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VATIS Update Non-conventional Energy . Jul-Aug 2003

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New and Renewable Energy Jul-Aug 2003

ISSN: 0971-5630

VATIS Update New and Renewable Energy (formerly Non Conventional Energy)* is published 4 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of New and Renewable Energy. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

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

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New and Renewable
Energy
VATIS Update Non-conventional Energy Apr-Jun 2017
Bio
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VATIS Update Biotechnology Apr-Jun 2017
Waste
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VATIS Update Waste Management Oct-Dec 2016
Food
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VATIS Update Food Processing Oct-Dec 2016
Ozone Layer
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VATIS Update Ozone Layer Protection Sep-Oct 2016
Tech
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Asia-Pacific Tech Monitor Oct-Dec 2014

Contents

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IN THE NEWS

Rise in global solar cell production

Responses to Photon Internationals annual market survey of solar cell production, from several pioneering manufacturers, have revealed that solar cell production increased significantly during 2002. Compared with the 401.4 MW produced during 2001, a minimum total production estimate of 540 MW last year indicates a 35 per cent growth rate. Sharp Corp., Japan, continues to be the leading manufacturer with an impressive 66 per cent growth, from 74 MW in 2001 to 123.1 MW in 2002. At a distant second is BP Solar with 66.8 MW, a 23 per cent increase over the previous year. Kyocera was able to raise its production to 60 MW. While the growth rate of most companies was rather modest when compared with Sharp, one of the top ten companies even surpassed the leader. Sanyo increased cell production by nearly 88 per cent to 30 MW, catapulting it from rank eight to five.


Website: www.photon-magazine.com 

World Bank credit for Philippine solar project 

In the first full-scale demonstration of the environmental and economic advantages of combining hydro and photovoltaic-based energy, a new plant on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines would be integrated with the existing Bubanawan hydroelectric facility. The private sector arm of the World Bank Group the International Finance Corp. (IFC) and Cagayan Electric Power and 
Light Co. (CEPALCO) have agreed to finance the US$5.4 million solar photovoltaic (PV) power project, with partial funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). According to Mr. Mohammed El-Ashry, CEO and Chairman of GEF, This project represents GEFs initial foray into supporting large-scale photovoltaic applications, which can ultimately decrease the costs while improving performance.


GEF would provide a US$4 million forgivable credit through IFC, with CEPALCO contributing the balance as equity. The 950 kW project will be the largest distributed and grid-connected PV installation in the developing world. Anticipated to start operation in 2004, this project has an innovative financing structure, with the IFC/GEF loan converting into a grant after five years of operation, provided that certain conditions are fulfilled. IFC Director of Environment and Social Development, Mr. Gavin Murray, states that This financing structure provides a model for donor-assisted programmes by promoting timely execution and operation of the project through the adoption of project financing discipline.


Website: www.solaraccess.com 

 Pakistan to set up 100 wind turbines

In Pakistan, nearly a hundred wind power turbines are scheduled to be installed along the coastal side of Balochistan and Sindh next year. According to the Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET), except for the generators that are to be imported from China, most parts of the wind turbines will be manufactured indigenously. The country has already obtained and set up 14 wind turbines of 300 W and 500 W capacity, in remote coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan, to cater to growing energy demands. Pakistans long coastal belt offers immense wind energy potential and PCRET is working towards further promotion and transfer of technology with the ultimate goal of achieving complete indigenous manufacture.


Also, PCRET has installed about 250 micro-hydel power facilities of 4 MW capacity in remote areas of the North-West Frontier Province and Fata, at small streams and natural waterfalls. Electricity thus generated is utilized for domestic lighting and as a power source for cottage level industrial units such as flour mills, saw machines, rice huskers, maize shellers, oil expellers and cotton ginners. Under an agreement with the Malakand Rural Development Authority and with funds provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), PCRET has initiated a programme to install 100 micro-hydel power plants of 5-50 kW capacity. Furthermore, PCRET has plans for installing 1,200 biogas plants over a four-year period, under which 900 units have already been established.


Website: www.dawn.com 

Singapore to establish filling station for fuel cells

The first fuel cell refilling station in South-East Asia is scheduled to begin operation in Singapore. Petroleum company BP and Air Products, an industrial gases supplier based in the United States, plan to open the hydrogen refuelling station by the first quarter of next year. Estimated to cost about US$0.5-1 million, the hydrogen filling station would be able to refuel about 11 cars every day. DaimlerChrysler is planning to bring seven fuel cell vehicles to Singapore next year for testing.


Website: www.enn.com 

US$63 million solar programme for rural Philippines

The Philippines has embarked on a US$63 million solar energy project with the aim to bring electricity to isolated communities. Photovoltaic (PV) systems would be established over a time-frame of 18 months at 44 isolated communities in strife-torn southern Philippines where people have no access to the national grid. Funded mostly by Spain, this project would later on be extended to other depressed areas and will include a battery-charging system and equipment to supply power to village halls, homes, health centres, schools and potable water systems. According to the agrarian reform department, lack of electricity worsens poverty in many rural areas, hampering efforts by beneficiaries of the governments agrarian reform programme.


Website: www.inq7.net 

Fuel cells for portable power applications

A report by Frost and Sullivan has indicated that over four million micro-fuel cell units will be shipped by the year 2008. Manhattan Scientifics, the United States, expects a fuel cell-powered cell phone to provide up to 200 h of talk time. Recharging fuel cell-powered electronic devices can be as simple as inserting a small cartridge of methanol (similar to a new ink cartridge in a pen), instead of waiting several hours for a battery to recharge, or carrying replacement batteries.


Different manufacturers, including Sony, NEC, Manhattan Scientifics and Motorola, have begun projects to design fuel cells for devices like cellular telephones and hand-held computers. Ballard Power Systems has teamed up with Coleman Powermate to develop AirGen, a 1 kW portable fuel cell power generator. In 2004, Smart Fuel Cells plans to offer a fuel cell docking station for powering notebooks and other portable electronic devices. The docking station will provide a notebook with power for about three times longer than a conventional battery. Smart Fuel Cells also intends to market the Marathon Suitcase, a mobile office case with an integrated fuel cell system.


Co-generation and On-Site Power Production
May-June 2003

Malaysian industries and renewables

In Malaysia, the government has called on industries to look for renewable energy sources and adopt better waste management strategies to ensure sustainable development. Launching the nations first waste-to-energy plant, set up by Genting Sanyen Industrial Paper Sdn Bhd, the Minister for Energy, Communications and Multimedia said that this plant would serve as an example for other industries in the country. The Genting facility incinerates paper mill wastes to produce steam, thereby reducing 130,000 t/y of waste paper sludge and saving 7,795 t/y of fossil oil. The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan, provided a grant in addition to equipment and technology expertise. The Genting plant produces over 125,000 t/y of steam, which will be used in the paper mill production process. It also reduces the landfill requirement to less than 4,000 m3/y, down from the normal two million cubic metres required for recycling 360,000 t/y of waste paper. Even the 4,000 m3 of landfill requirement could be eliminated if efforts to use the ash in the cement industry succeed.


Website: www.wbcsd.org 

New biomass gasifier

India-based Ankur Scientific Energy Technologies Pvt. Ltd. will supply its biomass gasifier model WBG-200 to the Energy and Environment Research Centre (EERC) at the University of North Dakota, the United States. The gasifier system is to be coupled with three 30 kWe micro-turbines produced by Flex Energy for field demonstration. EERC plans to install the gasifier and turbines on a flat-bed trailer. The Flex units are modified Capstone turbines that can accept low-Btu, low-pressure gas. This project is supported by the California Energy Commission and NREL.


The Ankur biomass gasifier system incorporates several proprietary and patented features, including a unique reduction bed control system as well as filter media and filtering system, which yield ultra-clean gas, thereby overcoming a major hurdle faced by other biomass gasifier equipment.

Contact: Ankur Scientific Energy Technologies (P) Ltd., Ankur, Near Old Sama Jakat Naka, Baroda 390 008, India. Tel: +91 (0265) 793 098/ 794 021; Fax: +91 (0265) 794 042


E-mail: ascent@wilnetonline.net  


Website: www.ankurscientific.com 

Indian initiatives on renewable energy

In India, the Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Resources (MNES) is negotiating with the Regulatory Commissions for implementing an attractive tariff regime to facilitate renewable energy-based electricity production. According to the Minister of State for Non-conventional Energy Resources, several initiatives have been taken to set new tariff guidelines for different renewable energy and a policy statement is ready on fiscal, institutional, regulatory and legislative intervention which would be incorporated in the Electricity Act within six months. Around 3.5 per cent of the total power generated in India is from renewable energy and India has the fifth largest installed wind power capacity in the world, generating 1,870 MW.


Furthermore, a 537 MW biomass project has been commissioned and a 140 MW Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Power project scheduled for implementation in Rajasthan. Nearly 10,000 MW of electricity would be generated from renewable sources by the year 2012. The Ministry has also been entrusted with the task of electrification of over 18,000 remote villages, which cannot be connected by the grid.


Website: www.newstodaynet.com 

The Philippines aims high in geothermals

The Philippines intends to overtake the United States as the worlds top producer of geothermal energy. The plan requires generating 1,200 MW of geothermal energy by 2013, which would raise the nations total geothermal output to 3,132 MW. The United States currently generates about 2.7 GW of geothermal energy while the Philippines is at second place with 1.932 GW.


Website: www.inq7money.net 

Large PV system

A 2,000 m2 solar photovoltaic (PV) installation in Australia, reported to be the largest in the southern hemisphere, is expected to supply 40-60 per cent of the energy needs of a market in Melbourne over the next 30 years. Comprising 1,300 panels installed on the roofs of sheds at Queen Victoria market, the system is also connected to the local power grid. Intended to act as a showcase for sustainable energy, the project received US$600,000 in funding from the City of Melbourne and US$0.45 million from the Australian Greenhouse Office.


Co-generation and On-Site Power Production, May-June 2003

Thailand aims to produce solar cells

The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand, is engaged in R&D with Thai Agency Engineering (TAE) for producing amorphous silicon solar cells or roll-in-roll solar cells. This type of cells need low-cost materials and are simple to produce. While NSTDA has provided the research team, TAE will take care of materials and equipment. The first prototype is expected to roll out by this year-end. Roll-in-roll solar cells with a power rating of 1 MW, planned for commercial use, will be ready within the next three years.


Website: www.wbcsd.org 

Renewables targetted for additional power

In India, the government intends to raise its power generation capacity by 450 MW by exploiting renewable resources. Of the current renewable energy generation capacity of 4 GW, 1.870 GW is produced by harnessing wind energy. As India targets an additional generation capacity of 100 GW by 2012, renewable resources like wind, solar, biomass, industrial/municipal wastes and small hydro projects are expected to contribute 10 GW. Renewable energy figures high in the countrys power-for-all plans with 18,000 remote villages, which cannot be connected economically to the grid, expected to get their own power system.


Website: www.siliconindia.com

SOLAR ENERGY

New record for thin-film efficiency

In the United States, researchers at Shell Solar and the National Renewable Energy Laboratorys National Centre for Photovoltaics (NCPV) set a world record for a thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS)-based solar cell. The new thin-film module demonstrated an efficiency of 12.8 per cent and was developed with support from the Department of Energy and NCPVs Thin-film Photovoltaic Partnership scheme. Thin-film modules have the potential to lower the cost of solar power generation and provide a wide range of new photovoltaic products.


Website: www.ornl.gov 

Water desalination

In the United States, researchers have embarked on a project to design and test a 16 kW solar cell, or photovoltaic (PV) system, that will power a water desalination system at the Kings palace in Aqaba, Jordan. The team comprises researchers from four centres at DOEs National Renewable Energy Laboratory the National Wind Technology Centre, Electric and Hydrogen Technologies and Systems, Technology Transfer and the National Centre for Photovoltaics. The team has redesigned a commercial desalination unit to pump well water for water-stressed and remote areas in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.


The trailer-mounted unit is equipped with two tanks that are large enough to hold 2-3 days supply of desalinated water. Water is first pumped through filters, which remove both large and small particulates, before it is sent through membranes that trap salt and allow potable water to pass through. The mobile unit has a three-phase power system that can be connected to the electricity grid or can be run by diesel fuel or PV. This particular system, designed by RMS Electric Inc., incorporates a 16 kW PV system.


Website: www.ornl.gov 

PEC-based solar cell

Ener1 Inc., the United States, has successfully tested a high-efficiency solar cell that is based on photo-electro converters (PEC). This prototype allows maximum utilization of available solar energy to generate and store electricity. These results provide an important validation of the companys recent efforts to integrate solar and chemical energy conversion technologies for use in military, industrial and consumer applications requiring high energy efficiencies. Ener1s solar module and related chemical energy conversion units are designed for high-end equipment in aerospace and military applications, as well as consumer goods like calculators and watches.


The use of PEC for charging lithium secondary batteries helps achieve charging independence from power grids and facilitates optimization of the charging process. The internal resistance characteristics in Ener1s lithium battery and solar cell designs also substantially lower the potential for overcharging. PEC-based technology also allows larger solar cell elements, thus reducing the risk of power loss between elements.


Website: www.solaraccess.com 

Cheaper solar power

Investigations undertaken by a team of researchers at Sheffield Hallam University, the United Kingdom, have shown that the cost of generating solar electricity can be lowered. The study focused on a range of options for cutting down costs, including the use of a low-cost semiconductor production process called electrodeposition, less reliance on expensive semiconductor materials and identification of alternative solar devices and manufacturing techniques offering higher conversion efficiencies. The team, led by Dr. I. M. Dharmadasa, has already applied for two patents and are preparing a final draft for the third patent. Swindon-based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council provided funding for this research programme, Low-cost, High-efficiency Thin-film Solar Cells with Electrodeposited Semiconductors. The researchers gained in-depth knowledge on photovoltaics by unravelling how solar cells based on cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium diselenide structures function. 


Contact: Dr. I. M. Dharmadasa, School of Science and Mathematics, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0114) 2254 067


E-mail: dharme@shu.ac.uk  


Website: www.epsrc.ac.uk 


Website: www.globaltechnoscan.com 

Breakthrough in cell coating technology

W. C. Heraeus GmbH and Co. KG, Germany, offers an innovative coating material for thin-film solar modules. Aluminium-doped zinc oxide or ZAO has been introduced as a so-called sputter target, a substrate used for coating that is effective as well as cost-efficient. This breakthrough is expected to pave the way for thin-film solar cells into economically alluring mass production, where it is used for coating a transparent conductive metal oxide. The high-performance material has already been qualified by important producers of solar cells and modules.


The highly developed ZAO sputter target is used to create the transparent conductive window layer, which is positioned between the upper glass substrate and semiconductor ayer. Through this roughly 1 m thin layer, sunlight gets up to the semiconductor layer, where electricity is generated through charge separation. This current can be used as solar power via a metallic thin-film contact at the back of the cell. In a solar module, many individual cells are connected in-line so that their currents accumulate. The extremely thin semiconductor layers, window layer and conductive contact layer in thin-film solar cells are created by sputtering. Sputtering stands for the detachment of atoms of a coating material, or sputter target, through argon ions, whereby the material is deposited atom by atom on a substrate as a homogeneous layer.


Website: www.solarbuzz.com 

Potable water using solar energy

Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology has developed a novel, simple process to obtain safe drinking water using the suns energy. It was discovered that water filled in plastic bottles disinfects readily on being exposed to sunlight. The technique, known as Solar Disinfection (SODIS), warms the water and this combination of warm water and ultraviolet radiation destroys several micro-organisms. Detailed investigations have shown that 99.9 per cent of Escherichia coli were killed when a sample of water was exposed to sunlight for over an hour, reaching beyond 50C. To hasten the procedure, half the bottle is painted black and kept on corrugated sheets.


Researchers carried out extensive tests using SODIS in several villages of Asia, Africa and South America, with encouraging results. A positive feature of this procedure is that it effectively destroys Vibrio cholerae, the organism behind cholera. SODIS can also inactivate human parasites like Cryptosporidium, which causes severe diarrhoea. However, one of the disadvantages of SODIS is that it cannot be used on large quantities of water. It also requires relatively clear water, with turbidity less than 30 NTU. For satisfactory results, it is recommended that the bottle be exposed for 5 h under bright sunlight or up to 50 per cent cloudy sky, and for two consecutive days under 100 per cent cloudy conditions.


Website: www.export.gov.il 

Rooftop solar system

A free-standing solar electric system designed for flat roof commercial and public buildings has been launched by RWE Schott Solar Inc., based in the United States. The SunRoof FS module provides a simple and unobtrusive design, which does not necessitate roof penetrations and can be installed up to 80 per cent faster than competing photovoltaic systems. Available in standard 30, 45 and 100 kW sizes, the system can be customized to satisfy any energy requirements. Its lightweight mounting structure is made using rugged components and a stainless steel base capable of withstanding intense UV radiation, high and low temperatures as well as high winds. The units open-air structure allows for air circulation and cooling beneath the modules and easy access for inspection and roof maintenance. SunRoof FS has a 5 tilt angle, even on flat rooftops, which improves the system performance, generating up to 4 per cent more energy than a flat array.


Website: www.powerpulse.net 

Low-cost PV cells

Spheral Solar Power of Canada is scheduled to commence production of photovoltaic solar cells utilizing a proprietary technology, in which silicon spheres that are embedded in a flexible aluminium foil substrate are used. Spheral Solar technology is anticipated to dramatically lower the cost of solar energy as the cost of producing silicon spheres is far less than that of silicon wafers used in most solar cells. The product is pliable and it can be formed over a variety of curved surfaces such as the roof of a vehicle or a domed rooftop. This technology could even be used in traditional applications like flat solar panels used on rooftops or in free-standing PV arrays. 


Contact: Website: www.spheralsolar.com 


Website: www.nrglink.com 

Efficient silicon solar cell technology

SunPower Corp., the United States, offers a high-performance solar cell that achieves 20 per cent efficiency. Said to be the worlds most efficient, low-cost silicon solar cell, the A-300 module is based on a unique rear-contact design, which maximizes the working cell area, hides unsightly wires and makes automated fabrication easier. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has verified 20.4 per cent conversion efficiency for the A-300. A 125 mm single crystal A-300 cell yields 3 W of electricity, providing the most efficient cost-per-watt solution in the industry. Moreover, the A-300 cell delivers 3 kW in less than 17 m2, allowing consumers to trump the worlds foremost area-efficient construction designs.


A-300 solar cells eliminate front-side metallization by utilizing a patented rear-contact design to provide more cosmetic uniformity and maximize energy generation. These products were designed on a 2 MW pilot line in preparation for a full-scale manufacturing facility. This production line enables SunPower to manufacture solar cells with less raw material and higher throughput. Potential application areas include rooftop systems, communications, building integrated PV systems and consumer applications. 


Contact: Mr. Bobby Ram, SunPower Corp., United States of America. Tel: +1 (408) 9910 919


E-mail: BRAM@sunpowercorp.com 


Website: www.biz.yahoo.com 

Solar solution for households

Solarcentury, the United Kingdom, is offering a solar-electric solution for homeowners that provides clean and free electricity. Incorporating the most recent HIT modules developed by Sanyo, Sunstation requires less roof area per kWp. Also, since this system requires only daylight to produce energy, it can keep generating electricity in all kinds of weather. Furthermore, the government has extended a grant of 50 per cent to install the system.


Website: www.solarcentury.co.uk 

New system for all roofing situations

In the United States, Independent Energy Solutions and United Solar Systems Corp. have introduced the SolarQuilt, a solar energy product designed for all types of flat and low-slope roofing situations. The flexible, lightweight, durable and aesthetically pleasing system is ideal for those with existing flat roofs who want to install a solar energy system. The simple-to-install SolarQuilt is easy to maintain and incorporates a self-cleaning design. Its interconnecting panels can be set up on all existing roofing materials without penetrating the roof and may be removed and re-installed, if at all necessary. The maintenance-free solar panels are designed with a slight slope of 1, facilitating water and dust particles to run towards existing roof drains.


Website: www.biz.yahoo.com 

Solar concentrator for power generation

In Canada, Solar Hydrogen Energy Corp. (SHEC) is offering its latest advanced solar concentration technology, which uses sunlight-derived energy to convert water into electricity using a solar concentrator. The solar concentrator employs mirrors and lenses to concentrate sunlight on to a receiver connected to the systems focus point. The receiver absorbs directed solar radiation for producing heat that is used to convert water into steam, which is then transferred in pipes to a generator for energy production. SHECs new advanced solar concentrator technology intensifies sunlight by up to 5,000 times, enough to melt steel within seconds if the energy is not redirected.


Website: www.earthvision.net 

Solar blind

In Sweden, Mr. Bjorn Karlsson at the Vattenfall utility has developed a solar blind with the potential to raise efficiency levels by six times. The prototype solar blind that incorporates reflectors and copper piping will soon be tested at a house. Solar cells set along the ribs of the blind receive a boost in light intensity from parabolic reflectors fitted around them, while copper tubings filled with a water-glycol concoction absorb excess heat and deliver it to other parts of the house. The solar cells would generate an average 120 kWh of power and with the reflectors the output could double to 240 kWh, while the water convection system captures another 500 kWh.
The prototype is versatile enough to be used during both summer and winter seasons. Fitted to the inside of a window, the prototype can be rotated manually like a normal blind, with the reflectors positioned backwards to allow light to come into the house on gloomy days, or thrown forward to concentrate excess light in bright weather. Since the blind is backed with polystyrene insulation, when snapped fully shut it helps to conserve the houses heat during cold winter months.


Website: www.edie.net 

Solar-based water purification facility

Water, Energy, Biodiversity (WEB) is a private organization planning to introduce a solar power-driven water purification facility in the Maldives. The Solarflow System, supplied by Solar Energy Systems, Australia, can produce 500 l/d of potable water. It combines a reverse osmosis unit specifically designed for operation from solar panels. While WEB plans to launch the purification facility in Maldives with the cooperation of a private company, a pilot project will first be undertaken in association with the Planning Ministry prior to embarking on the venture.


Website: www.haveeru.com.mv

WIND ENERGY

New form of wind power generation

In the United Kingdom, extensive R&D by Eurowind Developments has unveiled that a basic H configuration of blades for vertical axis turbines assures an efficient alternative to conventional designs. Additionally, cost-effective shipbuilding materials and construction techniques could be used to build such a structure. Dubbed as the Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Modular Unit, this newest design can be mounted on or to an existing industrial chimney, tower or similar structure. The option of supplying the machine with its own support structure, for use in wind farms and offshore applications is also available.


The system comprises at least two vertical blades, connected through horizontal arms, to either a single module incorporated in a section of smaller steel structures, or, on larger steel and concrete structures, two or more modules mounted around the circumference of the structures at different levels. A single module consists of a segmental framework attached around the circumference of the structure. Using the framework as a support on the concrete structures, specially reinforced concrete ring beams can be cast in situ around the structures outside periphery. This not only strengthens the structure locally, but also provides a solid platform on which to mount the generating plant.


The frameworks exterior is clad to protect the plant from the elements and for creating a smooth rounded surface that offers less resistance to wind. Mounted between the top and bottom frames and the concrete ring beams of each module, at the outermost position, is the rotor arm ring. This incorporates rollers that rotate around the outer boundary of the module on tracks fixed to the concrete ring beams. Through the rotor arms, the blades are attached to the outside of the ring causing it to rotate. The generator plant then takes its drive from the inside of the ring via a rack-on-pinion or hydraulic power take-off arrangement. The turbine units energy output depends on the size and type of structure. 


Contact: Eurowind Developments, 38, Kings Avenue, Mount Pleasant, Newhaven, East Sussex BN9 0NA, the United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1273) 612 383; Fax: +44 (1323) 721 610


E-mail: info@eurowind-uk.net 


Website: www.e4engineering.com 

New technology for windmill construction 

The Engineering Plant of the Open Joint-Stock Company, Moscow, has developed an efficient and reliable construction technology for windmills. The new design converts the force of moderated wind into energy. Aluminium blades, the form of which has been thoroughly calculated, are installed on the four-sectional mast at a height of 5 m. The mast can be lengthened if the installation is in a low-lying place, with the help of additional sections.


A specially constructed magneto-electric wind power generator is at the centre of the windmill. At a wind speed of about 7 m/s, the generator produces 550 W of electricity and a special device (speed stabilizer) ensures that the output is stable. This unit incorporates a wind orientation weathercock and an electronic allocator, which automatically distributes energy between the useful load and ballast load, and storage elements. If, for instance, less power is consumed than produced by the generator, the surplus is accumulated in storage batteries. These are common automobile accumulators, and there may be two or four of them, installed inside or outside the house in a metal case, the size of which is similar to that of a bedside table. This is a distinctive moisture-proof frame equipped with LED displays to indicate the operating mode of the device.


When the wind is strong, more power is produced than can be consumed or stored. During such an event the electronic circuit switches to the so-called ballast load. These are heating spirals which warm up the water and prevent the accumulators from freezing during winter. Besides, if the wind velocity exceeds 8 m/s, the wind turbine slightly bends to withstand the wind pressure and not to whirl in vain. 


Contact: Mr. Vladimir A. Touchin, Head of Production Development Department, WPERED, Moscow, Russia. Tel: +7 (95) 2734 505 2736 655; Fax: +7 (95) 2734 505


E-mail: peredm@online.ru 


Website: www.informnauka.ru 

Unique windmill

A new windmill design developed in the United States has the potential to revolutionize the way rural farming operations and businesses function. Mr. Dough Alexander and Mr. Jim Helfrich conceptualized and tested the novel bird-friendly High Output Generator (HOG). Measuring 26 ft tall and 61 ft in diameter, HOG yields eco-friendly renewable electricity. It turns horizontally and 8 16 ft panels catch the wind. Furthermore, unlike conventional windmills HOG sits close to the ground. It requires winds as less as 12.87 km/h to produce useable electricity and every time the wind speed doubles eight times more electricity is generated. At a price of US$77,000 upwards, HOG units typically pay for themselves within three years. HOG is suitable for rural businesses, small clusters of private homes, etc.


Website: www.greatfallstribune.com

BIOMASS ENERGY

New gasifiers

Rictec Pte. Ltd., Singapore, offers gasifiers that can transform wood or agricultural wastes into a clean gas that can be burnt to generate power. The gasifier units can feed thermal engines to drive alternators, motor pumps, propellers and vehicles. By incorporating a recovery device with heat exchanger and cooling system at the exhaust outlet, recovery of an equal amount of energy from waste heat is feasible.The standard range of gasifiers, can be coupled with a co-generation unit to produce 1/3 kWe and 2/3 kWth energy. It includes a counter-current gas generator, whose firebox is made of highly resistant refractory material to sustain high temperatures as well as thermal shocks. While a pyroligneous liquid collector eliminates most of the tars and oil prior to gasification, a vapour condenser collects moisture present in the gas prior to end use. High-performance filters are also incorporated in these systems. The gasifier can be used to run an engine; packages can be developed and adapted for almost any kind of engine available on the market. The engines can be used in two modes 100 per cent biomass gas mode and dual fuel mode. On a single load of wood fuel hand wood at 400 kg/m3 density and 20 per cent moisture level or 600-800 kg/m3 of densified feedstock the gasifier can operate for 6 h at full capacity. Comparison studies have shown that while 0.35 l of diesel is required to generate 1 kWh of electricity, 1.3 kg of wood at 20 per cent moisture yields the same output.


The gasifier can operate using hard woods or soft woods, or agricultural wastes like coffee pulp and coconut shell, with moisture content below 20 per cent. Briquettes, plaquettes or round sticks are the most suitable fuel forms. 


Contact: Rictec Pte. Ltd., 794, Upper Bukit Timah Road, #02-08, Singapore 678136. Tel: +65 6763 3618; Fax: +65 6769 6033


E-mail: rictec@rictec.com.sg 


Website: www.rictec.com.sg 

Hydrogen from biowaste

At Kitasato University, Japan, Prof. Fumiaki Taguchi et. al have isolated from the faeces of pandas five micro-organisms, which exhibit immense potential in converting biowastes into hydrogen. The microbes, from among 270 discovered in panda faeces, are highly efficient in degrading proteins and fats. The microbial species can reproduce easily, even under high temperatures.


Researchers mixed these microbes with 70-100 kg of raw garbage, e.g. vegetable stems, for 17 weeks in an industrial waste disposal machine. It was found that only 3 kg of waste remained while the rest had been transformed into water and carbon dioxide, more than the 80 per cent efficiency provided by a majority of commercial disposal bacteria. Prof. Taguchi plans to develop a hydrogen fuel cell and waste disposal unit in a single module, for use by food processing companies. Each kilogram of waste can yield nearly 100 l of hydrogen.


Website: www.eyeforfuelcells.com 

Biomass gasification by employing steam

In Austria, the Technical University of Vienna and Austrian Energy and Environment have jointly developed a fast internally circulating fluidized bed gasifier (FICFB). This system yields high-calorific gas, up to 15 MJ/m3, with very low nitrogen (<3 per cent) and tar content (<0.8 g/m3). The FICFB-based gasification process consists of a gasification zone fluidized with steam and a combustion zone fluidized with air. In the latter, char is burnt to produce heat essential for gasification. The circulating bed material acts as a heat carrier from the combustion to the gasification zone. Gas mixing between these zones is prevented. The resulting high quality of product gas can be further enhanced with catalytic bed material. Olivine has proved to be highly efficient for this purpose.


Following two years of successful operation of a 100 kWth lab-scale system, a 4 MWth gasifier unit and a gas engine will be integrated into an existing district heating system to deliver heat and electricity. In an international pilot project, catalysts will be used to achieve up to 55 per cent hydrogen content in the product gas, which could subsequently be used in a fuel cell for electricity production. 


Contact: The Institute of Chemical Engineering, Fuel Technology and Environmental Technology, Technical University of Vienna, Getreidemarkt 9/159, A 1060 Wien, Austria. Tel: +43 (1) 58801 4728; Fax: +43 (1) 5876 394


Website: www.vt.tuwien.ac.at orwww.bmvit.gv.at 

New two-stage gasification process

A new two-stage gasification method designed at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is characterized by individual pyrolysis and gasification reactors with an intermediate high-temperature tar cracking zone. This facilitates control of process temperatures, resulting in extremely low levels of tar in the produced gas even without gas cleaning. A 80 kWth Viking demonstration facility developed for continuous and unattended functioning began operation on 5 August 2002. During February-March 2003 a cyclone was added to remove particulates from the hot gas stream. As of 18 April 2003 the engine has been fuelled by wood-gas for a total of 1,125 h.


In the pyrolysis section biomass is heated to 600C, enabling volatiles to escape as gaseous tar elements, to obtain dry coke. The pyrolysis unit in the demonstration plant is a screw conveyer with a double wall. The required heat comes from exhaust gas vented by the engine. The retention time is around 30-60 min. Both coke and volatiles (pyrolysis gas) exit the pyrolysis unit and enter the partial oxidation zone where they are combined with air and steam, causing oxidation of a fraction of the pyrolysis gas and temperatures soar to around 1,150-1,400C. At these temperatures, the pyrolysis tars decompose into simple gases within milliseconds. Therefore, even very short exposure times for pyrolysis tars eliminate approximately 99 per cent of the tars from the gas.


Actual gasification takes place in the coke bed located in the gasification reactor. Coke reacts with steam and oxygen to yield carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen and methane. Additionally, gas exiting this stage has a tar content of about 30 mg/Nm3. A hot gas cooler lowers the gas temperature from 600C to 90C. A bag filter is employed for separating particulate matter, mainly soot, from the gas. A second gas cooler lowers the gas temperature from 90C to 45C. The completely clear and transparent condensate obtained from this unit is an aquatic solution that contains mainly naphthalene and ammonia. A modified diesel engine converts the gas into power. 


Contact: Technical University of Denmark, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Forsogsomrade 120, Nordvej, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.


Website: www.bgg.mek.dtu.dk 

Anaerobic waste digestion

Canada Composting Inc. (CCI) offers patented BTA technology to rapidly decompose organic wastes into biogas, used in power generation, and high-quality compost. BTA system is a two-step process involving pretreatment and biological digestion of organic wastes. Initially, wastes are placed in a hydropulper where contaminants such as plastic, glass and metals are separated from the organic waste components. Waste feedstock exits the hydropulper as a pumpable organic suspension that is further treated to eliminate any remaining stones, glass and sand. This organic suspension is then processed to separate the liquid and solid components.


Solid organic matter is directed to the hydrolysis digester where micro-organisms further break down the constituents to produce biogas. The product from the hydrolysis digester is again processed to separate liquid and solid fractions. Solid matter is placed in a compost curing bed for further stabilization. The final cured compost is sold for use either as a growing media or soil amendment.


Organic rich liquid that results from the phase separation of the organic suspension is passed on directly to the anaerobic methanizing reactor. Specific microbial communities in the methanizing reactor digest dissolved organics in the liquid to yield biogas. All liquids used at the plant are recycled back into the process with some excess diverted to a local sanitary sewage treatment facility. 


Contact: Mr. Kevin Matthews, President, Canada Composting Inc., 390, Davis Drive, Suite 301, Newmarket, Ontario L3Y 7T8, Canada. Tel/Fax: +1 (905) 8301 160/8300 416


E-mail: ccikevin@attglobal.net 


Website: www.canadacomposting.com 

Thermal process yields energy from organic wastes

The United States-based Changing World Technologies (CWT) offers a new thermal technology to convert organic wastes into clean energy. The patented and tested thermal depolymerization process (TDP) uses as feedstock low-value waste by-products such as tyres, plastics, paper, municipal sewage sludge, and animal and agricultural refuse. The method breaks down long chains of organic polymers into their constituents and reforms them into new combinations yielding clean solid, liquid and gaseous alternative fuels, and speciality chemicals.


The conversion process emulates earths natural geothermal activity, whereby organic material is transformed into fossil fuel under extreme heat and pressure conditions over millions of years. TDP mimics the earths system by using pipes and controlling temperature and pressure to reduce the bioremediation process from millions of years to mere hours. This procedure involves the following five steps:
  • Pulping and slurrying the organic feed with water;
  • Heating the slurry under pressure to the desired temperature
  • Flashing slurry to a low pressure to separate the mixture
  • Heating slurry again (coking) to drive off water, producing light hydrocarbons and
  • Separating the end products.

TDP is 85 per cent energy efficient and has very low Btu requirements, owing to short residence times of materials at each stage and to the holding of water under pressure. In addition, it produces its own energy, utilizes recycled water throughout and uses steam naturally created by the process to heat incoming feedstock, thereby capturing expended energy. Furthermore, TDP does not produce uncontrollable emissions or secondary toxic waste streams. 


Contact: Ms. Julie Gross Gelfand, CWT Press Office, United States of America. Tel: +1 (516) 5367 258


E-mail: jgelfand@hldcreative.com 


Website: www.changingworldtech.com 

New biomass-to-fuel conversion plant

JF Bioenergy Inc., Canada, offers patent-pending technology to convert waste biomass into energy yielding resources. Each commercial unit can dry 120 t and convert 60 bone dry tonnes (BDTs) of biomass into about 20 t charcoal, 300,000 ft3 non-condensable gases and 15,000 l of bio-oil every 24 h. A single unit has a footprint of 144 ft2 and is 30 ft tall. Multiple processing facilities could easily be set up at the same venue in order to increase production as required.


The full size plant uses eighteen 12-inch augers with heated jackets to move biomass feedstock through an oxygen-free charcoal retort. Passage through the retort increases the temperature of the feedstock from 400C to 800C, facilitating devolatization and gasification. Charcoal is produced and gases are contained as bio-oil and collected as biogas. JFs unique refinery is powered by its own clean burning charcoal and biogas. This facility can be fitted with turbines for power generation, which can be fed back into the electrical grid thereby lowering energy costs and raising profits. All organic residues can be used as feedstocks, including agricultural and livestock waste, wood chips, bark, slabs, end cuts, paper, cardboard, animal carcasses, shells and sorted municipal soiled waste.


Each facility can be of a modular design to lower construction costs and expedite installation. JF also offers portable units, which can be set up at waste biomass generation sources, thus minimizing transportation costs. Pilot plant trials have demonstrated that the refinery can be almost self-powered utilizing its own biogas, which provides fuel for the conversion procedure.


Contact: Mr. John Flottvik, President and CEO, JF Ventures Ltd. and JF Bioenergy Inc., # 201, 33555 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, BC,V5S 2B8, Canada. Tel: +1 (604) 5563 542; Fax: +1 (604) 5563 547


E-mail: jovick@telus.net


Website: www.jfbioenergy.com

WAVE/TIDAL ENERGY

Wind turbine for ocean waves

A light and efficient contraption that can generate electricity from waves promises to become the equivalent of a wind turbine for oceans. Devised by Wavebob of Ireland, along with partners from Norway and the United Kingdom, the device is designed to float mostly below water. This self-reacting, loosely moored structure converts energy from ocean waves into electricity.


Earlier wave turbine devices faced serious problems concerning their practicality. These machines would oscillate too violently in the big sea. The Wavebob device is an effective low-cost solution based on a heavy buoy. This device pulls against a reaction mass, a massive plate on the seabed, as it rises and falls. It adapts to varying sea states using on-board intelligence that tunes the device to the frequency of waves. Furthermore, it can be tuned remotely.


Website: www.betterhumans.com 

Wave power station

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) Inc., the United States, is offering PowerBuoy wave generation unit that employs a smart ocean-going buoy to harness and convert wave energy into a controlled mechanical force to drive an electrical generator. This unit incorporates sensors that continuously monitor the functioning of the different sub-systems and the surrounding ocean environment. In case of very large oncoming waves, the system disconnects automatically. When the wave heights return to normal, the system reconnects and restarts energy conversion and transmission. Total operating cost of generating power from an OPT wave power station is estimated at around US$0.03-0.04/kWh for 100 MW plants and US$0.07-0.10/kWh for 1 MW units, which includes costs related to maintenance and operation as well as the amortized capital cost of the equipment. Key potential application areas include:
  • Primary power plants with overall capacity up to 100 MW;
  • Secondary power systems with overall capacity up to 1 MW;
  • Desalination plants;
  • Water treatment plants;
  • Natural resource processing/refinement plants;
  • Hydrogen production; and
  • Autonomous undersea vehicles.

Contact: Ocean Power Technologies Inc., 1590, Reed Road, Pennington, NJ 08534, United States of America. Tel/Fax: +1 (609) 7300 400, 7300 404


E-mail: info@oceanpowertech.com 


Website: www.oceanpowertechnologies.com 

Offshore wave farm

ORECon, the United Kingdom, has developed a revolutionary offshore wave farm for generating adequate power to cater to the requirements of thousands of homes. Scheduled to become operational in four years time, sea trials of this technology are set to begin soon. The massive device measures 40 m long, has a diameter of 25 m and weighs nearly 1,000 t. It produces power through a series of water-filled tubes which resonate as waves pass by, pushing air through a turbine. Studies have shown that this conception could generate 1 MW of energy, enough to fulfil the needs of 1,000 homes. Nine such units are expected to be operational by 2007, if everything goes according to plan.


ORECons device is broadly similar, although nearly 100 times bigger, to the original 12.5 t machine. The US$96,600 prototype unit has proved that it can produce up to 10 kW of electricity, with an efficiency rating of about 35 per cent. A 20 km array of these devices would be sufficient to generate 700 MW of electricity, exceeding the 550 MW stipulated under government targets for renewable sources by 2010. The simplicity of this device, which has no moving parts below the waterline, assures that it does not pose any danger to marine life while the mooring system would only affect a small area of the seabed. Additionally, unlike other contraptions this system does not absorb all the wave energy and so will not affect ecological systems further inshore.


ORECons current work has been supported with a US$80,000 grant from the Department for Trade and Industry. Ministers are keen to aid the renewable sector to help achieve the national target of 20 per cent electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Ultimately, the government aims to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the gases several blamed for the onset of global warming, by 50 per cent by 2060.


Website: www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk 

Free-standing tidal turbine system

Robert Gordon University, based in the United Kingdom, has developed the worlds first free-standing tidal energy turbine system named Sea Snail. Funded under the Scottish Enterprises Proof of Concept programme, the 30 t prototype unit can generate 150 kW of power. Standing 15 m in height, the half-size turbine support frame, nicknamed Brain, employs a system of giant hydrofoils, which use the down-thrust from tidal currents to hold the structure firmly on the seabed. This eliminates the need for expensive drilling and anchoring systems the system is self-fixing from the water running over it. Faster the current, the more it is pushed down into place. The prefabricated Sea Snail can be set up in shallow or deep water at a low cost. Uniquely, it could also take a turbine down to any depth on the seabed and back on command. Sea Snail is the foremost initiative to be developed since the establishment of the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.


Website: www.edie.net 

Chinas first tidal wave power generator

Harbin Engineering University in China has developed the nations first tidal wave power station. This university has achieved advanced levels in the research and design of straight-vaned cycloidal turbine units and associated system technology. Designed with a floating structure, the experimental power house incorporates a power station carrier, dual rotor turbine, hydraulic constant frequency power generator, and anchor and control systems. With 70 kW installed capacity, the stations working flow speed ranges between 1.6 and 4.2 m/s, its wind resistance is up to 10 scale strong winds and the wave tolerance is 3 m.


The station selects dual straight- vaned cycloidal rotors structure as its turbine. The turbine consists of a stand, rotors, vanes and the associated control mechanism. The spatial movement track of the vanes show a swing line and its movement is controlled by sliding-block linkage. Any change in the direction of the tidal waves does not in any way affect the rotors moving direction. The wave power stations electronic control section consists of a constant speed pump, quantitative pump, speed reducing gear, generator, control cabin and a variable displacement motor. Applied with hydraulic speed gear, the power production unit can easily maintain constant frequency and pressure. In addition, the unit is equipped with a battery charging control system, and grid control system along with associated protection function.


Website: www.most.gov.cn 

New tidal wave power machine

Engineering Business, the United Kingdom-based firm specializing in designing and fabricating complex machines for offshore and sub-sea operations, has developed a novel tidal power generator. The US$2.9 million gigantic unit called Stingray received financial support from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), as part of the governments strategy to encourage companies in the offshore oil and gas industry to diversify and exploit the natural power of the sea for electricity.


Stingray is a large hydroplane array measuring about 20 m long, 20 m wide and reaches a height of 24 m when fully raised. It is mounted on a horizontal arm placed in the tidal stream and when the hydroplane is rotated, lift and drag cause the arm to move up and down. This in turn drives hydraulic cylinders and high-pressure oil turns a hydraulic motor connected to an electrical generator. Output from the generator feeds an industrial drives unit. An undersea cable then carries the power to land where an industrial drive is utilized to generate high-quality alternating current. According to a DTI spokesman, The prototype unit will seek to demonstrate the domestic and global benefits to investors financing this type of offshore schemes. The company plans to build a cluster of machines by 2004, subject to the outcome of this trial.


Website: www.chennaionline.com 

Offshore tidal current turbine installed

Marine Current Turbine (MCT), the United Kingdom, has successfully installed an offshore tidal current turbine with a rated power output of 300 kW. This unit is the worlds first marine renewable energy system of significant size to be installed in a genuinely offshore location. The turbine is the culmination of Seaflow project, a US$5,634,700 programme that is being conducted by a consortium of industrial firms from the United Kingdom and Germany, with active support from the United Kingdoms Department of Trade and Industry, the Joule Programme of the European Commission and the German government. The project is aimed at testing the prototype unit, and demonstrating technology, that will be developed to a commercially viable stage by MCT over the course of the next few years.


Contact: E-mail: info@marineturbines.com 


Website: www.caddet-re.org

FUEL CELLS

Small residential fuel cell designed

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Ltd., based in Japan, has developed a compact 1 kW fuel cell for households. By simplifying the arrangement of pipes and decreasing the number of parts, including valves, MHI managed to reduce the size of the system to about that of a small refrigerator. With dimensions of 100 60 30 cm and a volume of 180 l, the fuel cell is about half the size of fuel cells manufactured by MHI to date. The polymer electrolyte fuel cell generates electricity through a chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen, derived from city gas or liquefied petroleum gas. It can lower annual utility expenses for a family of four by around US$422.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

Biofuel cell

At Saint Louis University, the United States, researchers have devised a new type of biofuel cell, a battery that runs off alcohol and enzymes, which has the potential to replace rechargeable batteries used in most applications. The novel device does away with the conventional process of recharging, plugging into a fixed power outlet and waiting, by instantly recharging when a few millilitres of alcohol is added.


Enzymes are extremely sensitive to changes in pH and temperature, and even slight departure from standard conditions can lead to inactivation of the enzymes, producing energy for a short period. A typical strategy to surmount this barrier has been to immobilize the enzyme by attaching them to the electrodes, but they still tend to degrade too quickly to be useful. The Saint Louis researchers employed a unique enzyme immobilization technique using a modified polymer membrane. They utilized an ion exchange polymer employed frequently in fuel cells, but modified the polymer to guarantee conditions ideal for immobilizing the enzymes. By modifying the polymer, its acidity is reduced to near neutral pHs and the pore structure of the membrane is increased to a size that will form pockets that are ideally sized to trap and hold enzymes while permitting small fuel molecules to pass through the membrane, said Mr. Nick Akers of the Chemistry Department. The specially modified pores or micelles provide a suitable micro-environment, preventing inactivation. Next, the polymer is applied to the electrode in a fuel cell.


While the lifetimes of other biofuel cells with immobilized enzymes are counted in days, the new technique allows for enzyme activity to extend over several weeks with no significant power decay. Biofuel cells utilizing this immobilization procedure have provided power densities up to 32 times more than that provided by state-of-the-art biofuel cells. The development of electrodes with a high surface area could further increase power output. Researchers are now designing functional prototypes for consumer electronics. 


Contact: Mr. Nick Ackers, Dept. of Chemistry, Saint Louis University, 221, North Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63103, United States of America.


Website: www.e4engineering.com 

New 10 kW design

Hydrogenics Corp., Canada, offers 10 kW HyPM-LP(2) fuel cells. This module is based on the successful 20 kW design and is being targeted at light vehicle and power generation applications. It was developed without any significant redesigning of Hydrogenics current baseline technology, whereas the two generations of HyPM technology that preceded the low pressure, low profile HYPM-LP(2) design underwent major alterations in configuration and parts, in an effort to simplify the design and reduce the parts count. The LP(2) design has translated into considerably higher efficiencies, lower costs, smaller size and improved manufacturability. Performance as well as durability tests have reinforced that the current design is state-of-the-art and is suited for production in low volume quantities.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

High output fuel cell

In Japan, NGK Insulators Ltd. has recently developed a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that can maintain high power output even when operating at the relatively low temperature of 700C, which is about 200-300C lower than conventional SOFCs. The novel model needs low-cost metal components and current collector membranes. The disk-shaped unit has a diameter of 12 cm and has been fabricated using a triple-layer structure of fuel electrode, electrolyte and air electrode. The electrolyte is a ceramic material processed as a 10 m film that can operate at low temperatures. The SOFC provides electricity with a power density of 0.6 W/cm2 at a temperature of 650C and 1.6 W at 750C when the voltage is at 0.7 V. Multiple cells could be stacked to design power systems of various output and size, in principle supplying anywhere from 1 kW to several thousand kilowatts of power.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

Fuel cell for mobile phones

In Japan, Toray Industries Inc. and Shinshu University have teamed up to develop a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) that is intended for a direct methanol fuel cell, which is small yet powerful enough to power a cellular phone. MEA is at the core of the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell unit. It comprises a catalyst attached to an electrolyte membrane sandwiched between two electrodes. In a PEM fuel cell unit, hydrogen ions generated from liquid methanol fuel at one electrode pass through the electrolyte membrane and react with oxygen and the other electrode, producing electrons.


Torays MEA is around 3 mm thick and features a membrane with small pores that allow hydrogen ions to pass, but reduce undesired crossover of methanol molecules by four-fifths. Moreover, it has an improved catalyst that facilitates the use of a more highly concentrated solution of methanol, helping to triple both the life of the fuel cell and power output. Using the new MEA, Toray has prototyped a fuel cell and demonstrated its ability to power a personal digital assistant. In a mobile phone, this fuel cell could supply power for 90 minutes of talk time using 10 cm3 of methanol.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

Coal-based fuel cell

Delphi Corp. of the United States has developed a Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) generation-2 solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that operates on gaseous fuel extracted from coal. The new SECA fuel cell is expected to facilitate economical co-production of hydrogen as well as electricity from coal with near zero emissions. This is a critical part of the Department of Energys Office of Fossil Energy FutureGen initiative, which is a key part of the Hydrogen Fuel Programme of the President. The new fuel cell was developed under a 10-year US$138 million cooperative agreement with the National Energy Technology Laboratory. The goal of this programme is to produce and test a SECA fuel cell (SOFC) power module design that can be mass produced inexpensively. 


Contact: Mr. Steve Kinkade, Delphi Corporation, United States of America. Tel: +1 (248) 8134 706


E-mail: steve.kinkade@delphi.com 


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

New home-use fuel cell system

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Japan, has developed a home-use fuel cell co-generation system and intends to commercialize this system by the end of next fiscal year ending March 2005, after field-testing at Matsushitas research facility. The new module can generate sufficient electricity and heat for supplying an average household. Key features of this system include:
  • Membrane electrode assembly (MEA) structures designed to limit output voltage fluctuation per 1,000 h to under 3 mV, achieving record durability in the industry
  • A power generation efficiency of 35 per cent
  • Reliable operation based on the application of combustion and fluid control expertise accumulated over the years and
  • Quiet 44 dB operation, equivalent to an air-conditioners outdoor unit, to allow its use in densely populated residential areas and at night.

Website: www.japancorp.net 

Liquid hydrocarbon fuel cell system

Idatech LLC, the United States, has developed a prototype fuel cell that can operate on liquid hydrocarbon fuels, an accomplishment that is perceived as hitherto unmatched. This unit can be fuelled with low-sulphur fuels such as kerosene, diesel, bio-diesel, gas-to-liquids and Fischer-Tropsch (FT). This device demonstrates Idatechs capability to reform a variety of gaseous and liquid hydrocarbon fuels as well as incorporate such technology into a fully-integrated, operational and compact fuel cell system. The company has adapted its FCS 1200 fuel cell platform to operate on a variety of fuels. These systems incorporate Idatechs patented fuel processor that yields hydrogen at purity levels exceeding 99.95 per cent, a Ballard Nexa fuel cell and the electronics systems required to integrate these technologies. The units dimensions are 34 34 25 inch (length width height), making it comparable in size to a small generator.


The company is also developing a range of systems that are based on a modular architecture with patented multi-fuel fuel processing abilities. The modular system design enables proven parts and sub-systems to be integrated into the development of new products. This helps eliminate much of the time required to test durability and establish maintenance intermissions and produce reliability standards. 


Contact: Idatech LLC, 63160, Britta Street, Bend, Oregon 97701, United States of America. Tel: +1 (541) 3833 390; Fax: +1 (541) 3833 439.


Website: www.idatech.com 

SOFC for residences

Kyocera Corp., Japan, has designed and developed a 1 kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) for use in households. The development team consisted of 25 researchers, and the first prototype systems are scheduled to be put into action by the end of the year. After an initial one-year test period, Kyocera plans to bring its fuel cell to commercial markets by 2005. The company is currently striving to improve the cells lifetime and reduce operating temperatures.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com

PUBLICATIONS

The Solar Economy

This book offers an alternative programme to the Kyoto Protocol. It delves into the links between energy resources and economic structures that have given rise to the fossil energy economy and maps the dynamic road towards renewable energy that will lead to a new and sustainable global economy. The principle thesis of this book is that when compared with fossil fuels, renewable energy offers greater social benefits the more widely it is used, to the point where it fully replaces all fossil energy.


Contact: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 120, Pentonville Road, London N1 9JN, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (020) 7278 0433; Fax: +44 (020) 7278 1142


E-mail: earthinfo@earthscan.co.uk 

The Future for Renewable Energy 2: Prospects and Directions

This comprehensive guide provides articles from more than thirty experts working at European Renewable Energy Centres (EUREC). It represents the ideas and visions of over 1,000 researchers throughout Europe. Topics covered in 11 chapters include biomass, small hydro, photovoltaics, solar buildings, thermal power plants, wind energy, integration to energy systems, ocean energy, solar process heat and solar chemistry. Set up as a European Economic Internal Group to provide a forum for interdisciplinary cooperation among renewable energy research organizations, EUREC has about 50 independent organizations as its members.


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


E-mail: james@jxj.com


Website: www.jxj.com 

Directory on Indian Wind Power 2003 -3rd edition. 

This book offers many new features, besides updating information provided in the earlier issues. Owing to its wide coverage, this directory is virtually termed as the encyclopedia of wind power in India. Financial institutions have been listed in a separate section.


Contact: Consolidated Energy Consultants Ltd., 162, Maharana Pratap Nagar, Zone II, Bhopal 462 011, 
Madhya Pradesh, India. Tel: +91 (0755) 2553 681/2555 479; Fax: +91 (0755) 2550 481


E-mail: cecl@sancharnet.in


Website: www.windpowerindia.com


ASIAN AND PACIFIC CENTRE FOR TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY

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