Solar Dome

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The Solar Dome is the ideal in Regenerative Architecture as its an atmospheric generator with an otherwise useless interior, its interior however can be used as any other dome would be - and it's scalable.

Designed to work in arid regions, the solar dome combines updraft, vortex, and downdraft dynamics to create, capture and convert hot air into electricity.


The top of the Solar Dome is designed to create a greenhouse effect, a clear exterior over a thicker, black dome of a material chosen for its thermal mass. The solar dome must have a basement. Between the two a system is provided which transitions the convection currents or updraft into vortex and then downdraft current. The dome traps and channels the updraft to a circular vane with angled fins which makes the air rotate. From here the system is a modified Hilsch-Ranque or vortex tube, with each end used - the cold air going up is used to chill water and pressurize the reservoir, the hot air going down turns an impeller and is exhausted to the outside. The vortex tube is working in reverse, that is, instead of pushing air to create a temperature difference, a pressure difference is used to push air. Of particular interest, a novel and critical part of this system is the conical impeller. Inspired by the laminar flow of Tesla's bladeless turbine, it allows the vortex to be split, it is literally Maxwell's Demon. This is attached to a generator and from there the ideal electrical system can be used.

Not shown in the illustration is the radial exhaust manifold which channels the air outside.

I envision a version where the interior is built around a subterranean indoor garden. The floor above would be air permeable allowing co2 to fall down to the plants in turn displacing o2 up to the animals.

I believe the solar dome will likely harvest moisture from the air as well, in an arid region this would add value to the design.

The Solar Dome is a deceptively simple concept but it is also geomimetic, nature has been doing the same thing forever, there is no need for proof-of-concept, unfortunately hurricanes and tornadoes don't stay in one place and turn a generator - until now.


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  • Name:
    Mathew Whitney
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
  • Mathew is inspired by:
    Geomimicry, Biomimicry, simplification.
  • Software used for this entry:
  • Patent status: