Epreuve de langue vivante du groupe 17

(entre autres, conception de produits industriels, maintenance industrielle, productique mécanique)

It's huge, it's green - and it may even happen

An Australian company wants to pioneer a new way of getting energy from the sun. All it needs to do is to build the tallest man-made structure in history - a 3,000-foot concrete chimney - in the outback.

Solar panels typically convert solar energy directly into electricity. But the facility planned by Melbourne-based EnviroMission would use heated air to power turbines that supply the electricity. The hot air would come from 7,5 square miles of glass or plastic around the chimney's base - a giant greenhouse. As the air warmed, it would rise toward the chimney. The result: a continuous flow that, on its way up, would spin the turbines' propellers.

The Company estimates that the suction would create a 35-mph updraft that could power 32 turbines, generating up to 200 megawatts of electricity, or enough to supply 200,000 homes. The plant would keep working at night by a system of tubes filled with warm water. These tubes, heated by sunlight during the day, would continue to heat the air under the glass after dark and keep the power plant working.

The concept was tried over seven years in a much smaller prototype in Spain. But to be truly efficient, its designers say, scale is of the essence. A 3,000-foot tower wouldn't come cheap: the giant structure will cost an estimated $670 million. The company argues that an expected life span of 100 years, combined with low maintenance costs and the absence of pollutants, will make the endeavour worthwhile. The Australian government is expected to OK the construction, but so far has offered no money.

Bob Sillery
Popular Science, December 2002

scale is of the essence = scale is essential


I/ COMPRÉHENSION (10 points)

Rédigez un compte rendu du texte ci-joint. Vous veillerez à restituer tous les éléments importants dans un français de qualité, et indiquerez le nombre de mots utilisés. (170 mots environ) à plus ou moins 10%)

II/ EXPRESSION (10 points)

Répondre en anglais aux deux questions suivantes :

1/ What are the advantages and the limitations of such a project? Use elements from the text as well as your own judgment. (5 points) (about 100 words)

2/ What is being done - and what else do you think could be done - to prevent an energy crisis? (5 points) (about 100 words)

Durée : 2 heures - Coefficient : 2

L'usage du dictionnaire bilingue est autorisé

Calculatrices et traducteurs électroniques sont interdits

corrigé du compte rendu

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