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Industrial Heat pumps February 9, 2007

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in efficiency, technology.
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By Bohdan Soroka, Laborelec

Industrial heat pumps, using waste process heat as the heat source, deliver heat at higher temperature for use in industrial process heating or preheating, or for space heating in industry. There is a debate over their definition, but in general they represent a worthwhile method of improving the energy efficiency of industrial processes, and/or reducing primary energy consumption.

Industrial heat pumps (IHPs) offer various opportunities to all types of manufacturing processes and operations. Increased energy efficiency is certainly the IHPs most prominent benefit, but few companies have realized the untapped potential of IHPs in solving production and environmental problems. IHPs can offer the least-cost option in getting the bottlenecks out of production process to allow greater product throughput. In fact, IHPs may be an industrial facility’s best way of significantly and cost-effectively reducing combustion-related emissions.

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Ageing networks: consume, prolong or replace January 10, 2007

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in distribution, power quality, reliability.
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By Arjen G Jongepier, KEMA Consulting

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The components of electricity networks are ageing. It is expected that within a horizon of 15 years, the performance will deteriorate significantly, while the costs for operating the networks will increase enormously. The main problem is that a significant part of the population of the assets is installed in the same period, resulting in a highly concentrated number of failures in a short time. The currently applied replacement strategy has to be revisited, in order to accommodate the effects of ageing assets: higher maintenance costs, high failure rates, and a steep increase of capital expenditure (CAPEX).

Methods like long-term simulation, multi-criteria decision-making under uncertainty, critical asset identification, condition assessment, and advanced statistics for the extrapolation of condition assessments of representative samples of assets should be applied. By using these methodologies in a smart and integrated way, costs and performance can be kept at an acceptable level

Finding good sites for wind turbines is not so easy January 5, 2007

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in renewable electricity, wind.
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Wind farms in England and Wales are failing to generate the predicted amount of electricity

A study by the Renewable Energy Foundation shows that England and Wales are not windy enough to generate electricity at the rates projected for them. Government targets are based on wind farms running at 30% of capacity. But most farms in England and Wales are generating only around 25%. The two poorest performers have rates of no more than 7.7% and 8.8% respectively.

In the UK, only the wind farms in Scotland and those on the Orkney and Shetland isles run above 30% of capacity. But those sites face other problems. They are far from the main consuming areas, so significant amounts of electrical power are lost in transmission. Moreover, they are often located in ecologically sensitive areas. One example is the projected wind farm on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer-Hebrides. The site is controversial since it is located near important bird sanctuaries (see article in the Sunday Times).

This illustrates how difficult it has become to find acceptable sites for wind farms in Europe. The Renewable Energy Foundation has concluded that the most effective sites for wind energy are off-shore near major cities.

Reference

Article on Telegraph.co.uk

Increasing the efficiency and reliability of electrical installations through fast reactive power compensation January 2, 2007

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in power quality, webinar.
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Date: March 29, 2007
Speaker: Dr Kurt Schipman, ABB Power Quality Products

Morning session: 10h00 – 11h00 Europe Daylight Time
Afternoon session: 17h00 – 18h00 Europe Daylight Time
(webinars are free of charge, but prior registration is required)

This webinar reviews the concept of reactive power and highlights problems that can occur if too much reactive power is drawn from the supply system. Depending on the load type (slowly or fast varying, small or large power loads) and the network (weak or strong networks, harmonics present or not), different phenomena can occur; from simply putting extra stress on supply cables to power outages bringing production lines to standstill. It is shown that for different applications different reactive power compensation solutions must be applied – special attention is paid to fast reactive power compensators and their use. Selecting the right solution can bring substantial (energy) savings to the users.

The Year 2006 in Energy January 1, 2007

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in energy.
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The year 2006 has been a spectacular year for energy. Hereby Leonardo ENERGY’s list of 10 highlights.

Comments, suggestions and additions welcome.

Distance care – an initial overview December 31, 2006

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in distance care.
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Future benefits to the EU and its health care services

A new report commissioned by Leonardo ENERGY gives a clear overview of the market potential for home care related ICT applications in Europe. Interesting is that the study follows three different yet complementary approaches to the subject:

  • Socio-economic review
  • Medical aspects
  • Practical approaches and technical solutions

(more…)

The Passive House in the Electricity System of the Future December 23, 2006

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in efficiency.
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By Hans De Keulenaer & Rob van Gerwen

Reducing the energy consumption of houses fits very well with the first and most important step of the Trias Energetica strategy towards a sustainable energy system. However, this strategy will seriously influence the design of energy grids in the residential area. It will have both a technical and economical impact that can not be neglected. The energy standards for passive houses are at such a level, that it is not economically viable anymore to invest in more than one energy infrastructure in a residential area. Although technically this could be a natural gas or hydrogen infrastructure, the choice for an all-electric infrastructure is more obvious. The traditional passive electricity distribution grid will gradually change into an active network with “prosumers” (both producers and consumers) of electricity instead of just consumers. Local balancing of electricity consumption and production, electricity storage and demand side management will become more and more important.

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See also:

Webinar presentation of this paper

Electricity maps of UK June 22, 2006

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in renewable electricity.
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Courtesy Deloitte & Touche LLP, an electricity map of UK, showing major power stations (>500 MW) and transmission infrastructure.
uk electricity

From the same source, also a renewables map of UK, showing the single offshore wind farm in the UK at North Hoyle, but some more in an advanced stage of construction. However, a lot more seems to be in progress on hydro-power and biomass.

uk renewables

Pathways to 2050 – towards an ‘all’ electrical society May 10, 2006

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in carbon management, efficiency, nuclear, renewable electricity, roadmap, security.
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Challenging climate change caused by carbon emissions is such a many-sided problem, involving many actors from all over the world, that it is absolutely necessary to set clear and realistic goals. That is what the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) did in its paper Pathways to 2050 (pdf – 3 MB).

The WBCSD unites 180 international companies who share the commitment to sustainable development through economic growth, ecological balance and social progress. In their paper on energy and climate change (December 2005), they describe three paths to 2050.

emission paths

Business as usual

If we don't react, global carbon emissions will rise from 7.8 Gigatons in 2002, to some 12 Gt in 2030 and 15-16 Gt by 2050. In that case, the atmospheric CO2 concentration will rise up to 1,000 ppm. The resulting temperature rise cannot be predicted accurately, but it might be as high as 3-4°C by 2100 and up to 6°C by 2300. It goes without words that such an enormous temperature rise will have far-reaching consequences.

An optimistic scenario

A figure that is sometimes postulated is to reduce the global carbon emissions to half of its current value. In that case, the carbon concentration is expected to rise to 450 ppm, causing a temperature rise of 1 up to 2.5 degree C by 2100. Bearing in mind that the global energy demand will at least double, even if we put a lot of effort in energy efficiency, this is clearly an optimistic scenario that would require far more drastic measures than the ones we are applying today.

A realistic scenario

More realistic would be – according to the WBCSD – to bring back the carbon emissions to the current value by 2050. This would limit the atmospheric concentration to 550 ppm and the temperature rise to 1,5 up to 3° C by 2100. It would allow carbon emissions to increase in the medium term, and require a global downturn by 2025, followed by a continuous decline. Realistic but ambitious, this scenario would still require sectorial shifts and significant changes in energy production and use.

The energy mix for electricity production

In the realistic scenario, the WBCSD sees the share of electricity in the total energy consumption double by 2050. The growing importance of electricity is the result of following trends:

  • improvements in electrical applications, and substitution of fossil fuels in end use
  • increasing number of electrical appliances
  • information technology and the internet
  • urbanisation

energy share

Since the total energy consumption itself is expected to double by 2050, this means that the electricity production should quadruple. The energy mix for the power generation could be as follows:

energy mix

Source % in mix Growth compared to 2002
Wind (+ geothermal, tidal, and wave energy) 25% x 160
Solar 12% x 300
Biomass and waste 5% x 18
Hydro 8% x 2
Nuclear 10% x 2
Natural Gas 20% x 3
Coal with Carbon Capture and Storage 20% x 2

Half of the electricity production will come from renewable sources. To realize this, solar, wind and biomass should see a very steep and continuous growth. Mind that coal fired power stations are still in the mix, but are equipped with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) systems. Also nuclear energy is still growing according to this scenario, meaning that the currently operating plants will have to be replaced and new capacity should be installed.

Demand Side Management for residential and commercial end-users May 3, 2006

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in efficiency.
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This paper focusses on  demand side management in the residential and commercial sector, i.e. for small end-users. Demand side management provides a range of technical, organisational and behavioural solutions to cut or decrease electricity consumption and demand. In this article, special attention is given to proposals for  cost-effective actions, which are classified from no-cost  to investments with long payback time. It concludes that there are lots  of  solutions to save electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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