VATIS Update Non-conventional Energy . Jan-Feb 2005

Register FREE
for additional services
New and Renewable Energy Jan-Feb 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.

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

Editorial Board
Latest Issues
New and Renewable
VATIS Update Non-conventional Energy Oct-Dec 2017
VATIS Update Biotechnology Oct-Dec 2017
VATIS Update Waste Management Oct-Dec 2016
VATIS Update Food Processing Oct-Dec 2016
Ozone Layer
VATIS Update Ozone Layer Protection Sep-Oct 2016
Asia-Pacific Tech Monitor Oct-Dec 2014




First IEC fuel cell standard published

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published its first standard on the performance and safety of the following types of fuel cell modules alkaline, proton exchange membrane, phosphoric acid, molten carbonate and solid oxide. The standard, prepared by IEC Technical Committee 105 (Fuel cell technologies), relates to the minimum safety requirements for modules (not systems) that manufacturers must satisfy to produce fuel cells destined for consumers. The main reasoning behind these requirements are:
  • Eliminate hazards outside the fuel cell module, when the quantity of fuel and other stored energy (e.g. inflammable materials, pressurized media, mechanical/electrical energy, etc.) in the fuel cell module is released almost instantaneously;
  • Passively regulate (e.g. burst disks, release valves, thermal cut-off devices) such forms of energy to ensure a release without harming the immediate surroundings; and
  • Actively control such forms of energy (e.g. by electronic control equipment included in the fuel cell module, which enforces adequate countermeasures that are based on the evaluation of sensor signals).

IEC 62282-2: Fuel cell technologies Part 2: Fuel cell modules gives manufacturers a basic set of safety and performance specifications to start from while designing as well as fabricating their products. It also helps reduce technical barriers to international trade. The next steps in developing standards in this field will be to enunciate supplementary and specific requirements as they relate to the setting in which fuel cells will be used, such as ships, vehicles, homes, factories or aircraft.

Contact: Mr. D. Brougham, Manager, Communications, The International Electrotechnical Commission, 3, rue de Varembe, P.O. Box 131, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland. Tel: +41 (22) 9190 260; Fax: +41 (22) 9190 300


IEC News Release,31 August 2004

International project to harness methane

Methane, a clean-burning fuel, is the main component of natural gas and also the second most prevalent greenhouse gas released by human sources. A substantial decrease in methane emissions is one of the most cost-effective means to realize immediate environmental benefits. Methane remains in the atmosphere for 9-15 years and is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition, harnessing and using the recovered methane yields a valuable and clean-burning energy source, thereby raising the quality of life in local communities.

Methane to Markets is a new global initiative, which serves to advance international cooperation in the recovery and reuse of methane as a clean energy resource. Signatories to this global partnership include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Columbia, India, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Nigeria, Russia, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States. All the parties are expected to undertake activities focused at capturing and using methane vented from landfills, coal mines, and oil and gas systems. Active involvement of financial institutions, the private sector and other non-governmental organizations would be supported. The new initiative has the potential to reduce net methane emissions by up to 50 million tonnes of carbon equivalent annually by 2015 and continue at the same level or higher in the future.

The United States will commit up to US$53 million over the next five years to facilitate development and implementation of methane projects in developing nations and countries with economies in transition. EPA will play a crucial role in the international partnership and coordinate efforts with various other agencies, including the Department of State, Department of Energy, United States Trade and Development Organization and the Agency for International Development


Global solar thermal capacity higher than wind energy

Solar thermal systems around the world yield almost thrice the current installed wind energy capacity. Data congregated under the International Energy Agency (IEA) Solar Heating and Cooling Programme and seven trade associations from Europe and North America, have unveiled that the 69,320 MWt capacity in 2001 compares with 23,000 MW of wind capacity and 1,100 MW of solar PV. This total comprises 34,332 MWt for glazed collectors, 19,375 MWt for unglazed and 15,613 MWt for evacuated tube collectors. A report from the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation states that the parties have published their data in GWt, rather than in installed collector area, which, in the past, has led to underestimation of capacity since this measure is not comparable with other energy sources.

The seven nations agreed to convert collector area into solar thermal capacity, using a factor of 0.7 kWt/m2 to derive the nominal capacity from the area of installed collectors. Supporting groups include Austria Solar, Bundesverband Solarindustrie of Germany, ESTIF, Canadian Solar Industries Association, IEA, Holland Solar, Solar Energy Association of Sweden and the United States Solar Energy Industries Association. The top five countries hold 82 per cent of installed global capacity a total of 57,046 MWt of global systems led by China with 22,400 MWt, the United States (17,459 MWt), Japan (8,447 MWt), Turkey (5,691 MWt) and lastly Germany (3,049 MWt).


Loans for solar water heaters

In India, Canara Bank is providing financial packages to help acquire solar water heaters. Implemented in association with the Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES), which will provide the interest subsidy, the loans are available at an annual interest rate of 5 per cent. Flat plate collector systems (BIS approved) and evacuated tube collector-based systems (MNES approved) are eligible for the loans. Parties who can apply for funding include institutions, non-commercial organizations or commercial firms like hotels, hospitals, etc. The loan amount will be 85 per cent of the project cost with a maximum repayment schedule of five years.

Other initiatives of Canara Bank under the Green Loans Scheme are loans for Solar Home Lighting Systems (SHLSs) in the states of Karnataka and Kerala in association with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), at a reduced rate of interest with subsidy from UNEP. Around 2,000 SHLSs have been installed under this scheme. Canara Bank recently launched a scheme for financing energy saving equipment in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector, at very low interest rates along with financial support for conducting energy audit in respect of SMEs intending to take up energy saving measures.


Japan retains lead in solar PV capacity

A survey carried out under the Photo Voltaic Power Systems (PVPS) programme of the International Energy Agency reveals that Japan is the world leader in solar photovoltaics, both in terms of new installations and per capita capacity. Roughly 222,781 kW of new panels were set up in Japan last year, boosting its cumulative total to 859,623 kW. While Germanys cumulative total is 410,300 kW, the United States has 275,200 kW.

Of the total in Japan, 777,830 kW is distributed grid-connected power, with another 2,900 kW in centralized grid-connected capacity. In off-grid applications, the domestic sector accounts for 1,101 kW and 77,792 kW is in non-domestic use. On per capita basis, Japan rates 6.74 W, ahead of Germanys 4.97, 2.88 in Switzerland, 2.83 in the Netherlands and 2.29 in Australia. The two lowest per capita countries are Israel (0.09) and the United Kingdom (0.1). Out of the cumulative total of 1.8 GW of PV capacity in PVPS members, 85 per cent is based in just three countries. The annual rate of growth has varied between 20 per cent in 1994 to 40 per cent in 2000. Japan, Germany and the United States account for 88 per cent of the total installations recorded for last year.


Philippines largest solar plant

A new solar power plant in Cagayan de Oro City, the Philippines, started operation in December last year, boosting energy supply in Mindanao region. The US$5.3 million project utilizes 6,840 units of polycrystalline silicon solar cells from Sharp Corp., Japan. This is the nations largest and also the first on-grid solar power facility. Mindanao regions energy generation mix is highly dependent on water, with 62 per cent of its power requirements sourced from hydro, 25 per cent from oil and 13 per cent from geothermal sources.

In the Mindanao region, about 160 island barangays are powered by solar energy, under the United States Agency for International Development. The National Power Corp. has reported the highest energy sales growth in the Mindanao grid, increasing by 8.79 per cent to reach 4,881.49 GWh from 4,487.14 GWh for the same period a year earlier. The updated Power Development Plan, predicts that Mindanao needs 150 MW of additional generating capacity next year. In addition, the energy department has created a Mindanao Task Force comprising government agencies and the private sector to deal with the power supply situation in the region. A short-term solution under consideration is the transfer of Napocors power barges to boost supply in Mindanao.


Renewable energy moves up in China

Awareness regarding the benefits of using renewable energy sources is growing in China as is the demand for power. The government proposes to increase the share of renewable energy sources in power generation from less than 1 per cent to around 12 per cent by 2020. Specific targets have been set 60 GW by 2010, representing about 10 per cent of the countrys total installed power generation capacity, and 121 GW for 2020. Efforts will also focus on developing renewable energy heat sources, liquid biofuels, etc. Overall, Chinas use of renewable energy is expected to increase to 20,000 PJ/y by 2020, 17 per cent of the projected total energy usage. A law to help achieve these goals is being formulated and it would come into effect this year.


Wind energy in Iran

Energy produced from wind sources account for roughly 6,500 MW of Irans total power output. Mr. Yusef Armoodeli, Head of Iran Renewable Energies Organization, stated that experts are preparing an atlas by compiling data obtained from 17 wind farms in Zanjan, Gilan, Qazvin, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan and Ardebil. Fifty additional wind farms would be set up in other parts of the country to obtain a fairly accurate calculation of the countrys power production capability. At present, 26 locations which are estimated to yield the highest amount of wind energy have been identified across the country.


Korea to catch-up in the development of hydrogen energy

Hydrogen is emerging as the next-generation energy source, but Korea lags behind in this sector. Unlike in other developed countries where the use of hydrogen energy-based systems is growing, in Korea the basic research for creating hydrogen from solar energy or electricity has been extremely weak and storage facilities are poor. In 1997, Kyungpook University conducted fundamental research to obtain hydrogen from water utilizing solar energy. In 1998, Sungkyunkwan University embarked on a three-year project to develop hydrogen-powered engines, but large-scale hydrogen research or manufacturing facilities are nowhere in the picture. Also, fuel cell development entails a compound system technology with specialists from various fields. In Korea, however, there are only about 50 such professionals working separately in five or six institutes.

The government of the Republic of Korea took a more active stance in 2003 in developing hydrogen energy. In September 2003, the Ministry of Science and Technology began a ten-year project for the production, storage and utilization of hydrogen energy, excluding fuel cells. It aims to invest US$8.7 million a year. Last year, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy classified fuel cells as a next-generation growth sector. It plans to invest about US$ 408.9 million in hydrogen and fuel cell development until the year 2011. According to Mr. Kim Jog-won, the Head of Hydrogen Energy Department at the Ministry of Science and Technology, liquefaction storage technology of the United States, or even high-pressure storage technology of Germany, is too far ahead. However, Korea has extensive experience with natural gas, and the technology as well as infrastructure for developing natural gas can also be applied to hydrogen.


More gust needed for Korean wind power

Development of wind sources in the Republic of Korea is still in its infancy while other industrialized nations like Denmark and Germany are moving to an advanced level. According to Korea Energy Management Corp., the nation could potentially harness 600 terawatt-hours/y of electricity through wind resources. This figure is about 2.3 times the total amount of energy generated in 2001, 285 terawatt-hours. However, there are only 65 wind power plants, the gross capacity of which is 23 MW, making up just 0.1 per cent of the nations total power generation. Furthermore, Korea is only expecting to develop a 750 kW wind turbine while other nations in its league are developing 4-5 MW systems. Even the lifespan of Korean wind systems are short, which exposes gross deficiency in material technology.


Renewable energy cluster in Korea

An International Forum on Clean and Renewable Energy was organized in North Cholla province, Republic of Korea, with the aim of promoting the provinces goal of establishing an industrial cluster of renewable energy in the region. In line with the Korean governments designation of North Cholla Province as a hub cluster region for renewable energy industry, the provincial government has been looking to form a strategic base in the first five-year development plan for the sector.

For the required investment, the provincial government plans to use the regional renovation and strategic industry development fund of US$3.4 billion over the next five years to form an industrial hub for fuel cells and wind energy fields. Along with the wind-rich Saemangum reclamation area and the Hyundai Motor factory in the province, the provincial government aims to accomplish one of the largest wind-power complexes in the world for environment-friendly electricity generation and an efficient fuel cell industrial cluster for the manufacture of hybrid automobiles and other commercial purposes.



200 W solar module

Kyocera Corp., Japan, offers a 200 W solar module, which is reported to be suitable for large-scale solar power generating systems, 100 kW or greater. The 200 W module is designed to fulfil the requirements of large-scale solar systems, such as scalability, space efficiency and superior total cost performance. The 200 W module incorporates 54 high-efficiency cells, utilizing which Kyocera created a world record for the highest conversion efficiency of 17.7 per cent. The proprietary solar cells were developed by improving the quality of silicon wafers and increasing the area for receiving light through the use of a fine, low-resistance electrode structure.

The 200 W module features a new design. Unlike the 178.6 W module, which incorporates six units in eight rows, the 200 W module includes an additional row of cells, i.e. 6 units 9 rows. This increases the area of the modules by 10 per cent to 1,425 990 mm compared with the conventional type that measures 1,290 990 mm. Although a larger module normally lowers efficiency, conversion efficiency of the 200 W module is increased to 14.18 per cent compared with 13.98 per cent for conventional modules. With a larger module, weight is increased by 3 kg/unit, but the rack weight per unit declines, thus resulting in a lighter overall system. It is also conceivable for cost savings to be accrued with lower magnitude of rack material and rack installation labour. The bigger the unit, the better these advantages become.

The Kyocera Group consists about 170 companies around the world and has a wide range of businesses, including fine ceramics and other electronic parts, solar powered batteries, cell phone terminals, and PHS phone terminals and cell stations.

Contact: Ms. Elly Yoshikawa, Kyocera Corporation, Kyoto, Japan. Tel: +81 (75) 604 3500




New range of monocrystalline silicon solar cells

Aleo Solar GmbH, Germany, has introduced two new solar products. Fabricated using either 5-inch or 6-inch cells, both module types are certified to fulfil the International Electrotechnical Commission 61215 and safety class system II standards with up to 20 years guarantee on its performance. The S-03 module contains two 5-inch monocrystalline cells while the S-17 module includes 50 6-inch cells. Dimensions of the S-03 and S-17 module are 1,660 830 mm and 1,660 1,000 mm, respectively. These modules are manufactured by Solar-Manufaktur Deutschland GmbH and Co. KG.

Contact: Aleo Solar, Stangraben 4, D-26122 Oldenburg, Germany. Tel: +49 (441) 219 88-0; Fax: +49 (441) 219 88-15.


New solar cell prototype

At Yokohama University, Japan, a team of researchers have developed a prototype solar cell that also acts as a battery. A key feature of this sandwich type solar cell, fabricated utilizing nanotechnology, is that it integrates the energy conversion and storage contents into a single photocapacitor that could be just 1 mm thick. Besides its small size, the new technology is attractive for mobile applications as it is particularly good at absorbing diffused light, like that found indoors.


Breakthrough in thin wafer technology

Evergreen Solar, the United States, has announced a major advance in the development of its proprietary String Ribbon process, which has the potential to yield silicon wafers thinner than 150 m. A patent application has been filed for the thin wafer technology. With this new enhancement to the Gemini II double ribbon growth procedure, Evergreen has demonstrated that it can manufacture wafers using just one-third the silicon required by conventional processes, and thereby significantly decreasing the overall cost of producing solar panels.

Dr. Brown F. Williams, R&D Vice-President, states that This achievement directly cuts the use of silicon in half for us and by a factor of three when compared with conventional methods. Traditional techniques saw slices of silicon off large ingots. The silicon lost in the width of the saw cut means that manufacturers are effectively throwing away half of their silicon starting material. Moreover, conventional cutting methods cannot produce 150 m thin wafers.

Contact: Evergreen Solar Inc., 259 Cedar Hill St., Marlboro, MA 01752 United States of America. Tel: +1 (508) 3572221; Fax: +1 (508) 357 2279



Solar power for the sweetmeat industry

Researchers at Jadavpur University, India, have developed a design for using solar energy to fulfil the heat requirements of sweetmeat makers. The solar heating system comprises a parabolic trough concentrator that traps and concentrates solar energy. The concentrator basically consists of a parabolic mirror arrangement, which reflects suns rays in a convergent manner, concentrating solar energy. Temperatures as high as 600-700C are achieved at the point of convergence. This energy is used to heat up a suitable thermic fluid which in turn passes on heat energy to the designated raw material. The entire system is in the form of a closed loop so that cooled fluid goes back to the solar heat concentrator, gets heated, passes on to the heat exchanger and then travels back to the concentrator.

A system has been designed based on this basic design and tests are underway. The Central Glass and Ceramics Research Institute, BHEL and CFTRI provided assistance in this project. In India, since sunshine is available for about 260 days in a year in most parts of the country, the system will be useful and enable considerable savings.

Contact: Prof. Sujoy Basu, Electrical Engineering Dept., Jadavpur University, Kolkata 700 032, West Bengal, India. Tel: +91 (33) 3090 9181


AT News, September 2004

Solar powered hydrogen

A research team at the National Research Council Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (NRC-IFCI), Canada, have come up with a solar powered hydrogen generation system. The new system uses electricity from PV panels to power a Hydrogenics HyLYZER electrolyzer module, which produces hydrogen from water. This hydrogen would be utilized to sustain a Ballard Nexas RM Series fuel cell module to provide back-up power to the NRC-IFCI research facility. The PV panels, designed and installed by researchers with the British Columbia Institute of Technology, can provide up to 7 kW of energy on bright sunny days. Storing energy as hydrogen allows users to manipulate power supply despite intermittent weather.

Funds for the project was provided by the Federal House in Order initiative, the Government of Canadas plan to deal with greenhouse gas emissions within its own operations. Joint leads of this initiative include Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada. The Ballard Power systems fuel cell unit was funded by Technology Partnerships Canada h2 Early Adopters Programme.


Organic solar cells

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology, the United States, have devised a new approach to creating lightweight organic solar cells. By using pentacene, researchers have been able to convert sunlight into electricity at an efficiency of 2.7 per cent. An efficiency of 5 per cent is expected to be feasible in the not so distant future.

The team used pentacene and C60, a form of carbon popularly known as buckyballs, in the cells. Prof. Bernard Kippelen, a team member, explains that pentacenes crystal form makes it a suitable material for organic solar cells. The crystal structure of atoms join together in a regular pattern, making it easier for electricity to move through it than some other organic materials, which are more amorphous.

Once fully developed, organic solar cells could revolutionize the energy industry. Their flexibility and minimal weight will allow them to be placed on almost anything, from tents that provide power to their inhabitants to clothing that power personal gadgets. Although these cells are at least five years away from residential applications, Mr. Kippelen opines that they may be available within a couple of years for use in smaller devices, such as the RFID tags used for inventory control.

Contact: Mr. David Terraso, Communications & Public Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia, United States of America. Tel: +1 (404) 3852 966




New series of wind turbines

AN Windenergie GmbH, Denmark, is introducing Bonus series of wind turbines, which include 600 kW/44-3, 2 MW, 1.3 MW/62 and 1 MW/54 systems. All these models are designed according to the classical Danish concept. This exclusively involves a three-bladed rotor with a fixed pitch angle and constant rotor speed, whereby the power output is limited by stalling the rotor blade. In addition, the pitch angle of the rotor blades can be modified automatically (CombiStall) to ensure that the stall effect is dynamically adjusted to specific on-site wind conditions. The turbines operate in parallel to the grid and are equipped with a fail-safe braking system that includes hydraulic and aerodynamic brakes. The two main bearings are mounted on the nacelle bedplate such that the reaction forces are optimally distributed in the tower. The weight of the rotor on one side is balanced by the weight of the gearbox and the generator on the other. As such, they can ensure low noise levels, optimal power curve, superb grid compatibility and long life.

The 2 MW prototype has a 70 m diameter rotor and a hub height of 60 m.

Contact: AN Windenergie GmbH, Cuxhavener Str. 10 a/Speicher 16, 28217 Bremen, Denmark. Tel: +45 (421) 69458-0; Fax: +45 (421) 642 283



Novel turbine systems

Windtower, Germany, offers wind power plants with fully automatic serviceless operation. The windward power plants include a horizontal turning axis and are made of a mast and nacelle, whose parts comprise rotor and blades, generator with a gear box, turning mechanism and an electronic control unit. Connection possibilities include:

  • An autonomous source without connection to the distribution grid (synchronous) This version is ideal for localities without connection to the grid or where it is possible to power electrical appliances without a stable voltage and frequency, e.g. heating. Another possibility is the use of a AC/AC converter; and
  • Parallel source with distribution grid (asynchronous) This version offers benefits in terms of operation and costs.
    Key features of each of the three-bladed models are listed below:
    WT 8000:
  • Synchronous type generator (8 kW rated output) with permanent magnets and brake type resistor;
  • Pitch-controlled rotor of 5.4 m diameter and 220 rpm;
  • Rated wind speed of 12 m/s;
  • 14 m or 16 m hub height; and
  • Steel tube type mast.
    WT 10P:
  • Asynchronous type generator (10 kW rated power) controlled by microprocessor and connected to the grid by thyristors;
  • Pitch-controlled rotor of 5.4 m diameter and 200 rpm;
  • Rated wind speed of 12 m/s;
  • 14 m or 16 m hub height; and
  • Steel tube type mast.
    WT 50S
  • Asynchronous type generator (50 kW rated output) controlled by microprocessor and connected to the grid by thyristors;
  • Stall controlled rotor of 11.5 m diameter, can operate at speeds of 80 rpm;
  • Rated wind speed of 14 m/s;
  • 24 m hub height; and
  • Steel tube type mast.

Contact: Windtower, Deutschland, Am Hessenweg 4, D-99880 Laucha/Thuringen, Germany. Tel: +49 (3622) 209 010; Fax: +49 (3622) 208 998



Maintenance-free wind power plants

Davinci Patent Marketing Corp., Germany, offers wind power plants based on Wilhelm-rotor, which is almost maintenance-free. Wispy 500 and Wispy 2000 models can be used for water hauling as well as power generation. The slowly turning rotors made of light alloy achieve a high torque even at a low wind range. Other features include high efficiency, low noise performance, auto-aerodynamic rotation control, weatherproof and no adverse impact on the environment.

Contact: Davinci Patentmarketing, Gesellschaft fur Patentmarketing mbH and Co. KG, Am Steinacher Kreuz 22, D-90427 Nurnberg, Germany.




10 kW wind turbine

Germanys Aircon GmbH and Co. KG is offering a 10 kW three-blade plant with horizontal axle. Incorporating a variable speed rotor, this system starts operating at a wind speed of 11 m/s. The combination of electrical load regulation and active pitch allows consistent output of 10 kW at wind speeds of 11 m/s to 37 m/s. Notable benefits of the Aircon 10 model are:
  • New power electronics with high efficiency, power factor regulation;
  • Improved economy in relation to the conditions of the technology;
  • Blade tips noise-optimized rotor blade with integrated protection from lightning; and
  • Slot-loose disk runner generator with minimum moment ripples.

Contact: Aircon GmbH and Co. KG, Regenerative Energieanlagen, Nessestrae 27, D-26789 Leer, Germany. Tel: +49 (491) 4544 484; Fax: +49 (491) 4544 485




New wind turbine

Landmark Alternative Energien and Consulting, Germany, offers Inclin series of turbines with capacities ranging from 250 W to 6,000 W. The robust wind systems generate energy by employing a permanent magnet generator. Fabricated using high-quality materials, the system can be easily installed. Equipped with an automatic braking system, the plant tilts upwards if the wind speed exceeds 13 m/s (helicopter principle). Maintenance is limited to one annual revision.

Inclin wind systems can be used universally, e.g. as island plant to the battery load system with post-connected inverter or along with an adapting equipment for heating and hot water production.

Contact: Mr. Thomas Steinke, Landmark Alternative Energien and Consulting, Otto-Stomps-Strae 79, Halle/Saale 06116, Germany. Tel: +49 (345) 2900 591; Fax: +49 (345) 2900 592



Micro wind turbine

Generators from Superwind GmbH, Germany, define the new standard for micro wind turbine technology. These units can operate completely unsupervised even under extreme climatic conditions. A sophisticated technological concept, together with an aerodynamic rotor control unit, enable the Superwind generators to guarantee maximum reliability and durability. Fabricated utilizing high-grade and corrosion-proof materials, all mechanical components in the system are integrated into sealed housings and effectively protected against dust, salt and humidity. Key features include:
  • Rotor: A novel aerodynamic rotor control unit adjusts the pitch angle of the rotor blades. The mechanical controller is fully integrated into the hub and actuated by forces arising at operation of the wind turbine itself. Rotor blades are made using carbon fibre reinforced plastics;
  • Generator: Synchronous brushless type with permanent magnet excitation. High-grade neodymium magnets are employed for optimum efficiency; and
  • Yawing: Effected by a wind vane and bearings, the yawing system is designed for smooth operation even at turbulent sites and also works perfectly on yachts.

The small wind generator Superwind 350 is frequently used at sites where there is no grid available. Electricity generated by Superwind charges batteries and can be used directly for 12 V or 24 V appliances. This system may even be operated in conjunction with photovoltaic arrays. Potential areas of application include environmental monitoring stations or transmitters, navigational aids, traffic control systems, mountain shelters, yachts, summer cottages, etc.

Contact: Mr. Klaus Krieger, Superwind GmbH, Bonnstrasse 18, D-50321 Bruhl, Germany. Tel: +49 (2232) 577 357; Fax: +49 (2232) 577 368



New stand-alone wind system

Inventus GmbH, Germany, offers a new stand-alone wind power plant equipped with a powerful (8 kW) and sturdy synchronous generator, which may be operated self-contained. Compounding (i.e. control of the magnetic flux) and speed-sensitive energizing render this generator extremely adaptable. Its low part-load losses enable start and efficient operation of the plant at unusually low wind speeds. At sufficient wind speed, however, the power plant can generate high turn-on currents required for 3-phase current motors. Other features include:
  • A purely mechanical, manually operable disk brake reacts automatically to inadmissible vibrations and similar malfunctions; and
  • A load control mechanism for defined and steady power output, as well as for voltage and frequency stabilization;

A mains parallel version is also available.

Contact: Inventus GmbH, Zum Frenser Feld H6, F-50127, Bergheim, Germany. Tel: +49 (2271) 989 190; Fax: +49 (2271) 981 042



Indias largest wind turbine

Suzlon Energy Ltd., India, recently commissioned a 2 MW wind turbine in the state of Tamil Nadu. This is the largest wind turbine yet installed and will produce 7.2 million units of power annually. The new system was designed keeping in mind the medium and low wind regimes prevailing in the country. A larger swept area and higher hub height enables good wind regimes and smoother wind profiles.



Power generation through biomass gasification

Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. (MES), Japan, has built a pilot facility to demonstrate a new gasification technology for low-grade biomass power output. Pyrolysis gasification of waste biomass yields a fuel gas, which is used to operate a gas engine to obtain power. The gasification furnace of the pilot plant can simultaneously process wood family biomass and waste family biomass (sludge, etc.) that contains a lot of moisture. Construction of the furnace is simple and compact utilizing inexpensive materials. The pilot unit, based on MES Recycling 21 (kiln type pyrolysis and gasification furnace) technology, can process 150 kg/h of fuel.

Contact: Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., 1, Yawatakaigandori, Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.


New bioenergy plants

Wartsila Corp., Finland, offers plants for producing energy from biomass. The new highly modular BioEnergy thermal and BioPower combined heat and power (CHP) systems are built with standardized components, enabling speedy delivery and easy installation. BioEnergy plants are designed to fulfil thermal energy requirements of local industrial sites or municipalities, which often have adequate supplies of biomass fuels. The heat energy produced can be supplied as hot water/steam or a combination of these. Incorporating proprietary BioGrate combustion technology, for efficient and reliable combustion of biomass fuels, the BioEnergy plant utilizes a biomass fuel boiler to produce hot water or steam suitable to the customers load requirements. Correct boiler design and careful plant layout ensure long and undisturbed operation without corrosion or the need for continuous cleaning. Smaller BioEnergy plants, with a heat capacity under 10 MW, have fire-tube boilers while the larger ones are fitted with integrated water/fire-tube boilers. Both boiler types are large volume boilers with good tolerance to power fluctuations. Economizers are used in the steam boilers to maximize efficiency. Flue gas condensers can be used to maximize heat output in low-temperature district heating systems.

BioPower CHP plants incorporate patented BioGrate combustion with its high combustion efficiency and beneficial environmental features. The product range comprises two basic plants BioPower 2 and BioPower 5 each with four different thermal energy applications. If the heat load is not available, BioPower plants are built as condensing plants for maximum generation of energy. Electricity is produced in a steam Rankine cycle with a high-efficiency steam turbine. These facilities are delivered in large, factory-tested modules, thus ensuring high quality.

Contact: Wartsila Corp., John Stenbergin ranta 2, P.O. Box 196, FIN-00531, Helsinki, Finland. Tel: +358 (10) 7090 000; Fax: +358 (10) 7095 700.


Small trees converted into wood alcohol

In the United States, researchers at the University of Washingtons College of Forest Resources have developed a new process to quickly transform even the smallest trees and branches into methanol, which can be used in fuel cells, using a process developed by IdaTech, to produce electricity. This procedure involves altering previously unusable trees into wood alcohol, in a matter of minutes, leaving behind mineral-rich ash. Each tonne of biomass, anything from tree trunks to pine needles, can be converted into 846 litres of methanol. Researchers plan to undertake demonstration projects in the near future.


Biomass CHP technology based on Stirling engines

In Austria, Bios Bioenergiesysteme GmbH has developed a small-scale biomass CHP technology with cooperation from Mawera Holzfeuerungsanlagen GesmbH and Denmarks Technical University. The new CHP technology has been successfully tested with a 35 kWe Stirling engine for over 7,000 operating hours. A commercial project has also been realized and a pilot plant with a 75 kWe Stirling engine put to work.

The integrated CHP plant includes a furnace equipped with underfeed stoker technology. In the combustion chamber, flue gas temperatures can reach up to 1,300C. Heat is then transferred to the Stirling hot heat exchanger and the temperature of the flue gas is decreased to around 800C at the heat exchanger outlet. Subsequently, the flue gas passes through an air pre-heater and an economizer mounted downstream the hot heat exchanger. For a CHP plant based on a 35 kWe Stirling engine, the electric plant efficiency amounts to about 12 per cent while the overall plant efficiency is about 85-90 per cent. Thermal output is generally in the range of 220 kW and the fuel capacity, based on net calorific value, amounts to 300 kW.

Obstacles associated with the use of biomass fuels in a Stirling engine relate to transferring heat from the combustion of fuel into the working gas. Also, the temperature must be high enough to achieve an acceptable energy output and efficiency, and the heat exchanger should be designed to minimize fouling. Bios Bioenergiesysteme has developed a programme calculating the heat transfer from the flue gas to the internal working as (helium). Based on this development, comprehensive design studies were performed and the performance of the Stirling heat exchanger improved and optimized.

An automatic cleaning system has also been designed and developed for the Stirling heat exchanger, to raise efficiency. This unit comprises a pressurized air tank and nozzles at each heat exchanger panel. The nozzles are equipped with magnetic valves, which are opened at regular intervals, one valve at a time. Air is blown into the heat exchanger area, cleaning the tubes of ash deposits. The ash is then entrained with flue gas and subsequently collected in the fly-ash precipitators. Benefits of the CHP technology based on the Stirling process include:
  • Compact design;
  • Fully automatic operation; and
  • Low noise emissions.

Contact: Bios Bioenergiesysteme GmbH, Inffeldgasse 21b, A-8010 Graz, Austria. Tel: +43 (316) 481 300; Fax: +43 (316) 481 300-4



Wood chips yield hydrogen

In Japan, a team at the Biomass Technology Research Laboratory (BTRL), under the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), has successfully demonstrated carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption gasification from biomass. Though hydrogen has been produced using biomass wood chip in batch mode bench production on a laboratory scale, this is the first report of continuous production and may pave the way for commercial production of the clean fuel.

With assistance from the Centre for Coal Utilization, BTRL utilized a 10 kg/d throughput production plant to generate a CO2-free gaseous fuel (83 per cent hydrogen and 15 per cent methane) at a rate of 0.5 Nm3/h. This technology, characterized by a fast reaction rate, is applicable to various types of biomass. Similar methods developed in other nations can only achieve 70~80 per cent hydrogen concentration, or lower. Goals for the future will focus on stable and optimized operation to establish the prospect for production on a commercial scale.

Contact: Website:


Technology for bio-mass fuel preparation

Alternative Green Energy System Inc. (AGES), Canada, offers FASC patented KDS technology to dewater and disintegrate wet biomass waste materials like pulp and paper biosolid sludges, kinetically, without heat. Moreover, this technology requires less than 25 per cent of the energy used by conventional large footprint drying units. The KDS dry product produced from these wet biomass materials can be combusted directly in a Thermix/LBE dust firing system. The dust burners are fired downward into Thermix designed combustion and segregation chambers, which separate the ash/clay to yield clean 1,000C products of combustion that can be directly used in existing or new boilers. This then replaces fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and subsequently reducing climate change.

Once dewatered in the AGES KDS technology, the dry fibres can be separated from clay and can go back directly into the papermaking process.

Contact: Alternative Green Energy System, 20201, Baie DUrfe, Clarke Graham, Quebec H9X 3T5, Canada. Tel: +1 (514) 6950 681; Fax: +1 (514) 6951 513




Thermoplastic fuel cell

Ticona, Celanese Groups technical polymers business arm, is offering a new fuel cell prototype fabricated solely using thermoplastics. This breakthrough is reported to lower fuel cell costs by at least 50 per cent compared with conventional models. The 17-cell unit contains injection moulded bipolar plates of Vectra liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and end plates made using Fortron polyphenylene sulphide (PPS). The thermoplastic fuel cell reduces the cost per kilowatt for the stack to about US$1,050 from the US$4,000 needed for aluminium, gold-coated stainless steel, graphite or thermoset-graphite blends.

The LCP bipolar plates contain 85 per cent powdered carbon and were moulded by SGL Carbon, a world leader in carbon and graphite products. With a cycle time of just 30 seconds, these plates can be manu-factured in bulk without labour- and cost-intensive machining and other finishing stages essential for forming the intricate channels when other materials are used. Both LCP and PPS provide excellent long-term performance, as they can handle the aggressive media found in fuel cells and remain dimensionally stable, even up to temperatures of 200C. Since LCP and PPS are injection-moulded, their use in bipolar and end plates lower cost and weight when compared with metal and speed production. LCPs ability to carry a carbon loading of over 85 per cent and still process well is something not possible by any other plastic material. PPS can also be used in peripheral components to further lower costs, as can a few other engineering polymers like Celcon acetal copolymer. These resins can easily handle aggressive substances and offer other properties needed in pumps, compressors and related components that help move fluids and gases into and away from the fuel cells.

The Ticona prototype is a proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Each cell in the stack has two bipolar plates and a polymer membrane. One plate acts as anode and the other as cathode. Surface channels in the plates distribute hydrogen and air to the membrane between them. A thin layer of platinum catalyst on the membrane dissociates hydrogen into protons (positive hydrogen ions) and electrons. Protons pass through the membrane to the cathode while electrons exit the stack as electricity before reaching the cathode, where they react with protons and oxygen in the air, forming water and heat.

Contact: Ticona, United States of America. Tel: +1 (908) 5984 000; Or Ticona, Germany. Tel: +49 (180) 5842 662; Or Ticona, Europe. Tel: +49 (69) 3051 6299.


Direct borohydride fuel cell technology

The Materials and Energy Research Institute Tokyo Ltd. (MERIT), Japan, has developed a new direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC) technology. DBFC is akin to direct methanol fuel cell technology (DMFC), but has an anode, a cathode and a membrane. Also, DBFC is cheaper and more compact than a DMFC. The DBFC is reported to develop about four times more power for the same area of membrane than feasible utilizing DMFCs. A solution of sodium borohydride is used to fuel a DBFC. Dissolved in an alkaline solution at concentrations up to 10 per cent, sodium borohydride can be stored in cartridges shaped like a pen or a printer ink cartridge. A cartridge containing 10-20 ml of the solution can provide 3-4 h of power.

MERITs 80 84.6 3 mm fuel cell yields 20 W of power, sufficient to run a notebook PC. A smaller model has also been built for use in mobile phones. The device has a dimension of 20 30 2 mm and produces 1 W of power. Plans are afoot to shrink this prototype to around 10 mm2. MERIT is in talks with two firms outside Japan to produce DBFCs commercially, expected to be available in early 2006.

Contact: Materials and Energy Research Institute
Tokyo Limited, 5522-i-8 Kitayama, Chino-Shi, Nagano-Ken, 391 0301, Japan. Tel: +81 (266) 71-8101; Fax: +81 (266) 71-813.


Platinum-oxygen molecule created

Researchers at Emory University in the United States have broken through the so-called oxo-wall by creating stable multiple chemical oxygen-platinum bonds. This breakthrough holds out the potential for numerous applications in fuel cells. Electrodes in fuel cells, where the platinum-oxo unit is critical, are frequently based on platinum and in some instances the reaction of platinum with oxygen is central to their operation.

Post-doctoral researcher Mr. Travis Anderson expresses that oxygen is very unreactive in its molecular state as O2, or reacts uncontrollably if the bond is broken. In nature, iron is one of the most versatile elements in its ability to control oxygen. Mr. Anderson stated that the next step would be to create metal-oxo bonds with platinums neighbours on the periodic table.

Contact: Mr. Travis Anderson, Emory University, 1380, Oxford Road, Atlanta, GA 30322, United States of America.




High-temperature electrolysis yields hydrogen

Technology to produce hydrogen through conventional electrolysis is well-established. In this process, water is separated into hydrogen and oxygen by passing an electrical current in water. High-temperature electrolysis (HTE), developed by the United States-based Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, raises the efficiency of the conventional procedure by adding substantial external heat, e.g. high-temperature steam from a nuclear reactor or an adapted solar energy system. Such a high-temperature system has the potential to achieve overall conversion efficiencies in the range of 45-50 per cent, compared with 30 per cent for conventional electrolysis. Added benefits include no use of fossil fuel and free from greenhouse gas emissions.

HTE uses a device similar to solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). Essentially, the electrolytic cell comprises a solid oxide electrolyte with conducting electrodes deposited on either side. A mixture of steam and hydrogen at 750-950C is supplied to the anode section of the electrolyte. Oxygen ions are drawn through the electrolyte by electrical potential and combine with oxygen at the cathode side. The steam-hydrogen mixture exits while the mixture of water and hydrogen gas is passed through a separator to sequester hydrogen. As using heat directly is more efficient than first converting it into electricity, overall efficiency of the HTE system is also higher. Current nuclear thinking on HTE presumes a helium-cooled, high-temperature nuclear plant as an element of the total system. Helium, heated by the nuclear reaction to a temperature of around 1,000C, spins a turbine to generate power and also heats water to superheated steam for the HTE process.


Small-scale hydrogen power systems

The United States-based Nuvera Fuel Cells offers a family of small-scale hydrogen power systems. Models in the new H2e range are basically fuel cell engines intended primarily either as a battery replacement or as part of a battery hybrid propulsion assembly for industrial trucks and tractors, airport ground and terminal support equipment, turf care, agriculture, construction and mining. With a power range from 5 kW to 25 kW, H2e power systems offer OEMs a clean, low-cost, high-performance energy source that is durable and rugged and facilitates easy integration. Capable of providing either regulated or unregulated DC power, the systems are totally compatible with battery systems. The simplicity of the H2e design ensures that costs are minimized and reliability is high.

H2e patented direct water injection and metallic stack technology gives it a competitive edge in the industrial vehicle market owing to its rugged nature, compactness, simplicity and low cost.

Contact: Nuvera Fuel Cells, 20, Acorn Park, Cambridge, MA 02140, United States of America. Tel: +1 (617) 2457 500; Fax: +1 (617) 2457 511.


High-purity hydrogen

In Japan, researchers led by Prof. Kiyoshi Otsuka of Tokyo Institute of Technology has developed a process to obtain high-purity hydrogen for fuel cells utilizing materials like wood chips and waste paper. The new procedure yields pure hydrogen at a lower cost than conventional methods, which allow impurities to mix with hydrogen, thereby necessitating purification before it can be used in fuel cells.

A catalyst developed by the team causes materials like paper/plastic to interact with high-temperature sodium hydroxide solution and the resulting mixture is then degraded into sodium carbonate, methane, hydrogen and other substances. Additionally, the new process does not generate carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide, unlike conventional techniques. A testing plant is being planned.


New technology to produce hydrogen

Alternate Energy Corp. (AEC), the United States, reports to have filed for provisional patents for its novel hydrogen production technology. The patent applications pertain to newly developed alloys created as a result of R&D efforts undertaken at the companys Tennessee facility. The unique technology generates hydrogen from a proprietary material. Pure, fuel cell-grade hydrogen (99.9 per cent) can be obtained at low-cost, on-demand and without any known harmful or toxic by-products. These competitive traits are crucial as they offer alternate solutions to a number of storage and generation challenges related to hydrogen.

AEC plans to market this affordable and green technology to vertical business segments to capitalize on the technologys comprehensive set of appealing benefits. These include power applications like industrial, micro-technology, stationary back-up and emergency power uses and residential primary.

Contact: Website:


Molecule harvests hydrogen from water

In the United States, researchers at Virginia Polytechnic and State University have developed a large molecule that may be used to obtain hydrogen to fuel, for instance, clean-burning combustion engines and fuel cells. The supramolecular complex unites sub-units that absorb light with sub-units that accept electrons.

Figuring out how to design, prepare and use a supramolecular complex capable of utilizing light to collect electrons took more than a decade of work, report researchers. Their molecule employs light-absorbing ruthenium sub-units on each end, connector sub-units near the middle and a reactive rhodium sub-unit in the centre that collects electrons and delivers them to water.


Low-pressure material used to store hydrogen

In the United Kingdom, scientists from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the University of Liverpool have found a kinetic trapping effect that allows hydrogen to be adsorbed into a porous material. Pores of the special material are much smaller than that needed by hydrogen molecules to pass through. The materials cage-like structure comprises metal atoms linked by organic particles. The cross-linking molecules are flexible; they hold in hydrogen at ordinary pressures, but allow them through at low pressure. The new prototype can store 1 per cent hydrogen by weight.

Researchers filled between 57 and 71 per cent of the materials pore volume with hydrogen and stored the material at -196C at one bar pressure. One version of the material retained hydrogen until the pressure was reduced to 49 thousandths of a bar while another version withheld hydrogen until the pressure was reduced to 300 thousandths of a bar. Researchers state that their prototype is a proof of principle that paves the way for further research into this type of effect. The next step would be to develop new materials along the same lines that exhibit higher hydrogen capacity and have the kinetic trapping effect at higher temperatures.


Nanomaterial raises hydrogen production

In the United Kingdom, Hydrogen Solar Ltd. has developed a nanocrystalline material to enhance the production of hydrogen through the use of solar energy to split water into its elemental components. The firm intends to improve the energy conversion efficiencies of the nanocrystalline thin films and develop industrial-scale production methods that are consistent and replicate or exceed lab results. At present, the new process can convert more than 8 per cent of sunlight into pure fuel.

Crucial to the rise in performance of the cell unit is the use of nanocrystalline coatings. Utilizing metal oxides, the coatings produce high photo-current densities and convert light and water into hydrogen from one single unit. The cell includes two photocatalytic cells arranged in series. A nanocrystalline film coated on the front cell absorbs high-energy (ultraviolet and blue) light. Lower energy light (green and red) passes through the front cell and on to the second. At the benchmark 10 per cent performance level, a 7 7 m tandem cell unit on a double garage roof can produce sufficient hydrogen from sunlight to run a Mercedes A-Class vehicle 11,000 miles over a year in Los Angeles light conditions.

Contact: Hydrogen Solar Ltd., Surrey Technology Centre, 40, Occam Rd., Surrey Research Park, Guildford GU2 7YG, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1483) 688 073; Fax: +44 (1483) 449 530.



Hydrogen supply systems for fuel cells

Praxair Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Praxair Inc., will demonstrate its hydrogen supply systems for back-up power fuel cells in two different pilot applications. The company is designing more advanced ProStar platinum gas delivery systems to meet the needs of this emerging market place, making hydrogen use safer for both indoor and outdoor applications. The projects involve demonstrating Ballard fuel cell technology for uninterruptible supply and back-up power applications for the power generation market.
Ballard Power Systems will lead the programme with the support and participation of MGE UPS Systems, Praxair Canada, Emerson Network Power Canada, Bell Canada and the University of Toronto. These pilot applications are a stride towards developing the necessary codes and standards to commercialize fuel cell technology. The demonstration programmes are supported by the Government of Canada by investments from the h2 Early Adopters (h2EA) scheme. The h2EA project will provide US$1.6 million of the US$3.2 million project with the remaining funded by the participants.

Contact: Mr. Jonathan Lee, Praxair Inc., United States of America. Tel: +1 (203) 8372 039




Carbonaceous wastes gasified

MPM Technologies Inc., the United States, is offering an electric arc conversion process that transforms solid and semi-solid wastes into clean, medium BTU synthesis gas that may be utilized for producing steam or in direct-fired gas turbines for generating electricity. Skygas process has been specially developed for the disposal/gasification of carbonaceous wastes.
Electric arcs produced in the primary reactor by the three electrodes are sufficiently energetic to generate free radicals through homolytic bond cleavage. Both water molecules and carbonaceous material are degraded into free radicals, which react in a chain reaction with other molecules to form still more radicals and cause breakage of more chemical bonds. The net result of these free radical reactions is the conversion of the relatively high molecular carbonaceous material into low molecular gas products, primarily hydrogen, methane and CO. Skygas provides several benefits over conventional waste-to-energy incineration units, including:
  • No stack emissions;
  • Can gasify a wide range of feedstocks;
  • The process can be turned on and off easily and is convenient for limited shift operation;
  • Moisture content does not cause any problems;
  • Small volume of clean ash;
  • Initial cost is less than incineration and avoids the need for costly air pollution equipment;
  • No dioxins are produced even with the addition of chlorine; and
  • Product gas has a much higher heating value than that generated by air gasifiers.

Contact: Mr. Michael J. Luciano, Chairman and CEO, MPM Technologies Inc., 339, Jefferson Road, Parsipany, NJ 07054, United States of America. Tel: +1 (973) 4285 009; Fax: +1 (973) 4285 027



Synthetic oils and transport fuels from waste rubber

The Institute of Coal Chemistry of CSIC, Spain, is offering a patented technology for producing oils and transport fuels by recycling waste rubber. This procedure comprises thermal degradation of the tyres polymer material with a catalyst based on molybdenum. Scrap rubber is shredded into 1-10 cm particles and passed on to the kiln reactor where thermal processing occurs at 350-550C for 3-180 minutes and at pressures up to 5 MPa. A portion of gases obtained during thermal processing condenses as synthetic oil with a calorific power of 7,000-15,000 kcal/Nm3.

Compared with existing processes, the catalytic method provides good energy balance without producing residues.

Contact: Mr. Jose Maria Bielza De Ory, CSIC, Spain. Tel: +34 (91) 5616800, ext. 3231



Agricultural waste processed into oil

Renewable Environmental Solutions LLC (RES), the United States, offers a commercial plant to produce bio-oil from agricultural waste products. RES is a joint venture of Changing World Technologies Inc. (CWT) and ConAgra Foods Inc. CWTs thermal conversion process (TCP) is the first commercially viable method of reforming organic wastes into a high-value energy resource. Since TCP uses above-ground organic waste streams to produce a new energy source, it also has the potential to arrest global warming by lowering the dependence on fossil fuels. The first plant installed at Carthage will yield 500 barrels of oil per day, along with natural gas, liquid as well as solid fertilizers, and solid carbon.

The novel technique emulates the earths natural geothermal activity, whereby organic material is transformed into fossil fuel under extreme heat and pressure over millions of years. TCP degrades long chains of organic polymers into their smallest units and reforms them into new combinations, yielding clean solid, liquid and gaseous alternative fuels and speciality chemicals. Efficiency of this process is over 80 per cent and it generates its own energy to power the plant. Steam naturally created by the process is used to heat the incoming feedstock. TCP process entails five steps:
  • Pulping and slurrying the organic feed with water;
  • Heating the slurry under pressure to the desired temperature;
  • Flashing the slurry to a lower pressure to separate the mixture;
  • Heating the slurry again (coking) to drive off water and produce light hydrocarbons; and
  • Separating the end products.


Treated toilet water used to grow biofuel

An environmental consulting firm in the United States, Integrated Water Strategies, has drawn up a project that envisages the use of treated wastewater to irrigate 10.6 acres of crops which can be used to produce biodiesel. Apart from sustaining the growth of biofuel crops, this project would also create several miles of greenway along the water lines path as the wastewater treatment plant is sited about two miles away from the project location, Central Carolina Community College.

A part of the systems prototype is at Bells School, a few miles east. Wastewater is filtered through a septic tank to remove solids, then pumped into lined planter boxes in the schools courtyard and adjacent greenhouse. Micro-organisms and greenery thrive off the nutrient-rich wastewater. By using the nutrients, plants and microbes treat as much as about 5,683 l/d of water, emitting just a harmless gas. Cleaned water filters down to the plastic lining, where it is collected and then piped back into the building for use as flush water and in irrigating the buildings landscape. A similar system is on the anvil for the Central Carolina Community College project, which is estimated to cost about US$7.2 million.


Energy from garbage

In the United States, efforts are being made to extend the life of Lycoming county landfill by converting trash into energy. Under the US$60 million Green Tech project, experts have selected a design that handles 6.8 kg/d of waste. The goal is to have a digester with a capacity of 30-100 t/d. The process is expected to be completely up and operational by 2007. At present, concrete cylinders scattered across parts of the landfill collect methane gas and conveys it underground into an on-site co-generation plant.

Waste entering the landfill is separated into recyclables and municipal solid waste. The segregated waste enters a materials resource facility where it is reduced and passed on to an anaerobic digester to obtain methane. Residual matter left over from this procedure is undergoing tests to determine the feasibility of employing it as a soil amendment.


Refuse derived fuel manufacturing facility

A refuse derived fuel (RDF) system transforms raw waste and waste plastics into a solid fuel. The RDF manufacturing facility offered by Takuma Co. Ltd., Japan, makes concentrated use of plastics found in domestic wastes. It uses twin-axle extruders, which apply binder effect of heat melting and produces high-density RDF without employing additives. At the same time, it uses the high heat value of the plastics effectively. Some salient features of Takumas system include:
  • An efficient system where load variation to the equipment downstream is eliminated by the use of feed-forward method;
  • Thermal ability of the peripheral equipment of the drier is kept at minimum so that the unit has short start-up and shutdown times;
  • Designed to avoid waste residues in the heater when the system is shut down to prevent fire;
  • Odour from the enclosed plant is drawn into the deodorizer where it is eliminated;
  • An extruder raises temperature of the plastic material to its melting point. This melting and high compression bind plastics together to form solid pellets that do not break up during transit; and
  • The twin axles in the extruder grind up foreign matter.

RDF thus obtained is convenient to store and transport. This high-grade and odourless fuel can be used as a substitute for petroleum.

Contact: Takuma Co. Ltd., 2-2-33, Kinrakuji-cho, Amagasaki, Hyogo 660 0806, Japan. Tel: +81 (6) 6347 9115; Fax: +81 (6) 6347 9150



Advanced waste-to-energy plant

Energos, Norway, is offering a waste-to-energy system, which relies on patented thermal conversion technology. Drying, pyrolysis and gasification of pre-treated waste is carried out in the primary chamber under sub-stochiometric conditions. The process is monitored and controlled by a proprietary software system. Syn-gas produced in the primary chamber is moved into a separate secondary chamber where a final high-temperature oxidation takes place. Energy recovered as steam can be converted into process steam for industrial use or district heating or electricity. Flue gas generated is passed through a dry flue gas cleaning system with injection of lime and active carbon.

Energos system simultaneously achieves low carbon content in slag (<3 per cent TOC), low and stable NOx, and CO stability on a low level and a high degree of cracking of organic substances. A standard plant is equipped with two silos, one for waste from external sources and one for fuel (pre-treated wastes). Waste delivered in closed containers is unloaded in the waste silo. The silo hall is equipped with an automatic odour control system to avoid smell in the vicinity of the plant. Air from the ventilation system is used in the thermal conversion process. Fuel is unloaded from the fuel silo by an overhead crane and delivered to the thermal conversion system.

Contact: Energos, Norway. Tel: +47 (73) 571101.



Wind Power

This book is a completely revised and expanded edition of the authors definitive 1993 book Wind Power for Home and Business. In addition to sections on gauging wind resources and siting wind turbines, this edition includes new examples and case studies of successful wind systems, international sources for new and used equipment, and hundreds of colour photographs and illustrations.

Contact: James and James (Science Publishers), 8-12, Camden High Street, London NW1 0JH, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (20) 7387 8558; Fax: +44 (20) 7387 8998


World Ethanol and Biofuels Report

This source of comprehensive biofuel statistics provides news, background analysis and statistics on fuel ethanol, biodiesel, industrial and beverage alcohol markets worldwide. The report includes world and regional prices and trade statistics, regular ethanol and biodiesel production estimates and ethanol trade analysis, and information on fermentation products MSG, lysine, citric acid and yeast.

Contact: F.O. Licht, 80, Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2UN, England, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1892) 533 813; Fax: +44 (1892) 544 895



Stationary Fuel Cell: Market Opportunities, Strategies and Forecasts

This is the 216th report in a series of market research reports that provide forecasts in communications, telecommunications, internet, computer, software, telephone equipment and energy. Predictions, based on primary research and proprietary databases, reflect analysis of the market trends. Unit and dollar shipments are analysed taking into consideration the dollar volume of each market participation in the segment. Market share analysis includes conversations with important customers of products, industry segment leaders, marketing directors, distributors, prominent market participants as well as companies seeking to develop measurable market share.

Contact: Ms. Laura Wood, Research and Markets, Ireland. Fax: +353 (1) 4100 980



This website is optimized for IE 8.0 with screen resolution 1024 x 768
For queries regarding this website, contact us
Copyright © 2010 APCTT | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Feedback