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VATIS Update New and Renewable Energy . Jan-Mar 2015

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New and Renewable Energy Jan-Mar 2015

ISSN: 0971-5630

VATIS Update New and Renewable Energy (formerly Non Conventional Energy)* is published 4 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of New and Renewable Energy. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

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* This update has been renamed as 'VATIS Update: New and Renewable Energy' from Jan-Mar 2015 onwards.

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Contents

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IN THE NEWS

India aims to double its renewable energy share

According to Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal, the government of India is eyeing investments of up to USD 200 billion, and aiming for more than double the share of renewable sources to over 15 percent in the country’s overall energy basket in about a decade. At present, renewable energy has a 6 per cent share. “What we inherited is a mere six per cent share of renewable energy in the India energy basket...and we are looking to expand the frontiers of renewable energy in the energy basket of India to over 15 percent in the next 10 or 12 years,” said Goyal at the Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo (RE-Invest) held on 15-17 February in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visualised that “we should have a five-fold increase in the country’s mission for renewable energy...That will take India into the sphere of being one of the largest renewable energy countries in the world,” added Goyal. The government had earlier said that it aims to have 1,00,000 MW of installed solar power capacity by 2022 from the present around 3,000 MW. Goyal had said the government is also looking at rooftop solar model. “We are not only looking at large plants so 40,000 MW we are planning to do through rooftop solar.”
Source: http://www.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Philippines to establish renewable energy trust fund

The National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), Philippines, an agency under the Energy Department, has announced that it will establish a trust fund this year to support more clean energy projects. NREB chairman Pete Maniego said, the renewable energy trust fund was among the priorities that the board would pursue this to fully realize the benefits of Republic Act No. 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. “NREB will review and update the national renewable energy program and ensure that the renewable energy trust fund will finally be established and implemented this year,” Maniego said.

The law calls for the creation of the renewable energy trust fund to enhance the development and greater utilization of renewable energy. It shall be administered by the department as a special account in any of the government financial institutions that shall be exclusively used to finance the research, development, demonstration and promotion of the widespread and productive use of RE systems for power and non-power applications. The fund shall also support the development and operation of new RE resources to improve their competitiveness in the market. The law provides that the fund shall be sourced from proceeds from the emission fees collected from all generating facilities consistent with Republic Act No. 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act.
Source: http://www.eco-business.com

China’s renewable energy use ranks top in the world

At the fifth session of the International Renewable Energy Agency Assembly held in Abu Dhabi, Shi Lishan, deputy director general of the New and Renewable Energy Department of the National Energy Administration announced that China’s renewable energy generation capacity reached 430 million kilowatts by the end of 2014, accounting for 32 percent of the country’s total power capacity. According to Shi, China’s renewable power generation was 1.2 trillion kilowatt-hours in 2014, accounting for 22 percent of the country’s total power consumption in the last year.

China became a member of IRENA in January 2013, a milestone in international efforts to double the share of renewable energy worldwide by 2030. Shi said China will strengthen communication on projects and technology in renewable energy industries with other member countries and regions. “China will also make efforts to support underdeveloped countries’ renewable energy development,” Shi said. China’s renewable power generation costs including that of solar and wind energy have significantly reduced, which will help the country to improve its energy structure in the long run.
Source: http://www.usa.chinadaily.com.cn

China increased its wind power capacity

According to the National Energy Administration, China, the country’s installed capacity for grid-connected wind power rose nearly 26 percent to 96.37 gigawatts (GW) in 2014, accounting for 7 percent of the country’s total. The nation is on track to meet a wind capacity target of 100 GW set in its 2011-2015 “five-year plan” for the energy sector after a rapid construction programme and a concerted effort to make sure new projects are connected to the grid.

The administration said in a statement that newly added wind capacity in 2014 hit a record 19.81 GW. A total of 77 GW is now under construction. Total wind power generation has reached 153.4 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2014, 2.78 percent of the total. The administration said last month that China’s total power capacity reached 1,360 GW by the end of last year, up 8.7 percent on the previous year. Total generation stood at 5.523 trillion kWh, up 3.8 percent.
Source: http://www.in.reuters.com

ADB loans for Thailand’s wind project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided $85m in funding to Chaiyaphum Wind Farm Company, Thailand, to back an 81MW wind project in Thailand. A local currency loan of $55m and $30m from ABD’s Clean Technology Fund will help develop the site in Chaiyaphum Province, expected to go live in December 2016. The project will be built as a public-private partnership (PPP) under Thailand’s small power producer program with Chaiyaphum entering into a power purchase agreement with the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

“Wind energy provides a clean and sustainable source of electricity which will help diversify the country’s energy mix, strengthen energy security and reduce Thailand’s reliance on fossil fuels. The project will also help accelerate and expand private investment in clean energy infrastructure,” said Christopher Thieme, private sector operations director at ADB. The Thai government is targeting the development of 1800MW of wind capacity by 2021 but it will need significant investment support from the private sector to achieve the goal and only 223MW has been installed to date.
Source: http://www.renews.biz

Malaysia aims to raise renewables contribution

According to an official by Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysia will seek to raise the contribution of renewable energy sources to its power generation to 11% by 2020 from the current 2%. “The Southeast Asian nation was supposed to hit 5% of renewables share during its Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP) ending this year, but the delayed feed-in tariff (FiT) policy has prevented the country from adding more capacity. That is why Malaysia will try to compensate during its 11th plan for 2016-2020,” said Datuk Phang Ah Tong, at MIDA.

At present, Malaysia’s renewable power capacity is between 2,000 MW and 2,500 MW. It plans to install 1,250 MW of solar parks, 1,250 MW of biomass plants and just as much of biogas facilities in 2015, Phang added. The government has a target of reducing by 40% the carbon emission intensity by 2020.
Source: http://www.renewables.seenews.com

Indonesia to invest more in renewable energy

The government of Indonesia is moving forward with plans to invest more than Rp 700 billion (US$55 million) through the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry for the development of new renewable energy generation in remote areas. The project tenders were called for the construction of 86 solar plants in 17 provinces, alongside hydropower and wind power plants. An initial tender for contractors was held between February and March, with initial plants targeted to be operational by the end of the year. The election of President Joko Widodo last July has been accompanied with hope for the country’s nascent solar industry.

According to a research, a third of the country does not have access to electricity, with around half of the population resorting to traditional biomass use for cooking. While the 86-array project is a positive sign, Indonesian energy observers say that government programs alone won’t see solar bloom across the fast growing Southeast Asian nation. “Investment only from the Indonesian government is not sufficient to grow solar within the country. The key to growth, is to cut through red tape and require the power companies to interconnect. Feed in tariffs would be nice, but not necessary,” said Barry Greene from data firm Niometrics.
Source: http://www.pv-magazine.com

New wind resource atlas in Philippines

The Department of Energy (DoE), Philippines, together with the Climate Change Commission, United States Agency for International Development Philippines and the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released the 2014 Wind Resource Atlas for Assessment and Geospatial Analysis for the Philippines. This will enable potential investors in wind energy to better assess the country’s wind power potential. “The data sets in the wind atlas will be publicly available therefore providing higher confidence to investors and ready reference to policy makers in formulating incentives and other guiding measures on renewable energy (RE),” said Zenaida Monsada, Energy Undersecretary.

The document included up-to-date resource modeling techniques as well as the turbine technologies over the past decade. This, supports the overall Philippine goal to promote wind development by providing wind resource information and tools that attracts prospective RE developers and investors in the country and abroad. The DOE said last year, the USAID through the Building Low Emissions Alternatives to Develop Economic Resilience and Sustainability Project (B-LEADERS), conducted a hands-on workshop with the department on the new wind resource atlas. In January, the DOE has already endorsed 14 RE projects as eligible for the feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentive.
Source: http://www.philstar.com

Solar radiation and potential maps of Viet Nam

According to the Spanish Embassy in Vietnam, the Solar Radiation and Solar Potential Maps of Vietnam were introduced to the public on January 21 by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The maps have been developed in the framework of a project titled “Impulse the growth of the renewable energies industrial sector, in particular solar energy, in Vietnam”, financed by the Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Spain.

They were made by a Spanish consortium, including the Institute for Energy Saving and Diversification (IDEA), Spanish National Centre for Renewable Energies (CENER) and Research Centre on Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT). These maps offer accurate information about Vietnam’s solar energy potential, useful for the decision-making process for the development of related policies and investments. The mapping of solar radiation and potential is part of the country’s efforts to define renewable energy resources, including wind and hydropower, with the support of the World Bank.
Source: http://www.english.vietnamnet.vn

Viet Nam adds from wind energy

Viet Nam has a significant potential for wind energy with an average wind speed of more than 6m/s, surpassing that of all neighboring Southeast Asian countries. With more than 3,000 km coastline and plenty of islands, the total potential of wind energy in Viet Nam is estimated to be as high as 713,000MW – 510,000 MW on land and 203,000 MW in islands. In comparison, this is 200 times more than the production volume of the largest hydropower plant, Son La (Vietnam), in Southeast Asia and 10 times larger than the projected total capacity of the electricity industry in 2020.

Since the electricity demand in Viet Nam is forecasted to increase by up to 14.2 pct. annually for the 2011-2015 period and 11.4 pct. for the 2016-2020 period , and the electricity demand is expected to increase 7 times to 800 billion Kwh in 2030, Viet Nam will then have to invest in energy sources to meet this big demand. Such investment is vital given Viet Nam’s expected dependence on imported coal, one of their primary resources for electricity production, by 2015. Additionally, hydroelectric energy is quite abundant in Viet Nam but poses certain underlying risks. Therefore, Viet Nam will have no choice for power development other than renewable energy in general and wind energy in particular.

The important role of renewable energy in general and wind energy in particular is recognized by Vietnamese government and reflected in the Master plan VII about energy development in Viet Nam. The renewable energy is increasingly accounting for power sources (4.5% in 2020 and 6.0% in 2030 of the total power supply). The Master plan VII sets the renewable energy target rate at 5.6 pct. of total primary energy consumption by 2020 and 9.4 pct. by 2030. The Government’s target is to increase the wind power to 1,000 MW (0.7% of electricity production) by 2020 and 6,200 MW (2.4%) by 2030.

Moreover, as the energy prices in Viet Nam are not very high, there are many incentives and preferential treatment offered by the Vietnamese Government to the wind power industry. Decision 37 offers the following incentives and preferential treatment in terms of funding, tax and fee to wind energy project as follows:

Funding: The investor can raise funds in different forms permitted by relevant laws from individuals and organizations in and out of the country and may have access to State credit for investment pursuant to the laws.

Tariff: The investor is exempted from tariff on goods imported to create fixed assets and goods used as raw materials, input or semi-finished products that are not available at home for the project’s operation in line with the Law on Import and Export Duties , Law on Tax Mangagement and other relevant regulations on export and import duties.

Corporate income tax: Wind power projects enjoy the same preferential treatment in investment in terms of exemption and reduction of corporate income tax as for other projects in line with the Law on Investment, Law on Corporate Income Tax and other documents guiding the enforcement of these laws. Perferential corporate income tax rate of 10% applies to newly-established enterprises for 15 years.
Source: http://customstoday.com.pk

SOLAR ENERGY

Novel nanobowl optical concentrator

Geometrical light trapping is a simple and promising strategy to largely improve the optical absorption and efficiency of solar cells. Nonetheless, implementation of geometrical light trapping in organic photovoltaic (OPV) is challenging due to the fact that uniform organic active layer can rarely be achieved on textured substrate. However, a team of researchers led by Professor Zhiyong Fan and his group from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), China, have reported novel nanobowl optical concentrator fabricated on low-cost aluminum foil and aiming at tackling this problem.

They have successfully fabricated organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices based on such optical concentrator and demonstrated over 28% enhancement in power conversion efficiency over the devices without nanobowl. The novel nanobowl optical concentrator developed by the researchers can largely enhance the optical absorption in the active layer of organic solar cell and optical simulation revealed that such improvement was contributed by the superior photon capturing capability of the nanobowl. In addition, they investigated the effect of geometry of nanobowl on the solar cell performance and three types of nanobowl with pitch of 1000 nm, 1200 nm and 1500 nm.

Solar cells based on nanobowl with pitch of 1000 nm exhibited the best photon absorption in photoactive layer leading to the highest short-circuit current density of ∼9.41 mA/cm2. With open-circuit voltage of 0.573 V and fill factor of 57.9%, this nanobowl solar cell achieved a solar energy conversion efficiency of 3.12%, which is 28% improvement over the control device without nanobowl. This work not only revealed the in-depth understanding of light trapping by nanobowl optical concentrator, but also demonstrated the feasibility of implementing geometrical light trapping in low-cost, solution processible OPV. This work has been published in the journal Science.
Source: http://www.eurekalert.org

New technique for organic solar cell materials

A research team led by North Carolina State University (NC State), the Unites States, has developed a new technique for determining the role that a material’s structure has on the efficiency of organic solar cells, which are candidates for low-cost, next generation solar power. The researchers have used the technique to determine that materials with a highly organized structure at the nanoscale are not more efficient at creating free electrons than poorly organized structures, a finding which will help guide future research and development efforts. “There have been a lot of studies looking at the efficiency of organic solar cells, but the energy conversion process involves multiple steps and it’s difficult to isolate the efficiency of each step,” said Dr. Brendan O’Connor at NC State.

Broadly speaking, organic solar cells convert light into electric current in four steps. First, the cell absorbs sunlight, which excites electrons in the active layer of the cell. Each excited electron leaves behind a hole in the active layer. The electron and hole is collectively called an exciton. In the second step, called diffusion, the exciton hops around until it encounters an interface with another organic material in the active layer. When the exciton meets this interface, you get step three: dissociation. During dissociation, the exciton breaks apart, freeing the electron and respective hole. In step four, called charge collection, the free electron makes its way through the active layer to a point where it can be harvested.

The researchers created highly organized nanostructures within a portion of the active layer of an organic solar cell. They left the remaining regions of the cell disorganized, meaning the molecules ran in a bunch of different directions. This design allowed the researchers to make the organized areas of the cell effectively invisible by controlling the polarity of light aimed at the active layer. In other words, the researchers could test just the organized section or just the disorganized section, even though they were on the same active layer of the same solar cell. Because the charge collection would be the same for both regions (since they were on the same active layer), the technique allowed the researchers to measure the degree to which structural organization affected the material’s dissociation efficiency.
Source: http://www.nanowerk.com

Solar cell polymers with multiplied electrical output

A team from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and Columbia University, has paired up polymers that recover some of that lost energy by producing two electrical charge carriers per unit of light instead of the usual one. “Critically, we show how this multiplication process can be made efficient on a single molecular polymer chain,” said lead researcher Matthew Sfeir. Having the two charges on the same molecule means the light-absorbing, energy-producing materials don’t have to be arrayed as perfect crystals to produce extra electrical charges. Instead, the self-contained materials work efficiently when dissolved in liquids, which opens the way for a wide range of industrial scale manufacturing processes, including “printing” solar-energy-producing material like ink.

The concept of producing two charges from one unit of light is called “singlet fission.” Devices based on this multiplication concept have the potential to break through the upper limit on the efficiency of so-called single junction solar cells, which is currently around 34 percent. The challenges go beyond doubling the electrical output of the solar cell materials, because these materials must be incorporated into actual current-producing devices. But the hope is that the more-efficient current-generating materials could be added on to existing solar cell materials and device structures, or spark new types of solar cell designs.

Most singlet fission materials explored so far result in twin charge carriers being produced on separate molecules.

These only work well when the material is in a crystalline film with long-range order, where strong coupling results in an additional charge being produced on a neighboring molecule. Producing such high quality crystalline films and integrating them with solar cell manufacturing complicates the process.

Producing the twin charges on a single polymer molecule, in contrast, results in a material that’s compatible with a much wider variety of industrial processes. The materials were designed and synthesized by Columbia University team, and analyzed at Brookhaven using specialized tools. For researchers, the most fascinating part of the interdisciplinary project was exploring the electronic and chemical requirements that enable this multiplication process to occur efficiently.
Source: http://www.phys.org

High efficiency concentrating solar cells

An international team of researchers from University of Illinois, the United States, Pennsylvania State University (PSU), the United States, LUXeXcel Group B.V., the Netherlands, have developed a new microscale solar concentration technology, through which ultra-high efficiency solar cells, can now be placed on the rooftop. “Concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems leverage the cost of high efficiency multi-junction solar cells by using inexpensive optics to concentrate sunlight onto them. Current CPV systems are the size of billboards and have to be pointed very accurately to track the sun throughout the day. But, you can’t put a system like this on your roof, which is where the majority of solar panels throughout the world are installed,” said Noel C. Giebink, at PSU.

To enable CPV on rooftops, the researchers combined miniaturized, gallium arsenide photovoltaic cells, 3D-printed plastic lens arrays and a moveable focusing mechanism to reduce the size, weight and cost of the CPV system and create something similar to a traditional solar panel that can be placed on the south-facing side of a building’s roof. To focus sunlight on the array of cells, the researchers embedded them between a pair of 3D-printed plastic lenslet arrays. Each lenslet in the top array acts like a small magnifying glass and is matched to a lenslet in the bottom array that functions like a concave mirror.

With each tiny solar cell located in the focus of this duo, sunlight is intensified more than 200 times. Because the focal point moves with the sun over the course of a day, the middle solar cell sheet tracks by sliding laterally in between the lenslet array. Previous attempts at such translation-based tracking have only worked for about two hours a day because the focal point moves out of the plane of the solar cells, leading to loss of light and a drop in efficiency. By sandwiching the cells between the lenslet arrays, the researchers solved this problem and enabled efficient solar focusing for a full eight hour day with only about 1 centimeter of total movement needed for tracking. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded this research.
Source: http://www.news.psu.edu

WIND ENERGY

New wind turbine generates power silently

Wind turbines used for power generation work best when they’re large and mounted up high where wind speed is higher. This is not an aesthetically appealing proposition, but it’s the only way wind power makes sense on the large scale right now. However, NewWind, France, is trying to change that with a contraption called the ‘Wind Tree’. The Wind Tree being developed by NewWind has 72 artificial leaves. Each one is a vertical axis turbine, vaguely conical in shape. Because each one has little mass, they can generate power with a gentle breeze as slow as 2 meters per second (4.4 mph).

This could make the Wind Tree useful for generating power, on average, 280 days of the year. Total power output across all 72 turbines is estimated at 3.1 kW. Larger traditional turbines can produce considerably more power, but they need more wind to get going and thus operate fewer days of the year. At 11 m (36 ft) tall and 8 m (26 ft) in diameter, the Wind Tree is about the size and shape of a real tree, and images of the prototype actually do look rather nice. It could probably pass for a decorative sculpture in an urban setting. It’s made entirely of steel, and it is completely silent during operation.

All the cables and generators are sealed inside the steel structure. It can be plugged into the public grid, or used to supplement the power of a particular building or complex. Each Wind Tree is expected to cost €29,500 (US$36,500), but could pay for itself in a few years. The real advantage here is that cities could install “groves” of Wind Trees at ground level to harvest power. The neat design could help avoid the public opposition that wind farms sometimes cause.
Source: http://www.geek.com

Pilot project on wind power system in USA

SheerWind, the United States, has announced that it has been selected to construct a pilot project at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station located in Apollo Beach, Florida. SheerWind will build a 200-kilowatt INVELOX wind power generation unit. The INVELOX system uses a funnel shape to take advantage of wind turbine and rotor technology at the ground level, where they are cheaper to build and safer. The system can be built using multiple turbines in a row to increase the energy output of each unit.

INVELOX can be used when winds are as low as 2 mph or as high as 100 mph, and operating and maintaining the system costs about 50 percent less than traditional wind turbines. Bringing the wind-generation technology closer to the ground also reduces the likelihood of radio interference or harm to birds. Once Tampa Electric has been able to acquire enough data from the INVELOX system to determine if it is truly a cost-efficient means of producing clean energy, it has the option to purchase a utility-scale 1.8 megawatt INVELOX system.
Source: http://www.pennenergy.com

New improved wind turbine rotor

Medium-scale wind turbine manufacturer Norvento, Spain, has launched a new, extended 24-metre rotor for its nED100 turbine, capable of increasing the Annual Energy Production (AEP) of the 100kW machine by 8 percent on average. With a 20% Feed-in Tariff degression planned for April 2015, the new rotor – available at no additional cost to new buyers will help landowners considerably lessen the impact of this anticipated revenue loss and further bring down energy costs on site.

By lengthening each blade by one metre, Norvento has enlarged the overall rotor diameter to 24m, two metres longer than the existing 22m model, thereby increasing the swept area of the blades by more than 72m2. This swept area increase allows nED100 to harness significantly more energy and boost its efficiency in all wind speeds.
Source: http://www.cospp.com

World’s first digital hydraulic drive train

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), Japan, have begun onshore verification testing of a large-scale (MWT167H/7.0) digital hydraulically driven offshore wind turbine at the Hunterston Test Centre1 in the United Kingdom. The wind turbine was developed with support from Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and Innovate UK (TSB). Its operation at the Hunterston site is a world’s first for a large-scale wind turbine with a hydraulic drive train controlled by Digital Displacement2.

The test turbine at Hunterston is a 7MW unit featuring a Digital Displacement2 controlled hydraulic drive train in its power transmission system. This technology was developed jointly by MHI and Artemis Intelligent Power, Ltd., a venture firm acquired by MHI in 2010, this acquisition brought in the Artemis’s hydraulic Digital Displacement2 technology. Equipped with this system, the wind turbine converts wind energy by a combination of pumps and motors to produce a constant speed irrespective of the blade rotation speed, eliminating the need for a step-up gearbox, complex generator technology and power inverter.

Based on the results of the onshore verification testing at Hunterston, MHI plans to install a second and similar hydraulically driven wind turbine during 2015 on a floating platform within a wind farm verification research project being implemented offshore from Fukushima Prefecture. Subject to successful verification testing at Hunterston and Fukushima MHI intends to supply the new hydraulic drive train to MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S, a joint venture dedicated to offshore wind turbine market development with Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Denmark.
Source: http://www.yourrenewablenews.com

New lighting system runs on solar, wind energy

Researchers from Barcelona College of Industrial Engineering (EUETIB) of the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain, in collaboration with the company Eolgreen, Spain, have designed the first public lighting system that runs on solar and wind energy. The new system, developed after four years of research, is designed for inter-urban roads, motorways, urban parks and other public areas. It is unique and reduces the cost by 20 percent compared with conventional public lighting systems. The system has been developed by Ramon Bargallo, a researcher at EUETIB.

The prototype is 10 metres high and is fitted with a solar panel, a wind turbine and a battery. The turbine runs at a speed of 10 to 200 revolutions per minute (rpm) and has a maximum output of 400 watts (W). The researchers’ aim is to make the lighting system even more environmentally efficient, so work is being done on a second prototype generator that runs at a lower speed (10 to 60 rpm) and has a lower output (100 W).

An electronic control system manages the flow of energy between the solar panel, the wind turbine, the battery and the light. “It takes very little wind to produce energy. The generator that has been developed can start working at a wind speed of only 1.7 metres per second (m/s), whereas current wind turbines need more than 2.5 m/s. This low intensity can provide six nights of electricity without wind or sun,” said Bargallo.
Source: http://www.business-standard.com

WAVE/TIDAL ENERGY

Wave power device to cut cost of marine energy

Marine Power Systems, the United Kingdom, has developed a technology called WaveSub which it claims could significantly “reduce the costs associated with energy generation from waves.” The project has now entered its third phase which should see the company construct and test a quarter scale prototype of WaveSub in the latter part of this year. The device will be tested in the water at Milford Haven for between six and 12 months and the results will inform the development of a full-scale version, which the company hopes will be ready for testing in 2017. The full-scale version will be between 35 and 40 metres long and have an output of 1.5MW. Marine Power Systems hopes to deploy its first small farm of devices in the South Pembrokeshire wave demonstration zone in 2019.

WaveSub’s promised efficiency and low cost generation owes much to the company’s Sea State Tuning technology, which allows the device to adjust to different sea states and continue to produce electricity in a much wider range of wave heights and sea conditions than other devices. It is also not limited in regards to sea depth. In December 2014, the company announced that it had raised more than £1m from a combination of local investors and the Welsh Government, the latter in the form of a £359,000 SMART Cymru research and development grant. It is in discussions for further funding from money set aside for marine renewables in the latest round of EU Structural Funds. The South Pembrokeshire demonstration zone is one of three sea areas set aside for the testing of wave and tidal energy devices.

WaveSub is one of two innovative marine energy devices that will be tested in the waters off Pembrokeshire this year. DeltaStream, a tidal current turbine that has been several years in development, is due to be deployed in Ramsey Sound shortly. The 150-tonne demonstration device, which has been named Ysbryd y Mor or Spirit of the Sea, was ready to be installed last November but its deployment has been delayed by bad weather. Tidal Energy, the United Kingdom, which has developed the 400kw device, is waiting for the next combination of good weather and the right tidal conditions to allow it to deploy the device, which generates electricity from tidal currents while sitting on the seabed.
Source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk

The low current tidal generator

Marine energy technology company Minesto, Sweden, has announced that it has successfully managed to produce electricity from low velocity currents off Northern Ireland, the first in the marine energy era. The marine power plant ‘Deep Green’ has now been producing electricity for more than a year. Each kite is anchored to a point on the seabed or a fixed surface platform and it ‘sails’ a figure of eight course with the long straight legs taken obliquely into the stream to provide 10 times more flow through the turbine than the same tidal flow would put through a static conventional tubine. The outcome was a compact, efficient, tidal power plant able to sweep large areas, much more efficient than rotors on static structures. The design offered a decrease in electricity generating cost.

The deployment of the power plant in Autumn 2013 was a great challenge. The team took time out and gathered to develop a plan. This all resulted in a test set-up physically being turned upside down - with the power plant attached to a floating platform instead of to the seabed. The new set-up gave more control, and it was easier to access all subsystems. In addition to that, all mechanical and electrical components were thoroughly examined with great care. Just a few weeks after the successful first flight, the initial use of an automatic control system took place. Since then, the Deep Green power plant has achieved performance comparable to producing electricity at the same cost as offshore wind.

Furthermore, multiple improvements are targeted, without any significant design changes, with the power output expected to be doubled. An important milestone was reached the first time the power plant was automatically controlled and positioned in the middle of the water column during slack water and the turning of the tide. The quarter scale test platform has many times proven to be a cost efficient development environment. Now the kite is mostly operated from the seabed foundation, and the possibility to connect it to the floating platform is still used when deploying new upgraded sub-systems. The next step for Deep Green is the installation of the first commercial scale, 0.5MW power plant off the coast of Wales in 2017.
Source: http://www.maritimejournal.com

New instream tidal turbine hits water

Schottel Hydro, Germany, has launched its new instream tidal turbine, which has a “simple” design and targets utility and community-scale projects. The SIT comes with rotor diameters of five, four or three metres and features passive-adaptive composite blades, meaning there is no need for an active pitch mechanism. One device produces between 54kW and 70kW of rated power and its drive train is standardised with a two-stage planetary gearbox and induction generator.

According to Schottel Hydro, the ambient water ensures a steady operating temperature of the generator, meaning no additional cooling mechanism is needed. A multi-disc brake is available for very harsh environments or in case it is required by a regulator. The devices are scalable and 1MW of installed power requires around 20 SIT turbines. “The simple turbine layout results in a robust and lightweight device. In contrast to other instream energy converters with nacelle weights of 130 tonnes to more than 200 tonnes, a single SIT only weighs about 1 tonne,” said Niels Lange, Managing Director, Schottel Hydro.
Source: http://www.renews.biz

World’s first grid-connected wave energy array

Carnegie Wave Energy, Australia, has officially switched on the onshore power station for its Perth Wave Energy Project, thus launching the world’s first commercial-scale grid connected wave energy array and marking the first time in Australia that wave-generated electricity has been fed into the grid. The switching on of the plant, caps off nearly 10 years of work by Carnegie Wave, and extensive testing over 2014 after the successful installation of the Perth company’s CETO 5 wave energy generation units – two installed so far, one more to come – off Garden Island.

The project will sell power to the Australian Department of Defence to supply Australia’s largest naval base, HMAS Stirling, which is located on Garden Island. It will soon also sell fresh water to the base, once Carnegie’s newly commissioned desalination plant is fully integrated into the project. Carnegie’s unique, Australian-made CETO technology moves with the ocean’s waves to drive tethered seabed pumps and operates under water, providing protection from storms and corrosion. The submerged pumps feed high pressure water onshore to the hydroelectric power station and desalination plant, supplying renewable energy and fresh water.

“This is the first array of wave power generators to be connected to an electricity grid in Australia and worldwide,” said Ivor Frischknecht, CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Association (ARENA), which provided $13 million of the $32 million project. Frischknecht noted that Carnegie was already taking the next steps to move its technology towards competitiveness with other sources of power generation. Planning and design work has begun on Carnegie’s next generation CETO 6 technology, supported by $13 million ARENA funding. These larger units are aiming to deliver around four times the capacity of CETO 5 units, improving efficiency and reducing energy generation costs.
Source: http://www.reneweconomy.com.au

Cost effective wave energy farming

CorPower Ocean, Sweden, has cracked the challenge of scaling up wave energy, with the help of technology from researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. The new wave energy system, which uses a gearbox design that KTH researchers helped develop, generates five times more energy per ton of device, at one third of the cost when compared to competing state-of-the art technologies. Energy output is three to four times higher than traditional wave power systems.

Wave energy has been held back in part because of the cost of electricity generation. The amount of steel and concrete needed in order to produce each MWh has simply been too great to make it into a profitable business. Even still, the power of waves presents a problem with reliability; and because waves vary greatly in height and timing, it’s difficult to create a conversion system that functions across the full wave spectrum. Known in the wave energy industry as a point absorber type system, the CorPower converter consists of a buoy that absorbs energy from the waves, plus a drivetrain that converts the buoy’s motion into electricity.

The company’s system is based on Swedish cardiologist Stig Lundbäck’ patents, some of which are inspired by his research into heart pumping and control functions. The buoys are compact and lightweight and can be manufactured at a relatively low cost. A buoy with 8 meters in diameter can produce 250-300 kilowatts in a typical Atlantic Environment. A wave energy park with 100 buoys can generate 25 to 30 megawatts. A pilot installation of the technology (scale 1:2) will be exhibited in the Atlantic in November 2015 in cooperation with the multinational electric utility company Iberdrola.
Source: http://www.phys.org

FUEL CELLS

Researchers develop wastewater powered fuel cells

Researchers from SINTEF research institute, Norway, have developed fuel cells powered by wastewater digested by bacteria. Generating only a small amount of electricity, these biological fuel cells can be used to purify water polluted with industrial contaminants. “In simple terms, this type of fuel cell works because the bacteria consume the waste materials found in the water. As they eat, the bacteria produce electrons and protons. The voltage that arises between these particles generates energy that we can exploit” explained Luis Cesar Colmenares, at SINTEF.

The researchers would like to scale up the process in the future to produce enough electricity to fully power the water purification process. The researchers constructed a small demonstration unit in a lab which is running on dirty water from a local dairy in Tine, Norway. Although they are currently experimenting with wastewater rich in organic acids, but they believe that other chemical contaminants would provide similar results.
Source: http://www.eandt.theiet.org

New concept of fuel cell for efficiency and environment

The Center for Nanoparticle Research at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Republic of Korea, has succeeded in proposing a new method to enhance fuel cell efficiency with the simultaneous removal of toxic heavy metal ions. The direct methanol fuel cell (DFMC) has been a promising energy conversion device for electrical vehicles and portable devices. However, the inevitable carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is one of the main factors reducing its performance. Furthermore, the hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) also present, is a harmfully toxic, carcinogenic heavy metal in the aquatic environment.

The research team applied the Cr (VI) as a type of “CO scavenger” to the DMFC. Their new method not only uses the redox process to clean the platinum electrode surface by transforming CO into carbon dioxide (CO2), but also allows for the Cr (VI) to convert into Cr (III), which is a much less toxic oxidation state and even a micronutrient. As a result, the potential maintained a nearly constant value of up to 10 hours and the presence of Cr (VI) was completely absent. Moreover, it enhances the maximum power density by 20% at 70°C.

“Fuel cells have presented obstacles such as low performance and CO poisoning which have prevented them from becoming possible, next generation energy sources until now. This new hybrid fuel cell technology is expected to propel the deployment of direct methanol fuel cells,” said Professor Yung-Eun Sung, at the Seoul National University.
Source: http://www.phys.org

Fuel cell electrode technology developed

Technical Fibre Products Ltd., the United Kingdom, and Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells, the United Kingdom, have developed a novel and commercially ready electrode substrate for use in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). The substrate addresses the market need for a lower-cost alternative to currently available gas diffusion layer (GDL) materials. The innovation is the output from the project ‘Fuel Cells Incorporating Nanomaterials in Electrode Substrates’ (FINESSE), co-funded by the Innovate UK innovation agency.

The project’s primary objective was to develop a novel membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) for stationary PEMFC and portable DMFC power applications, which delivers similar performance to the current state-of-the-art but at a reduced cost. The project incorporated a number of development strands, with TFP leading on the gas diffusion layer (GDL) substrate design and manufacture, and JMFC leading on coating, MEA consolidation, and in-cell testing.

The application of this expertise has enabled the development of a GDL electrode material which offers comparable properties and performance to the current state-of-the-art, but without the associated high-temperature heat treatment techniques which increase cost. This development of a lower-cost electrode substrate and consolidated MEA supports the market need for cost reduction in fuel cell systems as a whole. Ultimately, this will help make fuel cells a more economically viable ‘green’ energy source, and potentially help to accelerate their market penetration.
Source: http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com

HYDROGEN ENERGY

Graphene fuel cell membrane could extract hydrogen

A research from the University of Manchester, the United Kingdom, led by Nobel Laureate Andre Geim, has shown that the one-atom-thick materials graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), once thought to be impermeable, allow protons to pass through them. This latest development alters the understanding of one of the key properties of graphene: that it is impermeable to all gases and liquids. Even an atom as small as hydrogen would need billions of years for it to pass through the dense electronic cloud of graphene. But researchers found that monolayers of graphene and boron nitride are highly permeable to thermal protons under ambient conditions.

The surprising discovery that protons could breach these materials means that that they could be used in proton-conducting membranes (also known as proton exchange membranes), which are central to the functioning of fuel cells. Fuel cells operate through chemical reactions involving hydrogen fuel and oxygen, with the result being electrical energy. The membranes used in the fuel cells are impermeable to oxygen and hydrogen but allow for the passage of protons. It is these proton exchange membrane fuel cells that are thought to be the most viable fuel cell design for replacing the internal combustion engine in vehicles.

The implication of this latest research is that graphene and hBN could be used to create a thinner membrane that would be more efficient while reducing fuel crossover and cell poisoning. The end result is that it could give the fuel cell the technological push that it has needed to make hydrogen a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Another, even more remarkable prospect highlighted by this discovery is that these one-atom-thick materials could be used to extract hydrogen from a humid atmosphere. This could be a huge bend in the road that points us towards the so-called hydrogen economy.
Source: http://www.spectrum.ieee.org

New device that produce hydrogen fuel from seawater

A team of US Navy research scientists has developed a method to produce liquid fuel from seawater, using carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen extracted from the ocean and then processed with a metal catalyst to produce liquid fuel. As a demonstration of the concept, an unmodified scale airplane has been flown with the seawater fuel. The concentration of CO2 is about 140 times higher in seawater than it is in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and hydrogen are the two feedstocks needed to make hydrocarbons.

The process relies on “an iron-based catalyst which has been developed that can achieve CO2 conversion levels up to 60 percent and decrease unwanted methane production in favor of longer-chain unsaturated hydrocarbons (olefins).” The process is claimed to be the first technology of this type with the potential for commercial implementation. The predicted cost of jet fuel using these technologies is in the range of $3-$6 per gallon, and with sufficient funding and partnerships, this approach could be commercially viable within the next seven to ten years.
Source: http://www.hydrogenfuelnews.com

Researchers find a bacterium that produce hydrogen

A researcher at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T), the United States, has discovered a bacterium that can produce hydrogen, an element that one day could lessen the world’s dependence on oil. Dr. Melanie Mormile, professor at Missouri S&T, and her team discovered the bacterium “Halanaerobium hydrogeninformans” in Soap Lake, Washington, can produce hydrogen under saline and alkaline conditions in amounts that rival genetically modified organisms. Mormile, an expert in the microbial ecology of extreme environments, wasn’t searching for a bacterium that could produce hydrogen.

Instead, she first became interested in bacteria that could help clean up the environment, especially looking at the extremophiles found in Soap Lake. An extremophile is a microorganism that lives in conditions of extreme temperature, acidity, alkalinity or chemical concentration. Living in such a hostile environment, “Halanaerobium hydrogeninformans” has metabolic capabilities under conditions that occur at some contaminated waste sites. She found a new species of bacterium that can produce hydrogen and 1, 3-propanediol under high pH and salinity conditions that might turn out to be valuable industrially.

An organic compound, 1, 3-propenediol can be formulated into industrial products including composites, adhesives, laminates and coatings. It’s also a solvent and can be used as antifreeze.

The infrastructure isn’t in place now for hydrogen to replace gasoline as a fuel for planes, trains and automobiles. But if hydrogen becomes an alternative to gasoline, “Halanaerobium hydrogeniformans,” mass-produced on an industrial scale, might be one solution – although it won’t be a solution anytime soon. “It would be great if we got liters and liters of production of hydrogen. However, we have not been able to scale up yet,” said Mormile.
Source: http://www.newswise.com

Breakthrough in hydrogen production from ethanol

A group of researchers at the A*Star Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, Singapore, has disclosed an important breakthrough in hydrogen production through steam reforming of ethanol. They have developed a novel rhodium catalyst that enables hydrogen production with low temperatures and without producing a harmful carbon monoxide by-product. The rhodium is iron-promoted and the iron oxide converts the carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide and hydrogen. A*Star is trying to develop an on-board hydrogen generator to fuel cell electric vehicles or FCEVs. Engineers there are confident their catalyst innovation is the key to a low-cost, commercially viable device.

The catalyst has proven quite stable in testing and appears to have a long active life. If these characteristics hold up under further testing, it suggests a very cost effective process with infrequent exchanges or downtime for the onboard device for catalyst regeneration. There is no investment opportunity as yet in steam reforming of ethanol to produce hydrogen. However, with wider availability of FCEVs there is bound to be increasing interest in more efficient hydrogen sources for automotive applications. A*Star seems have made a good start in giving hydrogen a make-over.
Source: http://www.altenergystocks.com

New catalytic converter to produce hydrogen

A team of chemical engineering researchers from North Carolina State University (NC State), the United States, has developed a technique that uses a new catalyst to convert methane and water into hydrogen and a fuel feedstock called syngas with the assistance of solar power. The catalytic material is more than three times more efficient at converting water into hydrogen gas than previous thermal water-splitting methods. “We’re excited about the new material and process because it converts water, inexpensive natural gas and clean, renewable solar energy into valuable syngas and hydrogen fuels,” said Feng He, at NC State. Hydrogen may be an important source of clean energy, and the cleanest way to produce hydrogen gas is to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, but researchers have struggled to develop a cost-effective water-splitting technique.

Syngas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen that is used as a feedstock for commercial processes that produce synthetic diesel fuels, olefins, and methanol. The technique hinges on a new catalytic material that is a composite of iron oxide and lanthanum strontium iron oxide, also known as LSF. Researchers have long known that iron oxide can be used as a catalyst for thermal water splitting, but it is not very efficient. The addition of LSF significantly improves iron oxide’s activity, making it far more efficient. Using the new composite, the researchers were able to convert 77 percent of the water they used (in the form of steam) into hydrogen. The previous best conversion mark for thermal water-splitting was around 20 percent.

Methane is injected into a reactor that is heated with solar energy. That chamber contains the catalytic composite, which reacts with the methane to produce syngas and carbon dioxide (CO2). This process “reduces” the composite particles, stripping them of oxygen. The syngas is removed from the system and the reduced composite particles are diverted into a second reactor. High-temperature steam is then pumped into the second reactor, where it reacts with the reduced composite particles to produce hydrogen gas that is at least 97 percent pure (which is good). This process also reoxygenates the composite particles, which can then be re-used with the methane, starting the cycle all over again. Next steps include fine-tuning the catalytic compound to make it better and cheaper, improving the overall process, and developing better reactors.
Source: https://www.news.ncsu.edu

BIOFUEL/BIOMASS ENERGY

Scientists synthesize biodiesel fuel from soya oil

Researchers from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Islamic Republic of Iran, have succeeded in the production of biodiesel fuel from soya oil to reduce pollutions caused by fossil fuels. They have suggested a nanocatalyst that facilitates and speeds up the synthesis process. Researchers try to replace fossil fuels with alternative ones due to the shortage of fossil fuels and pollutions caused by them. Biodiesel is an appropriate alternative, which has been known as a replacement for diesel. This fuel is synthesized through the reaction of herbal and animal oils and edible waste oils with alcohol. The production of biodiesel fuel with homogenous catalyst has so far been expensive in comparison with the production of diesel fuel.

However, this research has tried to propose a new method for the production of biodiesel by presenting a solid non-homogenous nanocatalyst. In this research, a simple, cost-effective and fast method was proposed for the synthesis of biodiesel through ultrasonic waves by using potassium fluoride, gamma alumina (KF/γ-Al2O3) nanocatalyst. This method is in full agreement with green chemistry principles. The fuel has been made of soya oil and has the appropriate characteristics to be used as a fuel.

Among the advantages of the nanocatalyst, mention can be made of its reasonable price, ease of separation from the product, the possibility of recycling and re-use, resistance of the reaction cell to corrosion, and the lack of the conversion of the product to soapy form. Taking into account the cost-effective price of this method, it is expected that the industrial synthesis of biodiesel becomes possible by using the non-homogenous nanocatalyst used in this research. Results of the research have been published in the journal Ultrasonics Sonochemistry.
Source: http://www.nanotech-now.com

Researchers develop system for biofuel and animal feed

Researchers from National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES), Japan, have developed a technology for simultaneous biofuel and animal feed production which doesn’t require off-site processing. The solid-state fermentation (SSF) system captures ethanol produced as a result of fermentation resulting from wrapping rice plants grown to feed livestock in a plastic-covered bale containing yeast, enzymes and bacteria. Researchers have previously looked into what’s termed “second-generation” biofuel production that uses inedible (for humans at least) organic matter such as wood or straw rather than corn or sugar. The downside is lower efficiency. However, Japanese researchers may have found a way around that.

Non-sterilized whole rice plants plants are packed into a round bale in the field at harvest and wrapped in polyethylene, along with the yeasty mixture. The bales are then left in the field to ferment. After a period of “incubation,” ethanol is recovered via one-step distillation using vacuum distillation equipment. What remains after processing can be used as cattle feed. The SSF system produces high yields of ethanol and silage and, unlike traditional biofuel production, it doesn’t compete with human food crops,” said Mitsuo Horita, at NIAES.

It’s still early days though. The researchers have yet to tackle issues concerning on-site ethanol recovery and still need to evaluate the suitability of the remaining residue as feed for cattle. Then there are potential problems in finding power station customers near SSF farms capable of using the bioethanol, together with a possible negative impact should the system expand to areas currently used to grow food for humans. A paper detailing the research project has been published in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels.
Source: http://www.gizmag.com

Patent filed for production of biofuel from coconut oil

The SCMS Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology Research & Development, India, has successfully developed the process for standardising the production of coconut methyl ester (CME) from coconut oil, which can power diesel automobile engines. The functional property of CME was proved in a diesel vehicle by test-running it directly as biofuel without making modifications in the engine and in the fuel lines. The research comprised optimisation of the production of CME from coconut oil, study of its physicochemical properties and testing its efficacy as a fuel in a diesel engine.

Headed by Dr. C. Mohan Kumar, the centre has filed for a US patent. The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) of the government of India, has offered to fund further research into it. “The physicochemical properties of the coconut oil and its increased level of saturation with high percentage of lauric acid are the unique features that support the fuel quality of coconut oil compared to the biofuels developed from other vegetable oils. Coconut oil has one of the least shares of free fatty acids, which qualifies it as a possible fuel. For a fuel, its value should ideally be below .5 per cent, but for coconut oil, it is 0.2 per cent,” said Dr Mohan Kumar.

The comparative study of CME with diesel was conducted at the quality control lab of the BPCL Cochin refinery, which certified that the CME more than met the standards of diesel, and performed better on emission norms. The centre collaborated with the automobile engineering department of the SCMS Engineering College, for the test run in a Matador diesel engine. The test run showed the technical specifications such as torque and power similar to the efficiency of diesel fuel. It offered a higher mileage of 22.5 km/L than 16 km/L of diesel.
Source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com

Researchers pressure cook farm waste into energy

According to a research from the University of Guelph (U of G), Canada, turning farm waste into biofuels is now possible and makes economic sense. Guelph researchers are studying how to make biofuels from farm waste, especially “wet” waste that is typically difficult to use. They have developed a fairly simple procedure to transport waste and produce energy from it. Scientists have struggled to find uses for wet and green waste, including corn husks, tomato vines and manure. Dry farm waste, such as wood chips or sawdust, is easier to use for generating power. Often, wet farm waste materials break down before reaching their destination. The team led by engineering Professor Animesh Dutta, have found a solution ‘pressure cooking’.

Cooking farm waste yields compact, easily transportable material that will not degrade and can be used in energy-producing plants. The research shows that in a lab setting, biofuels can produce the same amount of energy as coal. “What this means is that we have a resource in farm waste that is readily available, can produce energy at a similar level to burning coal, and does not require any significant start-up costs,” said Dutta. Using excess food, green and wet waste to reduce the carbon footprint is drawing a lot of interest in Europe, but so far it has proven unfeasible in North America. Coal is more readily available in North America. Biomass is highly rich in alkali and alkaline earth metals such as silicon, potassium, sodium and calcium. The presence of these metals in farm waste damages pipes at power plants during combustion.
Source: http://www.biomassmagazine.com

Scientists develop solar biofuel generator

Scientists from Harvard University, the United States, have managed to build an advanced biofuel generator. Using biotechnology and genetic engineering, the team created artificial photosynthesis and converted sun rays into liquid fuel. People tend to think that a solar powered car is the one that has panels fitted on its roof. In fact, solar is also used to convert hydrogen in fuel cells. Both of these examples include the use of photovoltaic cells, which is quite disappointing for the liquid fuel lovers, who would still like to go green, but for some reason this has had quite a bumpy ride due to the methods of production, and has not managed to take over the gas stations around the world just yet.

Scientists from Harvard, decided to look into other means to generate liquid biofuel, but the type that does not threaten food production. They decided to look for possibilities to involve solar, as it is doing so great everyone else, and test whether it will excel in making liquid fuel too. Inspired by nature and the process of photosynthesis, the team developed a type of artificial leaf that resembles a photovoltaic cell. Once the sunlight is absorbed by the surface, the ‘leaf’ splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. Up until here, the innovation is not so great, but at this stage it all becomes very interesting. Once the water molecule is split, the team introduced a special type of lab-engineered bacterium called Ralstonia eutropha.

It has the ability to trigger a reaction between hydrogen and carbon dioxide to generate a biofuel called isopropanol. The whole demonstration is still only a proof of concept. As it reads in their publication in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS, so far, the maximum efficiency that the team managed to achieve is 1 percent, which in fact is the efficiency of the natural photosynthesis. However, the team is not stopping here. They are convinced that their biofuel generator can soon reach 5%.
Source: http://www.greenoptimistic.com

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This book provides a thorough understanding of solar photovoltaic cells including how these devices work, what can be done to optimize the technology, and future trends in the marketplace. This book contains a detailed and logical step-by-step explanation of thermodynamically-consistent solar cell operating physics, a comparison of advanced multi-junction CPV power plants versus combined-cycle thermal power plants in the framework of energy cascading, and a discussion of solar cell semiconductor resource limitations and the scalability of solar electricity as we move forward.

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