VATIS Update Non-conventional Energy . Jan-Mar 2014

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New and Renewable Energy Jan-Mar 2014

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.

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India submit loan proposal for solar project

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India, has submitted a proposal to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for a loan of $500 million from the World Bank. The amount would be used for implementation of the first phase of 750 MW of an ultra-mega solar power project of 4000 MW cumulative capacity to be set up on a vacant land of Hindustan Salts Ltd at Sambhar, Rajasthan, at a total estimated outlay of $1085 million. Once the project is commissioned, it will be the world’s largest single location solar power plant.

The project is envisaged to be set up by a joint venture of six PSUs – Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), Hindustan Salts Limited, Power Grid, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) and Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL), according to an official statement. The equipment for the solar farm will be supplied by BHEL, power evacuation by Power Grid, sale of electricity by SECI, operation and maintenance by REIL and project management by SJVNL.

Pakistan to add 772 MW of solar power to its national grid

According to figures released by the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), Pakistan, the country is on course to add 772 MW of solar power to its national grid by 2016. As per the details announced by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), Pakistan, there are currently 22 individual solar power projects either under construction or at various stages of development, with a number of these projects awaiting an agreement on a national FIT.

NEPRA has published its final FIT incentives for photovoltaic (PV) projects between 1 MW and 100 MW. In the north of Pakistan the FIT will be set at $0.18 cents per kWh for an initial ten-year period, halving after that time to just $0.09 cents per kWh for the next 15 years. In Pakistan’s southern regions, the FIT incentive comes in a little more generously, at $0.19 cents per kWh for the first ten years, but falling to below $0.09 cents per kWh thereafter. For solar, AEDB is set to embark on a campaign to promote the installation of residential rooftop PV systems designed for self-consumption. Currently, Pakistan has no building or licensing restrictions on these types of installations.

India cuts issuance fee for renewable energy certificates

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), India, has slashed the fee charged for issuance of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to Rs. 4.00 per certificate from existing Rs. 10.00 effective from April 1, 2014. The CERC decision is likely to help in improving the market for RECs which is yet to take off in a big way. One REC represents 1 MWh of energy generated from renewable sources.

The mechanism was introduced way back in 2010 as part of efforts to boost the renewable energy sector. The National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC), India, is the nodal agency for carrying out activities related to RECs. These include registration of eligible entities, issuing as well as maintaining and settling accounts in respect of certificates.

However, in recent months the demand for RECs has been on the decline. Country’s leading power bourse Indian Energy Exchange saw trading volumes of RECs plunge over 60 per cent in January even as their prices remained stable. At the time of launch in late 2010, the government had said that REC mechanism was expected to bring new investments in renewable energy projects and help introducing market based competition in renewable energy sector.

Maldives awarded US$6 million loan for clean energy projects

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has pledged Dh22 million (US$6 million) in concessionary loans for clean energy projects in the Maldives. The announcement was made by a delegation from the Maldives in the Fourth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. The Maldives, a member of the group since 2009, was represented by Minister Thoriq, Minister of State for Environment and Energy Abdul Matheen Mohamed, Ambassador to the UAE Dr. Aishath Shahenaz Adam, and Director General of Ministry of Environment and Energy Ahmed Ali.

“Maldives does not have the luxury of time to sit and wait for the rest of the world to act and that Maldives has started the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy,” Maldivian Minister for Environment and Energy Thoriq Ibrahim said. The loans will provide half of the funds for a waste to energy project that will address both environmental and health issues in the Maldives. The project will benefit 120,000 people, with a reduced need for landfills, the generation of 2 MW of clean energy, and the production of 62 million litres of desalinated water per year.

Addressing the session, Thoriq noted that despite being an insignificant contributor to climate change, the Maldives was taking bold steps to move towards renewable energies. “He assured that Maldives stands and will continue to be at the frontline combating climate change”. In December 2013, the European Union has pledged €4 million to address climate change in the Maldives, bringing its total contributions to €38 million over the past four years.

Photovoltaic system in Afghanistan

Financed by New Zealand’s Sustainable Energy Services International (SESI) and NETcon, one of the world’s biggest off-grid photovoltaic (PV) systems has begun operation in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, whose name means “the place of shining light.” The Bamyan Renewable Energy Programme has brought for the first time an electrical system to the communities that will supply energy to 2,500 households, businesses and government buildings with cost-efficient electricity 24 hours a day. The PV generator of the system is supplemented with a diesel generator and batteries for periods of poor weather.

Until now, residents located in central Afghanistan and famous for the giant Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, have had to either rely on diesel generators or domestic solar panels for power while others have had no access to electricity at all. “The project is not just about solar panels, wires and poles but also about health, education, economic growth and laying down a foundation for future development to build on,” said Tony Woods of SESI.

SMA Solar Technology, Germany, delivered 118 Sunny Island inverters, 55 Sunny Tripower inverters, four Multicluster boxes and 79 Sunny Island Chargers to the Afghanistan project. “To effectively improve the lives of the people in the war-stricken country of Afghanistan, it is extremely important to bring a reliable energy supply not only to homes, but also to businesses, hospitals, schools and government buildings,” added Volker Wachenfeld, SMA’s senior vice president of Hybrid & Storage.

China set installation limits for solar power subsidies

China, the world’s biggest solar market, has set a national limit of 14 gigawatts for solar power capacity addition to be eligible for subsidies in 2014. According to a statement released by the National Energy Administration, China, the country has set quotas for individual provinces based on local resources and the grid’s ability to handle the additional power within this limit. Projects exceeding a region’s quota won’t get subsidy.

China added a record 12 gigawatts of solar power in 2013, almost matching the amount being generated in the U.S. from the same source. The country installed 3.6 gigawatts of solar in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in January.

Hybrid renewable energy system in Philippines

The first hybrid renewable energy power system has been recently launched in the Green Island, Roxas town Palawan (province of the Philippines), which will provide a more stable and dependable power to 50 households in the remote island Sitio. The project is made possible with the initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which will construct a 25.5KW hybrid power system making use of biomass gasifier, solar panels and wind turbines.

This project is implemented in partnership with the Municipal Government of Roxas and the Palawan Center for Appropriate Rural Technology (PCART), which will eventually own and operate the Hybrid RE Power Station. This will benefit the households in Green Island’s Zone IV, the area furthest from the diesel-generator set. As part of the sustainability plan, the project includes an ice-flake machine maker to help preserve the catch of fisherfolk, and a reverse-osmosis machine as a source of potable water for the residents of Green Island.

The Green Island project is one of the six grants of USAID’s Climate Change Clean Energy Project which promotes renewable energy for utilization in the power and transport sectors. The pilot project is in support of the Philippines’ National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) as part of the sustainable energy agenda under the Medium- Term Development Plan.

Thailand extends subsidy programme until 2021

The Ministry of Energy, Thailand, has extended solar water heater subsidy programme, which was started in the year 2008 until 2021. The subsidy will gradually decrease from currently 25 per cent of the investment costs to 15 per cent in 2017. The programme is part of Thailand’s revised Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP), which was presented by Kulwaree Buranasajjawaraporn, Director of the solar energy section’s Innovation Group at the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), during the Thai-German Technology Conference in Bangkok in October 2013.

The DEDE programme is only available for commercial hybrid systems, which combine a minimum of 40 m² of collector area per project with the use of waste heat from air conditioners, boilers, etc. In 2011 and 2012, the government subsidised a total of 21,034 m² of collector area. The budget in 2013 was extended to cover 25,000 m². DEDE, however, registered only 8,000 m² of newly installed collector area until October 2013.

“I don’t believe that the low numbers were a direct result of the current turmoil in Thailand, but that the photovoltaic (PV) programme, which was announced in June and for which investors could obtain li-censes beginning in October 2013, may have interfered with the demand for solar thermal,” Thomas Chrometzka, Director of Renewable Energy at the GIZ Thailand, explained.

Indonesia to get three geothermal plants

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia, has announced that three geothermal power plants with total capacity of 62 megawatts will go on line in 2014, as the country seeks to tap more of the renewable energy source amid rising fuel costs. Indonesia, which has the largest geothermal resource in the world, has been tapping only 1.4 percent of its potential due to high costs of development and restrictive regulation that bars geothermal exploration in protected forests.

Tisnaldi, geothermal director said “We hope these plants will help alleviate the lack of electricity problem.” The Patuha, Cibuni and Ulumbu plants are part of the second phase of a project in adding 10,000 megawatts of electricity to PLN’s capacity. About 40 percent of that target is expected to be sourced from geothermal energy. The project aims to give access to electricity to all Indonesian house-holds by 2020, compared to a little more than 80 percent rate in 2013.

The Patuha plant, with expected 55 megawatts of capacity, is being developed by state company Geo Dipa Energy. Electricity from Patuha would be added to the power grid for Java and Bali, islands that take up the majority of Indonesia’s electricity demand. The Cibuni plant, which is being developed by Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) with planned capacity at 2 megawatts, is expected to start operations in August. The Ulumbu plant would also become operational in August and will have the capacity to generate 5 megawatts.

UAE to fund Fiji's renewable energy project

The United Arab Emirates is expected to fund a renewable energy project in Fiji. The two countries signed off an agreement on the US$5 million project at Abhu Dhabi in January. Timoci Natuva, minister for works, Fiji, said the project shows the UAE’s commitment to support Fiji’s effort to achieve sus-tainable development through the use of renewable energy.

Natuva said “The new system will not only provide basic lights, but it also allows those in these areas to improve their standard of living.” The projects will be undertaken at the Kadavu, Lakeba and Rotuma government stations due to the availability of government services, schools and health facilities in the communities.

With the successful implementation of the three projects, the centres will be able to provide reliable and efficient services 24 hours rather than the current ad hoc and inconsistent services. He adds the project will surely reduce Fiji’s import bill which currently averages $1.3 billion annually.


Researchers improve process to create highly efficient solar cells

Researchers from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the United States, have invented a new process for manufacturing highly efficient photovoltaic materials that shows promise for low-cost industrial production. The new process uses so-called perovskite materials, which in the past few years have significantly advanced scientists’ efforts to create the next generation of solar cells. The term “perovskite” is a reference to a mineral called perovskite, which was first discovered in Russia in the 1830s. Perovskite solar cells have proven to be particularly efficient for harvesting light to generate electricity.

The UCLA team’s research focused on perovskite crystals made from a hybrid of inorganic/organic materials, methyl ammonium halide and lead halide, respectively, which are then made into a thin film that is sandwiched between two electrodes. The researchers devised a way to produce solar cells using those materials more efficiently and cost-effectively than the current standard methods.

The team’s new approach is a vapor-assisted solution process that efficiently produces perovskite solar cells without the flaws associated with the other techniques. “Perovskite cells are one of today’s most promising solar technologies,” said Yang, a member of the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute. “Over the last year, the gains of perovskite solar cells in efficiency of converting sunlight to electricity far outpace the incremental gains of other solar materials.”

High-speed process for solar cells

Midsummer, a solar energy expert from Sweden, has developed a high speed process for manufacturing of thin film Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) solar cells utilising sputtering of all layers in the solar cell structure. By using sputtering in all processing steps, the process cycles in the manufacturing of solar cells can be drastically shortened, the solar cells can be made cadmium-free and also made on stainless steel substrates suitable for flexible modules – all contributing to a highly competitive method to manufacture thin film CIGS solar cells with high efficiencies.

“Our unique process makes thin film CIGS solar cells even more commercially attractive by making it possible to manufacture solar cells fast, efficiently and cost effectively even in small volumes.” said Sven Lindström, CEO, Midsummer. Thin film CIGS solar panels are thinner and lighter than traditional silicon solar cells made of glass. They are also non-toxic (no cadmium) and can be made frameless, thus ideal for buildings and moving vehicles in cities. The heart of Midsummer’s photovoltaic production system, the DUO line is a sputter tool that deposits all the layers forming the finished cell and is the most cost effective way to start CIGS solar cell manufacturing.

Midsummer’s CIGS cells looks like crystalline silicon solar cells, but are made on stainless steel substrates. This makes the cells suitable not only for regular solar panels, but also for flexible, light weight panels that can be used on membrane roofs, landfills or other structures where the traditional glass modules cannot be applied.

Self-healing solar cells

A group of researchers at the North Carolina State University (NCSU), the United States, have recently successfully developed solar cells that are able to heal themselves. More specifically, the scientists have successfully been able to solve the problem of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC), namely that the dyes used to create energy in these cells would eventually be destroyed by UV radiation. DSSC cells contain a water-based gel core, electrodes, and inexpensive, light-sensitive, organic dye molecules that capture light and generate electric current.

The solar cells developed by the NCSU scientists contain a network of vascular channels that are very similar to the veins in a leaf, which are used to maintain water and nutrient levels throughout the leaf. The researchers found that the needed dyes could be effectively delivered and replenished via this network. The dye that had been rendered ineffective by UV radiation can also be removed through this network.

DSSCs are potentially able to generate electricity even at low levels of light, such as in a shady areas or on overcast days. During testing they have also been able to reach efficiencies that are almost equal to the conventional silicon-based solar cells. Through the work of NCSU researchers, the cells are now able to maintain their capacity and efficiency over long periods of time, which certainly brings this promising sustainable technology one step closer to a wider application.

New generation solar cell

Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD), Qatar, has developed the new generation cell that has greater advantages than the present ones. This cell will have 40% more efficiency than the pre-sent ones.” GORD showcased its latest invention at the International Sustainable Built Environment Conference (ISBE) held at Doha. Founding chairman of GORD, Dr. Yousef Mohamed Al-Horr revealed that the new generation solar cell will have 40% more efficiency than the present ones.

 Dr. Al-Horr said the product has been completed and is in the testing phase. “We will have to see the performance of the cell in different climatic conditions. We will test it all through the year and assess the variations in performance in different climatic conditions.” The official also said that after gaining approval from the entities concerned, GORD would look into the commercial viability of the product. “We will run it for a full cycle and then look for the commercial plans. We have also started the patent process. It will take a few years to complete the entire process before it is commercially launched.”

Dr. Al-Horr urged government bodies to adapt to the Qatar Construction Specifications (QCS 2014) in all upcoming projects. “Many government bodies in Saudi Arabia are keen to adapt to these standards and GORD has already trained many professionals in Saudi Arabia in this regard,” he added.

New solar cell technology to capture high-energy photons

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Texas (UT), the United States, have together developed a new, inexpensive material that has the potential to capture and convert solar energy – particularly from the bluer part of the spectrum – much more efficiently than ever before. Most simple solar cells handle these bluish hues of the electromagnetic spectrum inefficiently. This is because blue photons – incoming particles of light that strike the solar cell – actually have excess energy that a conventional solar cell can’t capture.

“Photons of different energies kick electrons up by different amounts,” said UT Professor Brian Korgel. “Some photons come in with more energy than the cell is optimized to handle, and so a lot of that energy is lost as heat.” Because of this limitation, scientists had originally believed that simple solar cells would never be able to convert more than about 34 percent of incoming solar radiation to elec-tricity. However, about a decade ago, researchers saw the potential for a single high-energy photon to stimulate multiple “excitons” (pairs of an electron and a positively-charged partner called a “hole”) instead of just one.

In their study, Korgel and his team used specialized spectroscopic equipment at Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials to look at multiexciton generation in copper indium selenide, a material closely related to another more commonly produced thin film that holds the record for the most efficient thin-film semiconductor. “The holy grail of our research is not necessarily to boost efficiencies as high as they can theoretically go, but rather to combine increases in efficiency to the kind of large-scale roll-to-roll printing or processing technologies that will help us drive down costs,” Korgel said.

Semi-transparent solar cells

Researchers from Oxford University, the United Kingdom, have developed solar cells using perovskite, which combines semi-transparency with good efficiency. Co-founder Professor Henry Snaith and his team, charts the development of alternatives to crystalline silicon photovoltaics, describing how the original ‘new generation’ technology based on organic or dye-sensitised solar cells achieved the semi- transparency that is desired by designers and developers of buildings, but was unable to achieve efficiencies close to crystalline technology.

These solar cells have achieved efficiencies over 15% in the last 12 months, overtaking other emerging solar technologies which have yet to break the 14% barrier despite decades of research. Most significantly, the team has also found a solution to the reddish-brown tint previously associated with the use of perovskite to produce neutral coloured, semi-transparent cells which address the needs of the construction industry.
Source: http://www.


Wind powered energy system

Scientists from the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), India, have developed a wind-powered hybrid energy system for Nubra Valley near Siachen Glacier, which will help save over 33,000 litres of diesel a year. Scientists Neeraj Sharma, Jimmy Kansal and director Ashwagosha Ganju of SASE showed how wind energy could be used for an off-grid field location in Ladakh’s cold desert, Nubra Valley, at a remote place, which has no source of grid power. Presently, the electricity demand is met with diesel generators that consume 1.42 lakh litre of fuel every year. “Electricity generation by this method is very expensive due to ever increasing cost of diesel and transportation of fuel. So, we thought of exploring the wind energy option,” said Jimmy Kansal of SASE.

The scientists used one-year power consumption data and wind energy resource and explored the potential of tapping the renewable resource available to bring down the diesel consumption at the site. From this data, the average daily, weekly and annual power requirements for the location under study are determined. “The design of the system is sought to use wind energy in addition to the existing diesel generators to supply energy to the location,” said Neeraj Sharma.

The annual average wind speed at a height of 10m at the location is 10.12 m/s and the highest wind speed is available in July and lowest in January. The hybrid energy system will use ten 10 KW wind turbines, one existing 82.5 KVA diesel generator, 120 lead acid batteries, a 50 KW converter and 37.5 KW rectifier. “It is our pilot project. Looking at its success, we will implement such hybrid systems at other places as well,” said Kansal.

Innovative design for direct drive and more efficient wind turbines

Researchers from the Fraunhofer IWES, Germany, and the Wind Energy Research Team (FITT GmbH), Germany, are collaborating on developing a new direct drive 3 MW wind turbine design concept, which represents a new gearless drive concept for future wind turbines (WET) drive trains. Describing the plans, Patrick Tober, Fraunhofer IWES Project Leader explains, “material and cost savings are to be achieved through a modular and compact construction as also increased turbine robustness and less damage susceptibility“. The core component of the new concept is its integrated generator construction. The rotor blades are attached directly to the generator and not as previously connected with the hub in front of the nacelle. A lightweight construction is also new solving many logistics problems, as the transport and installation of heavy WET components, especially on the high seas, are very complex and cost intensive issues.

Furthermore, the project will also be examining other innovative aspects such as, for example, fully enclosed or open generator design, reduced component numbers and the cooling system with regards to cost reductions and increased performance. On top of all this, research is being done into how reductions in the mass of the tower head and an integrated lightweight design can be achieved. Another focus of the project is the standardization of components and interfaces, as well as series production possibilities. In future, the hub generator is to be used on direct drive WETs in the output range of 3 MW upwards. Contact: Fraunhofer IWES, Dipl.-Ing. Patrick Tober, Germany. Tel: +49-511- 762-14182; E-mail: patrick.tober@

Engineer invents new type of wind turbine

An engineer from Williamsville, the United States, has invented a new type of wind turbine that beats the usual three-blade windmill in every way and approached the City of Lockport’s economic development agency. Kean W. Stimm has told the Greater Lockport Development Corp. (GLDC) that his “Newtonian wind turbine” is smaller, quieter and puts out more power than conventional windmills. Stimm said he envisions a 75,000-square-foot plant employing 75 people to produce the turbines.

Stimm said his prototype has been tested in a wind tunnel in Cheektowaga, the United States, and performed well. He said one of his 10-foot turbines could produce 12.5 megawatts of electricity a year, enough to power an average home. A 12.5-foot model would be able to power and heat that home with its 14-megawatt output, and his 25-foot design could produce 100 megawatts of electricity, enough for industrial or commercial customers. “It’s very small. It’s very quiet,” Stimm said. “You can put it on the roofs of buildings.” He also said the design won’t kill birds, which sometimes happens in the spinning blades of windmills.

Protection against erosion of rotor blades

Researchers at the Fraunhofer IWES, Germany, are going to develop a test stand which, for the first time and under climatized conditions, will be able to evaluate the resistance of rotor blade coatings to rain erosion. For this purpose and as part of the joint “Rotor Blade Rain Erosion” project, coordinated by IWES researcher Benjamin Buchholz, a climatized test stand with rotating arms is b eing created for testing model rotor blades with blade tip speeds of up to 160 m/s. “Here, the test conditions are variable – rotational speeds and climatic conditions can be adjusted individually according to the respective real rotor blade operating conditions,” explains Buchholz. “Weather and operational data records provide the necessary bases. In this way we hope to equally ensure test stand quality and the validity of the results obtained.”

In addition to the project, a mobile system for rotor blade quality control and coating thickness measurements is being developed by Dr. Nix GmbH & Co. KG, Germany. To date, coating measurements are made in the laboratory using time domain-terahertz-spectroscopy. In this way, the contactless testing of multi-layered, non-metallic material coating systems is achieved. Researchers are hoping to be able to develop a portable inspection system for the rain erosion test stand, which is also suitable for use in the “field” and will also enable less complex, quicker and more cost effective rotor blade testing. Contact: Benjamin Buchholz, Tel: +49-471-14290-322; E-mail: benjamin.buchholz@iwes.

Blade addition could boost wind turbine power up to 20%

Researchers at Rutgers University, the United States, have invented and tested a patent-pending wind turbine blade deflector that creates a significant increase in torque. “The deflector, not a vortex generator, is based upon a powerful force that other airfoil designs don’t address,” said Corey Park, CEO of Dynamic Blade Technologies, the United Kingdom. Mr. Park said that adding the deflector has the potential to boost turbine output in light to moderate winds by some 20%. For example, if a 3 MW turbine producing 1,000 kW in a particular wind were refitted with the deflectors, it would produce 1,200 kW. What’s more, a 5% power increase typically translates into a 20% increase in profit for turbine owners.

Professor F. Javier Diez at Rutgers, expects that the results could provide the same substantial increase and maybe more at higher wind speeds. “We are very excited about the data obtained from recent laboratory-scale tests and can’t wait to perform larger scale experiments to demonstrate the full potential of this technology.” Dr. Diez said. “Once the researchers were able to model the drag/lift phenomena, they reshaped the deflector in order to produce a higher torque,” Park said. He adds that Diez’s team completed 50 laboratory tests on a blade that confirms their initial projections.

The researchers add that the deflectors can be easily affixed to the blades of existing wind turbines. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, there are more than 225,000 large wind turbines around the globe. OEMs could also add the deflectors to new blades at their factories. What’s more, the deflectors could improve the performance of smaller turbines sold to individuals, hydroelectric plants, boat propellers, airplane wings, and helicopters. Contact: Corey Park, E-mail:



Seafloor carpet catches waves to generate energy

Researchers from the University of California (UC), the United States, are developing a wave-to-energy conversion system that sits on the seafloor. According to assistant professor Reza Alam, an expert in wave mechanics, the seafloor “carpet” will convert ocean waves into usable energy. Alam got the idea of creating a seafloor carpet from real-world muddy seabeds, which are known to dampen the energy of surface waves. “There is a vast amount of untapped energy in the oceans, and with increasing worldwide demand for power, the need to find cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels is critical,” said Alam.

Dr. Marcus Lehmann, a researcher on Alam’s team said that one potential application for their system could be to lower the high cost of purifying seawater into drinkable water, helping states and countries weather periods of drought. The dominant methods of turning seawater into fresh water involve distillation, which requires heat, and reverse osmosis desalination, in which water is pumped through filters. Both methods use a substantial amount of energy that thus far has prevented their wider adoption. A power-generating system that is based on ocean power could change that, at least in areas of the world adjacent to high wave energy activity.

“The benefit of having a system underwater is that there is minimal visual and physical impact on boats and sea life,” said Alam. “Our system would work with no problem in stormy conditions because the wa-ter column above the carpet buffers the impact momentum of surging waves. In fact, our carpet is even more efficient when ocean waves are stronger.” Alam estimated that one square meter of a seafloor carpet system could generate enough electricity to power two U.S. households. He added that wave energy from just 10 meters of California coastline, or about 100 square meters of a seafloor carpet, could generate the same amount of power as an array of solar panels the size of a soccer field, which covers about 6,400 square meters.

Early experiments with wave tanks at UC Berkeley have been promising. The researchers are consider-ing whether the ever-growing number of nearshore “dead zones” low-oxygen regions in the ocean with little marine life would be strong candidates for pilot testing their system. “We plan to start testing this system in the ocean within the next two years, and we hope to have it ready for commercial use within the next 10 years,” said Alam.

Triboelectric generator extracts energy from ocean waves

A team of researchers under guidance of Dr. Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the United States, have developed a triboelectric generator based on two solids that produces enough power to charge a mobile telephone battery. As a prototype, the researchers made an insulated plastic tank, whose lid and bottom contain copper foil electrodes. Their system is successful because the inside of the lid is coated with a layer of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) patterned with tiny nanoscale pyramids. The tank is filled with deionized water. When the lid is lowered so that the PDMS nanopyramids come into contact with the water, groups of atoms in the PDMS become ionized and negatively charged.

A corresponding positively charged layer forms on the surface of the water. The electric charges are maintained when the PDMS layer is lifted out of the water. This produces a potential difference between the PDMS and the water. Hydrophobic PDMS was chosen in order to minimize the amount of water clinging to the surface; the pyramid shapes allow the water to drop off readily. Periodic raising and lowering of the lid while the electrodes are connected to a rectifier and capacitor produces a direct current that can be used to light an array of 60 LEDs. In tests with salt water, the generator produced a lower output, but it could in principle operate with seawater.

The current produced decreases significantly as temperature increases, which could allow this device to be used as a temperature sensor. It also decreases when ethanol is added to the water, which suggests potential use of the system as a chemical sensor. By attaching probe molecules with specific binding partners, it may be possible to design sensors for biomolecules.

New turbine generator tested in US

Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), the United States, which is developing equipment to harness tidal currents to generate electricity, has completed tow testing of its RivGen turbine generator unit in the waters near Eastport, a cooperative effort with the Maine Maritime Academy and the Eastport Port Authority. The redesigned proprietary river power system has improved reliability and durability, said company officials. The unit will be shipped to Alaska this summer for its first commercial-scale demonstration.

The system will be installed in the Kvichak River for several months of operation. The RivGen power system is a submersible hydrokinetic system designed for smaller river applications in water depths of 15 feet or more, including those in remote, off-grid or micro-grid communities. “We have focused on these markets where there are remote communities like Igiugig, for example, that rely on diesel generators for micro-grids,” said Chris Sauer at ORPC. The cost of providing power in such remote villages is very high, because they use diesel fuel.

Sauer also said the company has identified design improvements for the tidal generating turbine it has deployed near Eastport in the past for testing. The equipment was removed from the water last summer for maintenance and originally was scheduled to be improved and returned to the waters for more test-ing. The new technology should be ready toward the end of the year or in 2015, said Sauer, and will undergo testing.

Magnetostrictive wave energy generator

Oscilla Power, Inc. (OPI), the United States, has announced the successful completion of its 2013 open ocean testing, conducted at Isle of Shoals, New Hampshire (NH). OPI’s prototype system was deployed in mid-July and recovered in mid-September, 2013. For nine weeks, two of OPI’s “Gen 1” magnetostrictive power generators operated according to plan, turning Atlantic ocean waves into electricity. The field trial was jointly executed by OPI and the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Ocean Renewable Energy (CORE) and was supported by Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from the US Department of Energy.

OPI’s wave energy harvester uses modular “no moving parts” generators, enabled by low-cost magnetostrictive alloys, to reliably convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Full-scale systems, deployed in utility-scale arrays, are projected to be capable of delivering electricity to the grid that is competitive with conventional alternatives in areas such as the UK, Northern Europe, the US West Coast and Japan.

“New approaches are necessary in order to get the cost and reliability of wave energy devices where they need to be.” said Agustín Delgado, Director of Innovation of Iberdrola, a leading developer of onshore wind, offshore wind and marine energy projects around the world. OPI’s “Gen 3” generator will be 4x the size, in terms of the cross-sectional area of the magnetic core, of the Gen 2 generators tested in 2013. A next generation system incorporating the first Gen 3 generator, currently under assembly at the company’s Seattle facilities, will be tested in the summer of 2014 at the same New Hampshire site. Contact: Anne Theisen, E-mail:

New ideas in wave and tidal power

At the ARPA-E Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. in February, M3 Wave LLC, the United States, offered new ideas at drawing energy from the oceans that come with buoys or other designs by mooring a simple device to the ocean floor. The device, involves two air chambers as a wave passes over the top of the first chamber, the pressure inside increases, forcing air through a passageway to the second chamber. Inside the passageway is a turbine, so the passing air is actually what generates the electricity. As the wave continues on, it raises the pressure inside the second chamber, pushing the air back through the turbine.

According to M3, the primary selling point here is its simple and small footprint. There is no impact on ocean view, on shipping or fishing traffic, and rough seas above won’t endanger the system in any way, meaning it might be brought along on a ship and deployed for things like disaster relief; the company suggests such a deployment could produce 150 to 500 kilowatts.

On the other side, a group at Brown University, the United States, has developed an oscillating hydrofoil, intended to minimize some of the impacts of tidal power devices and increase efficiency. The hydrofoil is mounted on to the sea floor it resembles a car’s spoiler attached to a pole, essentially. As the water flows past that spoiler it oscillates, generating electricity. It is designed so that the pole can actually fold down and out of the way if necessary, allowing for ships or even wildlife (detected with sensors on the device) to pass by without incident.


New catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells

A team of researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory, the United States, have discovered a new way to produce hydrogen gas from water. The team suggests that this new hydrogen production meth-od may be much less expensive than more conventional production methods. Reducing the cost of hy-drogen fuel production has become a major priority for those interested in renewable energy. Current production methods are somewhat expensive and notoriously inefficient, making fuel cells quite unpopular in a wide range of industries.

The researchers developed a new fuel cell catalyst comprised of cobalt rather than platinum. Part of the high costs associated with fuel cells have to do with their use of platinum and reducing the need for this expensive material could help significantly lower the cost of fuel cell energy systems. The problem, however, is that platinum has a great deal of electrochemical potential and is resilient to the corrosive environments that can be found within fuel cell systems. It has been difficult to find a replacement for platinum, but the research team believes that cobalt may be the answer.

The team found that the cobalt catalyst can produce hydrogen in much the same way as its platinum counterparts. The problem, however, is that the cobalt catalyst is less efficient. The Argonne National Laboratory is not the first organization to develop a cobalt catalyst, but its research team has been working on addressing the issue of efficiency concerning these catalysts. In order to increase the efficiency of the catalyst, the research team has been experimenting with chromophores, which are light-sensitive molecules. By arranging these molecules in a particular way, the team is seeing increased efficiency from its catalyst.

Environmentally friendly sugar battery

A research team from Virginia Tech, the United States, has developed a battery that runs on sugar and has an unmatched energy density, a development that could replace conventional batteries with ones that are cheaper, refillable, and biodegradable. The findings from Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering have been published in the journal Nature Communications. While other sugar batteries have been developed, Zhang said his battery has an energy density an order of magnitude higher than others, allowing it to run longer before needing to be refueled.

In as soon as three years, Zhang’s new battery could be running some of the cell phones, tablets, video games, and the myriad other electronic gadgets that require power in our energy-hungry world. “Sugar is a perfect energy storage compound in nature, so it’s only logical that we try to harness this natural power in an environmentally friendly way to produce a battery.” Zhang said.

In this newest development, Zhang and his colleagues constructed a non-natural synthetic enzymatic pathway that strips all charge potentials from the sugar to generate electricity in an enzymatic fuel cell. Then, low-cost biocatalyst enzymes are used as catalysts instead of costly platinum, which is typically used in conventional batteries. Different from hydrogen fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells, the fuel sugar solution is neither explosive nor flammable and has a higher energy storage density. The enzymes and fuels used to build the device are biodegradable. The battery is also refillable and sugar can be added to it much like filling a printer cartridge with ink.

Researchers develop tiny fuel cells to generate electricity

Researchers from the Osaka University and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan, have developed tiny fuel cells that attach to the cockroaches and generate electricity. The fuel cell which measures approximately 20 x 15mm and is comprised of electrodes, a tank of body fluid, and a needle that is inserted into the bug is placed on the cockroach. The bug’s body fluid is a source of a type of sugar called trehalose, which helps generate the electricity.

The bug’s body fluid makes its way into the tank (which has a dialysis membrane inside) via diffusion. From there, the trehalose is broken down into glucose by enzymes trehalase and mutarotase, and an oxidation-reduction reaction is used to oxidize the glucose on the positive electrode side and generate oxygen on the negative electrode side. A 3D-printed prototype of the cell generated 50.2 microwatts of power from a single cockroach, and the study foresees a wireless sensor network of high-tech bugs.

The Japanese universities aren’t the first to use cockroaches to generate electricity. In 2012, chemistry professor Daniel Scherson from Case Western Reserve University, the United States, used enzymes capable of converting a cockroach’s food consumption into electrons, which can then be sent through a fuel cell to generate electricity.


Researches convert sun’s energy into hydrogen fuel

Researchers from the Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of North Carolina (UNC), the United States, have built a system claimed to convert the sun’s energy into hydrogen fuel. “So called ‘solar fuels’ like hydrogen offer a solution to how to store energy for night time use by taking a cue from natural photosynthesis” said lead researcher Tom Meyer, a professor of chemistry. “Our new findings may provide a last major piece of a puzzle for a new way to store the sun’s energy – it could be a tipping point for a solar energy future.”

Dubbed a dye-sensitised photoelectrosynthesis cell (DSPEC), the new system – designed by Meyer and colleagues and Greg Parson’s group at North Carolina State University – generates hydrogen fuel by using the sun’s energy to split water into its component parts. After the split, hydrogen is sequestered and stored, while the oxygen by-product is released into the air. “But splitting water is extremely difficult to do” Meyer said. ‘You need to take four electrons away from two water molecules, transfer them somewhere else, and make hydrogen, and, once you have done that, keep the hydrogen and oxygen separated. How to design molecules capable of doing that is a really big challenge that we’ve begun to overcome.’

Meyer’s design is said to have two basic components: a molecule and a nanoparticle. The molecule, a chromophore-catalyst assembly, absorbs sunlight and kick starts the catalyst to strip electrons away from water. The nanoparticle, to which thousands of chromophore-catalyst assemblies are tethered, is part of a film of nanoparticles which shuttles the electrons away to make the hydrogen. To solve the problems, Meyer used a technique that coated the nanoparticle with a thin layer of titanium dioxide. By using ultra-thin layers, the researchers found that the nanoparticle could carry away electrons far more rapidly than before, with the freed electrons available to make hydrogen. With electrons flowing through the nanoparticle and the tether stabilised, Meyer’s new system can turn the sun’s energy into fuel while needing almost no external power to operate.

Hydrogen production and storage in scalable solar cell

A research team at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, have developed a method to create highly-efficient, scalable solar-powered water splitting device using abundant and inexpensive materials. Solar power systems cannot consistently produce adequate energy due to intermittency but a solution to this problem is a device that can store energy in the form of hydrogen.

One of the most sustainable methods of producing hydrogen is photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting, a process where solar energy is used to break water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen through a process called hydrogen evolution reaction. This reaction requires a catalyst and in PEC water-splitting devices platinum is commonly used for the job: it is deposited on the surface of the solar panel’s photocathode, which is the solar panel’s electrode that converts light into electric current. According to EPFL, the group of Xile Hu developed a molybdenum-sulphide catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction, and the group of Michael Grätzel developed copper(I) oxide as a photocathode.

The researchers found that the molybdenum sulphide can be deposited on the copper(I) oxide photocathode for use in PEC water splitting through a simple deposition process that can be easily ex-panded onto a large scale. Both the catalyst and the photocathode are made with cheap, earth-abundant materials that could greatly reduce the cost of PEC water-splitting devices in the future.


Silicon nanoparticles that generate hydrogen gas

Researchers at the University of Buffalo, the United States, have created silicon nanoparticles that generate hydrogen gas nearly instantaneously when water was added to them. In that process, the nanomaterial didn’t need light or electricity to produce the hydrogen. Of course, the downside was that producing the silicon nanoparticles required a fair amount of energy itself, so it wasn’t clear whether this was a viable solution to overcoming the energy costs of hydrogen production.

The main push in nanomaterials for hydrogen gas separation has been artificial photosynthesis ap-proaches in which sunlight rather than electricity is used to split the hydrogen from a water molecule. These efforts stood in contrast to other nanomaterial solutions that entailed simply replacing the platinum catalyst in the standard electrocatalytic process with a nanomaterial. However, researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU), the United States, have demonstrated that molybdenum sulfide (MoS2) can be used as an effective catalyst for producing hydrogen gas in a solar water-splitting process. “We found that the thickness of the thin film is very important,” said Dr. Linyou Cao, an assistant professor at NCSU.

“A thin film consisting of a single layer of atoms was the most efficient, with every additional layer of atoms making the catalytic performance approximately five times worse.” The researchers also have indicated that MoS2 thin films have an ideal band gap for solar water splitting. “The band gap of mon-olayer MoS2 spans over the redox potentials of water. Its valence band is lower than the potential of water oxidation, and the conduction band is higher than that of water reduction. Additionally, its band gap, about 1.8eV, nicely matches the spectrum of solar radiation.” Cao said. It should be interesting to see if this discovery that MoS2 makes for an ideal material in solar water splitting compares favourably to other nanomaterials used in artificial photosynthesis approaches.

Laser fusion experiment extracts net energy from fuel

A team of researchers from National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Labora-tory, the United States, have for the first time, extracted more energy from controlled nuclear fusion than was absorbed by the fuel to trigger it – crossing an important symbolic threshold on the long path toward exploiting this virtually boundless source of energy. Although NIF is still a way off from the much harder and long-sought goal of ‘ignition’, the break-even point beyond which a fusion reactor can generate more energy than is put in. Many other steps in the current experiments dissipate energy before it even reaches the nuclear fuel.

Nevertheless, the new result represents “a critical step on the path to ignition”, according to Mark Her-rmann, head of project at Sandia National Laboratory, the United States, and who was not involved with the NIF work. Whereas nuclear fission extracts energy released during the break-up of very heavy nuclei such as those of uranium, nuclear fusion – the process that powers stars and thermonuclear bombs – produces energy from the coalescence of light nuclei, such as those of hydrogen. During such a reaction, a tiny part of the masses of the separate hydrogen nuclei is converted into energy.

A lot of energy must be pumped into the fuel to drive the nuclei close together to overcome their electri-cal repulsion. At NIF, this energy is provided by 192 high-powered lasers, which send their beams into a bean-sized gold container called a hohlraum. The laser energy is absorbed by the hohlraum, which re-radiates it as X-rays, some of which are absorbed by the fuel capsule. The outer plastic shell then explodes, creating an implosion of the fuel inside, which raises the density high enough to trigger fusion. Most of the laser energy, however, stays absorbed by the hohlraum itself. This creates a rela-tively high initial temperature in the hohlraum that ‘fluffs up’ the plastic shell and makes it less prone to an instability during the explosion that disrupts the fusion process. As a result, the researchers have been able to achieve a ‘fuel energy gain’, a ratio of energy released by the fuel to energy absorbed of between 1.2 and 1.9.

Proton flow battery advances hydrogen power

Researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia, have developed a concept battery based simply on storing protons produced by splitting water, advancing the potential for hydrogen to replace lithium as an energy source in battery-powered devices. The proton flow battery concept eliminates the need for the production, storage and recovery of hydrogen gas, which currently limit the efficiency of conventional hydrogen-based electrical energy storage systems.

“As only an inflow of water is needed in charge mode – and air in discharge mode – we have called our new system the ‘proton flow battery’,” associate professor Andrews from RMIT said. Powering batteries with protons has the potential to be a much more economical device than using lithium ions, which have to be produced from relatively scarce mineral, brine or clay resources. “Hydrogen has great potential as a clean power source and this research advances the possibilities for its widespread use in a range of applications – from consumer electronic devices to large electricity grid storage and electric vehicles.”

The research published in the journal Hydrogen Energy, found that, the energy efficiency of the proton flow battery could be as high as that of a lithium ion battery, while storing more energy per unit mass and volume. “Our initial experimental results are an exciting indicator of the promise of the concept, but a lot more research and development will be necessary to take it through to practical commercial application,” Andrews said.


Gasoline-like fuels from plant waste

Researchers from the University of California (UC), the United States, have developed a new process for the creation of gasoline-like fuels from cellulosic plant waste materials. The process – essentially the first of its kind – means that the commercial production of plant-based biofuels may soon extend beyond biodiesel, and also encompass other important types of fuel. The great advantage of processes such as this – and in contrast to other forms of biofuel production – is that the materials used for the creation of these fuels are waste material. There is no necessity to displace agriculture with methods like the new one – cellulosic plant waste materials are simply not in short supply.

“What’s exciting is that there are lots of processes to make linear hydrocarbons, but until now nobody has been able to make branched hydrocarbons with volatility in the gasoline range,” explained Mark Mascal, a professor of chemistry at UC. Traditional diesel fuel is made up of long, straight chains of carbon atoms, while the molecules that make up gasoline are shorter and branched. That means gasoline and diesel evaporate at different temperatures and pressures, reflected in the different design of diesel and gasoline engines.

Biodiesel, refined from plant-based oils, is already commercially available to run modified diesel engines. A plant-based gasoline replacement would open up a much bigger market for renewable fuels. “Essentially it could be any cellulosic material,” Mascal noted. “Because the process does not rely on fermentation, the cellulose does not have to be converted to sugars first.” Provisional patents for the process have already been filed. The new research has been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Researchers convert yeast cells into ‘sweet crude’ biofuel

Researchers at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, the United States, have developed a new source of renewable energy, a biofuel, from genetically engineered yeast cells and ordinary table sugar. This yeast produces oils and fats, known as lipids, which can be used in place of petroleum-derived products. Assistant professor Hal Alper, in the Department of Chemical Engineering, along with his team of students, created the new cell-based platform. Given that the yeast cells grow on sugars, Alper calls the biofuel produced by this process “a renewable version of sweet crude.”

The researchers’ platform produces the highest concentration of oils and fats reported through fermentation, the process of culturing cells to convert sugar into products such as alcohol, gases or acids. This work was published in Nature Communications. The research team was able to rewire yeast cells to enable up to 90 percent of the cell mass to become lipids, which can then be used to produce biodiesel. “To put this in perspective, this lipid value is approaching the concentration seen in many industrial biochemical processes,” Alper said. “You can take the lipids formed and theoretically use it to power a car.”

“We took a starting yeast strain of Yarrowia lipolytica, and we’ve been able to convert it into a factory for oil directly from sugar,” Alper said. “By genetically rewiring Yarrowia lipolytica, Dr. Alper and his research group have created a near-commercial biocatalyst that produces high levels of bio-oils during carbohydrate fermentation,” said Lonnie O. Ingram, director of the Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels at the University of Florida, the United States. “This is a remarkable demonstration of the power of metabolic engineering.” So far, high-level production of biofuels and renewable oils has been an elusive goal, but the researchers believe that industry-scale production is possible with their platform. Alper and his team are continuing to find ways to further enhance the lipid production levels and develop new products using this engineered yeast. Contact: Sandra Zaragoza, Cockrell School of Engineering College of Engineering, USA. Tel: +1-512-471-2129.

A breakthrough for biofuel production

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego, the United States, have developed a method for greatly enhancing biofuel production in tiny marine algae. A significant roadblock in algal biofuel research surrounds the production of lipid oils, the fat molecules that store energy that can be produced for fuel. A catch-22 has stymied economically efficient biofuel production because algae mainly pro-duce the desired lipid oils when they are starved for nutrients. Yet if they are limited in nutrients, they don’t grow well. With a robust diet algae grow well, but they produce carbohydrates instead of the desired lipids for fuel.

In a significant leap forward that clears the lipid production hurdle, Trentacoste and her colleagues used a data set of genetic expression (called “transcriptomics” in laboratories) to target a specific enzyme inside a group of microscopic algae known as diatoms (Thalassiosira pseudonana). By metabolically engineering a “knock-down” of fat-reducing enzymes called lipases, the researchers were able to increase lipids without compromising growth. The genetically altered strains they developed, the researchers say, could be produced broadly in other species.

“Scientifically this is a huge achievement,” said Mark Hildebrand, a marine biology professor at Scripps and a coauthor of the study. “Five years ago people said you would never be able to get more lipids without affecting growth negatively. This paper shows that there isn’t an intrinsic barrier and gives us hope of more new things that we can try – it opens the door to a lot more work to be done.”In addition to lowering the cost of biofuel production by increasing lipid content, the new method has led to advances in the speed of algal biofuel crop production due to the efficient screening process used in the new study.

Coffee grounds converted to biomass pellets

Bio-bean, a green energy company, the United Kingdom, is planning to recycle waste coffee grounds and convert them into biofuels. The architecture student Arthur Kay was looking at closed loop waste-to-energy systems for buildings. When he chose a coffee shop he realized the oil content in coffee and the amount of waste produced, 200,000 metric tons a year in London, he set about forming Bio-bean.

The technology Bio-bean uses is straightforward. Coffee grounds are dried, a patented biochemical process extract oil and the remaining material is then turned into bio-mass pellets used to be burned in boilers. The company’s processing plant isn’t operational yet but could set up a large-scale waste-processing site in North London in six to eight months processing 30,000 metric tons a year. The collection gains some efficiency by concentrating on large-scale coffee producing factories in or around London. Coffee shop chains are interested, too.

The main market for the fuel is London’s transport system. Coming from essentially free waste, Kay said both the biodiesel and pellets can be produced at 10 percent below market trading price. Recycling coffee containers has gained a foothold in London, but now it’s the beans’ turn. Other organizations such as Starbucks, Nestle and the University of Cincinnati, the United States, are already turning spent coffee grounds into bioplastics, laundry detergents and biodiesel. Starbucks, for example, purchases around 400 million pounds of coffee a year and is working on turning the used grounds, along with its bakery waste, into laundry detergents, bioplastics and other products.

Biodiesel production facility launched in US

Blue Sun Energy, an alternative fuels company, the United States, has launched an advanced biodiesel production facility at Saint Joseph in Missouri, the US. The company has implemented its enzymatic biodiesel processing technology at Blue Sun St. Joe Refinery, which produces very high quality biodiesel through the company’s process, which is more efficient in methanol recovery and use. The quality of biodiesel has been further improved with the installation of a distillation system at the 30 million gallon per year refinery in 2013.

Blue Sun Energy CEO Leigh Freeman said the company has commercialized the enzymatic process technology and the plant is operating at full commercial scale. “This process gives Blue Sun a clear competitive advantage in the market, allowing us to bring the absolute highest quality fuel to market using this industry leading technology. “This achievement again shows Blue Sun’s ability to identify and commercialize the most relevant advanced technologies in fuel production,” added Freeman.

The company has developed a new proprietary process for enzymatic biodiesel production to overcome the hurdles in an entirely new manufacturing process, which utilizes Novozymes’ Callera Trans L enzyme. Blue Sun Energy vice president of technology, Sean Lafferty said, the process for enzymatic trans esterification improves the bottom line through lower costs and higher revenue. “Blue Sun can use essentially any feedstock without limit to free-fatty-acid content. This reduces pre-treatment requirements and costs significantly. The implementation, which is the first in the world of enzymatic trans esterification at significant commercial scale, testifies another commercialization achievement for Blue Sun.


Principles of Solar Engineering, 3rd Edition

Completely revised and updated, this book provides an engineering-based survey of modern solar energy concepts and practical applications. Since publication of the 2nd edition, in 2000, a number of major developments have taken place in solar energy, which makes it essential to revise the book completely. Changes in the energy policies in a number of countries in the world have resulted in a rapid growth of solar energy systems deployment in the world. Solar Photovoltaic systems have grown over the past decade at an average annual rate of more than 30%. Because of the large investments required for these systems, accurate knowledge of solar radiation resource has become essential.

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Wind Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment, 2nd Edition

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