Technology with attitude

Skyscraper To Produce All The Energy It Needs


This is very, very cool.

From Metaefficient:

This skyscraper, to be built in Dubai, is called the Burj al-Taqa (‘Energy Tower’), and it will produce 100% of its own power. The tower will have a huge (197 foot diameter) wind turbine on its roof, and arrays of solar cells that will total 161,459 square feet in size. Additional energy is provided by an island of solar panels, which drifts in the sea within viewing distance of the tower.

Burj al-Taqa’s cylindrical shape is designed to expose as little surface area to the sun as possible. A protective solar shield reaches from the ground to the roof, covering 60 degrees of the giant circular building. It protects the side most affected from the sun’s glaring rays, making sure that none of the rooms are exposed to direct sunlight. The diffuse light on the other sides of the building is tempered by a mineral coating on the windows.

Two questions. First, does it come as absolutely no surprise to anybody that this is happening in Dubai? The growth over there has been astonishing recently. Second, how long before buildings like this produce more energy than they need through green methods and sell it back to the power grid?


Toronto apparently uses cold lake water to air condition most of its downtown buildings.

Enwave’s three intake pipes draw water (4 degrees Celsius) from 5 kilometres off the shore of Lake Ontario at a depth of 83 metres below the surface. Naturally cold water makes its way to the City’s John Street Pumping Station. There, heat exchangers facilitate the energy transfer between the icy cold lake water and the Enwave closed chilled water supply loop.

The water drawn from the lake continues on its regular route through the John Street Pumping Station for normal distribution into the City water supply. Enwave uses only the coldness from the lake water, not the actual water, to provide the alternative to conventional air-conditioning.

Good if you have a massive lake right next to the city.