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Europe's Most Advanced Paper Recycling Plant Opened in UK - Waste Management World

Europe's Most Advanced Paper Recycling Plant Opened in UK - Waste Management World | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

A recycled paper mill claimed to be the most advanced in Europe has been officially opened by Michael Fallon, the UK's minister of state for business & energy, at Partington Wharfside, Trafford.

Duane Tilden's insight:

SIACA said that the mill will help to some 450,000 tonnes a year of used paper from export by recycling it within the UK - reducing carbon emissions by 84,011 tonnes per year - equivalent to taking 28,000 cars off the road each.

 

Economic boost

According to the company PM-11 has led to the creation of 94 direct jobs plus opportunities for contractors and other roles.

 

"This cutting edge facility shows how state of the art technology and innovation can help drive growth. It’s a real boost for the economy and will create new jobs for Partington and the local area," commented Fallon.

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Methods of Improving Data Centers' Energy Efficiency and Performance

Methods of Improving Data Centers' Energy Efficiency and Performance | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
America's data centers are consuming — and wasting — a surprising amount of energy.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"Our study shows that many small, mid-size, corporate and multi-tenant data centers still waste much of the energy they use. Many of the roughly 12 million U.S. servers spend most of their time doing little or no work, but still drawing significant power — up to 30 percent of servers are "comatose" and no longer needed, while many others are grossly underutilized. However, opportunities abound to reduce energy waste in the data-center industry as a whole.  Technology that will improve efficiency exists, but systemic measures are needed to remove the barriers limiting its broad adoption across the industry. 

How much energy do data centers use?

The rapid growth of digital content, big data, e-commerce and Internet traffic more than offset energy-efficiency progress, making data centers one of the fastest-growing consumers of electricity in the U.S. economy, and a key driver in the construction of new power plants. If such data centers were a country, they would be the globe's 12th-largest consumer of electricity, ranking somewhere between Spain and Italy.

In 2013, U.S. data centers consumed an estimated 91 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. That's the equivalent annual output of 34 large (500-megawatt) coal-fired power plants — enough electricity to power all the households in New York City, twice over, for a year.  [...]

 

Fixing the problem

While current technology can improve data center efficiency, we recommend systemic measures to create conditions for best-practices across the data center industry, including:

 

Adoption of a simple, server-utilization metric. One of the biggest efficiency issues in data centers is underutilization of servers. Adoption of a simple metric, such as the average utilization of the server central processing units (CPUs), is a key step in resolving the energy-consumption issue.  [...]Rewarding the right behaviors. Data center operators, service providers and multi-tenant customers should review their internal organizational structures and external contractual arrangements and ensure that incentives are aligned to provide financial rewards for efficiency best practices.  [...]Disclosure of data-center energy and carbon performance.Public disclosure is a powerful mechanism for demonstrating leadership and driving behavior change across an entire sector. [...]

 

If just half of the technical savings potential for data-center efficiency that we identify in our report is realized (taking into account market barriers), electricity consumption in U.S. data centers could be cut by as much as 40 percent.  [...]"<


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Residential Battery Storage Nears Grid Parity in Germany

Residential Battery Storage Nears Grid Parity in Germany | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
It’s very close, according to the German government and some industry observers.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"It is now generally recognized that rooftop solar has reached “socket parity” -- meaning that it is comparable to or cheaper than grid prices -- in many countries over the last few years. The big question for consumers and utilities is when socket parity will arrive for solar and battery storage.

[...] Electricity prices are rising and solar PV prices are falling, which means that if battery storage falls to around €0.20 per kilowatt-hour (U.S. $0.27), parity will be achieved.

Australian investment firm Morgans, in an assessment of Brisbane-based battery storage developer Redflow, suggests that that company's zinc-bromine flow battery may already be commercially economic in Germany, the country that leads the world in terms of household adoption and government support for renewables.

Morgans notes that in Germany, the cost of household grid power is around €0.30 per kilowatt-hour (U.S. $0.40) and that the government is now subsidizing residential energy storage systems that are connected to solar systems.

“Given Germany’s substantial adoption of solar PV...costs for solar power range from €0.10 to €0.15 per kilowatt-hour (half the grid price), so when energy storage costs reach €0.15 to €0.20, this will mean renewable energy costs will be at parity with grid prices,” Morgans concludes.  [...]"<


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Data Centers and Energy Efficiency

Data Centers and Energy Efficiency | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
New analysis suggests there's still an opportunity to cut power consumption and save billions in 2014.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"A new tally by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) suggests there's still a big opportunity to cut energy usage by 40 percent, saving more than $3.8 billion in 2014 alone.  Put another way, that's like switching off 39 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, the equivalent of 14 large, coal-fired power plants.

"Most of the attention is focused on the highly visible hyperscale 'cloud' data centers like Google's and Facebook's, but they are already very efficient and represent less than 5 percent of U.S. data center electricity consumption," said Pierre Delforge, NRDC's director of high-tech energy efficiency. "Our small, medium, corporate and multi-tenant data centers are still squandering huge amounts of energy."

Here's the likely outcome: By 2020, U.S. data centers will probably require about 140 kilowatt-hours of electricity to keep online.

The biggest culprits in wasteful IT power consumption are underutilized servers using significant amounts of electricity without performing any useful purpose, according to NRDC.  [...]

Figures suggest the average server operates at just 12 percent to 18 percent of its capacity, which means businesses could stand to be far more aggressive about consolidating or virtualizing them. That's particularly true of the smallest server rooms, ones that crop up with little advance planning.

"The more work a server performs, the more energy-efficient it is—just as a bus uses much less gasoline per passenger when ferrying 50 people than when carrying just a handful," the analysis notes.

Among the recommended fixes for this persistent problem are the adoption of metrics that provide deeper insight into average server utilization, more public disclosure of data center energy performance information, and "green" data center leases that provide incentives for energy savings.

The reason why these green data center service contracts work, according to the report, is because they create financial incentives for companies to consider their energy use. [...]"<

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, September 4, 4:00 AM

"Here's the likely outcome: By 2020, U.S. data centers will probably require about 140 kilowatt-hours of electricity to keep online.

The biggest culprits in wasteful IT power consumption are underutilized servers using significant amounts of electricity without performing any useful purpose, according to NRDC. The research was developed in partnership with with Anthesis. Shortsighted procurement practices and policies for overprovisioning that basically keep unused servers in place "just in case" don't help either."

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Renewable Geothermal Power Expands in Nevada

Renewable Geothermal Power Expands in Nevada | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Geothermal energy is a growing industry, with more plants going into Nevada's mostly untapped resource.
Duane Tilden's insight:

Geothermal energy is a growing type of clean energy, and nowhere is that more true than in Nevada. Ormat Technologies has built a geothermal plant every year since 2005.  [...]

"This is what the future is going to bring," Gawell said. "You will see more and more of this in years ahead and it is already a boom for Reno."

The Steamboat Complex is a binary plant that takes hot water from deep underground, to produce power.

"We convert the heat that's in the fluid to electrical energy," Bob Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Ormat Technologies said. "Then we put all the fluids back into the ground where it gets reheated. So, it's a sustainable cycle."  [...]

Along with electricity, these facilities create economic development, putting hundreds of people to work, drilling wells and building the plants.   About 500 people have permanent jobs with Ormat, in the United States.  Another 500 people work for the company around the world.

"It's a job engine," Sullivan said. "It takes a lot of maintenance. It takes a lot of people. It takes a lot of workers, a lot of subcontractors to keep one of these facilities running."

While the cost of fossil fuels goes up and down, geothermal stays steady. The fuel cost is upfront, in the form of drilling wells. Gawell says what is lost in capital and labor costs is saved in fuel costs. [...]"<

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Development of small scale renewable landfill bio-gas electric generator in UK

ACP funds for development of small scale landfill gas engine in UK Energy Business Review ACP's biogas partner AlphaGen Renewables, which oversee the installation and operation of a 50kW microgeneration landfill gas engine, will develop the project.


Via Microgen Concepts
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"The project is expected to generate power from the landfill gas resource at the site under a 20 year agreement with Norfolk County Council. 

AlphaGen Renewables chairman Richard Tipping said: "We are delighted to be partnering with ACP on this project, which is set to deliver strong returns. Renewables such as biogas are playing a growing role in the UK's energy production."

Albion Ventures Renewables head David Gudgin said: "Biogas is an increasingly popular area of renewable energy and we are looking forward to working with AlphaGen both on this project and others in the future."<

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Province Calls for Renewable Energy Storage Systems Demonstration Projects

Province Calls for Renewable Energy Storage Systems Demonstration Projects | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Most of the new systems will be able to turn on a dime, storing and releasing energy almost instantaneously to help balance out the supply and demand over the course of a day
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"Ontario has embarked on a quest to find the holy grail of renewable energy – an effective means to store the power generated by intermittent wind and solar installations.

The province’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) recently chose five companies who will build a dozen demonstration projects designed to capture and release energy. That would allow the electricity grid to react to fluctuations in power production, which are becoming more significant with the addition of renewables whose output varies depending on how the wind blows and sun shines.

 [...]

The technologies that will be tested include advanced batteries, systems that store power in the form of hydrogen, and even flywheels that hold energy as kinetic energy in a spinning rotor.

Bruce Campbell, president of the IESO, called storage facilities a “game changer” for a grid that was designed to produce electricity at exactly the same time it is consumed. “Energy storage projects will provide more flexibility and offer more options to manage the system efficiently,” he said.

The test projects will be distributed at various locations around the province, and will be connected to different parts of the grid to see how effectively they can help balance supply, demand and other transmission issues.

Among the suppliers are Hydrogenics Corp., which will test a hydrogen storage system, and Hecate Energy and Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., which will use various battery technologies. Convergent Energy and Power LLC will test a flywheel that converts electricity to kinetic energy stored in a rotor. Dimplex North America Ltd. will install thermal systems in apartments in Hamilton, Ont., that store electricity as heat in special bricks, releasing it later when the building needs to be warmed.

Rob Harvey, director of energy storage at Hydrogenics, said his company’s test system will incorporate an advanced electrolysis system that uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. That hydrogen can then be used in a fuel cell to generate electricity when needed. Coupling the fuel cell and the electrolyser means power can be effectively stored for any length of time and dispatched as needed.

If the tests are successful, Mr. Harvey said, this could be a significant new line of business for Hydrogenics, which now makes hydrogen-producing systems for industrial customers, as well as fuel cells, which are essentially engines that use hydrogen as fuel."<

  
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Liquid Air Processes for Energy Storage and Power - Grid & Transportation

Liquid Air Processes for Energy Storage and Power - Grid & Transportation | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
A 19th-century idea might lead to cleaner cars, larger-scale renewable energy.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"Highview Power’s process is 50 to 60 percent efficient—the liquid air can yield just over half as much electricity as it takes to make it. Batteries, by contrast, can be more than 90 percent efficient. But the new process can make up for its inefficiency by using waste heat from other processes (see “Audi to Make Fuel Using Solar Power”). Highview has demonstrated that low-temperature waste heat from power plants or even data centers can be used to help warm up the liquefied air. The system can also last for decades, while batteries typically need to be replaced every few years. This longevity could help reduce overall costs.

Several companies are developing ways to improve the efficiency of compressing air, which could also make the liquefaction process more efficient (see “LightSail Energy Snags $37M in Funding” and “Compressed-Air System Could Aid Wind Power”). Liquefied air is about four times more energy-dense than compressed air, and storing it at a large scale takes up less space.

Liquid air might also prove useful in cars and trucks. An inventor named Peter Dearman has made a compact system that, instead of relying on large heat exchangers, uses antifreeze injected into an engine’s combustion chamber to recycle heat that would otherwise be wasted. He built a ramshackle prototype and showed that it could power a car. Ricardo is working on a version that could eventually be commercialized.

Liquid air stores energy at about the density of nickel–metal hydride batteries and some lithium-ion batteries, the kind used in hybrid and electric cars now. But it has a key advantage—it can be poured into a fuel tank far faster than a battery can be recharged, says Andrew Atkins, a senior technologist at Ricardo. The engine would run on liquid nitrogen—basically liquid air with the oxygen removed—and would emit only nitrogen. The carbon emissions associated with the engine would depend on the power source used to liquefy the nitrogen."<

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Liquefied Air to Store Energy on U.K. Grid

Liquefied Air to Store Energy on U.K. Grid | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Highview Power Storage lands grant to build commercial-scale liquid-air energy storage demonstration plant
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"U.K.-based Highview Power Storage last week said that it has been awarded an £8 million grant from the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change to build a commercial-scale facility that uses liquified air to store energy. Highview is already running a smaller pilot plant, but the full-scale version will be able to store enough energy to deliver five megawatts of power for three hours.  [...]

Liquid air energy storage is similar to compressed air energy storage in that air is compressed and released to store and then generate power. WithHighview’s technology, though, ambient air is compressed, then cooled and liquified. That liquefied air, which is almost -200 °C, is stored in large tanks.

When power is needed, the liquid air is released and pumped to high pressure. That causes the liquid to evaporate, turning it into a high-pressure gas which is then run through a turbine to generate power. The planned demonstration plant will be located at a waste processing center. Heat from the waste plant’s gas turbines, which run on captured landfill methane, will be piped in to improve the efficiency of the evaporation process.

One of the advantages of liquid air storage is that it uses off-the-shelf equipment. The tanks for storing liquid air, for instance, are the same as those used in the industrial gas industry. Highview’s expertise is in engineering the different components into a working system with the highest possible efficiency. “Getting the supply chain right is really what our technology is all about. What we’re trying to do is get a system to work with widely available kit,” Brett says.

This commercial-scale plant also gives an indication of how much liquid-air energy storage costs. For 15 megawatt-hours of storage, it will cost about £533 (about $900) per kilowatt-hour. But Brett projects the economies of scale from a larger plant would allow Brightview to get the cost under $500 per kilowatt-hour. At that price, energy storage on the grid can be cost competitive with power plants for a number of applications, such as storing wind and solar energy for delivery during peak hours, say experts.

Highview’s plant will be used to relieve congestion on the grid. For example, stored energy can supply power to the local distribution grid when substations are maxed out during peak hours."<

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VPP - New Models for the Distributed Grid Network

VPP - New Models for the Distributed Grid Network | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
National Instruments, LocalGrid, and Toronto Hydro pilot the software-defined, peer-to-peer distributed grid architecture.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>" [...] Because each CompactRIO endpoint is inherently flexible, LocalGrid can provide “protocol conversion which we can update dynamically over the air, analytics that we can update to the system, and run multiple applications on the same device,” he said. This is similar in intent to the kind of field-distributed computing capability that Silver Spring Network’s new SilverLink Sensor Network platform and Cisco’s new IOx platform are opening up to partners, but it’s pretty far ahead of the capabilities of the vast majority of today’s grid edge devices.

In fact, in terms of technology that allows interoperability without a lot of expensive and complex pre-integration work, “The existing players do not have solutions that will do this job,” Leigh said. “They’re not fast enough, they’re not open enough, or they don’t have solutions that are cost-effective enough in the distribution space.”

So far, LocalGrid has connected four sites with a combination of solar PV and wind turbine inverters and metering hardware, and is now in the midst of its second phase of developing custom algorithms for tasks such as detecting faults and forecasting solar and wind generation and loads on distribution circuits, Leigh said. These aren’t necessarily huge challenges for Toronto Hydro’s existing IT infrastructure at pilot scale, “But if we were to multiply that across the network, it’s just not feasible to get all that data to be analyzed into a back-end system,” he said.

As for how to expand LocalGrid’s software capabilities to a broader set of grid endpoints, Leigh cited Cisco’s IOx-enabled grid routers as potential future partners. Other big grid vendors like General Electric, ABB and Siemens “are at different stages starting to open up their systems,” he said. “The question that still has to be worked out is how much third-party development can take place on their new systems.”

That’s the same question that Duke has been asking the grid vendor community, via its plans to open its source code and hardware adapter reference designs to the public. The past half-decade has seen open-source grid systems emerge from simulation software and data management tools to a few real-world grid applications, albeit still in the experimental stage. Perhaps the next half-decade will see the open grid edge platform attain real-world status."<

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BC Premier Christy Clark confronted by Aboriginal leaders torn over LNG plans

BC Premier Christy Clark confronted by Aboriginal leaders torn over LNG plans | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Treaty 8 Chiefs had a hard time delivering a scathing letter to the Premier at a Vancouver LNG summit.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>The northeast First Nations have lived with oil and gas for 60 years, and understand the economic opportunities that could flow LNG.  But they also worry just how much more the region can take.  

Site C Dam and LNG together would cause massive disruption of the land, air and water.  Their polling shows 50% of their members are uncertain about LNG in particular, and 20% are vehemently opposed. 

Many fear an Alberta-Tar-Sands-scale industrialization coming to their territories.

“That’s what we’re afraid of.  If LNG goes through, they’re predicting upwards of 50,000 to 60,000 new frack wells… and all the associated infrastructure that goes with it: roads, pipelines, seismic, drilling.  It’s scary,” said Tribal Chief Logan.

“We’re not opposed to creating a good economy for everybody, but there has to be some type of sustainable development.  We can’t drink the water up there any more.”

“There’s more and more moose, rabbit and beaver organs that we’re finding that have [puss-like] abscesses on them.  Sometimes we open an animal and it smells almost rotten.”<

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US Navy Builds Scale Model Aircraft Powered with Fuel From the Sea Concept

US Navy Builds Scale Model Aircraft Powered with Fuel From the Sea Concept | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Navy researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Materials Science and Technology Division, demonstrated pr
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"Using an innovative and proprietary NRL electrolytic cation exchange module (E-CEM), both dissolved and bound CO2 are removed from seawater at 92 percent efficiency by re-equilibrating carbonate and bicarbonate to CO2 and simultaneously producing H2. The gases are then converted to liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system.

"In close collaboration with the Office of Naval Research P38 Naval Reserve program, NRL has developed a game-changing technology for extracting, simultaneously, CO2 and H2 from seawater," said Dr. Heather Willauer, NRL research chemist. "This is the first time technology of this nature has been demonstrated with the potential for transition, from the laboratory, to full-scale commercial implementation."

CO2 in the air and in seawater is an abundant carbon resource, but the concentration in the ocean (100 milligrams per liter [mg/L]) is about 140 times greater than that in air, and 1/3 the concentration of CO2 from a stack gas (296 mg/L). Two to three percent of the CO2 in seawater is dissolved CO2 gas in the form of carbonic acid, one percent is carbonate, and the remaining 96 to 97 percent is bound in bicarbonate.

NRL has made significant advances in the development of a gas-to-liquids (GTL) synthesis process to convert CO2 and H2 from seawater to a fuel-like fraction of C9-C16 molecules. In the first patented step, an iron-based catalyst 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). These value-added hydrocarbons from this process serve as building blocks for the production of industrial chemicals and designer fuels.

In the second step these olefins can be converted to compounds of a higher molecular using controlled polymerization. The resulting liquid contains hydrocarbon molecules in the carbon range, C9-C16, suitable for use a possible renewable replacement for petroleum based jet fuel. 

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. Pursuing remote land-based options would be the first step towards a future sea-based solution."<

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Radical beverage refrigeration technology cools on demand

Radical beverage refrigeration technology cools on demand | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
UK-based Pera Technology has developed a new refrigeration technology known as V-Tex, which has the ability to cool drinks while consuming less energy.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>The V-Tex has the ability to cool a standard 35cl can of drink in just 45 seconds, the company claims.

Paul Tattersall, project manager at Pera Technology, said: "The energy consumed by commercial refrigerators and freezers is quite staggering. Across Europe, an estimated 85TWh of electricity is used, comparable to around 25 million households. [...]

 

The Rapidcool consortium set out to develop a novel, fast-cooling apparatus that cools drinks on demand. This is a much smarter alternative to the current norm, where large volumes of drinks are stored in chillers for prolonged periods, just waiting to be consumed. This not only wastes a lot of energy, but chilled stock can easily run out. V-Tex technology is flexible and ensures consumers can always obtain a cooled beverage quickly.

The main challenge faced by the team was to optimise cooling efficiency to meet consumer demand for extremely fast cooling without 'slushing'. This occurs when the outer layers of liquid freeze before the inner liquid is cooled. The V-Tex technology rotates the drink under optimised conditions to create a 'Rankine vortex' and obtain cooling speeds better than other approaches while avoiding the effects of slushing and fizzing when the drink is opened. The cooling chamber can be easily integrated into existing vending machines or open-cabinets, in addition to working as a standalone cooling unit.<

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RISC vs. CISC explained for data center systems

CISC processors suit virtually every task, but RISC processors can do more with less power. The RISC vs. CISC battle has moved into the data center, with compelling pros for RISC.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>RISC vs. CISC processors

Today's x86 processor designs are an amalgamation of features and functionality from the last 30 years, right up to today's Intel-VT and AMD-V instructions to support hardware-assisted virtualization.

But there's a problem with this complex instruction set computing (CISC) approach; every new instruction or feature adds tens of thousands of transistors to the processor die, adding power demands and latency even if the instructions are rarely used. The chip is extremely versatile, but it runs hot and sucks power with ever-increasing clock speeds.

Processors run much more efficiently when tailored to a specific task. Reduced instruction set computing (RISC) strips out unneeded features and functionality, and builds on task-specific capabilities. Simpler, more reliable RISC processors provide the same effective computing throughput at a fraction of the power and cooling.

The question in CISC vs. RISC arguments is versatility vs. efficiency. Traditional x86 CISC processors can tackle almost any computing task using an extraordinarily comprehensive instruction set. This made CISC the preferred chip design for general-purpose computing platforms: enterprise servers, desktop PCs and laptop/notebook systems.

Purpose-built RISC processors sacrifice versatility for efficiency. Removing unneeded instructions dramatically reduces the processor's transistor count. Tackling fewer tasks in hardware means those tasks are performed faster, even at lower clock speeds (less power) than a full x86 CISC counterpart.

Printers, home routers, and even multifunction telephones and remote controls use RISC processors, and the concept is growing dramatically for fully featured computing platforms. A tablet or smartphone's RISC processor can deliver smooth video playback, fast webpage display and a responsive user interface for many hours on a battery charge, with no cooling devices. This same chip design paradigm is systematically finding traction in data center systems.<

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Energy Storage Solutions for the Smart Grid

Energy Storage Solutions for the Smart Grid | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
In order to ramp up clean energy production, we have to figure out how to store and transmit it effectively. Companies are experimenting with new tech to figure out the best way to progress.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"The smart grid energy storage sector is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2020, with an annual compound growth rate of 8%, according to a recent report from Lux Research. In 2013, renewable energy accounted for only 10% of total US energy usage and 13% of electricity generation, according to the US Energy and Information Administration.

But as renewable energy generation rises, transmission and storage advancements will be necessary. Curtailment, the act of spilling renewable energy because there's more than enough, is one issue to tackle. By changing grid transmission lines in 2010, Texas saw the curtailment in their grid drop from 9% to 4% in 2012, according to a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The tipping point with energy storage depends on the grid and the technology used, said Sam Jaffe, an analyst at Navigant Research. Some places in the world that have extremely high penetration rates of renewable energy don't have major problems with wasted renewables. Denmark sends its extra wind power to Sweden and Norway, while importing hydro power from those two countries when the wind isn't blowing. Denmark's wind penetration is now at almost 40%.

"That's because they are interconnected to other grids that have a lot of flexibility to offtake renewable energy," he said."<

 
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US Company Deploys Aqueous, Lithium-Ion and Flow Batteries for Grid Storage

US Company Deploys Aqueous, Lithium-Ion and Flow Batteries for Grid Storage | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
“Batteries must do more than just work—they have to scale.”
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"[...] The startup is a software developer and system integrator that has attracted investment, personnel and a growing roster of turnkey energy storage projects.

[...]

Companies like the 30-employee Greensmith are winning energy storage projects not because they are building better batteries but because they are writing software that integrates batteries with inverters and allows energy storage to work with the grid at scale. Greensmith works with a variety of battery chemistries from different vendors, as well as multiple inverters and power electronics partners.  

New battery technologies and projects

Amongst other technologies, Greensmith is using Aquion Energy's sodium-ion battery. The Pittsburgh, Penn.-based Aquion says its technology can deliver round-trip energy efficiency of 85 percent; a ten-year, 5,000-plus-cycle lifespan; energy storage capacity optimized to charge and discharge for multi-hour applications; and perhaps most notably, a price point of $250 per kilowatt-hour.

In April, Aquion closed a $55 million Series D venture capital investment, bringing total investments and grants to more than $100 million. New investors Bill Gates, Yung’s Enterprise, Nick and Joby Pritzker (through their family’s firm Tao Invest), Bright Capital, and Gentry Venture Partners joined previous investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital, and Advanced Technology Ventures in the round. Aquion is already producing its 1.5-kilowatt-hour S10 Battery Stack units, as well as an 18-kilowatt-hour system that combines twelve of its S10 units. 

Greensmith is also using ViZn Energy Systems' zinc redox flow battery energy storage technology. ViZn aims to produce a 80-kilowatt/160-kilowatt-hour system housed in a 20-foot shipping container, as well as larger systems. Other flow battery firms include American Vanadium, EnerVault, Primus Power, Imergy and ZBB Energy.

The CEO of the firm told GTM that Greensmith is developing a hybrid system using both the Aquion and ViZn storage chemistries.   

Since its 2006 founding, Greensmith has deployed 30 battery energy systems for eighteen different customers, nine of them utilities, and is aiming to have 23 megawatts of systems under management by year’s end. [...]"<

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Manufacturer Installs 10 ORC "Machines" to Municipal District Heating System in Europe

Manufacturer Installs 10 ORC "Machines" to Municipal District Heating System in Europe | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

RENO, NV--(Marketwired - Aug 7, 2014) - ElectraTherm, a leader in distributed heat to power generation, commissioned 10 Green Machine 4400s in Levice, Slovakia in June 2014. 

Duane Tilden's insight:

>"[...]The 10-machine installation utilizes the waste heat from two Rolls Royce gas turbines through a combined cycle. Exhaust from the turbines goes through a heat recovery steam generator, and lower temperature exhaust gas that cannot be utilized produces hot water to meet demand for heating on the municipality's district heating system. The remaining heat runs through ElectraTherm's Green Machines to generate clean energy and attain attractive feed-in-tariff incentives. Hot water enters the Green Machine at between 77-116°C (170-240°F), where it heats a working fluid into pressurized vapor, using Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and proprietary technologies. As the vapor expands, it drives ElectraTherm's patented twin screw power block, which spins an electric generator and produces emission free power. Run in parallel, the Green Machines in Levice generate approximately 500 kWe. While combined cycle gas turbines are widely used throughout Europe for power generation and district heating, this is the first application of its kind to utilize ElectraTherm's ORC technology for the lower temperature waste heat. The Green Machines help the site reach maximum efficiency levels through heat that would otherwise go to waste. ElectraTherm's Green Machine generates power from waste heat on applications such as internal combustion engines, biomass, geothermal/co-produced fluids and solar thermal. ElectraTherm's product line includes units with 35, 65 and 110 kW outputs and offers stand alone or packaged solutions. Read more about Green Machine products at http://electratherm.com/products/.  [...]"<

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Energy Efficiency and Renewables Drives Smart Grid Technologies Market - Research & Developments

Energy Efficiency and Renewables Drives Smart Grid Technologies Market - Research & Developments | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

The market for smart grid technologies is evolving rapidly as the need for a more responsive, automated power grid rises worldwide.  ...

Duane Tilden's insight:

>"The fundamental technology for injecting intelligence into the grid has been in existence for years – more than a decade in some cases. However, the past 18 to 24 months have seen accelerating technological advancements and shifting priorities among utility industry stakeholders.

Transmission system upgrades are driven by the need to interconnect offshore or remote wind and solar farms, as well as ongoing electrification across Asia Pacific and developing regions. Falling costs for devices and communications networking, combined with the increasing emphasis on reliability and energy efficiency, will lead to robust growth in the substation and distribution automation (SA and DA) markets. Meanwhile, government mandates, especially in Europe, will drive strong smart meter penetration gains over the next decade. At the same time, utilities are facing more competition than ever and squeezed margins. These issues, along with the proliferation of smart devices in the grid, will drive impressive growth in demand for more powerful utility IT solutions and analytics. Navigant Research forecasts that global smart grid technology revenue will grow from $44.1 billion in 2014 to $70.2 billion in 2023.

This Navigant Research report analyzes the global market for smart grid technologies, with a focus on transmission upgrades, SA, DA, information and operations technology (IT/OT) software and services, and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). The study provides a detailed analysis of the market drivers, challenges, and trends, as well as regional and country factors, for each smart grid technology segment. Global market forecasts for revenue, broken out by technology, application, component, and region, extend through 2023. The report also provides profiles of key grid infrastructure vendors and includes information on 150-plus other types of companies, major global utilities, and smart grid-related industry associations.

Key Questions Addressed:Which smart grid technology segments are the largest and how quickly are they expected to grow?What are the key market drivers and challenges for each smart grid technology segment?What are the most important new trends affecting the pace of investment in smart grid technologies?What regional factors are affecting the pace of investment in smart grid technology?Who are the key vendors in each category of smart grid technology?   [...] "<  
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Liquid Air Proposed as Clean Fuel Replacement for Diesel Vehicles

Liquid Air Proposed as Clean Fuel Replacement for Diesel Vehicles | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

Liquid air could potentially be a source of clean vehicle power for commercial trucks in the UK by 2020, according to a report by the Liquid Air Energy Network.

 
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"The report projects that a liquid-air powered British fleet of 36,000 vehicles by 2025 could save more than 1 billion liters of diesel fuel, 1.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (well-to-wheel), and a net of £113 million ($193 million) in investment costs.

[...]

Although liquid air is not currently in mass production, liquid nitrogen, which has similar properties, could easily be used as a temporary substitute for early liquid air vehicles while waiting for production of liquid air to ramp up to projected demand levels.

Although several engine concepts in this area are being developed, report authors decided to focus on the two closest to commercial deployment: the zero-emissions “power and cooling” engine for truck and trailer refrigeration, and the diesel-liquid air “heat hybrid” engine for buses, delivery trucks and other commercial vehicles.

The Dearman Engine Company is developing both applications, and its refrigeration engine begins on-vehicle testing this year and is scheduled for commercial production in 2016.

According to the report, liquid air is now being recognized as a potentially powerful new energy source, and the concept has received approximately £20 million ($34 million) in government grants, including £9 million ($15.4 million) to develop liquid air energy storage for storing grid electricity, £6 million ($10 million) for a new Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage at Birmingham University and £5 million ($8.5 million) to develop liquid air vehicle engines."<

 

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Tesla - Panasonic Confirms Gigafactory Swappable Battery Deal

Tesla and Panasonic make their partnership on the Gigafactory official as the automaker prepares to announce second-quarter earnings. Analysts will watch closely to see how well Tesla is tracking on its plan to deliver 35,000 cars this year as whether Elon Musk has any surprises up his sleeve.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"The wording of the press release suggests many details remain to be worked out, including how much Panasonic will be investing. Earlier reports, however, suggested a sum on the order of $200-300 million initially, which is expected to grow over time to perhaps $1 billion. In addition to building batteries at the new plant, Panasonic will continue to make them elsewhere and deliver them to the Gigafactory for assembly. The reason is that even the massive facility will only be able to produce about 70% of the cells needed for all the packs Tesla hopes to build — enough for 500,000 cars annually by 2020. [...]

Deliveries, now and next quarter. Tesla has a stated goal of delivering 35,000 vehicles in 2014. It started off the year with 6,457 in the first quarter, which was slightly ahead of its target. Guidance for the current quarter was 7,500 deliveries, with significantly higher production of 8,500-9,000. The company has been trying to push production in order to get more cars into Europe and Asia, where the longer delivery pipeline isn’t quite full yet. If Tesla managed the 9,000 figure that would be nearly 20% higher than Q1 and would be an especially bullish sign.

[...]

Gross margin progress continues? Tesla is already past last year’s gross margin goal of 25% and is targeting 28% for 2014. As with 2013, the company expects progress to occur in a step-wise fashion each quarter. [...] "<

 

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Vanadium Battery New Entrant for Grid Energy Storage of Renewables

Renewable energy – solar and wind – works like a charm when the wind is blowing strongly enough to whip windmill blades into a frenzy, or the sun is baking down onto strategically-placed solar panels. The trouble, of course, is that the power they produce is intermittent. Wind has an annoying habit of dying down, as does the sun in hiding behind clouds.

Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/does-vanadium-hold-the-key-to-energy-storage-conundrum-cm369673#ixzz37Yl73KAF

Duane Tilden's insight:

>"Another alternative has more recently come to the fore, with the technology originating from a metal most have never heard of: vanadium. Named after the Norse goddess of beauty, Vanadis, vanadium's primary use is for strengthening steel. Dropping a bar of vanadium into a batch of steel allows the steelmaker to use 40 percent less material. The metal is also used in super alloys and in aerospace applications, which require 99.9 percent purity. Henry Ford used it in the first Model T.

Chemists have discovered another use for vanadium, one whose applications are far-reaching. When an electrical current is passed through two tanks of vanadium dissolved in sulfuric acid, it creates a type of rechargeable battery called a “vanadium redox battery”. The battery's chief advantages are its stability – it can be recharged up to 20,000 times without losing performance, meaning a potential decades-long life – and it can be discharged while retaining nearly all of the vanadium electrolyte. Vanadium redox batteries are also scalable, meaning they offer nearly unlimited capacity by simply scaling up to larger storage tanks.

While the technology is still nascent and expensive, one company is charging ahead with ambitions to open the first vanadium mine in the United States and become the lynchpin of a new power storage market in North America.

American Vanadium plans to use vanadium mined from its Gibellini project in Nevada as feedstock for vanadium electrolyte used in vanadium flow batteries; last year the company showed the seriousness of its intentions by announcing a deal with Gildemeister AG. Under the agreement, American Vanadium will market and sell the German company's CellCube redox flow battery, used to recharge electric vehicles and to store solar and wind power."<




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Grid Scale Energy Storage Solutions For Future Virtualization

Grid Scale Energy Storage Solutions For Future Virtualization | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Examines grid scale energy storage solutions ranging from pumped hydro, compressed air, thermal storage, advanced batteries, fuel cells and purely electric storage systems.
Duane Tilden's insight:

Renewable energy sources often have a common problem of matching supply with demand, hence the need for energy storage to bridge the gap.  One major component of future VPP (Virtual Power Plants) is energy storage, in the form of battery storage, fuel cells, pumped hydro, flywheels, compressed air or other forms of existing and new technologies.  

 

One promising form of energy storage combines gravity with water where energy is stored in raising heavy weights.  Electrical energy is converted to potential energy during periods of over-supply and then converted back to electricity when demand is greater than supply.

 

>"A Cutting Edge Variation of Pumped Hydro


Gravity Power, LLC, a privately-held company, based in Southern California (in Goleta, CA just north of Santa Barbara) is developing a novel grid-scale energy storage system for global commercialization called the Gravity Power Module (GPM). Like pumped hydro the working energy carrier is water that is pumped between a high pressure and a low pressure reservoir running a reversible generator/pump assembly to either produce power by drawing down the high pressure reservoir or store it up by pumping water from the low pressure store back into the high pressure store. In this sense it operates on the very same principles – and thus can also benefit from existing capital equipment, such as the reversible hydro generator/pump assemblies for example – as traditional pumped hydro.

Gravity Powers technology circumvents traditional pumped hydro difficulties related to siting, negative environmental impact, huge land demands, permitting, long-lead times and the very large investment required, by burying it all underground…. literally.

The GPM system uses a very large and very dense high mass piston that is suspended in a deep, water-filled shaft. The piston is equipped with sliding seals to prevent leakage around the piston/shaft interface and its immense mass pressurizes the supporting water column beneath it. A high pressure pipe from the bottom of this shaft enables water to be run or pumped through a generator/pump assembly of the same types now used in pumped hydro systems. The low pressure low energy potential water is returned above the piston adding somewhat to its weight and further pressuring the remaining high energy potential water column.

The massive piston moves up and down the shaft, storing and releasing power in a closed sealed cycle. It is compact with a small land footprint and the units can be clustered together into larger groups. It also is environmentally benign, no toxic chemicals or explosive dangers.

I like the scalable nature of this store that makes it suited to incremental growth of capacity. I also like how this energy storage system could be placed very near the big urban areas of greatest need for this kind of electric capacity. The fact that this energy storage system can take advantage of a lot of already existing infrastructure and technical knowhow from the existing pumped hydro sector is a definite advantage.

I would like to see more details on the costs of the boring of the immense vertical shafts; the long term performance metrics of the shaft seals (that would be an expensive repair job I would think. All in all I think this or something like it is a strong contender in the energy storage sector."<


Read more: http://greeneconomypost.com/fifteen-grid-scale-energy-storage-solutions-watch-15924.htm#ixzz35bedEesM

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Virtual Power Plants (VPP): A New Tech Based Utility Model for Renewable Power Integration

Virtual Power Plants (VPP): A New Tech Based Utility Model for Renewable Power Integration | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Today's global energy market is in the midst of a paradigm shift, from a model dominated by large centralized power plants owned by big utilities to a mixed bag of so-called distributed energy generation facilities — smaller residential, commercial and industrial power generation systems &mdas
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"Virtual Power Plants

One distributed generation technology with significant growth potential is the virtual power plant (VPP). In the VPP model an energy aggregator gathers a portfolio of smaller generators and operates them as a unified and flexible resource on the energy market or sells their power as system reserve.

VPPs are designed to maximize asset owners' profits while also balancing the grid. They can match load fluctuations through forecasting, advance metering and computerized control, and can perform real-time optimization of energy resources.

"Virtual power plants essentially represent an 'Internet of Energy,' tapping existing grid networks to tailor electricity supply and demand services for a customer," said Navigant senior analyst Peter Asmus in a market report. The VPP market will grow from less than US $1 billion per year in 2013 to $3.6 billion per year by 2020, according to Navigant's research — and one reason is that with more variable renewables on the grid flexibility and demand response are becoming more crucial.

Asmus called VPPs "an ideal optimization platform for the coming transformation of the power grid," adding that both supply and demand flexibility will be increasingly necessary to accommodate fast ramping periods and address corresponding supply forecast errors.

German utility RWE began a VPP in 2012 that now has around 80 MW of capacity. According to Jon-Erik Mantz, commercial director of RWE Energy Services in Germany, in the near future flexibility will become a commodity. Virtual power plants generate additional value from the flexibility they can offer the grid, he said-so, for RWE, "this is why we concentrate on building VPPs." As large utilities' market share falls in response to growing self-consumption, he said, utilities can still "be part of a VPP and profit."

Dr. Thomas Werner, senior key expert in product lifecycle management at Siemens, said that in order to integrate diverse smaller energy sources, "You need an energy management system with good data models which represents energy resources on the one hand and, on the other, the energy market environment." Werner believes VPPs fulfill these conditions and are the best way to integrate a growing number of power sources into the grid and the market.

"VPPs can be handled like other conventional generation," he said. "They can target different energy markets and regulatory environments. They can play as important a role as conventional concentrated generation."

"No Real Competition"

"From my point of view, there is no real competition for the VPP concept," Werner said, pointing to VPPs' use of cheap and ubiquitous information and communication technologies, while other technology trends like building energy storage systems incur comparatively heavy costs. VPPs can also avoid expensive installation costs in, for example, a home system, he notes. Self-consumption for home or industrial use is hampered by having to produce "the right amount of power at the right time."

VPPs can deliver needed energy at peak usage times, and can store any surplus power, giving the energy aggregator more options than would exist in a single power plant. Other advantages include improved power network efficiency and security, cost and risk savings in transmission systems, increased value from existing infrastructure assets and reduced emissions from peaking power plants. And, importantly, VPPs can also enable more efficient integration of renewable energy sources into the grid by balancing their variability.

For example, explains Werner, if one wind power source generates a bit more energy than predicted and another generates a bit less, they will compensate for each other, resulting in a more accurate forecast and making it easier to sell the capacity in the market or to use it in power systems operation.

A VPP can also combine variable renewable power sources with stable, controllable sources such as biomass plants, using the flexibility of the biomass source to smooth out any discrepancy between planned and actual production."<

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DOE Announces $10 million Funding for Wave Energy Demonstration at US Navy’s Hawaii Test Site

DOE Announces $10 million Funding for Wave Energy Demonstration at US Navy’s Hawaii Test Site | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
will help develop reliable wave energy options and collect important performance and cost data for wave energy conversion (WEC) devices.
Duane Tilden's insight:

"The U.S. Energy Department  announced $10 million to test prototypes designed to generate clean, renewable electricity from ocean waves and help diversify America’s energy portfolio. The Energy Department-supported demonstrations at the U.S. Navy’s wave energy test site off Hawaii’s island of Oahu will help develop reliable wave energy options and collect important performance and cost data for wave energy conversion (WEC) devices.

The Energy Department plans to test two WEC devices at depths of 60 and 80 meters at the open-water site offshore from Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay. These projects will enable the Energy Department to evaluate technology performance, reliability and cost of energy to achieve cost-competitive wave energy deployments in the future.

The two-phase demonstration projects will focus on WEC devices in the late stages of technology development–those ready to be tested at close to full-scale in the open-ocean environment. The first phase of this fundingopportunity will optimize designs and plan for the deployment and testing of WEC systems. The second phase will support permitting, fabrication, deployment, retrieval, and decommissioning of these systems after 12 months of testing and data collection."

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UK Bioenergy: Dedicated Biomass Plants no Competition for CHP Plants

UK Bioenergy: Dedicated Biomass Plants no Competition for CHP Plants | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
As Ed Davey, U.K. Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, spoke to the Environment Council in Brussels, saying: “We call for urgent action on reaching an ambitious 2030 energy and climate change agreement, to spur on investment in green, reliable energy,” at home in Britain t
Duane Tilden's insight:

>"Biomass with CHP

In contrast with dedicated power only biomass plants, biomass-fired combined heat and power installations are continuing to attract investment in the UK, given that they still qualify for significant government support.

 

A number of these projects have made advances over the previous few months. For instance, RWE Innogy UK (formerly RWE npower renewables), is in the final stages of commissioning its Markinch Biomass CHP plant in Fife, Scotland. This 65 MW plant will supply up to 120 tonnes of industrial steam per hour to paper manufacturer Tullis Russell. RWE Innogy is investing some £200 million (US$300 million) in the development, which was built by Metso and Jacobs.

In October 2013 Estover Energy revealed that planning consent has been granted by Dover District Council for its proposal to develop a £65 million (US$100 million) biomass-fired CHP in the South East of England at Sandwich, in Kent. Generating 11-15 MWe and 8-12 MWth, the plant will use locally sourced low-grade wood as fuel.

Construction is forecast to begin in spring 2014 at the Discovery Park science and technology park.

And in the July, the Helius Energy-developed CoRDe biomass energy plant in Rothes, Speyside, Scotland began operations, using by-products from nearby malt whisky distilleries to produce renewable energy and an animal feed protein supplement, Pot Ale Syrup. Construction began in 2011 on the 8.32 MWe and 66.5 t/h pot ale evaporator plan. The total development and construction costs of the project were £60.5 million. ..."<

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Utility companies to continue mergers and acquisitions

Utility companies to continue mergers and acquisitions | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. electric utilities industry will maintain a steady pace over the next few years.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>Slower load growth is causing utilities to look beyond their service territories. Load growth has been moderating in recent years primarily because of greater energy conservation and efficiency, increased distributed generation and the 2008 – 2009 economic downturn. These growth trends have pushed some utilities to look beyond their service territories for additional load growth in areas that are growing faster than the national average.

Expanding regulated businesses and diversifying operations reduce risk profiles. Many utilities look to expand their regulated businesses to increase the stability and predictability of cash flows, while also maximizing operational efficiency and spreading operating and maintenance costs over a wider customer base.

Since many utilities are completing or currently at the peak of their capital spending cycle, they will look to diversify their business and attempt to identify new avenues of growth to increase their regulated asset base and earnings. Larger deep-pocketed utilities will also be better positioned to handle future capital expenditure cycles, including increasingly stringent environmental mandates.

Decline in ROEs will spur additional cost reductions, which can be achieved through merger synergies. Falling returns on equity (ROEs) means utilities are looking at consolidation to realize additional cost savings through operational synergies and reduced overheads.<

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