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Archive for the category “countries”

Dutch Agricultural Success Knowledge-based

Stanford, that’s Silicon Valley.
Wageningen, that’s Food Valley.

[] – Food Valley

TNO & TUE Heat Battery

Dutch video, English subs

TNO and TU/e have developed a brand new device principle and a breakthrough material, in which the heat is stored. Together they form the heat battery. It is so small that it fits into the limited space available in most homes. The breakthrough material is a salt composite, with K2CO3 (potassium carbonate) as the base material.

The heat battery uses a so-called thermochemical principle. The heat battery for the home is based on two components: water and a salt hydrate. As soon as water vapour and salt are added, the water binds to the salt and the salt transforms into a new crystalline form. This reaction that releases heat is reversible. When heat is added to separate the water from the new crystal, the two original components are obtained again. In fact, it is this heat that is stored, and as long as these two components are separated, the stored heat is retained. This makes it a process without heat loss, which in turn is a prerequisite for long-term storage of heat. In this way a lot of heat can be stored in a small volume. Significantly more than water, and considerably more than in so-called phase transition materials.

The battery can store both heat and electricity. It has the size of a small refrigerator, expected consumer price 3,000-6,000 euro. Technical life expectancy 20 year. Storage capacity device: 200-300 MJ (600 MJ/m3). Power: 1-3 kW. The battery has 4 parts: ventilator, heat exchanger, condensor and reactor vessel:


The heat capacity is at least ten times higher than that of water and more than phase-change-based devices.

[] – A Heat Battery For The Home: Compact, Stable, and Affordable
[] – Miljoenensubsidie EU voor innovatieve warmtebatterij
[] – Thermal battery

The European Commission has granted a 7 million euro subsidy for further development of the TNO and TUE heat battery, within the Horizon2020 framework. For that purpose a new European consortium named HEAT-INSYDE, led by TNO and TUE, will develop the heat battery for the consumer market.

[] – Horizon2020

[source] Prototype heat battery

2nd Subsidy-Free Offshore Wind Park in the Netherlands

This Summer the construction of offshore wind project “Hollandse Kust Zuid” was granted to Swedish Vattenfall. The company is prepared to build the wind park without a dime of government subsidy, as long as it can offer the resulting electricity on the Dutch electricity market and compete with others. Yet another slap in the face of those who claim that wind energy can only exist with subsidies. It doesn’t. Well, as long as storage can be ignored.

Capacity: 2 x 760 MW = 1.52 GW.
Location: stretched along the Dutch coast between The Hague and Haarlem.

[] – Vattenfall bouwt tweede windmolenpark op zee zonder subsidie
[] – Windpark Hollandse Kust Zuid

Under current plans, Dutch renewable electricity will arrive at 70% by 2030.

By 2050, the Netherlands no longer will have a fuel bill and the aging wind towers can be taken down and recycled into new towers in electric arc furnaces for merely 10% of the energy cost it takes to build a steel tower from scratch from iron ore. The energy to fuel the electric arc furnaces will come entirely from… wind energy!… making a mockery of those uninformed renewable energy amateurs who keep claiming that renewable energy can’t exist without fossil fuel.

Solar Park Midden Groningen

Largest solar park “Midden Groningen” in the Benelux completed. Size: 140 soccer fields. Capacity: 103 MW. Location, surprise, surprise, in the middle of the Groningen province.

Yesterday on the Dutch news it was reported that some 40 large solar parks are under construction or in the planning phase in the Netherlands.

A point of criticism is that these solar arrays occupy a lot of valuable agricultural land. Yet it is estimated that by 2050, after completion of the renewable energy transition, merely 0.5% of all arable land will be covered with solar panels. Lots of farmers are interested in solar panels on their land, because they have higher returns than crops in many cases. Yet it is urged to aim at dual-use of land, by lifting the panels, so that life stock can graze below them.

Grid-operator TenneT has warned that the grid in its current state is hardly coping with all these new renewable energy projects and that it is forced to invest 12 billion euro in the coming 10 years to prepare the grid for 7 million new solar panels, for every Dutch household one panel. Several solar parks cannot be connected to the grid because of capacity limitations.

[] – Project site
[] – Detailed solar project overview in the Netherlands
[] – Werken aan een duurzame toekomst met zonneparken
[] – Tennet breidt stroomnet uit voor 7 miljoen zonnepanelen
[] – Zonnepark 103 MWp Midden Groningen is eind 2019 gereed
[] – Vermogen zonnepanelen meer dan de helft toegenomen

In 2018 total installed solar capacity in the Netherlands increased with 1.5 GW to 4.4 GW peak.
Total average electricity consumption: 13 GW.
Total installed electricity capacity from all sources: 29 GW.

Under Dutch circumstances the peak-Watt number needs to be divided by 10 to arrive at 24/7/365 average power.
In other words, the currently installed 4.4 GW peak means 0.44 GW average power. If we assume a renewable energy base of 50-50 wind-solar by 2050 and additionally assume a doubling of the electricity production to cover for all energy requirements, including transport and space heating, than the Netherlands will need 26 GW electricity on average. That would be 13 GW solar on average or 130 GW peak. Spread out over 30 years that would be 4.3 GW peak increase per year, rather than the 1.5 GW the Netherlands had in 2018.

It remains to be seen if it is not cheaper for the densely populated Netherlands to be satisfied with, say, 50% local solar production and import the rest from desert areas, where labor and soil are cheap and abundant and solar conditions far better than in the Netherlands. For that to happen, the energy storage problem needs to be solved first, before large quantities of hydrogen or one of its many derivatives, will arrive by oil-tanker, err… make that hydrogen-tanker in Rotterdam harbor and fuel retrofitted conventional fossil fuel power stations.

Everybody Loves Perovskite

When people talk about solar cells, they typically think of silicon wafers, produced in a non-trivial process. But do we really need silicon to harvest solar energy? Actually not. Far cheaper alternatives do exist, keyword perovskite:

A perovskite solar cell (PSC) is a type of solar cell which includes a perovskite structured compound, most commonly a hybrid organic-inorganic lead or tin halide-based material, as the light-harvesting active layer. Perovskite materials, such as methylammonium lead halides and all-inorganic cesium lead halide, are cheap to produce and simple to manufacture.

Solar cell efficiencies of devices using these materials have increased from 3.8% in 2009 to 25.2% in 2019 in single-junction architectures, and, in silicon-based tandem cells, to 28.0%, exceeding the maximum efficiency achieved in single-junction silicon solar cells. Perovskite solar cells are therefore currently the fastest-advancing solar technology. With the potential of achieving even higher efficiencies and very low production costs, perovskite solar cells have become commercially attractive.

Meanwhile the EU has discovered perovskite and started a massive development program, where everybody and his mother in Europe joined in, see list at the bottom.

Price erosion potential: from 75 cent for silicon to 10-20 cent per installed Watt for perovskite. Think 300 Watt panels for 45 euro or dollar. If this will materialize, the most expensive aspect of solar will not be the panel but the space it occupies, certainly in over-crowded Europe.

[] – Potential of Perovskite Solar for Lower Cost Energy
[] – Perovskite Solar Cell Fever Reaches Fever Pitch
[] – Perovskite solar cell

Jumpers onto the EU perovskite bandwagon:

Solliance Solar Research (NL, BE, DE), TNO (NL), including:

Read more…

18.1% – New Perovskite Solar Record

An international team of scientists claim to have developed perovskite solar cells with an efficiency of 18.1% by using a new configuration of cesium lead iodide perovskite CsPbI3, which has the narrowest band gap – 1.73 eV – of all inorganic lead halide perovskites.

Researchers from China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan observed CsPbI3 cystals in their more stable beta phase. Previous research focused on the crystals in their alpha, or dark phase.

[] – New configuration gives perovskite cells 18% efficiency
[] – Perovskite solar cell
[] – Why perovskite solar cells are so efficient

Solar Team Eindhoven and the 2019 World Solar Challenge

Solar Team Eindhoven and their brainchild Stella Era

The Technical University of Eindhoven will once again participate in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia, a race over more than 3,000 km with cars that are propelled by solar power and batteries only.

[] – Solar Team Eindhoven Presenteert Stella Era
[] – World Solar Challenge 2019
[] – Lightyear Electric Car With Solar Power Goes For Test Drive

Read more…

Ocean Cleanup Reports Initial Success

Ocean Cleanup is a Dutch initiative to develop maritime technology to cleanup the world’s oceans from garbage like plastic. In the ideal case the world community would finance a fleet of dozens of these ships and clean up the entire ocean surface water. In the long run it would be more effective to install filters at the mouth of the world’s largest rivers, currently the largest source of plastic pollution, especially in China and the third world.

[] – Ocean cleanup device successfully collects plastic for first time
[] – Ocean Cleanup Project site
[] – 90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers


The Yangtze River is the worst by far.

Sif Expands in Rotterdam

Rotterdam harbor, #9 globally and the largest in the entire Atlantic world, has the ambition to become the largest harbor for offshore wind in Europe. In that light 20 hectare extra land and 200 m more quay was granted to Dutch monopile producer Sif for expansion. Current production level: 4 monopiles per week to service a rapidly growing global demand.

[] – Sif krijgt 20 hectare extra op de Maasvlakte
[] – Offshore wind heeft de toekomst

New Danish Test Centre for up to 20 MW Wind Turbines

The wind energy industry has stated that 20 MW wind turbines are the maximum capacity possible. In Denmark, where else, they now have a test facility for exactly these kind of turbines.

[] – New Danish test centre for +20 MW wind turbines
[] – Østerild Wind Turbine Test Field
[Google Maps] – Østerild Wind Turbine Test Field
[deepresource] – 20 MW Wind Turbines Are The Limit, Says Industry

SolidEnergy and Their Hermes Battery Cell

The storage company SolidEnergy has a battery based on Li-Metal. Storage density after 120 cycles: 0.40 kWh/kg. The battery is so light that a glider with solar cells and Hermes batteries can remain in the skies for ever.

[] – Company site
[] – Data sheet Hermes pack
[] – Meet Qichao Hu

Sound-Wave Airco

Airco’s are real energy guzzlers. A Dutch company from Enschede called Sound Energy has introduced a new thermo-acoustik device, the THEAC-25, that can cool with sound waves. No need for electricity or fossil fuel, yet waste heat is required. Is that cool or what?

In Dubai a machine of this kind is cooling air in order to retrieve water from it.

[] – Company site
[] – THEAC-25
[] – This Dutch Startup Converts Heat Into Cold Via A Stirling Engine, And Could Just Save The Planet
[] – Profile Kees de Blok
[] – Kees de BLok
[] – Deze Airco Koelt Met Warmte
[] – De airco die geen stroom vreet

Read more…

Closed Circle Plastic Production


Dutch startup Fuenix has developed a method of turning ‘post-consumer’ plastic waste into oil and from there into brand new plastic and got chemical giant Dow interested to
scale up the process for prime time. Fuenix claims that they can achieve a conversion efficiency old plastic –> new plastic of 70%, eliminating half the carbon dioxide emissions that result from plastic production from oil. Dow’s goal: at minimum 100,000 metric ton of recycled plastic by 2025 in the EU.

[] – Dow and Fuenix Ecogy Group Sign Circular Plastic Production Deal
[] – Fuenix company site

E-Vehicles 2025 – and the Winner is… Volkswagen!

E-vehicles are mechanically simpler than gasoline/diesel cars.

[] – The great electric car race is just beginning

Advances in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

“Lightweight Battery systems using metallic Lithium are known to offer the highest specific energy. Sulfur represents a natural cathode partner for metallic Li and, in contrast with conventional lithium-ion cells, the chemicals processes include dissolution from the anode surface during discharge and reverse lithium plating to the anode while charging. As a consequence, Li-S allows for a theoretical specific energy in excess of 2700Wh/kg, which is nearly 5 times higher than that of Li-ion. OXIS’s next generation lithium technology platform offers the highest energy density among lithium chemistry: 400 Wh/kg already achieved at cell level… Cost Effectiveness Li-S production cost projections are significantly lower than Li-Ion due to lower raw material cost (i.e. Sulfur) and high energy density (less material required for same energy). This cost advantage is expected to be a key driver for widespread adoption of Li-S technology. Full discharge OXIS cells have a 100% available Depth-of-Discharge. This compares with Li-ion batteries which are only used across 80% (or less) of their available discharge range. OXIS cells use all their stored energy – full discharge. Maintenance free OXIS cells have an indefinite shelf-life, with no charging required when left for extended period. Li-ion batteries require a recharge every 3-6 months to prevent failure and often causes significant warranty issues. Eco friendly The OXIS Li-S chemistry is considered to have less environmental impact when compared to other technologies such as Li-ion. The Li-S cell utilises sulfur in place of heavy metals such as cobalt, which have a significant environmental impact, whereas the sulfur used in OXIS manufacture is a recycled material, a by-product of the oil industry.”

[] – Company site
[] – Li-S, Lithium-Sulfur, an energy revolution
[] – Lithium–sulfur battery
[data sheet] – Ultra Light Lithium Sulfur Pouch Cell

Read more…

World’s Largest Wind Tower Arrives in Rotterdam

Haliade-X 12 MW tower arrives in Rotterdam Harbor. The wind turbine will be operational later this year and set a new 12 MW standard for offshore wind in 2 years time and will play a central role in the ambitious Dutch plans to roll out 17.5 GW’s worth of wind power (for starters in the twenties):

[] – Torens van grootste windturbine ter wereld aangekomen in Rotterdam
[deepresource] – 12MW Haliade Nacelle Underway to the Netherlands
[deepresource] – GE’s 12 MW Haliade-X, To Be Installed In Rotterdam First
[deepresource] – Haliade-X 12 MW Largest Offshore Wind Turbine To Date
[] – Holland, GE Will Build The World’s Largest Wind Turbine
[] – Haliade-X 12 MW deze zomer geïnstalleerd op Maasvlakte

The “Aeolus”, the most advanced Dutch offshore installer vessel operational in the world today. Europe meanwhile has many of those operating in the North sea, Baltic and Irish Sea. With an improved crane, the Aeolus can handle towers like that of the Haliades-12MW.

[source] Sif-terminal in Rotterdam Harbor, where the tower and 12 MW turbine will be installed for testing. Turbine comes from St. Nazaire/France, rotor blades Cherbourg/France, tower Sevilla/Spain.

Wind Turbine With Battery Included

Concept: let a wind turbine pump up water from a lower situated basin in times of over-supply of wind energy for storage purposes.
Storage capacity: 70 MWh from 160,000 m3 total water capacity (4 turbines).

[] – Max Bögl Wind puts turbine on THE tallest tower, 178m. Blade tip to 246.5m
[] – Naturstromspeicher Gaildorf (Germany)
[Google Maps] – Gaildorf

Read more…

Large Power-to-Gas Project in Northern-Germany

Produces hydrogen for the national natural gas grid. The location is near the planned LNG terminal opening Brunsbüttel, enabling mixing at the source.

[] – Project site
[] – World’s “first large-scale industrial power-to-gas facility” planned in northern Germany
[Google Maps] – Wind to Gas Südermarsch

Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES)

British research club reports the results of their analysis of a liquid air storage system (LAES). The idea is to use renewable electricity to liquefy air for energy storage purposes. Result: storage cost 11 euro cent/kWh for a 20MW/800 MWh storage installation at a round-trip efficiency of ca. 50%. Storage pressure ambient. Recuperation by boiling the liquid and drive a turbine in a Rankine cycle. Efficiency could be increased by combining solar of waste heat, thus increasing the temperature at the expansion phase. Storage of liquid air in large volumes is fairly easy with an energy density of 83 kWh/m3.

To really solve the renewable energy storage problem, as a rule-of-thumb, a country needs to be able to store ca. 41% of its annual energy consumption, in order to reasonably guarantee energy supply security. Let’s apply this to a country like the Netherlands, with an average power need of 13 GW. Given the energy density of 83 kWh/m3, a storage volume of 562 km3 would be required, which is unrealistic. Liguid air storage is a short term storage possibility (think in a range of hours, not months).

The real solution of the long term storage problem doesn’t lie in gravity batteries or even phase change solutions, like the one presented her, but in combustible material, reduced with renewable means: hydrogen, iron powder, borohydride, ammonia, methanol, formic acid and a wide range of other possibilities.

[] – An analysis of a large-scale liquid air energy storage system
[] – Rankine Cycle

Scientists Develop a Gold Layer of 2 Atoms Thick

Gold-layer of two atoms thick

Important development since a surface like this keeps its macroscopic properties as catalyst. There are many important applications where expensive catalysts play an crucial role. Now price of a material hardly matters anymore.

[] – Sub‐Nanometer Gold Nanosheets as Efficient Catalysts
[] – Nur zwei Atome dick – das dünnste Gold der Welt

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