Environmentally friendly, almost electricity-free solar cooling https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170313085606.htm
Also serves as a heat pump
- March 13, 2017
- Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)
- Demand and the need for cooling are growing as the effects of climate change intensify. An emission-free, solar-powered chiller has now been developed by scientists. The potential market is world-wide, particularly in warm countries.
Demand and the need for cooling are growing as the effects of climate change intensify. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and German company ZAE Bayern have built an emission-free, solar-powered chiller; a pilot system has been tested in Finland and Germany. The potential market is world-wide, particularly in warm countries.
The production and consumption of solar cooling are simultaneous. A property’s cooling needs are highest when the sun is shining.
VTT and German company ZAE Bayern have developed a solar-powered 10 kW chiller. This absorption chiller works in the same way as the gas refrigerators used in Finnish holiday cabins, for example. But in this case, a solar thermal collector is used instead of gas. The method requires electricity for the flow pumps only. If necessary, the chiller can also serve as a heat pump.
The results of the project showed that — to be used as a heating pump as well — an economically viable and competitive, solar-powered absorption chiller would need to be 50 kW or bigger.
Finnish company Savo-Solar Plc participated in both the planning phase and the practical tests. As a result, the company’s head office was successfully cooled using the pilot system built for the project. Savo-Solar and ZAE Bayern aim to develop a commercial product which enables users to cut their electricity bills through cooling with absolutely no need for electricity. This would also reduce emissions.
The chiller was tested as an air-conditioner for Savo-Solar’s office during the summer and for heating it during the winter. Solar collectors on the roof of the building were used to collect the required energy. If the collectors did not produce enough energy during, say, the winter, or on a cloudy day, a heat pump served as a substitute energy source. Other possible energy sources would be district heating, biofuel boilers or industrial process heat.
Examples of large, megawatt-class absorption chillers based on district heating can already be found in Helsinki and Turku in Finland.
Another practical test was performed using an absorption chiller based on a bio-boiler in ZAE Bayern’s laboratory in Munich, Germany. This system can also be supplemented with solar energy.
Learn more at: http://www.vtt.fi/inf/pdf/technology/2017/T287.pdf
Iran and Middle East could adopt fully renewable electricity systems http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/50746 Iran can transition to a fully renewable electricity system and financially benefit from it by 2030. Researchers at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) show that major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region could turn their abundant renewable energy resources into lucrative business opportunities in less than two decades.
According to the study, a fully renewable electricity system (100% RE) is roughly 50-60 percent cheaper than other emission-free energy options for the MENA region. For example, new nuclear power costs around 110 euros per megawatt hour. Fossil-CCS option costs around 120 euros per megawatt hour. But the cost of the fully renewable energy electricity is around 60–40 euros per megawatt hour, based on financial and technical assumptions of the year 2030.
The cost of wind and solar electricity would reduce further to 37-55 euros per megawatt hour if different energy resources were connected with a super grid that allows the transmission of high volumes of electricity across longer distances. For Iran, the price could go as low as 40-45 euros per megawatt hour. Such low cost show that the transition of the current fossil-based electricity system towards a fully renewable electricity system can cover all electricity needs in the decades to come.
“The low cost renewable electricity system is a driver for growing standards of living, continued economic growth, in particular also for energy intensive products, and finally more peace,” emphasizes Professor Christian Breyer.
Read more at Lappeenranta University of Technology
Solar-powered everything, REneweconomy, By Owen Agnew on 9 March 2017 NexusMedia Solar power used to mean large, heavy panels mounted on a roof or spread across a field.
But the sun falls on everyone — and everything — and as materials have gotten lighter, cheaper and more flexible, photovoltaic cells are showing up in the most unlikely of places.
In bustling New York City, you can buy a sandwich at a solar-powered food cart, eat it while sitting at a solar-powered bus stop, all while charging your phone using your solar-powered jacket.
Solar power is becoming more distributed, generating power closer to where it’s needed. That can mean buildings with their own solar arrays, or, on a smaller scale, clothing that features solar panels.
Brooklyn-based solar company Pvilion is leading the charge to put solar everywhere. Their projects range from building covers to small consumer items. “We’re looking at solar as a building material that can be used in a lot of different contexts,” says CEO Colin Touhey.
Touhey and his partners have collaborated with Tommy Hilfiger to make solar-powered jackets, and now they’re working on a line of bags with built-in solar panels. While coats can’t generate nearly as much power as larger arrays, every person with a smartphone is a potential customer.
“It’s really cool to plug in your phone and charge it with the sun,” says Touhey.
Researchers are developing woven solar fabrics that have photoactive dyes coating individual threads, so each fiber is a miniature solar panel. But for now, flexible solar panels must be laminated on top of fabrics.
Pvilion has also designed building facades using heavy-duty solar fabrics. You can see their handiwork in a planned expansion at the Artists for Humanity Epicenter in Boston. The building’s photovoltaic facade will generate power and provide shade, helping to keep the interior cool. This and other energy-smart technologies will make the Epicenter the largest commercial building on the East Coast to produce more power than it consumes, according to Pvilion………http://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-powered-everything-40816/
Offshore windfarms set to become cheaper source of electricity than nuclear power stations
Government’s plan to turn UK into world leader in offshore wind energy receives boost as electricity price halves in five years The Independent, Ian Johnston Environment Correspondent @montaukian 9 Mar 17 Offshore windfarms are set to become a cheaper source of electricity than the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant and are also on track to undercut coal-fired power stations.
The Government, which has been trying to support offshore in the hope of turning the UK into a world-leader in the sector, plans to hold an auction next month in which generators will bid for a guaranteed price for their electricity, with the lowest offer declared the winner…….
Tesla will begin selling its solar roof this year — here’s everything you need to know [excellent pictures] Business Insider DANIELLE MUOIO FEB 27, 2017, Tesla will begin selling and installing its solar roof later this year, the company wrote in its fourth-quarter investor letter.
Electric Cars are the Missing Link to a Zero Carbon Energy Grid, Skeptical Science 2 March 2017 by Ryan Logtenberg, (good graphs) Since the start of the industrial revolution, humans have released hundreds of billions of tons of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, acidifying oceans, increasing the frequency of extreme weather events, raising sea levels with the worst effects yet to come. The general consensus gleaned from the Paris Climate Summit in 2015 is that in order to halt the relentless march of climate change and its forecasted catastrophic consequences, one step we need to take is to transform our fossil fuel based economy to one powered by zero-emission renewable energy.
The good news is that investments in solar and wind generation have become competitive and in many cases cheaper and more profitable than similar investments in fossil fuels. The graphs below shows how solar and wind installations in the US have beaten fossil fuel installations for the past 3 years.
Globally, the conversation has shifted from “can renewables compete with fossil fuels?” to “how much intermittent renewable energy can our power grid handle?” Currently power grids rely on a steady and predictable stream of power generation. They can handle only so much of the fluctuation that comes from solar (surges during the day) and wind (surges when it’s windy).
The investment required in energy storage facilities to fulfill the needs of a 100% renewable energy grid is typically believed to be very high. Essentially millions of large industrial-scale batteries or creative energy storage solutions are needed to smooth out the surges. But what is often forgotten is that a creative solution is currently being built at an accelerating rate, in the form of vehicle batteries from the budding electric transportation system. Electric vehicles will herald in a new age of clean air on busy city streets, but they can also serve a secondary purpose of solving the energy storage issue of renewables.
Mass adoption of electric vehicles is coming. Many of the drawbacks of electric vehicles are quickly being addressed: From inexpensive vehicles with 200-335 miles of range, to the rapid expansion of ultra fast charging stations that can charge vehicles to 80% in 15 minutes or less. Several countries in Europe now see zero emission vehicles as the logical solution to addressing air pollution and are looking to implement bans on new fossil-fuel powered vehicles as early as 2025. Some major cities are even going a step further and will be banning all diesel powered vehicles from their cities. Clearly, the age of the fossil fuelled powered vehicle is quickly coming to an end. But, how big of an impact can an electrified transportation sector have in creating a green energy grid? Well let’s look at the numbers:……….
An Intensive peer reviewed study titled “Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time” evaluated billions of 100% renewable energy grid scenarios using 4 years of real weather and grid load data. They concluded that with 15kWh set aside from each electric car for grid energy storage a 100% renewable energy grid could power 90%-99.9% of hours entirely on renewable electricity, at costs comparable to today’s prices. Something to note is that the study was done in 2013 before the second generation of electric vehicles like the Chevy Bolt, Tesla 3 and other large battery, mass market vehicles were introduced to the public. Using 45 kWh for battery storage from a Chevy Bolt instead of 15kWh that was used in the study would increase total storage capacity by 300% making it a whole lot easier and cheaper to run America’s grid on renewables.
V2G integration into our zero carbon energy grid makes sense because it eliminates the needs for investing in expensive energy storage since the vehicles we will be driving could already provide that service. It also allows a vehicle owner that participates in V2G services to generate revenue from their vehicle while they sleep…….
As the same factors hold true for electric vehicles, don’t be surprised when you see a substantial reduction in total US greenhouse gas emissions from a zero carbon energy and transportation sector occurring sooner than you think. You can help accelerate this transition by making a pledge that your next vehicle will be electric. https://www.skepticalscience.com/Electric_Cars_are_the_Missing_Link_to_a_Zero_Carbon_Energy_Grid.html
Green groups: Indian Point nuke can be replaced with carbon-free resources, Utility Dive, Robert Walton, 28 Feb 17
- Increased energy efficiency and transmission upgrades to bring in more renewable power can help replace a nuclear plant north of New York City, according to a new report released by two environmental groups.
- New analysis performed by Synapse Energy Economics shows that lower demand and more solar and wind energy can help the state replace the power from the Indian Point nuclear facility with clean energy options that will not raise consumer bills.
- Under an agreement between the state and plant operator Entergy, the Indian Point nuclear facility will shut down by 2021.
Dive Insight:Last month’s announcement that Entergy would shut down its Indian Point plant was a win for nuclear opponents, who for years have been wary of a plant within 30 miles of the nation’s largest metropolitan area.
The news, however, left open the question of how to continue to power the the city without turning to fossil fuels.
Now, green groups say they believe the city that never sleeps can keep the lights on — all night and every day — using only carbon.
New research from Synapse Energy, released by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Riverkeeper, finds additional solar and wind power, along with energy efficiency gains, can power the city. But that goal also depends on the construction of the Champlain Hudson Express transmission line, which would move 1,000 MW of hydropower from Quebec to the city.
“Recent transmission improvements — coupled with energy efficiency gains, cheaper renewables and lower demand estimates — show that New York is already on its way to a reliable, affordable, clean energy future,” Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay said in a statement.
He said the report shows that when Indian Point closes in 2021, “that power can be replaced entirely with clean sources as long as we take advantage of the additional renewable energy and efficiency options available to us.”
Key findings in the report show the Indian Point retirement will add less than 1% to overall wholesale electric system costs, and retail impacts will be even smaller. The state’s 50% renewables goal is expected to drive the addition of both utility-scale and distributed solar, as well as both offshore and traditional wind generation……. http://www.utilitydive.com/news/green-groups-indian-point-nuke-can-be-replaced-with-other-carbon-free-reso/436938/
California introduces its own 100% renewable energy bill, Inhabitat, 22 Feb 17, VIEW SLIDESHOW Massachusetts recently introduced a bill to derive 100 percent of the state’s energy from renewables, and now California is following suit. A new bill introduced by state Senate leader Kevin de León would require the state to obtain 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045.
Under de León’s bill, SB 584, California would need to reach 50 percent renewable energy use by 2025, five years earlier than the state’s current target of 2030, and cease using fossil fuels completely by 2045.
Related: Massachusetts lawmakers sponsor 100% renewable energy bill
In 2016, the state obtained 27 percent of electricity via wind, solar, and other clean sources, and California’s deserts offer potential spaces for more renewable energy plants. The solar industry has created 100,000 jobs in California. Experts say the state could reach the 100 percent goal since costs for solar and wind power are falling – in many areas of the state solar is already the cheapest option, according to The Desert Sun………
Massachusetts recently introduced a similar bill, but it’s slightly more ambitious than California’s. Under the 100 Percent Renewable Energy Act, Massachusetts would transition to obtaining all their electricity from renewable energy by 2035, and would grant sectors like heating and transportation a 2050 deadline. The California bill gives its state’s electricity sector an extra ten years to reach that 100 percent target. http://inhabitat.com/california-introduces-its-own-100-renewable-energy-bill/
Energy Innovation utilized the Energy Policy Simulator
(EPS) to analyze the effects of repealing the CPP. The EPS is an open-source computer model developed to estimate the economic and emissions effects of various combinations of energy and environmental policies using non-partisan, published data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. EPA, Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, among others. The EPS has been peer reviewed by experts at MIT, Stanford University, Argonne National Laboratory, Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It is freely available for public use
through a user-friendly web interface or by downloading the full model and input dataset.
Our analysis compared a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario (based on existing policies as of mid-to-late 2016, not including the Clean Power Plan) to a scenario that includes a set of policies that narrowly achieve the Clean Power Plan’s mass-based emissions targets. Three important notes:
- First, the EPS works at national scale, so policies are represented as nationwide averages; that is, without individually modeling U.S. states.
- Second, a variety of different policies might be used to achieve the CPP targets. We analyzed a mixed package representative of how the EPA expects states to achieve their targets.
- Third, the EPS calculates results through 2050, but the CPP targets only extend through 2030. The policy package we use to represent the CPP includes continued policy improvement through 2050 at the same rate as in earlier years (that is, policies strengthen by the same amount each year from 2017 to 2050), rather than CPP policies becoming frozen at their 2030 levels.
We find that repealing the CPP would result in an increase of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions of more than 500 million metric tons (MMT) in 2030 and 1200 MMT in 2050, contributing to global warming and severe weather events, such as hurricanes, floods and droughts.
Nearly $600 Billion in Economy-Wide Costs
Cumulative net costs to the U.S. economy (in increased capital, fuel, and operations and maintenance (O&M) expenditures) would exceed $100 billion by 2030 and would reach nearly $600 billion by 2050.
It may seem ironic that removing regulations can result in increased costs to the economy, but regulations can help to overcome market barriers and similar problems that prevent certain economically-ideal outcomes from being achieved in a free market (for instance, under-investment in energy efficiency technologies).
120,000 New Premature Deaths
Although the CPP’s focus is on reducing carbon emissions, the same policies also reduce particulate pollution, which is responsible for thousands of heart attacks and respiratory diseases each year. Repealing the CPP would increase particulate emissions, causing more than 40,000 premature deaths in 2030 and more than 120,000 premature deaths in 2050.
Far More New Coal Capacity, Far Less New Renewables Capacity
Without the CPP, the U.S. electric grid would feature a larger capacity of coal power plants, while the capacity of wind and solar on the system would be smaller, as shown in the following table. [on original]
This finding is echoed by a new forecast from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which predicts that without CPP implementation, coal will become America’s leading source of electricity generation by 2019.
This slow-down in the transition to clean energy would cost the U.S. technological leadership in the rapidly-growing solar and wind industries and would cost the U.S. many jobs. Even today, when wind makes up 6.6 percent and solar 1.8 percent of total U.S. installed capacity, the solar industry employs 374,000 people and wind industry 101,000 workers, roughly two and a half times the 187,000 combined workers in the coal, natural gas and oil industries.
The stellar contribution of renewables to the U.S. economy was recently highlighted as an “American success story”
by a group of 20 Republican and Democratic governors who urged Trump to support renewables.
Clean Power Plan Repeal A Terrible Mistake For America
Repealing the Clean Power Plan would be a terrible mistake. A repeal would increase costs to the U.S. economy by hundreds of billions of dollars, cut years off the lives of tens of thousands of Americans and sacrifice U.S. technological leadership and job creation. For the future prosperity and strength of the country, the CPP should be preserved, and its targets should continue to strengthen through 2050 and beyond.
7,000 Railways Stations In India To Go Solar https://cleantechnica.com/2017/02/21/7000-railways-stations-india-go-solar/ February 21st, 2017 by Saurabh Mahapatra Almost every railway station in India will soon be fed with solar power if the plans announced in India’s latest union budget are implemented.
The Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the 7,000 railway stations across the country will be fed with solar power as per the Indian Railways mission to implement 1,000 megawatts of solar power capacity. The minister made the announcement during the union budget speech on 1 February 2017.
The minister stated that work to set up rooftop solar power systems at 300 stations has already started, and soon this number will increase to 2,000 stations. According to data released by the Minister of Railways, India had 7,137 railway stations at the end of March 2015.
These rooftop solar power systems are expected to be implemented through developer mode, wherein the project developer will sign long-term power purchase agreement with Indian Railways.
In addition to rooftop solar power systems, the Indian Railways is expected to set up large-scale projects as well. Last year, it announced plans to launch a tender for 150 megawatts (MW) of rooftop systems. Late last year, it announced a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to set up 5 gigawatts of solar power capacity.
The Indian Railways has managed to identify the solar power resource in two states so far — Gujarat and Rajasthan — where 25 MW of rooftop and 50 MW of ground-mounted capacity is to be commissioned in the first phase of the program. In the second phase, 60 MW of rooftop and 660 MW of ground-mounted capacity will be installed in nine other states. During the third phase, 400 MW of rooftop and 3,800 MW of ground-mounted capacity will be installed in the rest of the country.
This non-toxic battery lasts a decade, could be renewable energy’s missing piece Anthropocene, by | Feb 23, 2017 “……Researchers at Harvard University have developed a new kind of low-cost battery that can run for more than 10 years with no maintenance. It is also non-toxic and inexpensive, to boot. The technology could make grid-scale renewable energy storage a reality, the researchers say in a paper published in the journal ACS Energy Letters…….
The new battery should be cheaper to produce than today’s devices. “And since the medium is noncorrosive, you can use cheaper materials to build the components of the batteries, like the tanks and pumps,” Gordon said in a press release
Karachi is unsafe with nuclear, solar better Pervez Hoodbhoy, Pakistan’s most renowned nuclear physicist, discusses the prospects of solar power, Chinese nuclear reactors and hopes and fears he has for Pakistan’s energy future., Eco Business, By Zofeen T. Ebrahim, 20 Feb 17, “………More nuclear plants don’t make economic sense to me. We are going for nuclear electricity because the Chinese badly want to sell their reactors to Pakistan – we are China’s only customer for nuclear power plants. China has loaned Pakistan 80 per cent of the amount needed for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plants (KANUPP)…..
After the tsunami initiated disaster at the plants in Fukushima, it became clear that having nuclear plants near any city was a bad idea. If something ever goes wrong with KANUPP, what will happen to Karachi defies the imagination. Fukushima was a small town of 80,000 disciplined people.
Karachi has 22 million people most of whom feel no twinge when going through a red light. Evacuating them in any disciplined manner would be impossible. And evacuate to where? A catastrophic disaster doesn’t have to be caused by a tsunami – an act of terrorism, sabotage, earthquakes, or operator error (as happened at Chernobyl in 1986) could all take us down that path…….
The global nuclear industry obviously aims to make safer reactors. But the problem is that no one can foresee all the ways in which things could go wrong. The fuel contained in a typical reactor core has more than a thousand atom bombs’ worth of fissile material.
And, even though a reactor cannot blow up in the same way as a bomb, it can release thousands of times more radioactivity than was released by the bomb explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As far as our options go, Pakistan does not make nuclear power reactors. These are beyond our technological capability. Making bombs is far easier and obviously we are making lots of them……
Climate change can be better fought by concentrating on solar and wind power, making more efficient electricity grids, and by cutting down on wastage. Also, if one looks into the carbon cost of making nuclear plants, the savings due to cheap nuclear fuel are much less.
How about if we use thorium fission reactors, or is this still an academic discussion?
PH: India has been planning on doing this for 40 years. There’s still no electricity being produced by thorium fuelled reactors. In any case, it’s not an option for Pakistan because we don’t have thorium deposits and do not have the capacity to make our own nuclear power plants. http://www.eco-business.com/news/karachi-is-unsafe-with-nuclear-solar-better/