Beroa hosted last
February 11th in its Karrena facilities in Ratingen
the first symposium on Power Towers. The symposium
had been organized by Hermann Bottenbruch, former
president of CICND, the International Association
of Chimney Engineers.
The Power Towers are a method of producing electricity
based on the solar energy. The heat of the sun
warms the air below a greenhouse that is channeled
to a chimney passing through turbines that generate
the electricity. In order to achieve big-scale
stations capable of producing up to 200MW the
sizes of the greenhouse and of the chimney are
challenging. The first should cover an area of
40 sqkm while the tower should reach 1500m.
This technology has additional benefits to produce
clean energy based on solar power. They could
also provide for employment in the region they
would be erected, over the thousands according
to calculations by Mr. Stinnes for each location.
His approach includes fabrication of glass, cement
and the use part of the structure as a greenhouse
to cultivate food.
This methodology for generating electricity is
not new, Prof Schlaich had a test plant built
in 1980 in Spain, and it successfully ran for
nine years. The challenge that this technology
faces currently is the amount of investment it
requires to build a large power station calculated
at from €30m for a 5 MW station to €750m
for a 200VW station.
Dr. Bottenbruch, former major shareholder and
CEO of Beroa’s subsidiary Karrena and close
friend of its actual chairman has the strong believe
that this technology could be the solution for
the energy requirements of much of the world:
areas with strong sun radiation. The fact that
this technology does not require almost any running
costs can make it attractive for developing countries
that do not have oil. Dr Bottenbruch proposed
CICIND, the International Association of Chimney
Engineers, to assist in bringing together all
the experts who are working worldwide in the power
towers sector. He asked Beroa for assistance and
we offered the facilities in the Karrena Headquarters
to host the symposium. The event proved to be
a hot issue, as more than 70 experts coming from
all around the world gathered in Ratingen. The
attendees were well respected scientists, among
them seven university Professors of high international
During the working sessions, issues such as the
efficiency of the technology, the different design
and construction methods for the tower, additional
improvements to the technology, the type and design
of the turbines required and the required finite
element studies were discussed.
As a conclusion, the community could conclude
that a vast number of studies and hours had been
dedicated to the technology, bringing it from
the theoretical phase to a pre- developed one.
The challenge remains finding the right financing
to prove the effectiveness of the Power Towers.
Beroa has a commitment to technologies that can
deliver efficiency with a better footprint on
the environment and therefore will continue to
support ideas that can bring forward the Power
Tower. And in the near future we’ll be prepared
to develop projects with these characteristics.