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Aerobuilding: A 100MW Wind Turbine Combination Skyscraper
It is well known that conventional architecture is both wasteful in resources and exceptionally wasteful in regard to carbon footprint. A great deal of energy and embodied energy memory (Emergy) is tied up into the procurement of high quality materials such as stone, steel and glass … materials known to last centuries if well made and maintained. Buildings have been built in the past that have lasted for centuries and indeed the concept of a building that lasts for at least centuries is the only way economically to build the tallest building in the world that is also a wind turbine. Building to last is old knowledge. Emergy science is a relatively new field that uses environmental accounting methods to quantify natures work and its subsequent use in the human world. It has been proven to justify extremely large and complex environmental projects and has been used to analyze the Aerobuilding.
A project of this magnitude is envisioned knowing that there are multiple outputs other than money that would propel the project through to its completion:
New knowledge- The highest valued assets are what we will learn from building an Aerobuilding. Innovation through doing will bring future progress, growth and untold awareness.
Shelter- The bottom floors will be occupied well before the turbines are even erected providing capital during the early years of construction.
Electricity – A 100 Mega Watt generator has 10 times more capacity than today’s largest systems. Surpluses are to be sold at green market prices competitive with nuclear power.
How it works:
The Aerobuilding uses high voltage superconducting generator technology in the head nacelle unit to keep the lofted weight lower than what it might otherwise be possible using standard copper windings. These generators too would be designed to last not decades but centuries. Once the magnets are energized they need only be supplied with liquid helium from a closed loop. Helium is considered a waste gas from the natural gas industry so a waste product is put to use to produce energy. A liquid nitrogen outer jacket is not used because the outer vacuum insulating jacket is meters thick compared to centimeters of conventional superconducting magnets and the liquid helium is under greater pressure.
The whole building rotates at the ground to keep the machine facing into the wind which is much higher at this elevation. Pressurized helium gas fills the spaces of the support tubes making them more rigid and supplying the liquefaction facility for the cryogen plant. These are designed to mitigate a quench, an emergency where the magnet goes from superconducting to normal conduction and all the helium turns to gas.
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