Renewable Energy, 07 29 09


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The most vital way to take care of our lives is to take the responsibility of our own energy foot print.

Renewable energy plays an important role in the supply of energy. When renewable energy sources are used, the demand for fossil fuels is reduced. Unlike fossil fuels, non-biomass renewable sources of energy (photovoltaics, wind, hydropower, and geothermal) do not directly emit greenhouse gases.

Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources such as : sunlight, wind, tides, and geothermal heat which are renewable (naturally replenished).

The use of renewable energy is not new. More than 150 years ago wood, which is one form of biomass, supplied up to 90 percent of the energy needs. e.

Now over half of renewable energy goes to producing electricity.

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  • Renewable Energy, 07 29 09

    1. 1. Renewable EnergyA description of renewable energy principles and concepts, suggestions for integrating relatively simple strategies into a renewable energy plan for each individual to help reduce climate change and carbon emissions. The most vital way to take care of our lives is to take the responsibility of our own energy foot print.<br />Renewable energy plays an important role in the supply of energy. When renewable energy sources are used, the demand for fossil fuels is reduced. Unlike fossil fuels, non-biomass renewable sources of energy (photovoltaics, wind, hydropower, and geothermal) do not directly emit greenhouse gases.<br />Greenhouse gases are gases that trap the heat of the sun in the Earth&apos;s<br />atmosphere, producing the greenhouse effect. The two major green-<br />house gases are water vapor and carbon dioxide. Lesser greenhouse<br />gases include methane, ozone, chlorofluorocarbons, and nitrogen oxides. <br />Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources such as : <br />sunlight, wind, tides, and geothermal heat which are renewable (naturally <br />replenished).<br />The use of renewable energy is not new. More than 150 years ago wood, <br />which is one form of biomass, supplied up to 90 percent of the energy <br />needs. As the use of coal, petroleum, and natural gas expanded, the <br />United States became less reliant on wood as an energy source. <br />Now over half of renewable energy goes to producing electricity. The next <br />largest use is the production of heat and steam for industrial purposes. <br />
    2. 2. Renewable fuels, such as ethanol, are also used for transportation and to provide heat for homes and businesses.<br />A criticism of some renewable sources is their variable nature. But renewable power sources can actually be integrated into the grid system quite well. Variable but forecastable renewable (wind and solar cells) are very reliable when integrated with each other. Renewable power generally needs less backup than utilities created from big coal and nuclear plants. The challenge of variable power supplies can be readily alleviated by grid energy storage. Unreliability of renewable energy is a myth, while the unreliability of nuclear energy is real. Of all U.S. nuclear plants built, 21% were abandoned and 27% have failed at least once. Successful reactors must close for refueling every 17 months for 39 days. When shut down in response to grid failure, they cannot quickly restart. <br />The largest share of the renewable-generated electricity comes from hydroelectric energy (71%), followed by biomass (16%), wind (9%), geothermal (4%), and solar (0.2%). Wind-generated electricity increased by almost 21% in 2007 over 2006, more than any other energy source. Its growth rate was followed closely by solar, which increased by over 19% in 2007 over 2006.<br />China leads the world in total renewable energy consumption for electricity production due to its recent massive additions to hydroelectric production, followed closely by the United States, Canada, and Brazil. However, the United States consumes the most non-hydro renewable energy for the production of electricity. The United States consumes twice as much non-hydro renewable energy for electricity production as Germany and more than three times as much as Japan.<br />The crux of the power industry comes down to two great machines: the turbine-focal point where thermal energy is converted to mechanical rotation, and the generator where the rotation of a wire coil induces powerful currents. Electricity is, in essence, a form of bottled lightning. <br />
    3. 3. Energy Production: On site energy production can reduce environmental impact. Selecting the best strategy for on site generation will depend upon factors such as type and location of the project, regional and micro climates, utility rates, and possible tax and financial incentives for clean and/or renewable energy.<br />Let’s start with a practical comparison between electricity flowing down a copper wire and water flowing down a brass pipe. What flows in the electrical grid are tiny charged particles-electrons. What flows through the plumbing grid are tiny water molecules. Water flow can increase if you widen the pipe or increase the pressure behind the water. Correspondingly, electric flow can increase if you use a thicker wire or increase the voltage, the force that impels the electrons through the wire. <br />Electrical Power Infrastructure<br />When the term “power grid” is used, it is not just referring to a local power system that feeds a city or a county. Instead, it refers to an infrastructure that covers very large sections of the United States. <br />Three main power grids serve vast area of the country:<br />Western Interconnection<br />Eastern Interconnection<br />Texas Interconnection<br />Each grid is referred to as an “interconnection” because the grid contains a main transmission system (trunk) to which hundreds of distribution systems (local and regional power companies and load centers) are connected. The continental United States has 10 North American Electrical Reliability Corporation regions within the three main interconnections. <br />The trunk of each main grid enables “poser pooling” from all the difference sources of energy, including renewable ones. The pooled power is referred to as “system power”, which is tapped and distributed through the grid region.<br />
    4. 4. The electrical grid is not a single thing but several things: a highway for delivering a product to millions of customers, a sort of NATO defense alliance of utilities pledged to help each other in time of need, a platform supporting a worldwide movement of information, and a commodities exchange dispatching vast resources on a seconds notice. <br />The electrical grid goes everywhere, it’s the largest and most complex machine ever made.<br />The grid has the greatest impact on our quality of life of any technological advancement, yet few people understand the grid or recognize it as the power delivery system that brings electricity to our homes, businesses and much more.<br />
    5. 5. The visual comparison is pretty direct, moving water molecules and moving charges. Electricity is really two things: the moving of electric charges and the moving of electrical energy in the form of linkage between the charges. These two things, the charges and the energy, move at different speeds. The rolling linkage zipping down a wire travels at nearly the speed of light, whereas individual electrons are moving at only a very small fraction of that speed. Electricity is not merely a river of charge but the rifle shot of linkages sent along by the charges. <br />In summary, electric charges are the tiny particles, electrons, that move through a wire, electric energy is the energy (the potentiality for actuating a machine or light bulb) transmitted by the connections among the charges, and electric power is the amount of energy sent or used per second.<br />Cogeneration, also know as combined heat and power (CHP), is the production of electricity and useful heat in a single process. To be effective, a CHP facility must have a significant heat load. Cogeneration is common in many industrial facilities. <br />The electrical grid goes everywhere, it’s the largest and most complex machine ever made. <br />With the growing concern about the future and security of the world’s energy supply, renewable resources such as solar power are becoming increasingly important. <br />Various solar energy technologies have been used through millennia of human history. Photovoltaics technology has been developing for more than 160 years, but has progressed exponentially in the last few decades. <br />Photovoltaics is a direct energy conversion system which produces electrical power without any mechanical components. No energy conversion Is 100% efficient. Practical photovoltaic&apos;s, the direct conversion of solar energy into electricity, has a history of only 50 years.<br />
    6. 6. Photovoltaics is a solar energy technology that uses unique properties of semiconductors to directly convert solar radiation Into electricity. Systems that are connected to the utility grid and use Photovoltaics energy as a supplemental source of power offer the greatest flexibility in possible system configurations. The supplemental <br />power offsets a portion of the <br />power needed from the utility, <br />resulting in lower electricity bills.<br />Amid growing concern about <br />climate change and carbon <br />emissions, Photovoltaics <br />offers a viable solution to the <br />world’s increasing demands for <br />energy.<br />Unlike fossil fuel based <br />technologies, solar power does <br />not lead to any harmful <br />emissions during operation.<br />A camel carrying refrigerated medical supplies across the desert.<br />
    7. 7. Manufacturers are making wafers thinner, <br />using less silicon, while increasing <br />efficiency. Also, manufacturers are turning <br />to other ways of manufacturing <br />photovoltaics, such as so-called thin <br />films. <br />Thin-film technology doesn’t require a rigid <br />substrate like other Photovoltaic modules. <br />Some use a very thin layer of a different kind <br />of silicon, called amorphous silicon, that can <br />be applied to a flexible substrate. A quicker <br />manufacturing process and the reduction <br />in materials makes this thin-film <br />technology less expensive to produce. <br />Thin-film technology isn’t necessarily tied to <br />silicon. Two different manufacturing <br />processes — one using cadmium telluride, <br />the other based on copper, indium and <br />selenium (CIS) films — are showing increasing<br />promise in terms of lower costs and higher <br />efficiency. <br />Konarka is calling their flexible, thin-film solar <br />material, to be made in New Bedford MA, <br />Power Plastic. Konarka’s patented Power <br />Plastic® is a thin, lightweight, and very flexible material that will serve as an integrated low-cost source of power for portable devices, on and off-grid systems, and for structures. <br />
    8. 8. Former employees of a closed Polaroid plant are getting jobs with Konarka, putting their roll printing expertise to use. In addition to acquiring the fully automated roll-to-roll manufacturing line, the company has also hired the leading technology and process engineering teams from Polaroid, with plans to hire over 100 additional employees as production increases toward capacity over the next two to three years. Who&apos;d have thought that instant photography and roll-to-roll printing would lead to better solar energy capture technology on a commercial scale? Konarka apparently. Konarka’s advanced photovoltaic technology started with the work of the late Dr. Sukant Tripathy, an internationally known polymer materials scientist, provost at UMASS Lowell and founder of the Plastic Innovation Center and Dr. Alan Heeger, Konarka’s chief scientist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2000. The ground-breaking discoveries from both founding scientists, a manufacturing process at relatively low temperatures, enables the use of low-cost plastic substrate films. As a result of these pioneering innovations, the company has secured over $100 million from leading venture capital and private equity funds, as well as $18 million in government agency research grants from the U.S. and Europe. Konarka has developed proprietary semi-conductor organic polymers that exhibit: low cost, abundant supply, and low toxicity Power Plastic has distinct advantages relative to conventional PV technology. <br />Konarka is not only simplifying manufacturing and reducing costs, a 2nd generation known as thin film technologies was developed. These technologies are typically made by depositing a thin layer of photo-active material onto glass or a flexible substrate, including metal foils, and they commonly use amorphous silicon, copper indium gallium diselenide , or cadmium telluride as the semiconductor. Thin film PV is less subject to breakage when manufactured on a flexible foil. <br />
    9. 9. Konarka scientists are also conducting advanced research in power fibers, bi-facial cells, and tandem architectures that could substantially raise conversion efficiency and open new markets. Power Fiber™ is uniquely enabled by Konarka’s proprietary chemistries. This innovative and patented form factor expands the potential of solar power production to woven textiles. Bi-facial cells are the result of a technical breakthrough that allows the use of two transparent electrodes. Bi-facial cells are transparent and allow light to reach the active material from both sides. Imagine a glass office building completely covered with material that produces power using both indoor and outdoor light, while allowing occupants to look through it: providing both shading and electricity generation. <br />On the other hand, Sharp&apos;s thin film offers reliability, long life, high efficiency and value. Their selection of silicon as the basic <br />semiconductor springs from <br />our exceptional knowledge <br />of silicon thin films, based in <br />part on our world-leading <br />LCD technology and <br />scientific knowledge base, <br />access to abundant raw <br />material, environmentally <br />friendly manufacturing and <br />performance relative to other <br />thin film semiconductors. <br />Sharp’s U.S. market product <br />launch incorporates a <br />two-layer solar cell <br />architecture. In 2010 <br />we will see the introduction of a <br />three-layer architecture.<br />My home in San Jose<br />
    10. 10. The multi-layer design will allow the modules to harvest even more of the sun&apos;s energy. These modules are made with less than 1% of the silicon used in our crystalline lines and are manufactured using automated equipment in fewer steps. This means a change in cost per watt and a lower effective cost per kilowatt hours for large-scale applications. With thin film, we address the emerging market for utility-scale solar power, especially for very large scale ground-based installations in hot climates. <br />Currently, thin film modules convert nearly 9% of the sun&apos;s total energy into electricity and are on track to reach 10% from the factory. And there is room for continuous improvement to achieve even greater conversion efficiency. For every kW of rated power, thin film delivers more kilowatt hours-up to 10%-than its crystalline silicon cousin, due to substantially greater resistance to losses caused by typical mid-day operating temperature. <br />Encouraged by State rebates, last year in California, homeowners and businesses had a record 158 megawatts of photovoltaic panels installed, despite the recession. Even with a credit freeze that&apos;s stunting renewable-energy projects throughout the country, 2008 was a hot year for solar power in California, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. That&apos;s more than double the 78 megawatts installed in 2007. <br />Residential demand appears to be hanging tough in the face of the shaky economy. December saw the largest volume of homeowner rebate requests since the State of California launched the California Solar Initiative program two years ago. Launched in January 2007, the California Solar Initiative is an attempt to push photovoltaics on a mass scale in California to help cut greenhouse gas Emissions and shore up the State&apos;s energy supply. <br />Mariner 5 is shown in flight. Photovoltaic systems were an important power source for that mission. Solar cells have not only enabled America to explore space, the solar system, and the Earth in great detail, they also have enabled the emergence of the telecommunications industry.<br />Photovoltaic panels are available In capacities ranging from 5W up To 200W peak output. <br />
    11. 11. The quest for alternative fuels has become one of science’s major pre-occupations and finding ways to cheaply produce energy from the sun is a key battlefront. Researchers at Berkeley, California have found a way to make cheaper, better solar cells using tiny nanopillar semiconductors measuring just billionths of a meter wide. The underlying theory is that a 3-D solar cell has more surface , and therefore, will be a much more efficient light-collector than the usual 2-D solar cell. <br />The idea of achieving this by growing photovoltaic crystals isn’t new, but making them cheaply, efficiently and with consistent density and dimensions has proved disappointingly difficult. The Berkeley team overcame this with a two-stage process. First they grew pillars of cadmium sulfide on an aluminum foil template. Then they embedded the nanopillars in clear cadmium telluride, which provides a “window” to catch the light.<br />In contact with each other, the two materials form a solar cell, with charge-carrying electrons flowing down to the aluminum, and the “holes” (the absence of an electron) conducted to a thin copper-gold electrode on the surface of the window. Initial tests measured an efficiency of 6% . While not quite at the 10% to 18% range of mass-produced commercial cells, it is one of the best for a nanostructured material. And, given that the non-transparent electrode on top has<br />reduced efficiency by 50 per cent, there’s a lot of <br />room for improvement.<br />Apart from using very cheap materials, this<br />process also easily lends itself to practical <br />adaptations. The researchers were able to <br />make a flexible version of the same design <br />by replacing the aluminum with indium and <br />embedding the whole thing in soft plastic – <br />with almost no loss of performance.<br />
    12. 12. A combined effort by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, the work is still at an early stage. But they’ve got the theory now and believe that, in the long term, this process could produce solar cells at a tenth of the cost of crystalline silicon panels.<br />Solar Thermal<br />Solar thermal (ST) is one of the most cost-effective renewable energy systems. Solar thermal water heating systems collect the sun&apos;s energy in the form of thermal or heat energy. The system can save a major portion of your utility bill. Three very cost effective solar thermal systems are as follows:<br />A closed loop solar thermal system to supplement heat to your hot water tank. If &quot;closed loop&quot; sounds like technical babble, it only means that a system of piping circulates a liquid (either water or anti-freeze) through a self-enclosed system. The most popular and widely recommended of these is a system using glycol or anti-freeze. This solar thermal system will cost about $4,600 US (with the price decreasing all the time). <br />A solar pool heater, popular and practical, is an open loop system. It&apos;s called this because water circulates back into the pool, which is (of course) an open system. <br />A solar blanket, while not technically a solar thermal system, is an economical way to retain and increase the heat of your pool. We include it here because you really should use one, to help save energy.<br />The tilt and orientation of Photovoltaic panels have a large impact on the systems efficiency. Photovoltaic modules should be oriented to the south to maximize daily solar radiation reception. Panels should be tilted such that the greatest Photovoltaic output matches periods of greatest load. <br />Kenya has the world&apos;s highest household solar ownership rate with roughly 30,000 small (20–100 watt) solar power systems sold per year.[11]<br />Further Information<br />U.S. Department of Energy, National Center for Photovoltaics:<br />Whole Building Design Guide: Distributed Energy Resources.<br />
    13. 13. Wind energy is growing faster than Photovoltaics. The three windiest states in the United States: North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas have enough usable wind energy to satisfy all of our national needs. <br />Two examples of vertical axis Wind Turbines.<br />Vertical axis Wind Turbines are noise free,<br />efficient in electric energy producing, safe,<br />low start wind speed and low price.<br />
    14. 14. Wind Turbines produce energy<br /> from an ever renewable resource, the wind.<br /> Wind energy is an indirect implementation<br /> of solar energy. The sun’s radiation warms<br /> the earth’s surface at different rates in<br /> different places and the various surfaces<br /> absorb and reflect radiation at different<br /> rates. This causes the air above these<br /> surfaces to warm differentially. Wind is<br /> produced as hot air rises and cooler air is<br /> drawn in to replace it.<br /> Wind turbines change the kinetic energy of<br /> the wind into electric energy much the<br /> same way that hydroelectric generators do. <br />A wind turbine captures wind with its blades. The wind speed determines the amount of energy available for harvest, while the turbine size determines how much of that resources is actually harvested. Wind turbines are sized based upon power output small turbines range from 20W to 100kW in capacity. <br />The noise produced by early wind turbines was an issue in residential neighborhoods, but newer turbines produce less noise. The ambient noise level of most small turbines is about 52 to 55 decibels (dBA), no noisier than an average refrigerator. Towers are a necessary part of a wind system because wind speeds increase with height; the higher the tower the more power a turbine can produce. <br />A grid connected system uses an inverter that converts direct current (DC) generator output to alternating current (AC) to make the system electrically compatible with the utility grid and conventional appliances. This allows power from the system to be used in a building or sold to the utility company as most economically appropriate.<br />
    15. 15. December 12, 2008 Massachusetts-based FloDesign developed a wind turbine that generates electricity at half the cost of conventional wind turbines. The company&apos;s design, which draws on technology developed for jet engines, circumvents a fundamental limit to conventional wind turbines. <br />Typically, as wind approaches a turbine, almost half of the air is forced around the blades rather than through them, and the energy in that deflected wind is lost. At best, traditional wind turbines capture only 59.3 percent of the energy in wind, a value called the Betz limit. FloDesign recently raised $6 million in its first round of venture financing. Their turbine design surrounds its wind-turbine blades with a shroud that directs air through the blades and speeds it up, which increases power production. The shroud concept is based on the same principles as a high bypass jet engine design that is used by all commercial jet aircraft engines to reduce noise and significantly improve efficiency. The new design generates as much power as a conventional wind turbine which use blades twice as big in diameter. The smaller blade size and other factors allow the new turbines to be packed closer together in the field compared to conventional turbines, increasing the amount of power that can be generated <br />per acre of land.<br />From the front, these wind turbines look something <br />like the air intake of a jet engine. As air approaches, <br />it first encounters a set of fixed blades, called the <br />stator, which are common in jet and steam turbines <br />designs used in power generation. They redirect the <br />air onto a set of movable blades, called the rotor. <br />The air turns the rotor and emerges on the other side,<br />moving more slowly now than the air flowing outside <br />the turbine. The shroud is shaped so that it guides <br />this relatively fast-moving outside air into the area <br />just behind the rotors. The fast-moving air speeds up the slow-moving air, creating an area of low pressure behind the turbine blades that sucks more air through them.<br />
    16. 16. impulse turbine<br />Hydro Turbines generate electricity by<br />tapping into a flow of water. When thoughtfully designed, can <br /> produce low impact, environmentally friendly power by harnessing<br /> the renewable kinetic energy in moving water.<br />The power available from a micro hydro turbine system is derived<br /> for a combination of water “head” <br />and “flow”. Head is the vertical <br />distance between the water <br />intake and the turbine exhaust. <br /> This distance determines the <br /> available water pressure. Flow <br />is the volume of water that passes<br /> through the system per unit of <br /> time, usually expressed in gallons<br /> per minute.<br /> Impulse turbines spin freely in the air. <br /> water is directed toward the turbine<br /> by a spout or nozzle. As long as <br />there is some flow, the nozzle can <br />be adjusted to regulate the flow-<br />especially in a cross-flow turbine. Impulse turbines are the most commonly<br />used in micro hydro systems. A reaction turbine is fully immersed in <br />water and is entirely enclosed in housing, so that the full pressure of the <br />water turns the turbine. These are more likely to be used if water flow is <br />relatively consistent throughout the year and the water pressure (or head) is low grade. Impulse turbines are more widely used, and these come in three basic kinds: <br />Impulse<br />Reaction<br />
    17. 17. Hydroelectric turbines are categorized as <br />impulse, reaction, or propeller types. Water <br />is delivered to a turbine; the turbine, in turn <br />powers a generator. A turbine is a rotary <br />engine that derives its power from the force <br />exerted by moving power. <br />A generator converts the rotational force of <br />the turbine shaft into electricity. Generators <br />produce direct current (DC) then run through <br />an inverter to produce AC (alternation <br />current) to supply conventional plug loads.<br /> Impulse turbines operate in an open-air<br /> environment in which high velocity jets of water are<br /> directed onto “blades” to facilitate shaft rotation.<br /> Impulse turbines are best suited for “high” head<br /> situations. Reaction turbines operate fully<br /> immersed in water. The pressure and flow of water<br /> to the runner (much like a propeller) facilitates<br /> turbine rotation. Reaction turbines are best suited<br /> for “low” head and high flow applications. Propeller<br /> turbines are typically used in high flow, no head<br /> situations.<br />
    18. 18. Geothermalenergy is energy obtained by tapping the heat of the earth itself, both from kilometers deep into the Earth‘s crust in some places of the globe or from some meters deep, as a geothermal heat pump in all the places of the planet . It is expensive to build a power station but operating costs are low resulting in low energy costs for suitable sites. Ultimately, this energy derives from heat in the Earth’s core. <br />Three types of power plants are used to generate power from geothermal energy: dry steam, flash, and binary. <br />Dry steam plants take steam out of fractures in the ground and use it to directly drive a turbine that spins a generator. <br />Flash plants take hot water, usually at temperatures over 200 °C, out of the ground, and allows it to boil as it rises to the surface then separates the steam phase in steam/water separators and then runs the steam through a turbine. <br />Binary plants, the hot water flows through heat exchangers, boiling an organic fluid that spins the turbine. The condensed steam and remaining geothermal fluid from all three types of plants are injected back into the hot rock to pick up more heat.<br />The geothermal energy from the core of the Earth is closer to the surface in some areas than in others. Where hot underground steam or water can be tapped and brought to the surface it may be used to generate electricity. Such geothermal power sources exist in certain geologically unstable parts of the world such as Chile, Iceland, New Zealand, United States, the Philippines, and Italy. <br />The two most prominent areas for this in the United States are in the Yellowstone basin and in northern California. Iceland produced 170 MW geothermal power and heated 86% of all houses in the year 2000 through geothermal energy. Some 8000 MW of capacity is operational in total.<br />
    19. 19. To aid in efficiency, scientists have added nano structured metal-organic heat carriers (MOHCs), which boost the power generation capacity to near that of a conventional steam cycle. It was actually research on nano materials used to capture carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels that led to the team&apos;s discovery of these properties.<br />The goal is to enable power generation from low-temperature geothermal resources at an economical cost. To this end they aim to have a functioning bench-top prototype generating electricity by the end of the year.<br />Wave Farms: Portugal now has the world&apos;s first <br />commercial wave farm, the Agucadoura Wave Park, officially <br />opened in September 2008. The farm uses three Pelamis P-750<br />machines generating 2.25 MW.<br />The initial costs are put at $17 million. A second phase of the <br />project is now planned to increase the installed capacity to 21MW<br />using a further 25 Pelamis machines.<br />
    20. 20. Each Pelamis machine measures 120m long by 3.5m wide (about the size of four train carriages) and weighs 750 tons fully ballasted. The Pelamis is a semi-submerged, articulated structure composed of cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints. The wave-induced motion of these joints is resisted by hydraulic rams, which pump high-pressure oil through hydraulic motors via smoothing accumulators. The hydraulic motors drive electrical generators to produce electricity. Power from all the joints is fed down a single umbilical cable to a junction on the sea bed. Several devices can be connected together and linked to shore through a single seabed cable.After seventeen years of experience developing, constructing and operating mini hydro schemes, Goncalo Serras Pereira, Chairman of Enersis, believes that wave energy will be the new domestic renewable energy resource for Portugal. &quot;This move in conjunction with other potential partners may win significant industrial economic benefits for Portuguese companies as the market is developed and wave energy gains competitive advantage with other renewables,&quot; Pereira said. Announcement of this order follows high profile meetings held recently between British and Portuguese officials at the British Embassy in April. These were attended by the UK government&apos;s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir David King, who highlighted the need for immediate action to tackle the potential impacts of climate change.The project is being supplied by Ocean Power Delivery - Portugal S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of OPD with full rights to manufacture Pelamis machines in Portugal. Construction of the project will begin immediately.<br />
    21. 21. Biomass and Bio Fuels <br />Biomass is regenerative organic material used for energy <br />production. Sources for biomass fuel include terrestrial and <br />aquatic vegetation, agricultural and forestry residues, and <br />municipal and animal wastes.<br />The major characteristics of biomass are ability to renew, <br />low cost, low emission, no increase in atmospheric CO2, <br />uneconomical for transportation over long distances, and <br />high tendency for fouling or slagging during combustion. <br />The biomass electric power production uses direct <br />combustion. In a direct combustion process, the biomass is burned to complete combustion in a boiler. The thermal energy released is used to produce steam for process heating and/or for generation of electricity.  <br />Most biomass power plants are fueled by waste products. Direct combustion technologies used in these power plants include water wall, rotary kiln, water cooled rotary combustor, controlled air furnaces, spreader, stoker-fired boilers, suspension-fired boilers, fluidized bed boilers, and cyclone furnaces.<br />Biomass power plant assets need to be flexible to deal with fluctuating and seasonal supply of biomass. As well, they need to remain reliable and demonstrate that every effort has been made to minimize environmental impacts and maximize efficiency. Ensuring flexible, reliable operation with minimum forced outages, implementing innovative strategies that reduce emissions while achieving the lowest operating costs possible are the new industry reality.<br />
    22. 22. According to the International Energy Agency, new <br />biofuels technologies being developed today, <br />notably cellulosic ethanol, could allow biofuels to <br />play a much bigger role in the future than previously <br />thought. Cellulosic ethanol can be made from <br />plant matter composed primarily of inedible <br />cellulose fibers that form the stems and branches <br />of most plants. <br />Crop residues (such as corn stalks, wheat straw <br />and rice straw), wood waste, and municipal solid <br />waste are potential sources of cellulosic biomass. <br />Dedicated energy crops, such as switchgrass, are <br />also promising cellulose sources that can be <br />sustainably produced in many regions of the <br />United States.[94]<br />The ethanol and biodiesel production industries also <br />create jobs in plant construction, operations, and maintenance, <br />mostly in rural communities. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, the ethanol industry created almost 154,000 U.S. jobs in 2005 alone, boosting household income by $5.7 billion. It also contributed about $3.5 billion in tax revenues at the local, state, and federal levels.[50]<br />There are still many hurdles to the profitable production of ethanol from cellulose on a large scale.  Among them:  convincing farmers it is profitable to collect biomass, finding the technology to cheaply digest cellulose into glucose, and making it logistically feasible to provide the vast quantities of material necessary, and it needs to be on a very large scale.  <br />The US government has mandated that 30% of the nation’s petroleum needs be produced from renewable resources by 2030. <br />
    23. 23. Though the science for making ethanol from biomass is far from mature, it has come along enough to be economically viable with current subsidies.  Paying about $35 per ton will make it worthwhile for farmers and others to provide the needed materials while keeping the raw substrate cheap enough to be practical.  Transporting and storing the cellulosic materials necessary may prove more of a challenge.  The material needed to supply a 100 million gallon per year ethanol plant would require 167 semi-trucks per day and would cover a 100 acre field 25 feet deep.  Since current ideas suggest that most of the biomass would come from stover, switch grass, or other like materials, this mass would need to be collected, transported, and stored in a relatively short amount of time. Or the biomass portion could come from smaller plants either co-located with a corn ethanol plant or strategically located near the source of the material.  And the material itself may need to be thought of beyond stover and switch grass.  In fact, some of these ideas are currently being implemented, often with the help of large, well-established energy companies, which may be key to pulling it all together.<br />Broin is adding a cellulose digestion component to its existing plant in Emmetsburg, IA, which will increase output capacity by 30 million gallons per yer (Mgy).  Bluefire is ready to break ground near Lancaster, CA, to build a plant to produce 16.6 Mgy from landfill waste, with future plans to build near many landfills and garbage collection sites.  AE Biofuels is building a plant to demonstrate a new ambient temperature cellulose starch hydrolysis enzyme technology.  GM is partnering with Coskata, and hopes to produce cellulosic ethanol from waste materials for less than $1 per gallon.  Chevron and Weyerhaeuser are partnering to produce ethanol from switch grass grown on managed timber lands as well as waste wood and paper.With maturation of technology and development of new ways of bringing the materials to the plant and the product to market, ethanol made from biomass can be feasible and should be able to augment the current ethanol from glucose paradigm, if not replace it entirely. <br />
    24. 24. Plants use photosynthesis to grow and produce biomass. Also known as biomatter, biomass can be used directly as fuel or to produce biofuels. Agriculturally produced biomass fuels, such as biodiesel, ethanol, and bagasse can be burned in internal combustion engines or boilers. biofuel is burned to release its stored chemical energy. Research into more efficient methods of converting biofuels and other fuels into electricity utilizing fuel cells is an area of very active work.<br />Biogas can easily be produced from current waste streams, such as paper production, sugar production, sewage, animal waste and so forth. These various waste streams have to be slurried together and allowed to naturally ferment, producing methane gas. This can be done by converting current sewage plants into biogas plants. When a biogas plant has extracted all the methane it can, the remains are sometimes more suitable as fertilizer than the original biomass.<br />Alternatively biogas can be produced via advanced waste processing systems such as mechanical biological treatment. These systems recover the recyclable elements of household waste and process the biodegradable fraction in anaerobic digesters.<br />Renewable natural gas is a biogas which has been upgraded to a quality similar to natural gas. By upgrading the quality to that of natural gas, it becomes possible to distribute the gas to the mass market via the existing gas grid.<br />Biofuels: Scientists are turning agricultural leftovers, wood and fast growing grasses into a huge variety of biofuels-even jet fuels. Biofuels can be made from anything that is, or ever was, a plant. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy, the U.S. can produce at least 1.3 billion dry tons of cellulosic biomass every year without decreasing the amount of biomass available for our food, animal feed, or exports. This much biomass could produce more than 100 billion gallons of fuel a year-about half the current annual consumption of gasoline and diesel in the U.S. Cellulosic biomass can also be converted to any type of fuel; ethanol, ordinary gasoline, diesel or jet fuel.<br />
    25. 25. There is also the potential to generate <br />geothermal energy from hot dry rocks. <br />Holes at least 3 km deep are drilled into <br />the earth. Some of these holes pump <br />water into the earth, while other holes <br />pump hot water out. The heat resource <br />consists of hot underground radiogenic <br />granite rocks, which heat up when there <br />is enough sediment between the rock <br />and the earths surface. Several <br />companies in Australia are exploring <br />this technology <br />Geothermal power is cost effective, <br />reliable, and environmentally friendly, <br />but it has previously been limited to <br />geographic areas near tectonic plate <br />boundaries. New technologies, such as that employed in the Raser low-temperature binary geothermal plant, promise to expand the opportunities for geothermal plants. <br />Now Scientists at the Department of Energy&apos;s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have devised a method for capturing significantly more heat from low-temperature geothermal resources to further boost the possibility of virtually pollution-free electricity. PNNL&apos;s conversion system will take advantage of the rapid expansion and contraction capabilities of a new liquid, developed by PNNL researchers, called biphasic fluid. When exposed to heat brought to the surface from water circulating in moderately hot, underground rock, the thermal-cycling of the biphasic fluid will power a turbine to generate electricity.<br />
    26. 26. In general, this process involves first deconstructing the solid biomass into smaller molecules, then refining these products into fuels. Engineers generally classify deconstruction methods by temperature. The low-temperature method (50 to 200 degrees Celsius) produces sugars that can be fermented into ethanol and other fuels in much the same way that corn or sugar crops are now processed. Deconstruction at higher temperatures (300 to 600 degrees C) produces a biocrude, or bio-oil, that can be refined into gasoline or diesel. Extremely high temperature deconstruction (above 700 degrees C) produces gas that can be converted into liquid fuel.<br />Termites are model biofuels factories. Microbes living inside the gut of a termite break cellulose down into sugars. Biological engineers are attempting to replicate the process on an industrial scale.<br />Turning Cellulose directly into fuel: Cellulose consists of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms, and gasoline is made of carbon and hydrogen. Thus, turning cellulose into biofuels is a matter of removing the oxygen from the cellulose to make high-energy-density molecules that contain only carbon and hydrogen.<br />Breaking Down Cellulose with Ammonia: There are many possible ways to pretreat plant fibers to get at the cellulose-acids. Heat and the commonly mentioned ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) process offers a unique combination of low energy requirements, low cost and high efficiency. One of the most promising approaches involves subjecting the biomass to extremes of pH and temperature. This strategy uses ammonia, a strong base. In this ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) process, cellulosic biomass is cooked at 100 degrees C with concentrated ammonia under pressure. When the pressure is released, the ammonia evaporates and is recycled. Subsequently, enzymes convert 90 percent or more of the treated cellulose and hemicelluloses to sugars. The yield is so high in part because the approach minimizes the sugar degradation that often occurs in acidic or high temperature environments. The AFEX process is “dry to dry”. Biomass starts as a mostly dry solid and is left dry after treatment, undiluted with water. It thus can provide large amounts of highly concentrated, high-proof ethanol. AFEX also has the potential to be very inexpensive, assuming that biomass can be delivered at the plant for around $50 a ton. AFEX pretreatment, combined with an advanced fermentation process called Consolidated Bioprocessing, can produce cellulosic ethanol for approximately $1 per gallon of equivalent gasoline energy content, probably selling for less than $2 at the pump<br />
    27. 27. One area of alternative fuels that has gained a lot of interest over the last year or two is algae biodiesel. This is because it will probably produce 10-30 times what the best oil producing crops in America will produce. <br />Algae are the fastest-growing plants in the world. Like other plants, they use photosynthesis to harness sunlight and carbon dioxide, creating high-value compounds in the process. Energy is stored inside the cell as lipids and carbohydrates, and can be converted into fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol. Proteins produced by algae make them valuable ingredients for animal feed.<br /> <br />GreenFuel uses a portfolio of technologies to profitably recycle CO2 from smokestack, fermentation, and geothermal gases via naturally occurring species of algae. Algae can be converted to transportation fuels and feed ingredients or recycled back to a combustion source as biomass for power generation. Industrial facilities need no internal modifications to host a GreenFuel algae farm. In addition, the system does not require fertile land or potable water. <br />
    28. 28. Biomass is organic material made from plants and animals. Biomass contains stored energy from the sun. Plants absorb the sun&apos;s energy in a process called photosynthesis. The chemical energy in plants gets passed on to animals and people that eat them. Biomass is a renewable energy source because we can always grow more trees and crops, and waste will always exist. Some examples of biomass fuels are wood, crops, manure, and some garbage.<br />When burned, the chemical energy in biomass is released as heat. If you have a fireplace, the wood you burn in it is a biomass fuel. Wood waste or garbage can be burned to produce steam for making electricity, or to provide heat to industries and homes. <br />Burning biomass is not the only way to release its energy. Biomass can be converted to other usable forms of energy like methane gas or transportation fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. Methane gas is the main ingredient of natural gas. Smelly stuff, like rotting garbage, and agricultural and human waste, release methane gas - also called &quot;landfill gas&quot; or &quot;biogas.&quot; Crops like corn and sugar cane can be fermented to produce the transportation fuel, ethanol. Biodiesel, another transportation fuel, can be produced from left-over food products like vegetable oils and animal fats. <br />Biomass fuels provide about 3 percent of the energy used in the United States. People in the USA are trying to develop ways to burn more biomass and less fossil fuels. Using biomass for energy can cut back on waste and support agricultural products grown in the United States. Biomass fuels also have a number of environmental benefits. <br />Biomass Program:<br />Developing new technologies to release the energy stored in plants is one of the targets for the Biomass Program of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Two areas currently in development are known as the sugar platform and the thermochemical platform.<br />
    29. 29. Sugar Platform.<br />Current technology converts plant sugars and starches to ethanol. Easy to extract sugars and starches are typically found in plant seeds. The EERE sugar platform focuses on the bulk of plant material—cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Using cellulose and hemicellulose to make ethanol requires breaking them down into their component sugars. Once in sugar form, the cellulose and hemicellulose can be used by a biorefinery to make ethanol or other chemicals that are building blocks for industrial uses. Lignin can be used as a fuel for generators or converted into chemicals. Breaking down bulky plant material can be done in a variety of ways. <br />Current industry practice involves using either concentrated or dilute acid solutions to break down the cellulose and hemicellulose into sugars. Since both of these practices have been researched and in use for some time, EERE believes they have reached much of their sugar extracting potential. Thus the focus of the Biomass Program is on enzymatic hydrolysis. Enzymatic hydrolysis starts with mechanical milling, or physically breaking down the plant material. <br />Next, a pretreatment of a dilute acid occurs. This step breaks down the hemicellulose and starts to deteriorate some of the lignin surrounding the more resistant cellulose. EERE Biomass Program researchers are currently determining the best pretreatment process. <br />Cellulase, an enzyme that breaks down cellulose into sugars, is then introduced into the solution. The resulting batch of sugars can be fermented into ethanol or processed into other products. <br />The EERE Biomass Program is also researching a process that involves the simultaneous enzymatic breakdown of cellulose and fermentation of sugars into ethanol by microbes. <br />The goal of the new technology is to enable biorefineries to produce valuable chemicals and products that will alleviate the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and reduce net greenhouse gas emissions with plant materials not fully utilized with current technologies.<br />.<br />
    30. 30. Thermo Chemical Platform<br />While burning solid biomass has been a primary way of drawing energy out of plants since prehistoric times, it is a fairly inefficient process. The EERE Biomass Program is researching gasification and pyrolysis methods of converting solid biomass to either gaseous or liquid fuels to better tap into the stored energy. Gasification involves heating biomass with little to no oxygen present. This process does not allow the biomass to combust. Instead, it gasifies into a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen known as synthesis gas or syngas. As gaseous fuels mix more readily with oxygen than solid fuels, syngas burns more efficiently and cleanly than solid biomass. Additionally, syngas can be burned in more efficient gas turbines to make electricity or mixed with chemical catalysts to make liquid fuels. Pyrolysis, causing something to change due to heat, is another way to change solid biomass into a more efficient form, in this case a liquid. Similar to gasification, pyrolysis involves heating solid biomass in a limited oxygen environment. Biomass liquids can be used directly as fuel for power generation, converted to transportation fuels, or used to produce high-value chemicals and materials. Current research looks at reducing the energy and financial costs associated with pyrolytically produced biofuels.<br />Most dedicated biomass fueled power generators use direct-combustion boilers coupled with steam turbines. These generators typically possess a biomass combustion chamber with equipment to evenly distribute biomass fuel over a grate which separates the ash from the burning biomass. The generated heat creates steam in an adjoining high-pressure water tube boiler which feeds process steam through a multistage steam turbine.<br />Another biomass generator is a simple cycle gas turbine. This generator uses a primary chamber devoid of air to gasify the biomass, which then passes into a secondary combustion chamber where the gas is used to produce heat. These plants tend to be inefficient, small, and expensive compared to traditional power generation from coal and natural gas. However, a more efficient and less expensive form of biomass power is known as a combined-cycle biomass gasification system. Biomass is converted to a gas, in an atmosphere of steam or air, and produces a medium to low-energy content gas. This biogas powers the combined-cycle power generation plant similar to the simple cycle. These plants unfortunately have not yet reached America, but with further study could be a reliable form of biomass power generation. <br />
    31. 31. Advantages of BEKON dry fermentation processing:Significant amounts of energy are contained in biomass generated by the farming industry or in the form of bio-waste or refuse from forest management and landscaping. BEKON dry fermentation processing utilizes this energy to produce biogas. Organic materials that can be stacked and vibrated are used by BEKON technology to generate energy, and up to 50 percent of the biomass can be dry substance. Thus, exploitation of renewable energy sources that remained essentially unused in the past is now possible. This is because solid material can be mixed into the biomass, whereas traditional wet fermentation processing makes only minimum use of solids. Biogas is then transformed in block-type thermal power stations into electrical energy and heat. After cleaning, biogas can also be used as an alternative to natural gas. Moreover, a valuable compost by-product that originates from biomass processing is used as fertilizer in the agricultural and horticultural industries.<br />BEKON Dry Fermentation<br />
    32. 32. A Biodigester, also known as an anaerobic digester, biogas plant, or AD plant.<br />A biodigester is a tank that processes the organic material that produces biogas. A biodigester can come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the needs of the people using it. <br />A dual-chamber Biodigester system incorporates two chambers: one is in the anaerobic (without air) state where the bacteria produce gas, while the second chamber is in loading mode.<br />The three by-products from the digester plant will be: <br />CH4 (Methane gas) to be used in heating equipment, cooking equipment, and to run your back-up generator <br />Recyclable water for general use (not suitable for drinking) <br />High grade fertilizer that will be free of almost all heavy metals. The fertilizer can be drawn off as either a dry powder or as liquid slurry<br />Methane is a greenhouse gas many times more powerful than Carbon Dioxide. By using this methane as energy you are, in effect, removing one of the most harmful greenhouse gases from the environment and converting it into energy and less polluting gases.<br />
    33. 33. Alternative Energy News - Back issues of Network 6000&apos;s alternative energy newslettersOTEC - Ocean Thermal Energy ConversionTesla Death Ray - Has Tesla&apos;s death ray gun finally come to life?Tesla Turbine - Information about teh Tesla Turbine - Tesla&apos;s greatest invention?Jatropha - All about the jatropha plant - a great source for oil in making biodiesel.D1 Oils - a biodiesel producer with a portable biodiesel processor.Biodiesel News - Two more oil producing trees - the African Oil Palm and the Paradise TreeEdward Leedskalnin - Edward Leedskalnin&apos;s Coral Castle secret revealed!Peak Oil - Peak Oil, Hurricanes, and the Price of Gas.Peak Oil Update - More information on the Peak Oil crisis.Magic with Magnetism - Professor FelexEhrenhaft and how his magnetic electrolysis experiment.Atmospheric Engine - The Power of a Vacuum, Atmospheric Pressure, Atmospheric Engines, and the Newcomen Engine.Composting for Heat - How Jean Pain extracts heat and methane from a simple compost heap.E85 Ethanol - Why E85 ethanol may or may not be in your future and FFV - Flex Fuel Vehicles.Cornish Generator - a unique way to generate hydrogen using aluminum wire and smaller amounts of electricity.Solar Water Heating & Cooking - A simple, easy, low cost way to heat your water or cook your dinner with the sun.Enviromax Plus - Add this simple liquid to your gas tank and save up to 35% on your gas or diesel.Magnetricity - A comparison of the Ed Leedskalnin and Howard Johnson magnetic theories.Hydrogen on Demand - HOD... can you run an engine totally on Hydrogen created as you need it?Sustainable Living Information - Over 800 FREE publications on green energy and sustainable living.Glycerin Soap Recipes - Solar Water Purification - simple low tech &quot;Sodis&quot; technology could save your life.Green Energy - example on a highly efficient dairy farm.Credit Bubble - All about the coming credit bubble and consequences.Water Powered Cars - Can you run your car on 100% water using electrolysis? (not hydro boost scams<br />