Email from Ross Maynard to Site Trustee Roberto Puga

The following is an email exchange between Ross Maynard and the Site Trustee. The Trustee’s responses are in bold.

You may have a fantastic opportunity in those smokestacks!
Go to these web sites and you’ll see what I’m talking about:

Please take this message seriously. You could get international attention with a project like this.

Ross Maynard
Williamston MI

Roberto Puga’s response:

Dear Mr. Maynard,

Thank you for your interest in the former ASARCO site, and for sending me the solar updraft information.

In our opinion, using the on-site tower as the basis of a solar updraft project is not feasible for the following reasons:

  • Tower Height – the tallest onsite tower is 826-feet high. Typically, solar updraft project specify towers in commercial projects that are being planned are thousands of feet tall.
  • Solar Energy Collector Area – Also, the need a significant area around the base of the tower for solar energy collector (>100 acres). The entire smelter site property is about 125 acres, but it is asymmetrical, i.e., the tower is on one end of the oval shaped property. This asymmetry would reduce the available solar energy collection area.
  • Potential Output – The experimental solar updraft project in Manzanares, Spain was 50 kW (per the information you sent me). The Manzanares tower height and collection area were similar to what we would have at the former ASACRO site. 50 kW is a very small return for the capital investment necessary to convert the tower to a solar updraft project. And, more importantly, it will make the City’s vision for redevelopment impossible.
  • Tower Structural Stability – A recent evaluation of the tower structural stability indicates that there is a serious deflect in the tower’s design vis-Ă -vis wind loads. This defect would have to be corrected before the tower could be used for any purpose.

Thank you for interest, and don’t hesitate to contact us again with any other question or comment.


Roberto Puga

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