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Archive for the ‘Alternative Energy’ Category

If the 19th century was the age of coal and the 20th of oil, the 21st will be the age of the sun!

Sun is a bundle of free safe and green energy source available till the day elephant fly and so the solar radiation for generating electricity. The technology barriers have not yet allowed to make breakthrough invention. Sun light is free; can scientist community make electricity from sun for free, if not at cheaper price?

Research are working on dye-sensitized solar cells, which are expected to power Air Force unmanned aircraft in the future because they are an optimum energy harvesting source that may lead to longer flight times without refueling.

Technology:

Using a flexible film and a thin glass coating with transparent conductive electrodes.
Dye-sensitized solar cells made from organic materials, which use (dyes) and moth-eye film, are able to catch photons and convert them into synthesized electrons that can harvest high photon energy.

Advantages:

These kinds of solar cells have more specific power convergence efficiency, very clean energy and easy scalability to a larger skin area of the craft, as well as, low-temperature processing, which leads to lower costs overall.

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Hong Kong firm to harness wind energy in India

CLP Holdings of Hong Kong, one of the largest energy utilities in Asia, will be given a $113-million loan by the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop two wind farms in Gujarat and Karnataka.

Formerly called China Light and Power Company Ltd, CLP’s wholly-owned Indian arm will develop the farms as part of the financial institution’s efforts to promote clean energy sources among its member countries.

  • They will generate 183.2 MW of electricity in the two states.
  • This project will help India’s economic growth and energy diversification in an environmentally sustainable manner
  • It will also help enhance private sector participation in energy generation by demonstrating the successful implementation of large-scale wind power projects

The Gujarat and Karnataka projects will have a total cost of some Rs.9.9 billion ($250 million), of which half will come from ADB as loans and the rest would be accounted for by private sponsors, internal funds and long-term debt.

The two farms are part of a recent series of ADB projects in partnerships with the Indian private sector to bring cleaner sources of energy, as also to help the government meet its goal of power for all by 2012.

India is already ranked fourth in the world for installed wind power generation, behind Germany, the US and Spain. As of September 2007, India had over 7,200 MW of installed wind power capacity, with gross potential for 45,000 MW.

As per ADB’s assessment, global energy demand is expected to rise by 53 percent by 2030 and developing Asia would represent a large chunk of the new needs with India already the third largest electricity consumer in Asia behind China.

Thermal power plants, mostly coal-fired, provide 66 percent of India’s capacity and hydro accounts for 26 percent. Gas and oil-fired thermal plants, renewable energy, and nuclear power provide the rest.

Worldwide wind energy – The air is on…..

Worldwide, the wind energy sector has now become firmly installed as one of the important players in the energy markets, with the total value of new generating equipment installed in 2006 reaching €18 billion, or US$23 billion from US$14 billion in 2005.

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Table data source: Global Wind Energy Council – 2006 report

The above table pattern of development shows that new players such as Portugal and China are gaining ground.

What could be the reason?
Some facts from China:
According to a a reported invterview, Vestas Chief Executive Officer Ditlev Engel played down the market share drop, saying an additional $750 million of projects expected to come online in the first half of 2008 would help to counteract the slip. “We’ve been surprised by how fast new entrants have entered the market. Yet since 2006, we have invested more than €1 billion ($1.5 billion) in organic growth,” he says.

The main challenge has come in China where local firms, such as Sinovel and Goldwind, have taken advantage of a Chinese government push to increase renewable generation from 7% of total energy production to 15% by 2020. That has led to an explosion of activity from both local and international players, such as General Electric (GE) and Siemens (SI). Vestas, for example, increased the number of wind farms delivered to Chinese clients by 20% last year, compared to 2006. But Chinese firms have increased their local orders, taking a bite out of Vestas’ share of the market.

Despite the slip, analysts reacted favorably to the Danish company’s results, which included a 26% increase in annual revenues, to $7.3 billion, and operating margins that grew almost four percentage points year-over-year, to 9.1% in 2007. According to forecasts from Vestas, revenue should hit $8.5 billion in 2008, while operating profit is expected to increase 10% to 12% by year end.

A look at intellectual property creation in wind power domain:

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IP creation from across the globe:

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Top companies in IP creation:

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Wind power patent distribution based on technology:

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World wind energy installations grow, India slows down

Globally, the wind energy sector saw phenomenal growth in the year 2007. However, in India, the industry failed to keep pace. Worldwide wind energy installation were 19,696MW in 2007 up from 15,120 MW in 2006. In contrast in India the installations in 2007 were 1580 MW down from 1730 MW in 2006.

Though India ranks 4th  globally , the country managed to  register a growth rate of just 25.2 per cent against the world average  of 26.6 per cent. This puts India far behind countries like the US (45 per cent), Spain (30.2 per cent), France (56.7 per cent), and its neighbour China (127.5 per cent). India’s total installed wind energy capacity now stands at 7,850 MW in comparison with 6,270 MW in 2006 and 4,430 MW in 2005.

Tetra Tech Awarded Wind Energy Projects Valued at Approximately $150 Million – 27th Feb, 2008

Tetra Tech, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded three wind energy projects totaling approximately $150 million by PacifiCorp, one of the leading utilities in the western United States. Work on the three projects will begin immediately and is expected to be complete in December 2008. Tetra Tech will provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for the Seven Mile Hill, Glenrock and Rolling Hills wind farm projects in Wyoming.

Each of the three wind projects will include 66 General Electric turbines and will be capable of generating 99 megawatts of power.

The Seven Mile Hill wind project is located in Carbon County, Wyoming, between the towns of Hanna and Medicine Bow. The Glenrock and Rolling Hills projects are located in Converse County, Wyoming, on a site that includes the reclaimed Dave Johnston Coal Mine, where surface mining operations took place for more than 40 years. Final reclamation of the mine was completed in November 2005, returning the land to its pre-mining appearance.

“Many clients are seeking full-service solutions for their wind power development projects,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech’s CEO. “Tetra Tech has been involved in 70 wind projects in 35 states and is continuing to expand its capability and experience in this growing market.”

The leading wind power countries

There is an estimated 50 to 100 times more wind energy than plant biomass energy available on Earth.

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines.

At the end of 2006, worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was 73.9 gigawatts; although it currently produces just over 1% of world-wide electricity use, it accounts for approximately 20% of electricity production in Denmark, 9% in Spain, and 7% in Germany. Globally, wind power generation more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2006.

Until 2006 the wind energy industry was dominated by five countries which had a history of developing wind technology and manufacturing capability; Denmark, USA, Germany, Spain and India.
In 2006 China became significant and will be increasingly important in world markets in the future. 65% of the world’s wind power capacity was installed in Europe in 2006, compared with 69% in 2005, and 18% in North America compared with 17% in the previous year – Source GWEC

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A second tier of wind energy countries has now emerged and seven have over 1,000 MW installed; Japan, Italy, United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Netherlands and Canada. Another two can now be included in this category because they have likely become eligible by mid 2007, these are Austria and Australia. – Source GWEC

Installed wind power capacity of the eight intermediate wind power countries MW, 2002 to 2006

But moves such as “Super-powered Magnetic Wind Turbine” are soon going to changes the above figures. Before I started working on this in blog 2 days back, it came in my mind that why not a massive structure as a wind turbine? and I came across “Super-powered Magnetic Wind Turbine”.

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The way maglev wind turbine works:

  • Magnetic levitation is an extremely efficient system for wind energy. Here’s how it works:
  • The vertically oriented blades of the wind turbine are suspended in the air above the base of the machine, replacing the need for ball bearings.
  • The turbine uses “full-permanent” magnets, not electromagnets — therefore, it does not require electricty to run.
  • The full-permanent magnet system employs neodymium (”rare earth”) magnets and there is no energy loss through friction.
  • This also helps reduce maintenance costs and increases the lifespan of the generator.

Advantages over conventional wind turbines:

They’re able to use winds with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second (m/s).
They could operate in winds exceeding 40 m/s.
Currently, the largest conventional wind turbines in the world produce only five megawatts of power.
One large maglev wind turbine could generate one gigawatt of clean power, enough to supply energy to 750,000 homes.
It would also increase generation capacity by 20% over conventional wind turbines and decrease operational costs by 50%.
The maglev wind turbines will be operational for about 500 years!

Construction:

  • Construction began on the world’s largest production site for maglev wind turbines in central China on November 5, 2007. Zhongke Hengyuan Energy Technology has invested 400 million yuan in building this facility, which will produce maglev wind turbines with capacities ranging from 400 to 5,000 Watts.
  • In the US, Arizona-based MagLev Wind Turbine Technologies will be manufacturing these turbines. Headed by long-time renewable energy researcher Ed Mazur, the company claims that it will be able to deliver clean power for less than one cent per kilowatt hour with this new technology.
  • It also points out that building a single giant maglev wind turbine would reduce construction and maintenance costs and require much less land than hundreds of conventional turbines.

Cost:
The estimated cost of building this colossal structure is $53 million.

Maglev Wind Turbine Patents:

Let me check what’s out there some time.

Energy Basics

In physics and other sciences, energy is a scalar physical quantity that is a property of objects and systems which is conserved by nature. Several different forms, such as

  • Kinetic
  • Potential
  • Thermal
  • Electromagnetic
  • Chemical
  • Nuclear and
  • Mass have been defined to explain all known natural phenomena.

Energy is converted from one form to another, but it is never created or destroyed. This principle, the conservation of energy, was first postulated in the early 19th century, and applies to any isolated system. According to Noether’s theorem, the conservation of energy is a consequence of the fact that the laws of physics do not change over time.

Law of conservation of energy:
Energy is subject to the law of conservation of energy. According to this law, energy can neither be created (produced) nor destroyed itself. It can only be transformed.

Alternative Energy:
Fuel sources that are other than those derived from fossil fuels. Typically used interchangeably for renewable energy. Examples include:

  • Wind – is the conversion of wind energy into useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines.
  • Hydropower – or hydraulic power is the force or energy of moving water.
  • Biomass – refers to living and recently dead biological material that can be used as fuel or for industrial production. It can be broadly defined as solid, liquid, or gas fuel consisting of, or derived from biomass.
  • Tidal power – is a form of hydropower that exploits the movement of water caused by tidal currents or the rise and fall in sea levels due to the tides.
  • Wave – refers to the energy of ocean surface waves and the capture of that energy to do useful work
  • Solar – is energy from the Sun. This energy drives climate and the weather supports virtually all life on Earth.
  • Geothermal – Geothermal energy is energy obtained by tapping the heat of the earth itself, usually from kilometers deep into the Earth’s crust.
  • Hydrogen & Fuel Cells – A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device. It produces electricity from external supplies of fuel (on the anode side) and oxidant (on the cathode side).

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