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A Cooling Tower
by Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover

A recent article on ISRAEL21c describes an promising Israeli invention that could provide an inexpensive source of energy:

The Israeli inventors call it an Energy Tower, and if it's adopted worldwide it could become a major source of cheap electricity. So what is it? Project founder, Professor Dan Zaslavsky of the Department of Agricultural Engineering at the Technion - Israel Institute of Science, explains. It's a tall tower, 1,000 yards in height and 400 yards in diameter, located somewhere hot and dry with a source of water at the ready nearby - either the sea, brackish estuarine, or drainage water.

The water is used to cool the air at the top of the tower. The heavier cooled air sinks downwards, gathers speed as it falls, finally powering turbines at the tower's base. Put simply, it's the principle of convection - warm air rises above cool air - a law so fundamental that it is taught in elementary schools.

"It's a radically simple idea," Zaslavsky told ISRAEL21c. "We could easily produce between 15 to 20 times the total electricity the world uses today." The energy tower can also be coupled with a water desalinization plant, which can be used to irrigate the desert, produce biofuel and boost aquaculture. Now all the company needs is a major investor to
get the project off the ground.


According to Chassidic teachings, every worldly phenomenon has a source in the spiritual worlds, and has a lesson for us in our Divine service. What can we learn from the “energy tower”?

The energy tower runs on the principle of convection: Hot air rises, and as it cools, it falls rapidly, generating energy. In Chassidic teachings, this can be understood as two forms of energy, ohr yasher and ohr chozer, “direct light” and “returning light.”

G-d sends His energy down to the world, to sustain it and give us life. We, in turn, use the energy that G-d gives us to perform our Divine service. This generates a new light, the ohr chozer, which is in some ways more potent and powerful than the original light. This returned light becomes the impetus to draw down an even more intense direct light, which generates in us a more powerful Divine service. And so the cycle continues.

This concept in Chassidic thought illustrates a fundamental point: this physical world represents G-d’s ultimate desire. G-d sends us down His energy so we can utilize it to transform the world, and generate and even more powerful type of energy. Our Divine service in exile will bring about the most powerful revelation of all, the complete Redemption with Moshiach.

Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover is chairman of the Center of Magnetohydrodynamic Studies and Training at Ben-Gurion University.



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