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Hybrid | Green and Alternative Energy Information

10 common energy questions and answers

1. Why is renewable energy called renewable, what does this mean? This means that renewable energy (unlike fossil fuels) can be replenished in relatively short periods of time.

2. Which fuel is the most common source of electricity in the world. The answer is coal, coal despite being very dirty fuel is also the cheapest energy option in much of the world. For instance, 49% of the United States electricity comes from coal.

3. Why solar energy, despite the enormous potential still counts for such a small share of global energy supply? Solar energy, indeed has enormous potential but solar power technologies are still very expensive, and also do not provide adequate efficiency to be used on a wider scale. This means that solar energy sector definitely needs cheaper and far more efficient solar cells in order to compete with fossil fuels.


Stand-alone and Hybrid Wind Energy System


Research and Markets has published a new report on the development of both stand-alone and hybrid wind energy systems.

Wind power generation is fast becoming one of the leading renewable energy sources worldwide, with the installation of large-scale wind farms contributing to national power grids, as well as the increasing penetration of small-to-medium-scale wind power projects in distributed, isolated, and community power networks.

Reliability of power supply is one of the main issues for wind energy systems, and so improved stand-alone and hybrid wind energy systems are being developed, incorporating advanced energy storage and grid integration systems, in order to increase power generation rates and to provide secure power supply to the end user.

This book provides a comprehensive reference on the development of both stand-alone and hybrid wind energy systems, as well as energy storage systems and overall systems integration with local grids. Chapters cover the design/construction, modelling/simulation, monitoring/control and optimisation of stand-alone and hybrid wind energy technologies, reviewing their current state and future development. Further to this, many of the energy storage and distribution systems covered in the book are also applicable to other renewable energy generation technologies.


New consortium aims at driving hybrid energy development

Via: Germany.info

A newly launched consortium created by international technology players wants to accelerate the design and development of integrated solar combined cycles (ISCC) power plants. The initiative is called Hybrid Energy Consortium (HEC) and is supported by the American QGEN, which specializes in utility-scale power generation and water desalination projects, FLABEG Group (expert on glass finishing processes) and Schlaich Bergermann und Partner Sohne GmbH (consulting civil and structural engineers), both of Germany, and JGC Corporation of Japan, a specialist on hydrocarbons.

The initial plan is for HEC’s ISCC plants to start by integrating state-of-the-art concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies into conventional gas- and coal-fired plant designs to generate electricity and desalinate water. That will be followed by HEC’s testing of new solar field designs and components in ISCC configurations in its own technology demonstration plants to be located in North Africa and North America. A successful deployment of commercial designs will segue into design, procurement and construction services to project developers around the world.

The hope is that ISCC plants will accelerate the integration of solar energy into the electricity generation mix. In ISCC plants solar energy is used as a complement to fossil fuels leveraging the gas- or coal-fired plant infrastructure and eliminating the need for the government subsidies currently being granted to stand-alone concentrating solar or photovoltaic (PV) power plants.


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Hybrid Organic Solar Cells Now More Efficient

hybrid organic solar cell Success greets the research team of National Research Council’s National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and the University of Alberta. The plastic solar cells have now an operating life of 8 months instead of mere hours. And they are low-cost, environmentally efficient, unsealed plastic dollar cells – a green energy source. Developing economically viable plastic solar panels and to produce them in large scale has been the long time goal for the scientists as the cost of ultra high-purity silicon used in the traditionally manufactured solar cells is quite prohibitive. These are the solar cells of future – to be available to common man easily. A University of Alberta-NINT team has been focusing on this for quite some time.

Prototype solar cell:
A multi-disciplinary team has been successful in developing a prototype solar panel. It was operating at high capacity for about 10 hours. After that, problems developed within which reduced the efficiency of solar cells. They found that electrode’s chemical coating was the root cause of the problem. For past few months, work has been going on to correct this problem.

Role of electrode:
Producing power from solar cells is the key responsibility of electrodes and the research team found that the unstable chemical coating started leaking around the circuitry of the solar cell and reduced production capacity. They developed a new coating which solved this problem.

New polymer coating:
The team led by David Rider, consisting of Michael J. Brett, Jillian Buriak from U of A-NINT has been successful in developing a durable and longer lasting coating of polymer for the electrode which stopped the chemical leaking that reduced the production capacity. This new polymer coated electrode makes the solar cell work at high capacity continuously.

Success story:
At the time David Rider and colleagues presented their research paper in Advanced Functional Materials on June 22, 2010, the solar prototype cell had performed already for 500 hours at high capacity. In the highly competitive field of plastic solar-cell technology, this research by U of A-NINT team is considered to be a great achievement. And the cell continued to work for 8 months altogether before being damaged in transit between laboratories.

The future looks bright for hybrid organic solar cells. In Rider’s words “Inexpensive, lightweight plastic solar-cell products, like a blanket or sheet that can be rolled up, will change the solar energy industry”.

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