Solar Chimney Power Plant, Germany

Customer Project

Structural Engineering Kai Ollesch, Ulrich Körner, Robin Eckardt
Students at Dortmund University, Germany
P3 "Tower Constructions" Project
Academic Year 1997/98

Within the P3 Project "Tower Constructions", students of Dortmund University in Germany designed and analyzed a solar chimney power plant.

The solar chimney is a type of the solar updraft tower (SUT). This renewable-energy power plant generates electricity from low temperature solar heat that is gathered by solar collectors surrounding the chimney base in extent of up to several kilometres. Due to the chimney effect, the hot air is sucked into a very tall chimney tower and drives wind turbines placed in the chimney updraft. Thus, the electricity is produced.

The solar chimney of the student project is 1,300 m tall and its stability is ensured by steel cables. The greenhouse-like roofed collector structure is included in the surrounding area of more than 3.5 km². The total weight of the chimney is approximately 122,000 tons.

For structural analysis of the solar chimney, a spatial model of the steel structure has been created in RSTAB, consisting of a total of 801 nodes, 3,128 members, and 19 cross‑sections.

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RSTAB Main Program
RSTAB 8.xx

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The structural engineering software for design of frame, beam and truss structures, performing linear and nonlinear calculations of internal forces, deformations, and support reactions

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