DRI Energy Related Projects


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DRI Energy Related Projects - Presented by Dr. Alan W. Gertler

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DRI Energy Related Projects

  2. 2. Outline Areas of expertise/rationale Clean Technologies and Renewable Energy Center (CTREC) Examples of our research activities
  3. 3. Focal Areas Biomass/Biofuels Wind, Solar, and Geothermal Resource Assessment and Identification Technology Development and Assessment Alternative Fuels Energy Conservation Education/Workforce Development Natural extension of DRI’s fundamental research in atmospheric, hydrologic, and earth and ecosystem sciences  Key approach to mitigating current environmental issues  Addresses the benefits and limitations of renewable energy systems  Considers the impact of RE impacts on the environment
  4. 4. CTREC: Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Center Provides an organizational umbrella under which all of DRI’s renewable energy research, education, and outreach activities are conducted. Facilitates interdisciplinary research across DRI’s three divisions and through collaborations with other organizations. Fosters development of interdisciplinary and inter- institutional research teams  Explore emerging areas in renewable energy  Development and application of clean technologies Serves as a neutral forum to scientifically assess renewable energy and clean technology initiatives.
  5. 5. Research Examples
  6. 6. Preparation of Renewable Solid Fuels by Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC) (1) Objectives:  Convert biomass into bio-coal (green-coal)  Enable handling of non- homogeneous biomass feedstocks.  Increase the energy density of all feedstocks.  Improve storage stability and logistics of delivery. Joint research with GTI & UNR
  7. 7. Selected HTC Results (2) Key findings:  Woody feedstocks can be converted to hydrochar having energy content equivalent to low-grade coal.  Herbaceous feedstocks are more difficult to upgrade.  Hydrochar products can be pelletized for convenient storage and transport.  Material can be used directly for co-firing with coal.
  8. 8. Algal-Based Fuels (1)  Objectives included:  Develop new analytical methods to provide rapid, direct characterization of triglycerides in algal samples.  Create a culture collection of indigenous microalgae.  Investigate important parameters (light, temperature, nutrients, etc.) affecting algal growth rates and compositions.  Investigate improved production methodologies for biodiesel fromJoint research with UNR algal feedstocks.
  9. 9. Algal-Based Fuels (2)  Key findings:  Algal lipid contents increased under limited nutrient conditions.  An indigenous microalgae culture collection was established.  Algal species were shown to grow successfully using wastewater centrate as the nutrient source.  Developed catalysts to promote synthesis of biodiesel fuel.  Using LCA, the direct use of algae as a fuel for co-firing was determined to be feasible.
  10. 10. Thermophilic Cellulolytic Microbes (1) Objectives:  Developing a method for production of “second-generation” biofuels.  Isolation and characterization of cellulolytic thermophiles from Great Basin hotsprings. Great Boiling Spring, NV  Characterization of Bio-prospectors thermostable cellulases genes. Joint research with UNLV
  11. 11. Thermophilic Cellulolytic Microbes (2) Key findings:  Isolated pure cultures for conversion of feedstock.  Cultures were able to differentially degrade of feedstocks depending on temperature.  Observed microbial population shifts dependent on feedstock and temperature.
  12. 12. Geothermal Resource Assessment (1)  Objectives:  Resource evaluation  Shallow temperature survey  Seismic data collection and analysis  Structural analysis  Drilling  Two wells ~ 1,300 m to basement  Borehole geophysics  Well testing, analysis, and modeling  Well testing  Geochemical sampling  Three-dimensional geologic framework model  Three-dimensional reservoir model Joint research with UNR
  13. 13. Geothermal Resource Assessment (2) Key findings  Reservoir has high permeability  Connected to faults associated with the tufa tower  Modeled geological structure  Developed assessment of energy production potential
  14. 14. Relationships Between RegionalHeat Flow and Isostatic Rebound (1)  The spatial pattern of rebound anomalies appears to correlate with the locations of several active geothermal areas.  Objective: Determine if there is a causative relationship between high heat flow and positive rebound anomalies.
  15. 15. Relationships Between RegionalHeat Flow and Isostatic Rebound (2)  Key findings:  There is a close correspondence between some of the high potential areas and positive rebound anomalies.  The areas of highest potential in the Great Basin are larger than have previously been mapped.
  16. 16. Wind Resource Assessment and Forecasting (1) Nevada’s wind resource is highly spatially variable Objectives:  Improve wind power density maps at different elevations  Develop methodology for long and short term forecasting to efficiently manage the resource 80m tower near Tonopah
  17. 17. Wind Resource Assessment and Forecasting (2) Key findings:  20% improvement of wind maps at 50m  Improved wind power density forecasts  High resolution wind forecast model for western NV Collaborations:  Private sector (multiple)  Education and training (TMCC & UNR) High – resolution weather forecasting – NV and western U.S.
  18. 18. Effect of Solar Fields on Wind and Dust (1)  Dust abatement is a significant issue.  Objectives:  Compare wind characteristics on unmodified landscape to wind characteristics between solar array rows and elements.  Develop strategies to reduce dust generation.Joint research with UNLV  Collaborating with SEMPRA.
  19. 19. Effect of Solar Fields on Wind and Dust (2) Key outcomes:  The surface between Wind_speed_Max1_in _array wind_speed_Max2_in _array solar panels does not Wind_speed_Max3_in _array Open_fetch_Wind_Max see the “same” wind as 20 Wind_Direction 350 Wind Direction (degrees from North) 18 300 unobstructed 16 Wind Speed (m/s) 14 250 landscape. 12 200 10  Results will directly 8 150 impact cost of 6 4 100 operating solar facility 2 50 by providing a more 0 0:00 0 1:32 3:04 4:36 6:08 7:40 9:12 10:45 12:17 13:49 15:21 16:53 18:25 19:58 21:30 23:02 realistic estimate of true dust control needs.
  20. 20. DRI’s Renewable EnergyExperimental Facility (REEF)(1)  Objectives:  Grow DRI’s capabilities and expertise in areas of RE research, development, demonstration, and deployment.  Provide “test-bed” for integrating and evaluating performance of renewable energy components.  Promote collaboration with private sector developers of RE systems.  Provide large space for “pilot- scale” experimental work.
  21. 21. REEF Selected Results (2)  Key results:  REEF House has capability of operating “off-grid”.  Power demands of REEF house are satisfied primarily by solar PV.  When available, excess renewable power is stored in the form of H2  Performance of different solar thermal systems being evaluated/compared.  Complete HVAC needs of REEF house are being met by solar thermal systems.  REEF Workshop is being used to conduct larger-scale biomass work
  22. 22. New and Alternative Fuels (1) Objectives  Evaluate feasibility of using hydrogen as a transportation fuel.  Assess impact on vehicle performance and emissions.
  23. 23. New and Alternative Fuels (2)  Key findings;  Able to use existing vehicle technology with minimal modification.  Increased performance  Reduced CO2, NOx, and CO emissions.  Increased HC emissions.
  24. 24. Energy Audits (1)  Objectives:  Develop capabilities to perform reliable energy audits.  Promote energy education and outreach activities by involvement of students and the public.  Explore the possibility of establishing a business enterprise at DRI.
  25. 25. Energy Audits (2)  Key results:  Standard methods have been developed to conduct and document residential energy audits.  Methods have been extended to conduct energy audits of small rural businesses.  Capability for residential and commercial audits.
  26. 26. Technology Spinoffs (1)  Biologics are expensive to produce and are inefficient under bioreactor and bio- industrial conditions.  Developed a computational and laboratory screeningA synthetic biology company born fromDRI / University of Delaware Research platform to increase significantly the efficiency of re-engineering biologics under user-specified reaction conditions.  Designing a more efficient, low pH stable cellulase.
  27. 27. Technology Spinoffs (2) Created energy management software that determines how energy is used throughout a building. Operates using only one circuit. SBIR2 funding.
  28. 28. GreenPower Sponsored by NV Energy and the Robert S. and Dorothy J. Keyser Foundation. K-12 statewide program with 104 schools currently participating Supports educators in teaching students about renewable energy, conservation, and sustainability Educators also receive a variety of professional development options.
  29. 29. Workforce Development  Online Graduate Certificate in Renewable Energy  Joint effort led by UNR  Designed for practicing engineers, business staff or managers, government regulators, and others impacted by renewable energy policies and practices  12-credit online certificate  Courses are multi- disciplinary