Solar chimneys are an under-appreciated and underdeveloped passive solar heating and cooling technology. A collaborative project between RMIT University and the Australian town of Kingston, Victoria, has sought to reverse this state of affairs, and more power to them. After all, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 19% of the world’s energy resources are used up in heating, ventilating, and cooling.
Solar chimneys are able reduce energy usage by up to 50%, and the project developed at RMIT maximizes efficiency in both ventilating fresh air and sucking out smoke in the event of a fire.
“Our research demonstrates that solar chimneys offer powerful benefits for both people’s safety and the environment,” says Dr Long Shi, Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at RMIT. Shi hopes the research’s dual-function findings will inspire more investment and development in solar chimneys worldwide.
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