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VATIS Update Non-conventional Energy . Jul-Aug 2006

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New and Renewable Energy Jul-Aug 2007

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

Nepal biogas initiative garners support

The Nepal Biogas Project promotes the use of underground digesters that generate methane gas from cattle dung using bacteria. Usage of methane instead of wood or kerosene to power stoves or lamps can reduce a households greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 5 t/y. This clean energy move recently gained support from the world community. Under the Kyoto Protocols Clean Development Mechanism, the World Banks Community Development Carbon Fund will pay Nepal to reduce its emissions by one million tonnes over the next seven years by increased use of biogas units.


According to Mr. Khagendra Nath Khanal, senior quality control officer of Biogas Sector Partnership Nepal, the non-governmental organization implementing the project, the new deal will bring the Nepal Biogas project US$7 per tonne of emissions obviated. Funds thus collected will be used to build and sell more digesters for no profit to poor households. Over 145,000 biogas units have been constructed under the project since 1992. About 83,500 more units are scheduled for installation by 2009.


Website: www.scidev.net

China is the leading investor in renewable energy

Latest statistics reveal that China is the worlds leading investor in the renewable energy sector. Dr. Eric Martinot, a senior research fellow with the United States-based Worldwatch Institute and senior visiting scholar of Tsinghua University in China, stated that excluding large hydropower, China invested US$6 billion on renewable energy in 2005, out of a global total investment of US$38 billion. Government support for renewable energy was US$10 billion in 2004 for the United States and Europe, including funding and policy support. The United States and Europe provide more than US$ 700 million each year for R&D, said Dr. Martinot.


Among the US$6 billion invested in 2005, the major portion was spent on small hydropower and solar hot water energy, with US$600 million allocated for wind power. China plans to raise its installed electricity capacity from renewable energy to 10 per cent of its total power capacity by 2010 and 20 per cent by 2020. By 2010, renewable energy, excluding large hydropower, will account for 5 per cent of Chinas total primary energy consumption and this percentage is planned to rise to 10 per cent by 2020. The government has provided considerable policy support to the renewable energy sector. A Renewable Energy Law, the first of its kind in China, came into effect at the start of this year.


Website: www.newsgd.com

PV production line to be set up in India

An alliance of photovoltaic industry equipment suppliers, led by Gebr. Schmid GmbH, has bagged its first order for a turn-key photovoltaic (PV) line in India. Based on the environmentally friendly sputter technology of Applied Films, the proposed PV line will support the fabrication of 40 MW of wafer-based solar cells and modules, which is expandable to 80 MW.


Applied Films joined the alliance in October 2005.
In a fully integrated horizontal in-line production process, Applied Films ATONTM system deposits the anti-reflective and passivation layer necessary for the production of solar cells. The alliances product portfolio integrates state-of-the art PV technology for the entire production chain under one umbrella. For each process step, renowned suppliers will provide the alliance with best-of-breed solutions. As the leader of the consortium, Schmid will guarantee the performance and efficiency of the cells and modules manufactured on 40 MW production line.


Website: www.solarbuzz.com

Duty-free import for alternative energy products in Pakistan

In its 2006-07 budget, the Government of Pakistan is planning import duty exemption for alternative energy products. The Central Board of Revenue has started working on this proposal. The government is focusing on developing solar, wind and coal energy, besides civil nuclear energy.


Some countries, such as Japan and the Republic of Korea, have also launched major drives to move away from traditional sources of power. However, the percentage of energy produced remains small. Oil has been replaced mainly by nuclear energy and natural gas, with new energy sources like solar and wind power accounting for just 1 per cent of the total energy supply in Japan. In Pakistans case, the emphasis is on other alternative energy resources. The Pakistan Alternative Energy Board has been set up with the goal of ensuring that the nation is self-reliant in the energy sector.


Website: www.paktribune.com

Chinas wind energy programme

A wind energy programme launched in China is to be financed by a Danish grant over the coming three years. An agreement to this effect was signed in Beijing. According to the pact, the Danish aid will be used to help China improve its technological and management capacity in wind power development, besides assisting local authorities with their own wind energy development plans.


Denmark, the world leader in the field of wind energy, has developed sophisticated wind energy technologies. Windmills account for 23 per cent of the countrys total installed electricity capacity. Chinas wind energy capacity has increased in recent years as renewable energy is rapidly gaining priority in the countrys energy strategy. In 2005 alone, Chinas installed capacity for wind electricity climbed up by 500,000 kW, compared to a total of 780,000 kW added in the past 2-3 decades.


The year 2005 also saw the beginning of construction work on new windmills with a combined capacity of 1.5 million kW.


Website: www.english.people.com.cn

Wind maps for Afghanistan and Pakistan

Wind maps produced by 3TIER Environmental Forecast Group Inc. will be used by energy sector professionals to help create rural energy platforms in remote villages of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The wind maps depict expected short-term variability and long-term availability of wind in a region, so that accurate output forecasts can be made for small-scale energy production projects. 3TIER is preparing the wind maps under a contract with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the United States Department of Energy.
The mapping contract awarded to 3TIER by NREL is part of the South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Cooperation & Development (SARI/ Energy) programme, which was initiated in 2000 to set up mutually beneficial energy linkages among the countries of South Asia.


Since 2000, SARI/Energy has reached out to over 3,500 organizations in the region on clean energy trade, energy efficiency, rural energy supply, energy regulatory issues, energy statistics and involvement of the private sector. A network of energy sector professionals in Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives set up by SARI/Energy has led to wide sharing of best practices, models of institutional reform and restructuring, and documented performance improvement.


Contact: 3TIER Environmental Forecast Group Inc., 2001 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2100, Seattle, WA 98121, United States of America. Tel: +1 (206) 3251 573; Fax: +1 (206) 3251 618


E-mail: info@3tiergroup.com


Website: www.3tiergroup.com


Website: www.renewableenergyaccess.com

Malaysia approves 20 biodiesel projects

Malaysias Deputy Minister for Inter-national Trade & Industry, Mr. Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, has stated that the government is initiating steps to promote R&D as well as utilization of alternative fuels in the country. He informed that the government has already approved 20 of the 27 biodiesel projects put up for approval this year, in addition to the six that were approved last year. Abundant raw material, like palm oil, in combi-nation with government initiatives in R&D are expected to result in rapid acceptance of this fossil fuel alternative. Once utilization is feasible, government vehicles would lead the countrys usage of biodiesel.


Website: www.biz.thestar.com.my

Indonesia to have first biodiesel plant by 2008

PT Bakrie Sumatera Plantations Tbk and PT Rekayasa Industri are jointly scheduled to build Indonesias first biodiesel plant. With a capacity of 60,000-100,000 t/y, this facility will use crude palm oil and other feedstock. According to ITTO Tropical Timber Market Report, Indonesian demand for diesel is about 460,000 barrels/day, of which 30 per cent is imported. Analysts project that the country will produce 14.7 million tonnes of palm oil in 2006, up 8 per cent from 13.6 million tonnes last year. It is anticipated that biodiesel would serve as a feasible alternative to imported diesel and that it can increase the proportion of palm oil employed in the standard biofuel mix from 5 per cent to 20 per cent.


Oil palm is considered the worlds most productive oil seed. A single hectare of oil palm can yield about 5,000 kg of crude oil, that is, nearly 6,000 litres of crude. As such, large areas of natural forests are being converted into oil palm plantations across the country. At US$400 per tonne, or about US$54 per barrel, palm oil is competitive with conventional oil. In the near future, palm oil prices are predicted to cost much lesser, as increasingly more land comes under oil palm cultivation.


Website: www.news.mongabay.com

The Philippines to pursue solar project

The state-run Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) plans to complete its Solar Home System Distribution Project, intended to support rural electrification objectives by the end of this year. A total of 9,447 solar home systems have been installed since the project began in 2002. The project implemented jointly by PNOC, the Department of Energy and Shell Solar Philippines Corp. involves the sale and distribution of 15,100 solar home systems across the country over five years. The government of the Netherlands is providing financial support, which represents about 60 per cent of the total equipment cost, for the project. This grant has allowed the project proponents to sell the solar home systems at 60 per cent discount.


Website: www.money.inq7.net

China sets up special fund for renewable energy

Chinas Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the State Development and Reform Commission are negotiating to establish a special fund for the development of renewable energy. This fund, the size of the fund is as yet unconfirmed, is expected to speed up the development of renewable energy resources. The local governments hoping to benefit from the fund have to apply to MOF. Once their applications are approved, the fund and the provincial level governments would contribute money as required.


The Vice Minister of Finance, Mr. Zhu Zhigang, has stated that China would greatly support research into and development of biological, solar and wind energy. The government has already implemented a series of preferential tax policies for companies involved in the renewable energy industry, like halving the standard rate of value-added tax. In Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions, some local governments have offered full value-added tax exemption to renewable energy firms. Sichuan and Yunnan provincial governments, along with Chongqung Municipality, are con-sidering long-term plans for development to make full use of the fund.


Website: www.english.people.com.cn

Indian scheme to boost solar water heating systems

Indias Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources has launched a new scheme to accelerate the development and deployment of solar water heating systems. Support for this initiative has been encouraging, with 19 banks and non-banking financial companies recognized by the Reserve Bank of India taking part in the scheme. These entities would provide soft loans to beneficiaries in domestic, institutional and commercial sectors.


The scheme targets to install solar water heating systems with a total collector area of a million square metres by 2007. Soft loans are provided at reduced interest rates of 2 per cent (domestic), 3 per cent (institutions) and 5 per cent (commercial) for the users. The scheme is open for all public/private sector banks, besides RBI-approved non-banking financial institutions and scheduled cooperative banks.


The scheme provides flexibility in the loan repayment period it can be decided by users (up to a maximum of five years) instead of the earlier fixed term of five years. Moreover, there are provisions for incentives to motivators at the rate of US$2.1/m2 collector area. It is estimated that a 100 l/d system installed at a home could save up to 1,500 units of electricity and nearly 120 l/y of diesel in the industrial sector. Overall, a million such systems installed in homes could provide peak savings of 1,000 MW, besides saving 1.5 billion units/y of electricity.


Website: www.pib.nic.in

The Philippines set to speed up biodeisel production

Region 8 in the Philippines has been singled out as having the biggest potential of producing, in large quantities, biodiesel from jatropha (local name tuba tuba). According to Mr. Leo Caneda, Director of the Department of Agricultures Regional Field Office 8, state universities and colleges in Region 8 have been tapped to allocate at least 50 ha for the production of jatropha as their contribution in the governments strategy of harnessing alternative energy sources.


Mr. Caneda said that the Leyte State University (LSU) has already established a 2 ha jatropha plant nursery, which will make jatropha seedlings available to all potential jatropha farmers. He also revealed that LSU had already set up a refinery, with assistance from a German company, to produce oil from jatropha. The refinery was established particularly to disseminate the use of a bio-oil stove, now being manufactured at LSU, as an alternative to LPG. Fuel for the bio-oil stove include used cooking oil and jatropha oil. The University of Eastern Philippines will also be a lead school in the development of jatropha as an alternative source of fuel, besides Sogod and the Biliran National Agriculture College.


Website: www.pia.gov.ph

SOLAR ENERGY

Multi-crystalline PV modules

BP Solar, based in the United kingdom, has introduced its new Poly 3 series modules into the European market. At a nominal power rating of 170 W and 175 W, combined with a module efficiency of up to 14 per cent, BP 3170S and BP 3175S are the most powerful multi-crystalline modules available on the market. These systems feature BPs latest generation of multi-crystalline cells, the innovative IntegraBus system, an anti-reflection coating and a customer-oriented junction box with a cable holder.


IntegraBus is a circuit board that cools soldered-on by-pass diodes. BP, by incorporating IntegraBus and novel connection tabs, has improved the longevity of all contacts within the module. These changes, along with the introduction of ARC glass (which has already been proven in modules of Saturn 7 series) results in a power increase of up to 10 Wp for the Poly 3-series modules.


Website: www.solarbuzz.com

Solar simulators

Spire Corporation, the United States, has launched two new solar simulators for testing photovoltaic (PV) modules under simulated sunlight conditions. SPI-SUN SimulatorTM 3500i and the SPI-SUN SimulatorTM 4600i, developed to meet customer requirements, feature best-in-class specifications. These models ensure 2 per cent uniformity of illumination over the entire test area, thereby qualifying for Class A rating. Uniformity is crucial for accurate testing of PV module performance. The si-mulators include enhanced electronics for robust performance and high reliability. In addition, a new lamp mount design offers ease of maintenance and replacement.


The solar simulators can test solar modules fabricated using crystalline silicon or thin-film materials. The systems are available both as a component of SPI-LineTM turn-key module production lines as well as stand-alone equipment for existing manufacturing lines.


Contact: Spire Corporation, One Patriots Park, Bedford, Massachusetts, MA 01730 2396, United States of America. Tel: +1 (781) 2756 000; Fax: +1 (781) 2757 470


E-mail: info@spirecorp.com


Website: www.solarbuzz.com 

Advances in the manufacture of dye solar cells

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), Germany, offers dye solar cells manufactured using simple screen printing, which offers a wide variety of design possibilities. Dye solar cells employ an organic dye to convert light into electricity. Dr. Andreas Hinsch, project leader at Fraunhofer ISE, said a new glass frit technology enabled his team to overcome the final hurdles towards practical testing of the modules simple manufacturing and stability. All materials for the cell construction are printed as paste onto two glass plates by means of screen printing. The two plates are then connected to each other such that striped canals are formed, which are then filled with the dye and a gellable electrolyte to complete the solar cell.


The design possibilities for these modules are as fascinating as their technology. The modules are transparent amber in colour, which can be varied with the help of a filter. The use of coloured pastes highlights the pattern or gives the surface a homogenous appearance. By printing with scattering coatings, images and text can be created within the module without significant loss in power. Totally new possibilities open up for designing facades and ad-
vertising purposes, states Dr. Hinsch. ISE has designed a variety of 30 cm 30 cm dye solar modules with glass frit having graphically different designs. These modules have six solar cells connected in series.


This yields a voltage of 4.2 V, a current of 0.8 V and an efficiency of about 2.5 per cent. Dr. Hinsch predicts that using improved printing technology, a solar cell efficiency of 5 per cent for module areas of 60 cm 100 cm could be achieved. In Japan, an efficiency of 10.4 per cent has been reported for a solar cell with an area of 1 cm2.


Contact: Mr. Karin Schneider, Press and Public Relations, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), Heidenhofstr. 2, 79110 Freiburg, Germany. Tel: +49 (761) 4588 5150; Fax: +49 (761) 4588 9342


E-mail: info@ise.fraunhofer.de


Website: www.ise.fhg.de

New module boasts of high power output

Prism Solar Technologies (PST), the United States, has tested a Gen-1 module that has been fabricated employing mono-facial cells and is based on Holographic Planar Concentrator (HPC) technology. With less than US$0.12 per watt of PSTs proprietary holographic optical material (not including glass), the Gen-1 module has demonstrated a 25 per cent increase in power output over the cells themselves.


PSTs core technology, based on holographic optics, can use a variety of photovoltaic (PV) cells and spectrally select the desired portion of sunlight. This allows for cooler solar cell operation while maintaining an increased power output by concentrating specific solar wavelengths on to the cells. Employing passive tracking, PSTs HPC technology can achieve higher output in the mornings and late afternoons, while reducing the amount of expensive silicon necessary in a module.


Contact: Mr. Rick Lewandowski, President, Prism Solar Technologies Inc., United States of America. Tel: +1 (845) 6872 406


E-mail: rick.lewandowski@att.net


Website: www.renewableenergyaccess.com

Cheap solar cells in the offing

In the United States, researchers at the University of California Berkeley are leveraging advances in nanoscience to develop ultra-thin and low-cost solar cells. These flexible, durable cells could eventually cover the roofs of buildings or transform a cloth automobile cover into a battery charger. Mr. Ilan Gur spearheaded the development of the first solar cells ever to be made entirely from inorganic nanocrystals, chemically pure clusters of anywhere from 100 to 100,000 atoms. Unlike the silicon used in standard solar cells, the rod-shaped nanocrystals of cadmium selenide and cadmium telluride are deposited in a chemical solution process at fairly low temperatures. The resulting film of photovoltaic (PV) material is just 200 nm thick, or 500 times thinner than a human hair. As such, these PV cells could be batch-produced in bulk, even roll-to-roll like the way newspapers are printed.


The first prototype cells, layered on a conductive glass substrate, could convert only 3 per cent of energy from light into electricity, far less than the minimum 10 per cent efficiency of most solar cells available commercially. Researchers are now working to boost efficiency by altering the nanocrystal structures and tweaking their chemistry in the production process, besides exploring other kinds of nanocrystals.


Contact: Engineering Marketing & Communications Office, University of California, United States of America.


E-mail: lab-notes@coe.berkeley.edu


Website: www.coe.berkeley.edu

New technique for producing thin-film solar cells

Micromorph technology from Applied Films, the United States, is widely seen as a superior one for the production of thin-film solar cells. Cells manufactured with this technology have higher efficiencies than amorphous solar cells, owing to improved spectral sensitivity. The technique produces solar cells with a surface area of 1.4 m2 (1.5 m 0.9 m). This rectangular substrate format allows for flexibility in designing modules with either high voltage/low current or low voltage/high current power modes. Cell manufacturers can also maximize cell efficiencies by adjusting the parameters of the TCO coating in interaction with the light-absorbing layer and back contact coatings. This approach has been developed inco-operation with the Institute of Photovoltaics at the Research Centre in Julich, Germany.


Website: www.solarbuzz.com

Milestone in solar cells performance

DayStar Technologies Inc. in the United States, which designs and manufactures innovative Photovoltaic FoilTM products, reports that its TerraFoilTM cells fabricated using each of its three production line processes have achieved key performance milestones. TerraFoil cells, as viable alternative to wafer silicon cells, have the potential to dramatically lower the costs of photovoltaic modules below current levels. This could significantly expand the market and accelerate the use of solar power systems worldwide.


Recent measurements performed in DayStars characterization laboratory have shown that solar cells produced from its Gen I line reached 16.9 per cent total area conversion efficiency on glass substrates (1.1 cm2) and 15.7 per cent on flexible metal substrates. Similar size TerraFoil cells made on the commercial-scale Gen II platform achieved 13 per cent efficiency. However, the most significant achievement was the demonstration of 13.5 per cent efficiency by a larger area device (14 cm2) produced using processes under development for their high-capacity Gen III production platform.


Contact: Ms. Erica Dart, DayStar Technologies, 13 Corporate Drive, Halfmoon, New York, NY 12065, United States of America. Tel: +1 (518) 383 4600; Fax:Tel: +1 (518) 383 7900


E-mail: edart@daystartech.com


Website: www.biz.yahoo.com

WIND ENERGY

Small footprint wind turbine design

At Clarkson University, the United States, researchers led by Prof. Ken Visser have designed a new wind turbine. A small footprint and efficient performance allows this model to be installed in homes. Research on the patent-pending design is being supported by Warner Energy. Successful results with the full sized prototype could pave the way for commercialization.


Website: www.news10now.com

New improvements help lower power production costs

Mass Megawatts Wind Power Inc., the United States, reports that the cost of manufacturing wind turbines is now decreasing as a result of improved technology. After carrying out 18 months of outdoor testing, the company is now using less expensive mechanical parts. In high wind areas, its wind turbine models can easily compete with fossil fuels.


The use of airflow acceleration techniques is another method used to raise productivity of the turbines. In order to be successful with the use of airflow acceleration techniques, e.g. diffusers and wind augmentation, Mass Megawatts wind power plants are made strong enough to withstand the long-term wear and tear of turbulence related to diffuser airflow. In the past, engineering- or cost-related issues had prevented the more common horizontal axis wind turbines from employing the diffusers.


Contact: Mass Megawatts Wind Power Inc., P.O. Box 60398, Worcester, MA 01606, United States of America. Tel: +1 (508) 751 5432; Fax: +1 (508) 842 1586


E-mail: info@massmegawatts.com 


Website: www.prnewswire.com

Rooftop wind turbine

In the United States, Chicago will house four aeroturbines on the roof of the Richard J. Daley Centre courthouse to measure, harness and convert into electricity the air currents barrelling off Lake Michigan. At 208 m, this building is the citys tallest public structure. Successful results from these trials could lead to turbines decking a skyline now known for North Americas tallest building, the Sears Tower. The turbines, built by Aerotecture International, will be the worlds highest rooftop wind power generators. Engineers have fabricated custom brackets to prevent the 227 kg turbines from coming loose. These systems contribute less than 2 per cent of the Daley Centres power requirements.


The new design of the machines double-helix rotors caged in cylinders instead of exposed blades is meant to limit bird kills, ice build-up, roof-rattling vibrations and howling noise. The wind turbines employ galvanized steel tubes 5 m in diameter and 3 m in length to house a rotating plastic helix. The turbines do not use the conventional three-pronged propeller design that power companies use atop poles to generate electricity in areas where the wind is steady and blows from one direction. Each of the rooftop turbines generate 1 kW in a 64 km/h wind. Four machines arranged on a rooftop 40 ft above the ground would generate approximately 8,000 kWh/y, the amount needed to light a house. If the height from ground level is doubled, that would increase the generating capacity by 15 per cent because of the added wind strength. At 684 ft, the four turbines are capable of generating 24,000 kWh. If the tests are successful, more such turbines would be added to meet 20 per cent of the power requirements of the building.


Website: www.gulf-times.com

Wind power system with hydrualic transmission

Digital Electric, a subsidiary unit of Digital Gas Inc., has signed an agreement with International Trade and Technology Centre of Ireland, for the exclusive right to manufacture and market a breakthrough wind energy technology. The new wind energy systems, expected to deliver a return on investment that is significantly greater than conventional wind power generation systems, will have several features that differentiate them from conventional wind generator technology.


Significant efficiencies in capturing wind energy over the widest range of wind profiles are created by using a series of self-adjusting multiple hydraulic pumps and multiple variable speed generators. By transmitting power from the wind blades hydraulically to turbine generators, located at the ground level, the maintenance cost is dramatically reduced. Digital has also reserved the right to purchase all collateral patents and rights to the new wind energy system on a worldwide basis.


Website: www.alternative-energy-news.info

Adaptive blades for low-speed wind turbines

In the United States, Knight and Carvers Wind Blade Division has developed a wind blade that can produce energy in low wind speed regions. Longer than conventional wind blades, Knights version automatically twists during high wind to reduce loads on the machine, thus producing maximized energy. As such, they can be used safely in regions regarded as low wind production areas. The Adaptive Sweep Twist Blade, measuring 27.2 2.4 m, is designed for both maximum efficiency at low wind speed conditions and to automatically adjust to higher wind gusts when necessary.


The wind blade was developed as part of a US$2.8 million shared cost Department of Energy (DOE) contract to design, fabricate and field test a sweep-twist adaptive blade for utility-scale wind turbines as part of the Low Wind Speed Turbine Initiative. This project is an important element in DOEs strategy to brind down wind-powered electricity generation costs at low-speed sites, and to open new areas of wind production by utilizing next-generation configurations, designs and concepts.


Contact: Knight and Carver, Blade Division, 1313 Bay Marina Drive, National City, California, CA 91950, United States of America. Tel: +1 (613) 336 4141; Fax: +1 (613) 336 4050


E-mail: jfreeman@knightandcarver.com 


Website: www.thefraserdomain.typepad.com

Numerical model for wind resources

Chinas first numerical model for assessing wind energy resources has been gone into operation. The system will provide detailed evidences for the survey of wind resources, and site selection for wind power generators. It also makes real-time meteorological watch and prediction for the construction, operation, and dispatch of wind power stations.


The wind resources numerical model is the outcome of a co-operative project between the China Meteorological Administration and the Canadian Weather Services. It can collect the data showing the wind resource distribution from a 30-m level to 120-m level, while the conventional ones allow only a 10-m level assessment. Researchers at the Wind and Solar Energy Assessment Centre, a part of the China Meteorological Administration, are currently working on a nationwide wind resources chart with a resolution of 5 km, using the system and re-analysed data of the global circulation model. So far, the parts of northeast China, Inner Mongolia and some areas of Xinjiang have been completed.


Website: www.most.gov.cn

Vertical axis wind turbine prototypes

Windaus Energy Inc., Canada, has developed several prototypes of a vertical axis wind turbine. This new design relies on torque rather than speed. The device and its transmission system are said to be the first 3-vane helical concept. The properties inherent in this design do not allow the outer edge of the vanes to exceed wind speed and provide virtually silent operation. Most of the working parts are housed at the base of the frame, facilitating easy maintenance and simple upgrades. Its operation mitigates many challenges that conventional horizontal axis turbines face.


Contact: Windaus Energy Inc., 27 Copernicus Boulevard., Unit No. 8, Brantford, Ontario N3P 1N4, Canada. Tel: +1 (519) 7700 546; Fax: +1 (519) 7700 595


E-mail: info@windausenergy.com


Website: www.opensourceenergy.org

New control system for wind turbines

NRG Systems is offering a hybrid turbine control sensor based on innovative technology that results in a hotter, more robust and smarter sensor. Hybrids all-metal body and anodized aluminium heads provide rugged construction. The sensor is fully digital, heated top to bottom and provides improved turbine control in cold climates. Its modular design and quick release mount allows for plug and play feature, making installation and maintenance easy. Turbine control interface for both wind speed and yaw control is provided by a continuous proportional frequency output, which provides high resolution and is immune to noise. For new installations or retrofits necessitating other inputs, NRG Systems Hybrid Personality Module converts the frequency signal to numerous other outputs.


Website: www.windfair.net

WAVE/TIDAL ENERGY

Wave power generator prototype

Renewable Energy Holdings (REH), the United Kingdom, reports that its CETO wave generator has successfully completed trials off the coast of Rous Head, Western Australia. CETO is the first wave power converter to sit on the seabed and convert high-pressure sea water into energy. The device needs only a small diameter pipe to carry high-pressure sea water ashore to a turbine for energy production, rather than a sub-sea transmission network.


REH states that its device has now successfully generated electricity on land and produced de-salinated water for the first time employing turbines and reverse osmosis filters. REH plans to develop a commercial CETO design by the end of 2006, and deploy an array of the units in a medium-scale trial before moving on to a commercial sized plant.


Website: www.waterpowermagazine.com

Worlds largest wave energy power plant

Wave Dragon, developed by Wave Dragon Aspa. based in Denmark, is an offshore wave energy converter of the overtopping type. It was the first wave energy prototype device in the United Kingdom to be connected to a public grid. The automatically operated Wave Dragon is by far the largest wave energy converter presently available. Each unit has a rated power of 4-10 MW, depending on how energetic the wave climate is at the deployment site. Utilization of the overtopping principle, instead of power absorption via moving bodies, means that the efficiency grows with the size of the converter. Only practical matters, such as for construction, limits the size of this wave energy converter. Recently, Wave Dragon teamed up with KP Renewables, a renewable energy project developer based in the United Kingdom, to construct and deploy the worlds largest wave energy converter off the Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales. Following the initial test period, the test unit will join 10 new units as part of a 77 MW power plant, about 16 km southwest of the initial site. The first stage of the project will deploy a 7 MW Wave Dragon demonstration unit to be located 8 km from Milford Haven and tested for 3-5 years. The plant comprises two wave reflectors focusing the incoming waves towards a ramp, a reservoir for collecting the overtopping water and a number of hydro turbines for converting the pressure head into power.


Wave Dragon has a large floating barge structure. The main structural parts are constructed in reinforced concrete with additional structural steel elements. The total design weight of the Welsh demonstrator device is 33,000 t. The geometrical layout of the device is identical with the tested prototype. On the device are mounted 16-20 low-head hydro turbines to drain the reservoir, each with a 440 kW PM generator. Additional electrical systems, step-up transformers and service systems are placed in closed compartments. The 7 MWe Welsh demonstrator device will initially be deployed in a wave climate much lower that its rated power and size justifies, to enable a thorough testing programme.


Website: www.gizmag.co.uk

Flowing water generates electricity

In the United Kingdom, scientists at the University of Southampton have successfully built an electric motor, which is powered by flowing water. Dr. Steve Turnock and Dr. Suleiman Abu-Sharkh worked on the principle of running an engine so that it becomes a generator. This approach makes the water flow turn the propeller, generating electricity, which could drive a vehicle along. According to Dr. Turnock, This is a compact design that does away with many of the moving parts found in current marine turbines. It is a new take on tidal energy generation.


Common tidal stream generators work as wind turbines turned upside down, adapted for the water. Most of the underwater motors presently available have complex gearboxes, which have the horsepower to move an entire assembly in the face of flowing water. Gears and moving parts, however, require expensive maintenance, particularly when they are used underwater. This increases the cost of running the turbines an expense that gets passed on to the consumer. The Southampton design has a motor that does not change course or turn around, as the turbine blades turn equally well regardless of the direction of water flow. In addition, the blades are placed in a specially shaped housing that helps channel the water smoothly through the turbine.
Another feature of the design is that everything is wrapped in a single package that can be prefabricated. As such, there will be few on-site construction costs. Just drop it into flowing water and it will start generating electricity. It will work best in fast flowing, shallow water, says Dr. Turnock. Researchers foresee rows of these devices secured to sea floors and riverbeds. The present prototype is just 25 cm across. Plans are afoot to design a larger model with improved propeller blades that would further raise the efficiency of generating electricity. The Southampton design was partly funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.


Website: www.scenta.co.uk

FUEL CELLS

12-cell assembly stack developed

In India, the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI) has designed a 12-cell assembly stack made up of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). This cell stack has a peak power output of 1.8 kW and a nominal power of 1 kW. According to Prof. A. K. Shukla, CECRI Director, performance of the assembly stack is on par with that realized by General Motors (GM) in the United States and Ballard Power Systems in Canada. Unlike the PEFCs developed by GM and Ballard, however, CECRI cell stack works at ambient pressure because of a novel and highly active carbon-supported catalyst, Prof. Shukla expressed. The ultimate target is to develop a 5 kW hydrogen/air PEFC stack having a power density of 0.5 W/cm2 operating at ambient pressure. A key advantage with PEFCs is that they are attractive for both stationary and vehicular transportation applications.


Website: www.chennaionline.com 

Scientists rev up power of microbial fuel cells

In the United States, researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst reportedly succeeded in boosting the power output of microbial fuel cells by more than 10 fold. This was achieved by allowing the bacteria to congregate into a slimy matrix known as a biofilm.


The team, led by microbiologist Dr. Derek Lovley, studied Geobacter microbes capable of passing electrons directly to a metal electrode. Normally, the bacteria employ pili thin wire-like growths, several cell lengths long, that extend from their cell membrane to attach to other cells or surfaces. Geobacter uses pili to transfer electrons onto iron in the surrounding soil. The pili also seem to be critical for it to form a biofilm. While studying the microbes electron transfer mechanism, the researchers created a Geobacter mutant that did not have the gene for making the pili; yet, the microbes produced electricity when placed in a fuel cell. The team suspects that a membrane protein that was part of the bacteriums energy-making pathway is also able to transfer electrons directly to the metal electrode.


Additional tests revealed that Geobacter growing on the electrode in a thick, sticky mass known as a biofilm generates more energy than the mutant strain, which cannot congregate into a biofilm. The scienti-sts confirmed that microbes in the centre of the biofilm too far from the electrode to reach it themselves were transferring electrons at the same rate as microbes that were closer to the edge. How the electrons are transferred through the gooey matrix is not yet clear.


Website: www.newswise.com 

Portable DMFCs

Portable direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) that can continuously supply environmentally friendly power to a digital video disc (DVD) player for 8 hours have been introduced by researchers at the Atomic Energy Council (AEC). According to the research team, a new version that is just half the size of the current DMFC would be unveiled shortly. The present version weighs about 2 kg and generates 15 W of energy. The new version, which would be suitable for laptop computers, will have a power output of 25 W for 8 h.


Website: www.fuelcellsworks.com

MRI developed for fuel cells

Knowing how fuel cells work is crucial to improving their performance and reducing the cost of their production. Researchers at Northwestern University, the United States, have provided a new tool for the study and development of fuel cells by developing for the first time 3-D images of the interior of a fuel cell. The 3-D reconstruction of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) anode was achieved by a team led by Mr. Scott A. Barnett, a professor of materials science and engineering. An SOFC efficiently converts fuels like hydrogen and natural gas directly into electricity. The team also reported a similar fuel cell that works with a liquid transportation fuel iso-octane, a high-purity compound similar to petrol.


Much like the magnetic resonance imaging that produces a view inside the human body, we can now look inside fuel cells, said Prof. Barnett. The dual-beam focused-ion-beam microscope used in the study provides much higher resolution than an MRI, showing nanometre-scale features. These pictures will help researchers unravel how fuel cells work so they can be improved and made to work longer without failing. The technique will also help manufacturers to check batches of fuel cells for any structural changes that might hurt the their characteristics.


Materials used in the production of fuel cells have become increasingly sophisticated, both in composition and microstructure. Determining this microstructure is a critical, though usually missing, link between materials properties and processing, and electrode performance. Current methods of microstructural analysis, like scanning electron microscopy, provide only 2-D of the microstructure, limiting understanding of how regions are interconnected in 3-D space.


Website: www.sciencedaily.com

Miniature electrolyser fills metal hydride storage systems

Micro fuel cells are getting increasing attention as an alternative to conventional accumulators or batteries to power mobile communication and other interactive devices. The fuel required by these devices is stored in metal hydride storage units, in which hydrogen is absorbed in a metal powder. In a recent breakthrough, Fraunhofer ISE, Germany, has developed a miniature electrolysing system that enables metal hydride storage units to be filled with high-purity hydrogen rapidly and almost anywhere. In just 12 minutes, the electrolyser produces adequate hydrogen from water to power, for example, a camcorder for 2 hours.


To enable the metal hydride storage units to be filled quickly, ISEs hydrogen technologists combined 15 electrolysis cells to form a stack. The individual cells are made from a special plastic using an injection moulding process suitable for series production. This reduces the costs for the bipolar plates by around 90 per cent and the weight of the electrolysis stack is halved. To fill the metal hydride storage, hydrogen is supplied at a pressure of 10 bar and dried in a membrane module. A second, downstream drying stage increases the service life by a factor of eight. A microcontroller-based control concept, also developed at Fraunhofer ISE, ensures that the system operates reliably at the push of a button. A comprehensive safety analysis underlies the systems hardware component-based safety strategy.


Miniaturization of the electrolysing system and the micro fuel cell system for outdoor applications were conducted in collaboration with partners from the industry and the research fraternity.


Contact: Ms. Karin Schneider, Press and Public Relations, Fraunhofer-Institut fr Solare Energiesysteme ISE, Heidenhofstr. 2, 79110 Freiburg, Germany. Tel: +49 (761) 4588 5150; Fax: +49 (761) 4588 9342


E-mail: info@ise.fraunhofer.de 


Website: www.ise.fhg.de

Third-generation fuel cell for residential co-generation

Ballard Power Systems, Canada, has delivered the first prototypes of its next-generation fuel cell, the Mark 1030 V3, for the co-generation (residential) market to Ebara Ballard Corp., Ballards joint venture with Japans Ebara Corp. The prototypes are for integration and testing in 1 kW residential co-generation systems. Featuring increased reliability and lifetime, with significantly less weight and volume, the Mark 1030 V3 fuel cell has been designed in line with the 2008 Japanese government targets of 40,000 h operation, equivalent to a system lifetime of 10 years in the home. Other main features of the Mark 1030 V3 fuel cell include:
  • Full compatibility with both natural gas and kerosene fuel cell co-generation systems. This allows for optimal manufacturing and market flexibility;
     
  • 40 per cent lighter than its predecessors; and
     
  • 26 per cent smaller than the previous generation.
     

Contact: Ms. Megan Helmer, Ballard Power Systems Inc.,9000 Glenlyon Parkway, Burnaby, BC V5J 5J8, Canada. Tel: +1 (604) 4540 900; Fax: +1 (604) 4124 700


Website: www.ballard.com


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com


HYDROGEN ENERGY

Platinum-based catalyst used in hydrogen production

A researcher team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States have developed a new process to produce hydrogen from glycerol. Led by Mr. James Dumesic, the team used a platinum-based catalyst to break down glycerol in-to hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Temperatures used in the process were relatively low 225C to 300C. Furthermore, this process offers many advantages such as glycerol is a by-product in the production of biodiesel and as such is a cheap and plentiful resource.


This breakthrough could help in the development of new fuel sources. Glycerol can be produced from organic material like wood, when treated with enzymes. The process offers the hope that a renewable plant source could eventually be a viable alternative to fossil fuels.


Website: www.fuelcellsworks.com

IC engine converted into hydrogen hybrid

Hydrogen Power Inc. (HPI) in the United States has completed the first phase of converting an internal combustion (IC) engine vehicle into a hydrogen hybrid, which would be powered by AlumiFuelTM for on-board hydrogen production. This conversion marks a key milestone in the companys efforts to address the automotive and transportation sectors with its hydrogen production technology. HPIs Hydrogen NowTM technology and AlumiFuel powder have both been proved as viable and controllable entities.


Hydrogen Now is a patented hydrogen production process that involves a chemical reaction between water, aluminium and an environmentally friendly catalyst to cleanly and efficiently produce hydrogen on-site and on-demand. The AlumiFuel technology powers the chemical reaction, as it extracts and releases energy from the aluminium once water is added.


First, water is added to AlumiFuel in a reactor to generate heat and hydrogen gas on-board. Hydrogen is produced only as needed, addressing safety concerns and improving efficiency. The container needs of the AlumiFuel reactor enhance its appeal, as the vessel used for hy-drogen production weighs heavily in the cost of a hydrogen-powered vehicle. Instead of the 10,000 psi tank typical of other methods, HPI reactor and tank pressures are less than 150 psi.


HPI scientists converted a 2006 Ford Ranger XL truck to run on hydrogen under a dual fuel system that allows the driver to select either petrol or hydrogen. Depending on preference or fuel availability, rotation between the two fuel sources is achieved instantly and seamlessly. Installation of the supplementary hydrogen production system involved the addition of a second set of injectors, high-pressure hydrogen tanks, regulator, a hydrogen control system,etc. The conversion system is adaptable to more than 90 per cent of vehicles currently made in the United States.


Website: www.theautochannel.com

New hydrogen generation system

Intelligent Energy, a leading fuel cell development company, has completed the development and demonstration of Hestia, a new hydrogen generation system, in collaboration with Sasol, South Africas largest chemical company. Hestia system was developed to convert Sasols Fischer-Tropsch (FT) fuels into hydrogen and then into electricity and heat. Hestia serves to illustrate the transitional possibilities between the use of conventional fuels and a more sustainable long-term hydrogen economy.


The Hestia technology platform is scaleable and fuel-flexible. Besides FT diesel fuel, it can use many other fuels to produce high-purity hydrogen gas. Hydrogen generated by the system is sufficient to produce 10 kW of electricity, when used with Intelligent Energys stationary CHP fuel cell systems.


Website: www.fuelcellsworks.com

Photocatalyst decomposes water to obtain hydrogen

In Japan, a research group led by Prof. Kazunari Domen at the Tokyo University and Prof. Yasunobu Inoue at Nagaoka University of Technology has succeeded in developing a photocatalyst that efficiently decomposes water to yield hydrogen under visible light. The newly developed catalyst is a solid solution of gallium nitride and zinc oxide, modified with a mixture of rhodium and chromium oxide nanoparticles on its surface. As it reacts under visible light, which accounts for 90 per cent of sunlight, the mixture would function as an efficient photocatalyst for hydrogen production. Since hydrogen is considered a primary energy source for the 21st century, this method of producing hydrogen from pure water without using fossil resources is expected to assist in overcoming current environmental and energy problems.


Website: www.fuelcellsworks.com

Hydrogen from biomass

Virent Energy Systems, the United States, has developed a novel way to generate hydrogen cheaply and cleanly from biomass. Virents conversion process, called aqueous phase reforming (APR), overcomes the problems associated with other techniques of producing hydrogen from biomass-derived ethanol like the need for high temperatures and the use of pressurized steam. In the APR process, reformation is carried out at relatively low temperatures and with liquids rather than steam. Furthermore, the process uses extremely active catalysts that allow 15 times more hydrogen to be converted per gram of catalyst compared with steam reforming. This efficiency allows 90 per cent of the feedstock to be converted in the first cycle and the rest to be recycled. As a result, Virent claims it is able to produce hydrogen for US$2-3 per kilogram competitive with natural gas-derived hydrogen.


APR technology will be used for the first time to continuously produce electricity from a 10 kW generator at the companys facility. The unit is fuelled by corn syrup, similar to the kind used by soft drinks manufacturers. A US$1 million project to build portable fuel-cell generators for the Navy is also in the pipeline.


Website: www.technologyreview.com

Pioneering hydrogen energy project

In a feasibility study funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, bioscientists at the University of Birmingham, the United Kingdom, have demonstrated in lab-scale trials that bacteria give off hydrogen gas as they consume high-sugar waste. Hydrogen thus obtained has been employed to generate clean electricity using a fuel cell. The high-sugar waste was supplied by Cadbury Schweppes, a partner in the initiative. An economic assessment undertaken by another partner, C-Tech Innovation, showed that it should be practical to repeat the process on a larger scale. Apart from energy benefits, this technique could provide the confectionery industry (and other foodstuff manufacturers) with an outlet for waste gen-erated by them. Currently, much of this waste is disposed of in landfills.


Diluted nougat and caramel waste were introduced into a 5 litre demonstration reactor. Bacteria having the right sugar-consuming and hydrogen producing properties, were then added to the reactor. Bacteria consumed the sugar, producing hydrogen and organic acids. Another type of bacteria introduced into a second reactor converted the organic acids into additional hydrogen. The hydrogen produced was fed to a fuel cell, where it reacted with oxygen in the air to generate electricity. Carbon dioxide produced in the first reactor was captured and disposed of safely. Waste biomass left behind by the process was removed, coated with palladium and used as a catalyst in another project.


Website: www.terradaily.com

Additional patent for hydrogen energy storage

The United States-based Nanomix Inc. has reported that it obtained another patent relating to hydrogen storage technology. This addition follows five earlier patents issued to the company in this field. The current patent describes the storage of hydrogen using novel nanostructured materials that permit non-chemically bound, low-pressure storage of hydrogen. The system uses a combination of thermal insulation and an enclosure for the storage and controlled distribution of hydrogen as a high-energy fuel. This can address issues such as storage life, weight, etc. associated with liquid hydrogen, metallic hydride and high-pressure gas-phase hydrogen storage.


Contact: Mr. Bill Perry, Nanomix Inc., No. 5980 Horton Street, Suite 600, Emeryville, California, CA 94608, United States of America. Tel: +1 (510) 428 5300; Fax: +1 (510) 658 0425


E-mail: info@nano.com


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com

BIOMASS ENERGY

Breakthrough in bioethanol production

In the Netherlands, a researcher at the Delft University of Technology has found a method to improve the conversion rate of certain sugars, extracted from agricultural waste, into ethanol. Currently, bioethanol (produced from agricultural crops) is produced from sugars derived from corn cobs, sugar beets, grain and sugar cane, employing bakers yeast. The leftover by-products from the cultivation of these crops, such as straw and corn husks, cannot be used for the production of biofuel. Mr. Marko Kuyper of Delft University has overcome this obstacle by genetically modifying the bakers yeast. The gene inserted into the yeast is derived from a fungus present in elephant faeces. As such, conversion of an important sugar type, xylose, into ethanol is possible. This enables production of bioethanol from agri-waste materials. Consequently, agricultural land can be used more efficiently while at the same time competition with food supplies is avoided.


Website: www.renewableenergyaccess.com

Biodiesel obtained from sewage

Aquaflow Bionomic, New Zealand, reports to have successfully turned sewage into biodiesel fuel employing algae found in sewage ponds. The algae-derived fuel, believed to be the worlds first commercial production of biodiesel from wild algae outside the laboratory, has been tested under controlled conditions with specially grown algae crops.


Aquaflows algae is derived from excess pond discharge from a sewage treatment works. Algae remove most chemicals out of sewage, but too many of them taints the water and produces a foul smell. Creating fuel employing the algae eliminates this problem while producing useful and clean water, which can be used for stock food, irrigation and, if treated properly, human consumption. Unlike some biofuel sources that need crops to be specially grown using more land, fuel, chemicals and fertilizers this process makes use of algae that already exists abundantly. The biofuel is obtained by processing the algae into a pulp and then extracting the lipid oils for conversion into biodiesel.


Website: www.nzherald.co.nz

New biofuel

A chemical engineering professor at Texas A&M, the United States, has developed a process to convert biomass into a mixed alcohol fuel that has more energy than ethanol. Prof. Mark Holtzapples MixAlco technique employs a multi-stage process to transform biomass into organic chemicals and alcohols. The multi-stage process includes lime pretreatment, non-sterile acidogenic digestion, product concentration, thermal conversion to ketones and their subsequent hydrogenation to create mixed alcohol end products. MixAlco process uses about 90 per cent of the raw material substrate and the process recycles all of its water and primary reagents. Additionally, it can be tuned to produce the chemicals in demand at a given time.


Prof. Holtzapple has also developed a compact Brayton-cycle engine capable of running on any type of fuel, including the MixAlco mixed alcohol fuel. The patented StarRotor engine is capable of delivering efficiencies of 49-55 per cent, if applied in a passenger car about 2.5-3 times more efficient than a conventional petroleum engine. According to Prof. Holtzapple, the StarRotor can offer power ranges from 50 W to 50,000 kW. Low-power versions employ a single stage that compresses air from 1 to 6 atm. The medium-power engines employ a second stage to compress air from 6 to 36 atm. The high-power engines employ a third stage for aim compression, from 36 to 216 atm. Power density is raised by using small diameter rotors that rotate rapidly.


Website: www.greencarcongress.com

Corn fibre converted into bioethanol

Prof. Tony Pometto and colleagues at Iowa State University, the United States, report to have successfully converted corn fibre into ethanol. Corn fibre, typically used for animal feed, is a by-product of the wet milling process, which produces corn syrup. Tests have yielded fuel-grade ethanol from this waste biomass. The key to obtaining the biofuel lies in the use of a mould that produces enzymes, which break down corn fibre into the simple sugars that are fermented into ethanol.


Commercialization of the new technology could boost ethanol production by about 4 per cent a year. However, further research is necessary. At present, researchers are planning for pilot-scale production. The team will also test the efficacy of the process on distillers dried grains, a by-product of the dry milling process typically used to convert corn kernels into ethanol.


Contact: Mr. Hans van Leeuwen, Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Iowa State University, United States of America. Tel: +1 (515) 29 45 251


E-mail: leeuwen@iastate.edu


Website: www.iastate.edu

Substitute for conventional diesel and biodiesel fuel

XcelPlus International, the United States, recently secured exclusive worldwide production and distribution rights for DiesenolTM, an ethanol-based substitute for diesel and biodiesel fuel. It has also introduced FlexTekTM bi-fuel converter for pe-troleum powered vehicles.


The eco-friendly Diesenol is a blend of ethanol and a specially engineered proprietary chemical, specifically designed to provide combustion as well as maintain the integrity of the injector system. Diesenol provides better cold start characteristics than conventional diesel fuel and does not require any special equipment or fittings. It is designed to combust at the same compression as ordinary diesel fuel. The test vehicles city buses and trailer trucks that ran on Diesenol showed more power, better torque curves and no injector failures. , each of which logged over 400,000 km with Diesenol fuel.


Contact: Mr. Brad Novak, XcelPlus International, 5041 General Puller Highway, Saluda VA 23149, United States of America. Tel: +1 (804) 758 8426; Fax: +1 (804) 758 6058


E-mail: bnovak@xcelplus.com


Website: www.marketwire.com


Biogas for homes from food waste

The Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI), India, won an international award for its revolutionary application of biogas technology to an urban environment, transforming food waste into a clean household cooking fuel. ARTI has designed a compact biogas system, suitable for urban households, that uses food wastes and other sugary, starchy substances to produce gas for cooking. ARTIs biogas system is based on the fermentation technique where high energy food such as starch, cellulose and sugar is broken down by bacteria. On such material, the bacteria become 400 times more effective in producing gas. The system requires just 1 kg per day to produce 500 litres of cooking gas.


It takes just 48 hours for the digestion process, in place of 40 days when dung is used, to produce biogas. The system costs around US$ 150. At present, about 700 such biogas systems are in use in several villages in Maharashtra. ARTI has produced a video CD that shows how the plant can be constructed and will market it soon. ARTI had bagged its first Ashden Award (Food) in 2002 for its char briquettes using agricultural waste.


Website: www.cities.expressindia.com

Cooking gas from wastewater

In Jamaica, West Indies, the Scientific Research Council (SRC) has launched a new energy project that produces cooking gas from wastewater. SRC is offering the technology to companies and households interested in producing electricity and gas from wastewater their own. SRC has been using this technology to operate a cooker at its food processing facility.


SRCs Up-Flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactor is capable of producing biogas from any wastewater. The basic principle is adding bacteria to the wastewater under anaerobic conditions. SRCs Food Processing Division produces about 1,000 l of wastewater daily. For this system, several bio-digesters are employed, and the sludge removed is used for further inoculation of the UASB. Wastewater is then added to the sludge at the bottom of the reactor. As the bacteria thrive, they break down organic pollutants in the wastewater over an 8 h period. The process produces, biogas as well as water (80 per cent treated). About 5 m3/d of biogas is obtained.


Website: www.jamaicaobserver.com

PUBLICATIONS

Developing Wind Power Projects: Theory and Practice

Wind power is developing rapidly, in terms of both the number of new installations and interest from various stakeholders, including policy makers, NGOs, research scientists, industry and the general public. Unlike the majority of texts on wind power, which are written primarily for engineers or policy analysts, this book specifically targets those interested in or planning to develop, wind power projects. After outlining wind power basics and explaining the underlying resource and technology, the book goes on to explore the interactions between wind power and society, and the main aspects of project development, including siting, economics and legislation.

Planning and Installing Bioenergy Systems

This guide includes clear technical details, data tables and illustrative pictures explaining the fundamentals of different bioenergy projects, besides reviews of the main technologies and best-practice examples. It is packed with essential know-how on many bioenergy topics. Each technology is explained in terms of the overall system and its components, planning, operation, maintenance, installation and economics. Information is provided on both heat and combined heat and power. In addition, the international legal framework, relevant subsidies and fiscal incentives are also described.

Wind Power Plants: Fundamentals, Design, Construction and Operation

This handbook presents a detailed explanation of wind power technology, from first principles through to more advanced concepts. Contributions from 14 experts in academia and industry enrich thecoverage, while the fact that the notes on which this book is based have been used in teaching for over 20 years foster easier understanding. Consequently, this work gathers together a large volume of experience in a concise manner, using material from a proven syllabus that can inform students and professionals alike.


For the above publications, please contact: Earthscan/ James and James, 8-12 Camden High Street, London NW1 0JH, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (20) 7387 8558; Fax: +44 (20) 7387 8998


E-mail: orders@earthscan.co.uk


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