is always possible, however it is pretty much like a hot air balloon -- it does not collapse abruptly unless there is a fracture or a cut in the surface.
 
(e) Is there a risk that the heat introduced into the upper troposphere by multiple Super Chimneys could potential negatively affect the atmospheric circulation patterns (especially the Hadley Cell)?

I do not know. Exhaust will be at 5000-6000m . So it will be bellow Hadley Cell. Nevertheless it should take effect somehow. I guess any change from normal is negative. However, Super Chimney will reduce global temperature and avoid Global warming, so it is appropriate to sacrifice some local needs for the global welfare.
What I am offering is medicine and medicines tend to have side effects. However, all other geo-engineering solutions are worse and unlike Super Chimney they are irreversible.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2013, 08:34:44 PM »
As the Super Chimney concept is primarily a geoengineering concept, I thought that I should at least provide the following link indicating that introducing heat into the upper troposphere at mid-latitudes (as proposed in the Super Chimney concept) can promote Hadley Cell expansion (which would likely have negative consequences for societal safety):

http://math.nyu.edu/~gerber/pages/documents/tandon_gerber_sobel_polvani-JC-2013.pdf

Understanding Hadley Cell Expansion versus Contraction: Insights from Simplified Models and Implications for Recent Observations; NEIL F. TANDON, EDWIN P. GERBER, ADAM H. SOBEL AND LORENZO M. POLVANI, 2013, JOURNAL OF CLIMATE; VOLUME 26.

Also, I would like to post the following link to an interview with Clive Hamilton about many different aspects of geoengineering (see also the following selected text extracts from the interview):

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/06/2522511/clive-hamilton-anthropocene/

"… Then when I read Hugh Gusterson’s book on Livermore and it’s role in the cold war and nuclear weapons development, I started to think much more carefully about the type of mindset that is especially drawn to geoengineering as a technological response to global warming. I think it’s quite alarming in its implications. That lead me to further think about the geostrategic implications of climate engineering, which is something that’s received almost no attention, but we do know that people in the military and related strategic communities are starting to think about geoengineering and what it would mean for international relations and conflict. …"

"You talk about the acceptance of the “solution” of geoengineering even by people who don’t seem to think climate change is a problem in the first place.

That’s one of the, on the face of it, mystifying aspects of the geoengineering debate. Why conservative think tanks like The American Enterprise Institute, The Cato Institute and even The Heartland Institute, which have for years worked hard to deny climate science and block all measures to reduce carbon emissions, have come out in favor of geoengineering.

What it shows us is that the debate over climate change and the role of the deniers is not about the science. They want to make it about the science because that gives it an air of legitimacy, but it’s really about fundamental cultural and political values. So if geoengineering is the solution then they’re happy to concede that there’s a problem because geoengineering is a big, technological, macho, system-justifying response to climate change. And that’s the kind of response that fits with their political orientation. "
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

JimD

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Re: Super Chimney Concept
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2013, 06:25:38 PM »
(Edit - I copied this post over to the 'While some still deny and others fail to Act" thread to try and stay more on topic).  Sorry)

ccg

Another reason that geoengineering concepts resonate with a big percentage of people (I actually think this crosses political lines pretty thoroughly) is that there is a matching religion aspect to it.

Note that amongst conservatives (as you mentioned) there is a ready acceptance of geoengineering just as there is a strong orientation to BAU approaches.  The left tends to complement this conservative BAU approach by supporting what I frequently call Progressive-BAU approaches.  The intersection of these two viewpoints is their reliance on technical progress.

When examined in detail since the advent on the industrial revolution modern civilization has come to view Progress in a religious sense.  If your proposed approach to dealing with a problem fits nicely into the publics religious views then you are 80% there in terms of getting them to accept your ideas.  So, not only do the conservatives use this tactic to manipulate the public, so do the Progressives, as it fits their views as well and should appeal to the general populace which listens to them.

This reliance on the religion of Progress by many of those who propose solutions from the left of the political spectrum is one reason why I am so negative on their approaches.  It is not just that a studied review of the facts of our troubles and the trends observable would indicate that their solutions have no chance of working, but also that they do not realize that their structure of the approach to a solution is based upon the  very same foundation that their supposed opposition uses.  Not a plan that will have much chance of success.  How are you going to out religion your opposition when you are using the same religion they are.  Best case will just be a schism and a stalemate. 

One of the great arguments used by our opposition is that environmentalism (and by implicit inclusion green approaches, climate change belief, etc) are just a new form of religion.  They use this viewpoint to attack science (just another religion that is a competitor to your religion) as well.  These are very effective arguments to use to influence the general public.  If what is going on can be  sold as a religious fight you have just made it fiendishly difficult for your opponents to reach out and  make an impact on the thought processes of your supporters.

When you have a public which is so uneducated as we have here in the US it becomes very easy for this situation to arise and very difficult to overcome it.  Rational scientific thought based upon looking at the facts and applying the laws of physics doesn't resonate with people who believe that you are arguing from a religious perspective.  Since they do not understand the methods of science nor have any command of the facts how are you going to impact and change their thought processes?  Bringing rational thought to a religious discussion is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

This is a big subject and very complex.  I have gained this understanding over the last few years by being a  regular reader of the blog The Archdruid Report written by John Michael Geer.  If you are not familiar with this blog I highly recommend it as Geer is one of the preeminent writers of our day and an accomplished intellect (in my opinion he has a world class mind).  He does not go into Druidry in any sense (he does that pretty much elsewhere) and the blog is more his running commentary on the state of the world and what causes us to be so f'ed up.  I have read everything he has written on the blog (several weeks of straight reading at this point) and have come to accept his descriptions of that Progress and technology have become the dominant religion of our times.

He has a firm belief in our eventual collapse and goes into some pretty involved reasoning to make his point.  He sees no way out  in terms of trying to maintain our current level of complex civilizational structure though he is fairly optimistic about our long-term survival.  I have some disagreements with him about timing and the depth of collapse at different stages but overall we are in agreement on what will likely transpire in the future.

 
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 06:32:49 PM by JimD »
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein