More than thirty years ago a giant tower was built in Manzanares, Spain, to produce electricity in a way that at the time must have seen even more eccentric than it seems now, by harnessing the power of air movement. The Manzanares tower was, sadly, toppled by a storm. Decades ago, several other firms tried to replicate the idea, but none has succeeded. Why? A simple idea The idea behind the so-called solar wind towers is pretty straightforward. The more popular version is the solar updraft tower , which works as follows: On the ground, around the hollow tower, there is a solar energy collector —a transparent surface suspended a little above ground—which heats the air underneath. As the air heats up, it is drawn into the tower, also called a solar chimney, since hot air is lighter than cold air. It enters the tower and moves up it […]