For more information on the event, please visit https://sandiegostartupweek2018.sched.com/event/EjO4/ask-a-cleantech-entreprenuer[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
This article is a continuation of our series about various topics in renewable energy. Waste heat recovery systems collect excess thermal energy that would otherwise be exhausted or vented into the atmosphere. Some heat recovery systems cool hot exhaust from manufacturing processes, capturing excess heat and use it for power generation. What makes this possible is the use of organic working fluids with low vapor points and with high molecular densities. One of the major environmental concerns today is the increasing shortage of usable water. Industry such as lumber mills, utilities, steelworks, cement plants and many more other facilities typically overuse this vital resource. In order to produce materials and goods, each manufacturing process needs heat. The fastest and least expensive way to cool down processes is with the use of water, more specifically, vaporizing or literally, steam generation. Good news: Most of the fast moving water that flashes to steam can be captured, run through a turbine generator, generate electric power, condensed and feed back into the process. A condensing turbine uses the steam to recover energy. Bad news: There are about 2,300 gallons of water being wasted for every megawatt hour of energy being produced. Fresh water is one of the world’s scarcest natural resources. In the US, thermoelectric power accounts for 39% of all water consumption. That consumes more than 200 million of gallons of water each day. The majority of that power is used to cool down heated power production equipment. Why use water to cool down systems and equipment when for more than 50 years, there has been a water free technology that can be used. The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) originated from geothermal power and popularized in the late 1960s. It works on the principle as a traditional steam cycle with two notable exceptions:
- Instead of water, ORC uses a contained organic fluid.
- Does not need water for cooling.
ORC captures exhaust and cools it with the use of an environment friendly refrigerant which moves through a closed loop system, turns from liquid to steam and back to gas. The process generates continuous power, is totally self sustainable and with a lifespan of 20 years. Oil fields, cement plants, paper mills, steel mills are few of the large industrial facilities that both use waste heat and great amount of electricity. Through the use of waste heat recovery, the operations of these easily reduced their demand for traditional water cooling steam plants. This saves water by millions of gallons each year. The end product is clean energy that feeds back into the plant. In today’s economy, business owners must make business decisions that help the environment and actually help their businesses as well. One way to succeed is doing more with less. Using less means paying less. That is what waste heat recovery is all about. It helps equipment to use less resource while it saves business money. Across the United States, more and more industrial and power plant operators have worked with project developers on waste heat recovery systems. There are more than 25 completed projects already in the US alone with many more ongoing projects being developed.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Understanding Renewable Energy is not difficult. The first thing to understand is that Renewable Energy and its sources are basically all around us. This energy is found from the sun, wind, oceans, lakes and rivers. It is also found from plant growth, from the heat within the depths of the earth and even from disposed waste. With the help of today’s latest technology, we have begun to harness these sources of energy by converting them into electricity, transportation fuels and the heating of our homes and water. This process will eventually replace conventional fuels which may some feel impact climate change. Moving Water. Generating electricity from moving water is renewable energy. An example of this is the hydroelectric dams in use for over 100 years. Modern technology has been developing ways to create energy and power supply coming from tidal waves. The earth’s water cycle is in constant motion and can help solve energy problems. In its pure form a renewable energy. Wind. The kinetic energy from wind and air is also renewable energy. For many years, this is used in windmills and sailboats while these days it is also used to generate electricity. Wind energy is potentially able to supply power demand by more than 30 times. Wind energy is actually directly affected by the topography of the land. This means that the tops of the hills and mountains, shorelines, open plains and offshore are the best places for wind farms. Heat within the depths of the earth. Massive renewable energy source is found from geothermal heat from within the earth. This is a very reliable source since it is there all the time. Intermittence and power interruptions may not be as much compared to other forms of renewable energy, like solar and wind. Modern technology is on its way in enhancing these geothermal systems. It is potentially able to supply the world’s power demand by 1.5 times over. Solar energy. Heat and light from the sun is another massive form of renewable energy. This energy from the sun alone is the main source that creates the other forms of renewable energy. All growing living things depend mainly from the energy of the sun. Solar energy is potentially able to supply the total world’s power demand by more than 4000 times over. All living things. Basically all living things, including soil and water can all be sources of renewable energy, if conservatively managed. Biomass is collectively made from all living things and the wastes they produced. Regardless of which form best fits the place you plive in, renewable energy is a sure way to go. Understanding renewable energy and switching to it will definitely promote the green living balance and harmony in our environment, not to mention that it will also generate jobs when you begin to create and maintain new renewable energy infrastructures. Nowadays, everyone should be aware and understand the sources of renewable energy. Renewable energy provides clean, efficient and practical power. Understanding renewable energy lets you choose your initial steps in good energy for a better life. We offer more materials about this and we will be glad to share them with you as you venture your way to enjoy the benefits of a sustainable change grow every day. This is just the start of the series of article on understanding various topics of renewable energy. Watch out for more! Other Related Articles: What is Renewable Energy? Types of Renewable Energy California Renewable Energy Overview and Programs Photo Credit: LiezelMCastro[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Cogeneration sometimes referred to as CHP (Combined Heat and Power) or energy recycling is an efficient and cost-effective method of capturing heat lost during the production of electricity and converting it into thermal energy because energy that would be otherwise disposed as waste heat would be put to good use. Thomas Edison probably was the first to make use of cogeneration or energy recycling in 1882. His Pearl Street Station was the world’s first commercial power plant producing both electricity and thermal energy while using waste heat to warm neighboring buildings. Because of energy recycling, Edison’s plant was able to achieve 50% efficiency.
Cogeneration Benefits Cogeneration systems are up to 80% more efficient than that of the traditional power plants, which is normally around 30%. These gains of efficiency result in cost savings, as less fuel is needed to be consumed to produce the same amount of useful energy. In addition, results of cogeneration also include reduced air pollution, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased power reliability and reduced grid congestion.
Today, Con Edison operates seven cogeneration plants to approximately 100,000 buildings in Manhattan, the largest steam district in the U.S. The steam distribution system is the reason for the steaming manholes often seen in New York City. The European Union generates 11% of its electricity using cogeneration and energy savings in Member States ranges between 2% to 60%. Europe has the three countries with the worlds’ most intensive cogeneration economies, which are Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland. In response to the growing energy need, the US Department of Energy maintains an aggressive goal of cogeneration or CHP to comprise 20% of the US generation capacity by the year 2030.
Typical Methods of Cogeneration Include Gas Turbines, which are essentially jet engines that drive turbo generators. Multi-stage heat recovery steam generators use heat to produce steam and even hot water as the exhaust gradually loses its temperature.
Diesel Engines are very similar to the gas turbine. The diesel drives a generator for economical electricity production and then the hot exhaust can produce steam to drive another electrical generator or to provide heat for process operations as either steam or hot water.
In either case, the main goal in either case is to effectively extract every BTU of cheap car insurance heat that would exceed normal atmospheric temperature in the final effluent stream of gas and cause it to produce electricity or usable heat such as hot water.
Other Forms of Cogeneration Landfill Gas Cogeneration is a great solution because the emissions of a damaging pollutant are avoided and electricity can be generated from a free fuel. Landfill gas contains approximately 50% methane and has a heat content of about half the value of natural gas. Capturing LFG reduces greenhouse gases while contributing to energy independence and economic benefits.
Waste to Energy Cogeneration is an excellent energy model. A waste to energy plant has been launched in Lahti, Finland. It converts municipal waste into heat and power through the large-scale use of waste gasification, gas cleaning and high-efficiency combustion. It has a capacity of 250,000 tons of waste per year and can generate 90 MW of heat and 50 MW of electricity. This system will partially replace a coal-fired plant and will make a substantial reduction of landfill disposal in the region.
Cogeneration in Jamaica The country’s only utility company on the Island of Jamaica is already using cogeneration on a small scale. The electric company plans to use this method of energy source especially in the sugar, manufacturing and tourism industries. In addition, the country also uses solar powered streetlights in the 14 parishes. Jamaica has one operating wind turbine contributing to the grid and uses bio mass energy to primarily burn bagasses to produce steam in the sugar industry.been launched in Lahti, Finland. It converts municipal waste into heat and power through the large-scale use of waste gasification, gas cleaning and high-efficiency combustion. It has a capacity of 250,000 tons of waste per year and can generate 90 MW of heat and 50 MW of electricity. This system will partially replace a coal-fired plant and will make a substantial reduction of landfill disposal in the region.
In this world of increasing energy requirements, cogeneration whether by diesel, gas turbines, landfill gas and waste to energy can only be a good solution not only in the United States, the European Union, but also in Small Island Developing States such as Jamaica and Haiti. Officials in Haiti might ought to take a good look at the potential of waste to energy cogeneration for its most pressing needs of both power generation and of excessive municipal waste.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
The Department of Energy (DOE) has recently stated that up to half of the cost in solar power installations is due to administrative tasks. These administrative or soft costs are the costs associated with pe
rmitting, zoning, metering, financing and arranging a grid connection. Obviously, until grid parity with fossil fuels is reached, then the growth of solar will lag behind. Countries such as Germany, Japan and France are in a more competitive position with solar than the United States because they have eliminated permitting for basic residential installations. Germany has the lowest cost of installation in the world currently, at 40% lower than that of the U.S. and a recent study has found that solar has even achieved grid parity in many regions of Canada.
Department of Energy’s (DOE) Plan to Lower Administrative Costs The DOE realizes that the United States needs to take steps to make the cost of solar more competitive by substantially reducing the amount of red tape involved in the permitting process. Reducing the cost of installing solar power systems for home and small commercial properties has now become a top priority with the DOE. They believe that reducing the soft costs will increase the number of installations and invariably will bring down the cost of hardware.
The DOE has awarded a total of $12.5 million in grants to 22 entities in a competition called the Rooftop Solar Challenge, which was created to come up with better processes with the ordinances, which have impeded solar installations by driving up their cost. These 22 participants are involved in what the DOE calls the SunShot Initiative, fashioned in the spirit of the moon shot program during the Kennedy administration to put a man on the moon. At its completion, the DOE will develop best-practice guides for implementation. It hopes to be able to lower kW-hour down to 6 cents by using the new criteria in these guides. They are also hopeful that by achieving this new price point, solar power will be able to account for 15% to 18% of the country’s electricity generation by 2030.
Other Initiatives to Make Solar Cost-Effective Cities like San Jose, Philadelphia and Portland have streamlined permitting for most installations while following code and maintaining safety. These jurisdictions allow for faster turnaround of permitting and less time for waiting on site for inspections. San Jose is now one of the lowest cost cities for solar in California.
SunRun headquartered in California and operating in several states, has come up with a business model to provide more affordable entry into solar by offering a fixed-rate program for 20 years whereby a household or business could purchase or lease a PV system. Going solar can be very expensive since purchasing a system could costs between $15,000 and $60,000. They pay for the installation and monitoring of their system for 20 years while the customer enjoys a fixed cost lower rate. In fact, it was SunRun who conducted a comprehensive study of the administrative costs of solar and offered their recommendations to the DOE.
Benefits of Streamlined Permitting Streamlined permitting processes can bring the cost of grid parity to 50% of Americans by 2013 and we could be able to close in on Germany’s 40% cost advantage. Germany has already reached $3.50/watt not including any subsidies. Although equipment costs are expected to fall to less than $1 per watt over the next year, without streamlined permitting and inspection procedures, the US will not only struggle to reach $3.50/watt price that Germany has, but also the longer term DOE goal of $1 per watt. Although there are some efforts in place, a more comprehensive program of lowering the costs of solar installations by simplifying permitting tasks is essential in the United States so that more Americans will be able to afford and enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]