DeepResource

Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

New Approach Pumped Hydro Storage

A company from Stuttgart, Germany proposes a new way of thinking about hydro storage. The design entails a giant cylinder with a stone piston sawn out of rock. During times with excess renewable energy the piston is lifted by water pressure from underneath. The potential energy can be retrieved by letting the piston sink again, propelling turbines.

A first pilot of 30 m deep and 20 m diameter is to be build in Saudi-Arabia, but no financial means have been allocated so far. Paperware so far.

[heindl-energy.com] – Company site
[spiegel.de] – Tüftler machen Gefällekraftwerk ohne Gefälle möglich

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Photocatalytic Water Splitting

New TiO2 photocatalyst for water splitting. H2 bubbles are generated from the catalyst surface only by sunlight irradiation. Chemistry department of NUS.

[wikipedia.org] – Photocatalytic water splitting

Solar driven water splitting for large-scale hydrogen fuel production from semiconductor photo-electrodes has the potential to provide energy on large scale from renewable, sustainable sources. Our research focuses on the kinetically more demanding oxygen-evolution reaction, and we prepare thin film metal oxide photoanodes by low-temperature, solution-based processes. One promising light absorber is TiO2:(Nb,N) where Nb and N substitute for Ti and O on their respective lattice sites in anatase. These materials are prepared by sol-gel processing followed by annealing in flowing ammonia. We observe a band-gap energy as low as 2.0 eV at 25% Nb and 2% N. In conjunction with a RuO2 catalyst, powdered TiO2:(Nb,N) evolves O2. A second class of materials we study is the transition-metal tungstates, and we have prepared our most promising candidate, CuWO4, by several routes: electrochemical deposition, sol-gel processing, and spray pyrolysis. These methods afford highly reproducible and robust CuWO4 thin-film electrodes on transparent conducting substrates. CuWO4 is an n–type semiconductor with a band-gap energy of ~2.4 eV. CuWO4 thin films photooxidize water with simulated solar radiation with a nearly quantitative Faradaic efficiency for O2 evolution at no applied bias in the presence of the sacrificial electron acceptor, [Fe(CN)6]3–. Most important, these thin-film electrodes are stable against photocorrosion when illuminated with visible light at neutral pH, a significant improvement to the more commonly studied photoanode, WO3. Current efforts are aimed at preparing complex tungstates that absorb lower energy light to improve the quantum yield. This talk was presented on May 14, 2013 as part of the IHS Markit Seminar Series.
Speaker:
Bart Bartlett, Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan

Thermal Solar Wood Chips Drying

Total collector size: 348 m2, used to dry 4,000 m3 wood chips per year.

Note how thin the collector really is

[cona.at] – Hackschnitzeltrocknung

Solar Road in China

[cleantechnica.com] – China Opens 1-Kilometer Long Solar Road

Kijkje in een Windmolen

Dutch Energy Figures

Dutch electricity supply. Currently almost all electricity consumed is produced in the Netherlands. The plan in accordance with the EU is to replace almost all fossil generated electricity by renewable power by 2050 at the latest.

Electricity consumption: 120 billion kWh/year
Electricity per capita: 7085 kWh/year
Total installed capacity: 31.5 GW
Average consumption: 13.7 GW
Total connections: 8 million

Capacity factor latest North Sea wind farms: 50%
Assuming no storage losses then you would need 27.4 GW offshore nameplate wind power to meet current Dutch electricity demand levels. By 2023 4.5 GW are expected to be installed in the North Sea. Already allocated but not all covered with tenders yet are:

Borssele: 2064 MW
Hollandse Kust: 7350 MW
IJmuiden Ver: 7020 MW
Waddeneilanden: 1200 MW
Total: 17.5 GW

No fixed time table for these 17.5 GW exist, but if the first 4.5 GW are realized in 2023, you can expect that new capacity will be built with existing offshore production capacity in at least the same pace or higher. Since we already have 1 GW installed, the remaining 4.5-1=3.5 GW would take 5-6 years or 640 MW/year. The remaining 17.5-4.5=13 GW would require an additional 13/0.64=20 years or 2043 with existing installation capacity. In reality the offshore wind industry is rapidly growing and the targeted 17.5 GW will be achieved earlier, probably much earlier. Expect that by 2050 the Netherlands will enjoy the renewable energy consumption enabling them to continue the current affluence levels and will have created new large wealth creating industries in the energy and storage sector. Note that these figures do not include existing or future wind and solar capacity onshore.

After that the sky is the limit because the offshore industry could sell a lot of electricity or its hydrogen derivative abroad. Expect NW-European offshore wind industry like Vestas, Orsted (Dong), Siemens, SiF, Van Oord and many others to take over from big oil names like Gazprom, Exxon, Texaco, BP, Shell and many others. Or as president Gorbachev uses to say: He who comes too late is punished by life.

The good news is that in 2018 corporations are competing to develop offshore wind parks without a dime of subsidy, neither for the infrastructure nor for the kWh’s brought onshore. Paying market prices for kWh’s brought onshore is enough for them to be profitable. All the government has to do is allocate offshore locations and pay for the cables.

[energywatch.eu] – Statoil submits bid in Dutch zero-subsidy tender
[renewablesnow.com] – Vattenfall to bid in Dutch subsidy-free offshore wind tender

The only remaining challenge is storage, a considerable one, but manageable. It is likely that hydrogen from electrolysis is going to play a big role here.

17.5 GW nameplate power would mean 8.8 GW continuously or 64% or 2017 electricity demand. That would be enough to uphold a reasonable affluent society. It would be like living in 1980, albeit with electricity consuming devices (lights, television, fridges) that are far more energy efficient. But it is far more likely that by 2050 more than the current 13.7 GW average consumption will be brought onshore, providing electricity for trains and e-vehicles as well. The Dutch train system is already fully covered by wind. And here a calculation that you need merely 222 wind turbines of 6 MW each to power the entire Dutch personal car fleet.

According to new legislation, every home in the Netherlands needs to be energy neutral by 2030. No natural gas connection will be guaranteed for new homes. This requires solar panels, thermal collectors, heat pumps and thorough thermal insulation measures. It is ambitious but feasible.

[cbs.nl] – 2015-elektriciteit-in-nederland
[energynumbers.info] – Capacity factors Danish offshore wind farms
[noordzeeloket.nl] – Dutch plans North Sea Wind (map)
[rijksoverheid.nl] – Bedrijfsleven bereid zonder subsidie windpark op zee te bouwen

P.S. the goal of the Dutch government is to have 6 GW wind power installed onshore by 2020.

Sites with lower capacity factors may be deemed feasible for wind farms, for example the onshore 1 GW Fosen Vind which as of 2017 is under construction in Norway has a projected capacity factor of 39%. Certain onshore wind farms can reach capacity factors of over 60%, for example the 44 MW Eolo plant in Nicaragua had a net generation of 232.132 GWh in 2015, equivalent to a capacity factor of 60.2%, while U.S. annual capacity factors from 2013 through 2016 range from 32.2% to 34.7%.

Let’s assume a capacity factor of 50%, that would mean that another 3 GW continuously (including not yet installed storage) are added to the mix as early as 2020.

[deondernemer.nl] – Zo waait de wind in ondernemersland
[wikipedia.org] – Capacity factor

And then there is solar:

[hollandsolar.nl] – Marktontwikkeling zonnestroom
[goedkopeenergieengas.nl] – Opbrengst zonne-energie groeit met 40 procent

Summary: by the end of 2016 there was 2.0 GW peak Watt PV-solar installed, which translates in 800 MW power continuously. By the end of 2017 the installed power had increased with 40%. So we can assume 1.1 GW of PV-solar power. The government wants solar panels on every suitable roof and the public is picking up the signal. In every street there are at l east a few houses that have panels on the roof, which will impose the question on the laggards: “when us?”, just like with owning a car or having an internet connection. Nobody wants to stay behind and everybody wants to be “green”. One of the largest energy providers in the Netherlands Eneco believes that as early as 2030, 70% of renewable electricity can be covered by renewables.

HydrogenPro AS

800 Nm3/hr hydrogen flow costs $2M. Investment cost alkaline equipment is 50% of the cost for PEM. Operating cost: alkaline 20% more efficient than PEM (mainly energy cost).

[hydrogen-pro.com] – Company site

What does Nm3/hr mean? Normal Meter Cubed per Hour. Unit used to measure gas flow rate. The ‘Normal’ refers to normal conditions of 0degC and 1 atm (standard atmosphere = 101.325 kPa) – for practical purposes this is rounded to 1 bar.

Solar Air Collectors

Early December, outside temperature 6C/43F. Two simple air collectors and ventilators. Max output temperature: 62C/143F

[mahnecke.de] – Solar air collector project in northern Germany

Still waiting for the first solar air collector project where the black absorber back plate consists of a black solar panel. The collector should be constructed as such that the glass/acryl cover can be removed in the spring and put back again in the autumn to avoid too high solar panel temperatures during the summer. Special construction absorber with window screen.

Componentlist:

Siebdruckplatten: Materialstärke (Seitenwände) 21 mm – 35 €/m²
Materialstärke 9 mm (Rückwand) – 20 €/m²
Acryllack, Dose mit 125 ml – 4,99 €
Aluschiene, 1 cm x 3 cm x 200 cm (2mm), 2 Stück –
Aluschiene, 3 cm x 3 cm x 200 cm (2mm), 1 Stück –
Aluschiene, H – Form
Schrauben V2A, 4 x 25
Schrauben V2A, 3,5 x 16
Schrauben V2A, 4,5 x 45
Fiberglasnetz, 1m x 3,40 m
Acrylglasscheibe (Gewächshaus) 70 x 160 cm
Computerlüfter 12 V, 120 mm, 115 m³/h

Acryl cover

The end result

Some data:

01.03.2013 – complete sunny day
Collector temperature: 39,5 °C

IEA 2017 Key World Energy Statistics

Energy crisis… what energy crisis?

[iea.org] – Key World Energy Statistics

The Hydrogen Electrolyser

700 MW Renewable Hydrogen Plant to be Built in France

[source] Origin Norsk Hydro 1927.

Nel Hydrogen from Norway, with more than 80 years of experience in producing hydrogen, will build an initial 100 MW power-to-gas plant in Normandy, France between 2018-2020. Investment volume: 45 million euro. The intention is to expand to 700 MW by 2025. The resulting hydrogen will be mixed with natural gas in order to make the fuel “greener” by significantly reducing CO2 emissions.

[news.cision.com] – Nel ASA: Enters into exclusive NOK 450 million industrial-scale power-to-gas framework agreement with H2V PRODUCT
[nelhydrogen.com] – Company site
[wallstreet-online.de] – Nel ASA erhält Auftrag für weltweit größte Wasserstoff-Elektrolyseur-Tankstation

Read more…

IEA Renewables 2017

[iea.org] – Renewables 2017

Shell Pernis Refinery

Dutch language video about what was in 1969 the largest refinery in the world and still is the largest in Europe.

[nl.wikipedia.org] – Shell Pernis

Read more…

VW E-Crafter Van 200 KM Range

First roll-out in Germany, Holland, UK, Sweden.

[cleantechnica.com] – Volkswagen Delivers First e-Crafter Vans To Customers In Europe

Salt Water Batteries

[wikipedia.org] – Salt water battery

Green Village Taking Shape in Delft

Situated on the campus of the TU Delft in the Netherlands a project has started with the aim to create the living environment of the future with as small an ecological foot print as possible.

[thegreenvillage.org] – Official Green Village project site
[profadvanwijk.com] – Ad van Wijk – Welcome to the Green Village (pdf, 66p)

Read more…

Building a Hydrogen Refueling Station in 48 Hours (Time-lapse)

Fill the tank of your fuel cell powered car within 3 minutes with hydrogen and drive another 500 km.

The West is betting on batteries.
The Japanese are betting on fuel cells and hydrogen.

We bet on the Japanese and the hydrogen solution as displayed in the video.

Groene Waterstofeconomie in Noord-Nederland

The northern provinces of the Netherlands are actively promoting the hydrogen economy, where cheap offshore electricity will be used for the production of hydrogen.

[profadvanwijk.com] – The Green Hydrogen Economy in the Northern Netherlands
[profadvanwijk.com] – The Green Hydrogen Economy in the Northern Netherlands
(31p pdf about how to set up a hydrogen economy)

E.A.Z. Small Wooden Wind Mills

[wattisduurzaam.nl] – Groningse startup EAZ Wind plaatst 100e houten windmolen

Read more…

Siemens Reports EROI Onshore Wind of 50 or Larger

Siemens SWT-3.2-113

According to the manufacturer Siemens has their SWT-3.0-113 wind turbine an energy payback time of 4.5 months. With a (conservative) minimum life span of 20 years, that would mean an EROI of 240/4.5 = 53.

[siemens.com] – Press release

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