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Siemens to test new technologies in a demonstration wind farm

Siemens to test new technologies in a demonstration wind farm

Denmark has awarded Nissum Bredning Vindmollelaug the rights to build a 28MW offshore wind demonstration project in Jutland, which should cost Dkr300m (€40m).

The winner of the country’s experimental wind competition will install four Siemens 7MW turbines atop jacket foundations with bucket feet, also designed by Siemens. Full operations are expected in 2017 :

“The pilot scheme gives the opportunity to test these technology elements on a large scale in conditions similar to the North Sea, where the technology is expected to be used first. The project also includes a new cable and switchgear concept with 66kV voltage which is expected to be standard voltage for future offshore wind farms”, said the Danish Energy Authority.

The Nissum installation is expected to lead to savings of around 12.5% compared to existing technologies, over the lifetime of the project.

Posted in Clean Tech, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy, Wind Energy0 Comments

New smart rotor blades concepts unveiled for efficient power generation

New smart rotor blades concepts unveiled for efficient power generation

German researchers from the Research Alliance Wind Energy (FVWE) have developed intelligent rotor blades concepts which can adapt to the wind for efficient power generation.

The three-year €12m Smart Blades project was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, in a joint effort between Research Alliance Wind Energy (FVWE) the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Fraunhofer IWES and ForWind, the Center for Wind Energy Research of the Universities of Oldenburg, Hanover and Bremen.

It has examined blades that are able to adapt their geometry to suit the local wind conditions using active and passive technologies :

“The project findings provide new information and tools which enable turbine developers and operators to launch more effective, more cost-efficient and more reliable system designs on the market”, the researchers said.

They added that when a rotor blade is subject to high wind it turns in such a way that it offers the wind a smaller contact surface, known as bending-torsion coupling.

The bending is initiated by the force of the wind alone and is described as a “passive” mechanism.

Two approaches were considered that produce this effect including a crescent-shaped geometry and a particular structure for the material composition of the rotor blade.

The new approaches were test for cost-efficiency with a state-of-the-art 80-metre-long rotor blade in simulations, with next step for the researchers to be able to test their results on full-scale rotor blades.

Posted in Clean Tech, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy, Wind Energy0 Comments

Trinity engineer raising €10m for new nuclear power technology

Trinity engineer raising €10m for new nuclear power technology

A Trinity College engineering graduate is raising €10m to develop a nuclear power technology, that he and his partners claim could produce electricity more safely. It would also do so more cheaply than a new coal-fired power station or the latest nuclear one that Britain plans to build at a cost of up to €32bn, they say.

Founder of Energy Process Developments Rory O’Sullivan, 29, who has begun talking to a number of prospective Irish investors about the project, has partnered with British Moltex Energy founders environmentalist John Durham and scientist Dr Ian Scott, an entrepreneur and former chief scientist at consumer goods giant Unilever.

Cambridge-educated Dr Scott made a breakthrough in establishing that because of its design and how it works. By containing molten salt nuclear fuel in tubes, rather than hazardously pumping it around pipes, valves and heat exchangers outside a reactor, his stable salt reactor method, which keeps the fuel locked up in closed tubes, is far safer.

It also avoids the requirement for as much highly specialised, expensive and failsafe systems for cooling, containment and safety control, which raise new nuclear costs to levels that leave electricity billpayers and governments on the hook for tens of billions.

Rory O’Sullivan explained :

“We aim to win a slice of £250m funding the UK government has made available and have also established partners in Asia to develop the technology there. But we need further investment now to ensure we can take the lead internationally. Today’s clean power technologies will not reduce global energy poverty at today’s costs. Drastic cost reductions are required to implement clean power on a mammoth scale.”

Nuclear power is currently illegal here, but he added that the Moltex design could be used here in modular units that each generate about 150MW of power, which would be enough for about 45,000 homes, potentially within the next 10 years.

Posted in Clean Tech, Green Energy, Nuclear Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy0 Comments

AES completes N Ireland storage

AES completes N Ireland storage

AES UK & Ireland has completed the 10MW Kilroot Advancion energy storage array at Kilroot power station in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland.

AES said the array, made of 53,000 batteries arranged in 136 separate nodes, uses the Advancion 4 energy storage solution and aims to enhance grid reliability by providing fast response ancillary services, such as frequency regulation. The company said :

“With more efficient balancing of supply and demand, energy storage will lower costs to consumers, unlock the value of existing renewables, and improve the security of supply.”

It is the first step towards a planned 100MW energy storage array adjacent to Kilroot.

AES Energy Storage president John Zahurancik commented:

“As the UK and the Republic of Ireland look for innovative ways to strengthen the electric grid while reducing costs and system-wide emissions, we’re pleased to deliver Advancion as a part of the solution.”

Separately, Innovate UK Energy Catalyst is providing funding, in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast, to demonstrate the full capabilities of energy storage by analysing the impact of this array. The consortium also includes SONI, NIE Networks and the Utility Regulator.

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RES wins deal to build first battery energy storage system in UK

RES wins deal to build first battery energy storage system in UK

RES has won a contract from Western Power Distribution (WPD) to build and support its first battery energy storage system alongside British Solar Renewables 1.5MW solar park at Copley Wood in Somerset.

The £1m project (€1.3m) is part of a WPD-led initiative to investigate the technical and commercial feasibility of battery energy storage combined within distributed generation installations in the UK.

The engineering, procurement and construction contract will see RES build a 300kVA/640kWh project that will demonstrate nine different applications of energy storage on the grid.

RES will also provide ongoing warranty support during the battery’s operation and use RESolve, its energy storage control and dispatch system, to provide 24/7 management of the battery’s operation.

The storages system will be supplied by BYD and will be fully self-contained.

It is being delivered through Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance, and is being run in conjunction with BSR and the National Solar Centre.

RES managing director for Western Europe Gordon MacDougall commented the news:

“This project marks an important milestone for RES, as we are bringing the energy storage expertise we’ve developed in North America to the UK for the very first time. Our experience of delivering almost 80MW of energy storage globally has given us the ability to provide proven and reliable energy storage solutions, and we are confident that this project will open the door for other opportunities in the UK.”

Posted in Clean Tech, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy0 Comments

Finnish fuel cell technology to generate power from wastewater in Italy

Finnish fuel cell technology to generate power from wastewater in Italy

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Convion will be demonstrating, in Italy, fuel cell systems supporting cogeneration of heat and power, from biogas generated through waste water treatment.

The 175kW cells have been developed by the Finnish company Convion and will be presented as part of a pilot project for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) technology.

The partners will be installing fuel cell plant in the Collegno waste water treatment plant of the Italian Società Metropolitana Acque Torino (SMAT) in Turin.

This technology will enable power production from biogas that usually goes to waste or is burned for heat production only.

In terms of size and technology, the innovation is the first of its kind in Europe and is expected to offer energy self-sufficiency to waste water treatment plants.

It has been claimed to meet 30% of the power requirements for waste water treatment processes and 100% of its normal thermal needs.

As a part of the DEMOSOFC project, the technology will be delivering more than 53% electrical efficiency rate, which accounts for up to twice as much electric energy as compared to conventional technology implementations through power plants.

This fuel cell plant also offers fuel flexibility as it operates with both natural gas and biogas, is noise-free and does not lead to particulate matter, hydrocarbon or nitrous oxide emissions.

This DEMOSOFC project will extend over a five year period until 2020 and is backed with a €4.2m grant from the European Union under its Horizon 2020 programme. The estimated total cost is €5.9m.

It has been coordinated by the Italian Politechnico di Torino, and multinational European project consortium comprising Finnish entities Convion and VTT, POLITO and SMAT from Italy, and the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine from the UK.

Posted in Alternative Energy, Biogas Energy, Clean Tech0 Comments

EU energy project : make photovoltaic technology full component of new buildings

EU energy project : make photovoltaic technology full component of new buildings

Nowadays it’s not uncommon to see solar panels added to rooftops, but a new EU-funded project, “Construct PV”, is working on how to integrate photovoltaic (PV) systems into buildings from their very inception.

The new technology can be used to replace parts of conventional building materials, such as roofs, skylights and facades. It means that solar panels can be hidden as part of a wall or as a transparent window. The total cost of the Construct PV project is €11 707 677 including €6 913 100 in EU funding.

The project includes two large-scale demonstration sites in Stuttgart, Germany and Athens, Greece. These showcase the latest in solar PV technology which aims to maximize the active surface area of the photovoltaic system and enhance its appearance.

In Stuttgart, a five-floor office building for up to 250 employees working for a company called Z3 has been built with integrated PV systems which will help Z3 reach their goal of becoming a zero-energy building. Meanwhile, in Athens, the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, has been built with integrated PV systems.

Construct PV develops customizable photovoltaic structures for opaque building surfaces for new buildings and buildings undergoing renovation. These hidden solar panels are not only designed to produce electricity, but they also come with other purposes for example to protect a building against the elements, provide insulation to the building, or enhance it aesthetically.

Posted in Clean Tech, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Sustainable Energy0 Comments

Piling test gets good vibrations for offshore wind

Piling test gets good vibrations for offshore wind

A Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator-led programme has devised a methodology to pre-determine the load-bearing capacity of vibrated piles as part of a project to test alternative ways of installing offshore foundations.

What It appears that vibration-driven piling could make installing monopiles and jackets offshore quieter and up to 10 times faster.

The test involved a comparison of the conventional method of impact hammering with the vibration of steel piles on land.

It aimed to prove whether vibratory piling can offer a faster and more environmentally friendly method of installing steel foundations for offshore wind farms and to evaluate the method with regard to stability.

The project participants are RWE Innogy, Bilfinger Offshore, DONG Energy, EnBW, E.ON and Vattenfall.

RWE Innogy said it now plans to build on these tests and launch an additional subproject intended to investigate ways of optimising the installation methodology itself.

Carbon Trust director of innovation Jan Matthiesen commented :

“Finding innovative methods to reduce the cost of installation will help to bring down the cost of offshore wind, making it competitive with conventional energy sources.”

Posted in Clean Tech, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy, Wind Energy0 Comments

E.U. energy plan includes electricity interconnectors linking Ireland to France

E.U. energy plan includes electricity interconnectors linking Ireland to France

The European Commission has yesterday adopted a list of 195 key energy infrastructure projects which will help deliver Europe’s energy and climate objectives and form key building blocks of the EU’s Energy Union.

Electricity interconnectors linking Ireland to France and Britain, as well as two North-South interconnectors, are included in a list of “key” energy development initiatives.

The list of projects is an updated version of the “Projects of Common Interest” first adopted in October 2013. It includes 108 electricity, 77 gas, seven oil and three smart grid projects. The key focus for Ireland is greater integration through more electricity and gas interconnectors.

A number of potential Irish projects have been dropped, but key interconnectors remain, for example the “Celtic Interconnector” linking Great Island in Wexford with La Martyre in France.

Others include a Great Island to Pembroke, Wales interconnector known as “Greenline”, and another linking Co Derry with Islay, Argyll. This would provide an entry point for electricity coming from offshore wind farms proposed for the north Irish Sea.

In principle energy infrastructure should be financed by the market and through tariffs paid by users. However, to meet the huge investment challenge the EU has set up funds like the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) which will help leverage the investment needed.

Under CEF, in 2014 and 2015, €797 million has been allocated to co-finance studies and construction works to help implement the PCIs.

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General Electric goes large for Europe

General Electric goes large for Europe

GE has taken the wraps off a new 3.4MW turbine designed to “address the complexities” of European wind conditions.

The announcement has been unveiled today at the EWEA 2015 event in Paris.

The US company will produce the machine in either 130 or 137 metre rotors and, together with the already unveiled 3.2-130.

GE said it will result in its “most powerful family of onshore wind turbines to date”.

Five tower options are available, with hub heights ranging from 85 to 155 metres, putting tips well above 200 metres in the largest configuration. All models feature the modular hardware and software analytics of GE’s Digital Wind Farm.

Despite the technology builds on the existing 2.5 platform, it offers “improved load management systems, enhanced control features and more efficient drive-train technology”, the company said.

Posted in Clean Tech, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy, Wind Energy0 Comments

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