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Notas de energías renovables

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Científicos checos ayudan a traer de vuelta la producción de paneles solares a Europa
Radio Praga, 21/11/2022
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Científicos checos ayudan a traer de vuelta la producción de paneles solares a Europa
Paneles solares en el techo del Nuevo Escenario del Teatro Nacional de Praga|Foto: Česká televize, ČT24


China fabrica casi todos los paneles solares que se usan en la actualidad. Científicos de la Academia de Ciencias Checa participan en un proyecto europeo para diseñar paneles de máxima eficiencia y cero emisiones en su producción que reviertan la situación.

La tendencia de la última década ha hecho que en la Unión Europea se fabrique únicamente un 1% de los paneles solares que se usan en todo el mundo, mientras que China produce el 97%. Un proyecto piloto europeo va a comenzar la producción de un nuevo diseño que promete un importante avance en el sector.

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Martin Ledinský, foto: ČT24 Martin Ledinský, foto: ČT24

Martin Ledinský, científico del Instituto de Física de la Academia de Ciencias checa, que participa en el proyecto, explicó a la Radio Checa la característica principal de estos nuevos paneles.

“El panel solar que vamos a producir es completamente negro y no tiene absolutamente nada en su cara frontal porque no tiene contactos. Pero claro que necesitamos dos contactos, si no, no daría nada de energía. Por eso, tenemos los dos contactos en la cara de atrás, que es donde tenemos las típicas líneas de los contactos metálicos, el positivo y el negativo”.

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Foto ilustrativa: Maria Godfrida, Pixabay, Pixabay License Foto ilustrativa: Maria Godfrida, Pixabay, Pixabay License

Esa característica que le da un nuevo aspecto a los paneles solares es precisamente la que consigue que den más energía.

“Esos contactos dan sombra, si ponemos los dos contactos detrás, no tenemos nada de sombra y una máxima eficiencia. Otra de las ventajas es que el panel es también negro por detrás, por lo que si recibe la luz por ese lado, seguirá dando electricidad al sistema. O sea, que se pueden usar por las dos caras”.

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Foto ilustrativa: Los Muertos Crew, Pexels, CC0 Foto ilustrativa: Los Muertos Crew, Pexels, CC0

Un panel fotovoltaico de los habituales hoy día tiene una eficiencia de un 20% aproximadamente. Con los nuevos paneles de este proyecto se consigue hasta casi un 30% en condiciones de laboratorio y casi un 27% en la práctica.

Dentro del equipo europeo, los físicos checos se están dedicando en particular a la medición de la altura y el grosor de los contactos, que a primera vista, y solo a primera vista, son rectos. Ledinský explicó el avance que han logrado en Praga.

“Originalmente, la medición duraba unas 30 horas. Hoy estamos en unos diez segundos. Es un sistema casi aplicable a las propias líneas de producción de paneles solares, lo que es nuestra tarea en el proyecto Pilatus”.

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En territorio europeo y con financiación de la UE surgirán en los próximos tres años tres plantas para la producción de estos nuevos paneles con cero emisiones, contó Martin Ledinský.

“El silicio monocristalino tiene que ser fundido, lo que es muy exigente desde el punto de vista energético. Por ello usamos una central hidroeléctrica de Noruega que tiene, a fin de cuentas, cero emisiones de dióxido de carbono”.

Todo con el fin de reiniciar la producción de paneles solares en Europa y avanzar hacia una independencia energética que, como este año se está demostrando, es de una importancia crítica.

Fuente y video:
https://espanol.radio.cz/cientificos-ch ... -a-8767607
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GE installs world's first spiral-welded wind turbine tower
Loz Blain February 26, 2023

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The facilities to manufacture large-diameter pipes on-site at wind farms can be set up and ready to go within about a month, says Keystone - Keystone Tower Systems

Denver's Keystone Tower Systems says it can cut the cost of wind energy with tech borrowed from pipemaking. It uses spiral welding techniques to roll sheet steel into huge turbine towers on-site, stronger, faster and cheaper than current techniques.

The strongest winds tend to be higher up, but as this 2022 study shows, higher-mounted turbines catching stronger wind doesn't necessarily equate to the lowest cost of energy. Indeed, once you factor in the costs of stronger foundations and taller, sturdier towers, anything above about 120 m (394 ft) tends to result in more expensive electricity – and in a market as price-sensitive as energy, that's bad news.

Somewhere around half the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) in an average commercial wind energy installation comes directly from the cost of the wind turbines themselves, according to the NREL. Of that, nearly half of the money's in the nacelle at the top, and the remainder is split between the rotors, which contribute around 13.7% to the LCoE, and the tower itself, at around 10.3%.

But as towers get bigger, their share of the upfront CAPEX (capital expenditure) increases disproportionately. A 110-m (361-ft) tower might account for 20% of a project's CAPEX, while a 150-m (492-ft) tower becomes 29% of the cost. And that's not to mention the additional logistical issues involved in dealing with massive machinery like this.

Keystone says it's got a tower-making solution that brings the price of large towers down so low that it "make[s] wind energy the lowest cost power source available, not just in the open plains, but throughout the world."

The idea is simple enough; instead of creating a number of cylindrical "cans," trucking them to the turbine site and welding them together to create the final tower structure, Keystone proposes rapidly building small manufacturing facilities on-site, then trucking in coils of steel in bulk, or even flat sheets, which can be welded together to form longer strips. These coils or strips are fed into angled bending machines that bend them into a spiral shape, which is welded together along the join line continuously as the steel is turned. Much of the process is automated, as you can see in the video below.


Keystone Spiral Welding

The result, says Keystone, is full-length towers, or shorter sections if that's logistically easier, churned out 10 times faster than a standard factory can do them, using up to 80% less manpower. There may be savings as well in the foundations used for spiral-welded towers. The factory can be ready to go within about a month, and building on-site means that you can make the kind of large-diameter sections that simply couldn't fit under bridges if you were to make them in a factory and ship them.

This transport restriction, according to Reuters, currently keeps maximum diameter down to 4.3 m (14 ft) – limiting tower height to around 80 m (262 ft). Keystone's technology can scale to produce towers over 7 m (23 ft) in diameter, for towers up to and beyond 180 m (590 ft) high. So onshore wind farms can run taller towers, with longer blades, driving bigger turbines and producing more energy.

Spiral welding is a well-established technology when it comes to making pipelines, so the process of creating and quality-inspecting these long tube sections is already proven. Keystone says it also results in "better fatigue and buckling performance," enabling towers of a given height to be made using less steel. And since the manufacturing plant is essentially mobile, it's easy enough to pop one temporarily next to a dock and shoot out dozens of sections or entire towers for offshore installations.

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Keystone has set up its own manufacturing facility in Texas, but the real benefits will start coming when the pipes are rolled on-site at a wind farm Keystone Tower Systems

While the mobile factory unit is a key part of Keystone's play, it's also set up its own manufacturing facility in Texas, and from this factory it produced the tower for its first live installation, working with General Electric Renewable Energy.

This first product is an 89-m (292-ft) spiral-welded tower for GE's 2.8-127 turbine. Certified for a 40-year lifetime, the tower is designed to be a simple replacement for GE's standard towers. It'll presumably provide a good commercial-scale case study from which to proceed.

Certainly, Keystone is a small operation at the moment, surviving largely on US government grants. In this kind of manufacturing, you need economies of scale to kick in before you can start promising big savings to customers. But the tower is clearly a significant part of the cost of a finished wind turbine, as well as a restricting factor in the size vs power equation, so Keystone's spiral welding technique could yet become a strong lever with which to move renewable energy costs.

Source: Keystone Tower Systems via Recharge (NB! Para suscriptores)

https://newatlas.com/energy/keystone-sp ... ding-wind/
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Silver mirror triples efficiency of perovskite solar cells
Michael Irving, February 19, 2023

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An artist's impression of a perovskite (cyan) solar cell with a new layer of material underneath (gray), which boosts efficiency by creating reflections of electron-hole pairs (red and blue) Chloe Zhang

Perovskites are one of the most promising new materials for solar cell technology. Now engineers at the University of Rochester have developed a new way to more than triple the material’s efficiency by adding a layer of reflective silver underneath it.

For the better part of a century, silicon has been the go-to material for making solar cells, thanks to its abundance and efficiency in converting light to an electrical current. But in just the last decade, a new contender has rapidly risen through the ranks – perovskite, which is much cheaper and has already caught up to silicon in efficiency.

Now a new study has boosted perovskite’s efficiency by three and a half times, without even tweaking the material itself. Instead, the team found that adding a layer of a different material underneath it changed the interactions of the electrons in the perovskite, reducing an energy-sapping process.

Perovskites and other photovoltaic materials generate electricity by allowing sunlight to excite electrons in the material, causing them to jump out of their atoms, ready to be guided to generate an electrical current. But sometimes, electrons fall back into the “holes” they left behind, reducing the overall current and as such the efficiency of the material. This is what’s known as electron recombination.

The researchers found they were able to drastically reduce electron recombination in perovskite by placing it on a substrate made up of either silver alone, or alternating layers of silver and aluminum oxide. The team says that doing so creates a kind of mirror that produces reversed images of the electron-hole pairs, which lessens the likelihood of electrons recombining with the holes. In tests, the engineers showed that adding these layers boosted the efficiency of light conversion by 3.5 times.

“A piece of metal can do just as much work as complex chemical engineering in a wet lab,” said Chunlei Guo, lead author of the study. “As new perovskites emerge, we can then use our physics-based method to further enhance their performance.”

The research was published in the journal Nature Photonics. (NB! por subscripción).
Source: University of Rochester

https://newatlas.com/energy/perovskite- ... y-boosted/
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Turkey. The solar power plant in Konya is to be the largest in Europe
polishnews, March 4, 2023

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Main photo source: EPA/ERDEM SAHIN

The largest solar power plant in Europe is being built in southern Turkey. It will be the size of 2,600 football fields, and the energy generated there is intended to satisfy households of two million people.

The Karapinar Solar Power Plant (SPP) is being built in Konya, in the south Turkey. Its construction began in 2020.

A huge power plant in Turkey
The power plant in Konya is to be the largest solar power plant in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It covers 20 million square meters, which is the equivalent of 2,600 football fields.

As we can read on the investment website, 3.5 million panels are to produce a total of 1,350 megawatts (MW) of energy, which is to meet the needs of households inhabited by two million people.

Huge solar power plant in Konya, Turkey
Construction works are scheduled to be completed in August 2023. The commissioning of the plant at full capacity is expected to increase the share of solar energy in Turkey in total domestic production by 20%.

According to the announcements, after the construction is completed, about 100 people will be employed at the power plant.

https://polishnews.co.uk/turkey-the-sol ... in-europe/
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Mitad artículo, mitad propaganda, pero se ve muy interesante.

Game-changing battery lets Lightning riders play all day with gas bikes
Loz Blain, March 14, 2023

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Lightning LS-218: an electric designed to outperform gas bikes

Lightning's wild LS-218 superbike and Strike sportsbike are among the first EVs to get Enevate's super-high density, ultra-fast charging, next-gen silicon-anode batteries – which charge almost as fast as your buddies can fuel up their dinosaur burners.

These stand to be the first electric motorcycles you can genuinely go out and ride hard all day alongside gas bikes without making anyone wait for you – provided the right charging infrastructure's available.

Lightning and Enevate have been testing a prototype Strike bike around California – well, when they've had a break in the extreme weather – that runs a whopping 24-kWh battery pack full of Enevate cells. These are significantly higher density than Lightning's standard battery cells, and thus the 24-kWh pack takes up the same space as the standard 20-kWh pack. But it delivers an impressive range boost.

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Lightning's Strike sportsbike Lightning Motorcycles

"We're getting 150 to 170 miles (241 to 274 km) of range at 70 miles an hour (113 km/h) along highway 5," Lightning Founder and CEO Richard Hatfield tells us over a phone call. "And we're charging from 0-80% in about 10 minutes, or at nearly a 5C rate, on a level 3 CCS charger. That's probably the most common level 3 charger at this point, other than Tesla, and I know even Tesla is offering CCS options on some of its chargers."

An 80% charge will get you somewhere around 135 miles (217 km) of riding, so you're looking at a motorcycle that charges at about 810 miles per hour (1,303 km/h). Realistically, most gasoline-burning sportbikes start getting thirsty somewhere around 120 miles (200 km), and 10 minutes is far from a big ask at a fuel stop – especially given the ergonomics involved. This is really the first high-performance electric we know of that won't have your petrolhead buddies tapping their watches at you.

Coping with these charge rates required some beefing-up of the bikes' electrical systems. "So we've got 120 kW of electricity going in, for about 10 minutes straight, says Hatfield. "It's almost impossible to duplicate that on the discharge side; it's 300 amps and 400 volts for 10 minutes continuously, there's just no place you could really do that on the throttle. So it made us re-think all the interconnects, the cabling and the charge connectors, even the contactors. And inside the fairings, we have to move air to cool the components to sustain that level of charging."

https://assets.newatlas.com/dims4/defau ... y-trns.jpg
Enevate's silicon anode technology massively boosts charging speeds, and also delivers a 30% bump in energy density for EV batteries Enevate

We looked into Enevate's next-gen battery tech back in 2020, so check out our previous piece for a deeper dive. But essentially, through using a pure silicon anode, with specific electrolytes and cell design innovations, this Orange County operation is now delivering batteries that can charge up to 10 times faster than current lithium-ion cells. Indeed, the batteries in these Lightning bikes could potentially charge twice as fast, if they could deal with the heat.

What's more, they're much more energy-dense, both by volume and by weight, than today's top contenders. According to BatteryDesign.net, a Tesla 4680-type cell from a late 2022 Model Y stores around 650 Wh/liter and 244 Wh/kg. Enevate claims "over 850 Wh/liter and 340 Wh/kg," – that's about 30% more energy for a given volume and nearly 40% more for a given weight.

"It's a game-changer," says Hatfield. "For me, it's really exciting. The energy density is great, as well as the charge rate, and it really changes the practical equation for electric riders. What Enevate has done that others haven't, is their battery chemistry geniuses found a way to increase the cycle life and manage the expansion that occurs when silicon-anode batteries are charged very quickly. The lifecycle still isn't quite as high as some other batteries, but it's far longer than the life of most motorcycles. Very few get ridden that many miles."

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Lightning LS-218 - an elemental experience Loz Blain/New Atlas

These are indeed special batteries. And unsurprisingly, they'll come at a boutique price. Hatfield confirms they'll be an optional extra that build-slot reservation holders can specify – a 24-kWh pack for the Strike and a 28-kWh pack for the LS-218 – and they'll add about US$8,000 to the price of the bikes. That'll push the standard $19,988 Strike Carbon Edition from superbike territory into premium territory, and the standard $38,888 LS-218 even further into the dream-machine range.

But that's just the price of early adoption. "It's a new technology," says Hatfield. "But there's nothing inherent in the technology to prevent it from becoming competitive with the other cells that are available. Volumes are up on a lot of the other cell chemistries, though, so Enevate will have to see similar volumes to be able to get its prices down. I know they're in a lot of conversations with auto OEMs – I think it's probably around two to three years before this gets to a similar price as other batteries."

Either way, those numbers are peanuts compared to performance cars, and I still rate the LS-218 as one of the most face-meltingly extreme experiences legally available to civilians. "I'm anxious to have you ride one of the new bikes," says Hatfield, "I think we've made a lot of progress; we keep finding ways to make them better."

Still operating out of the Corbin facility in California, Lightning has already sold as many standard Strikes as it can build for 2023, so it's only selling Carbon Editions for the time being.

"Production is picking up pace, we're working our way through the order books," says Hatfield. "And at the same time, coming up with a couple of updated models."

https://newatlas.com/motorcycles/lightn ... #gallery:3
Lightning LS-218: one of the most awe-inspiring rides in motorcycling Loz Blain/New Atlas

The company is also still keen to compete. "We've got our high-performance aero bike, and we're going out to see if we can bump the land speed record up in May," says Hatfield. "We're excited to do that, and the lessons we learn doing land speed racing help us with aerodynamics and efficiency for the street bikes. The salt flats are a great university for pushing the limits and learning more.

"And we're also going to take some opportunities to go out and compete on the track here as well," he continues. "Moto America's Super Hooligan events are allowing electrics to compete directly. That's a good chance to go and challenge ourselves and the competition. We're planning on hitting some events later this year. I know Energica competed at the Daytona event, I think they took fifth place – and I think some privateers from the Zero factory competed in a Super Hooligan event too. So I think it could be a good, competitive event!"

Check out the Enevate battery-loaded prototype in the video below.

Lighting Fast Charging don't wait

Source: Lightning / Enevate

https://newatlas.com/motorcycles/lightn ... -charging/
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¿Qué tecnologías de baterías están dando forma al futuro del almacenamiento de energía?
Los desarrollos de las baterías se suceden en rápida sucesión. ¿Qué tipos hay? ¿Y cuál es el potencial de cada uno?

ERIK DE VRIES, 11 de abril de 2023, 16:03
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Credit: Adobe Stock

En un mundo cada vez más dependiente de la tecnología, la necesidad de un almacenamiento de energía sostenible y eficiente nunca ha sido más crítica. Hay varias tecnologías de baterías emergentes que podrían revolucionar la forma en que almacenamos y usamos la energía. Si bien existe cierta preocupación por el desarrollo de estas tecnologías, los abrumadores beneficios dejan muy claro que invertir en la investigación avanzada de baterías es esencial para el crecimiento y desarrollo continuos de nuestra sociedad. Seguramente también porque estas nuevas tecnologías pueden ofrecer una solución a las desventajas existentes de las baterías de iones de litio.

Bateria de Estado sólido
Una de las tecnologías de baterías más prometedoras es la batería de estado sólido. Estas baterías ofrecen numerosas ventajas sobre las baterías de iones de litio tradicionales, incluida una mayor densidad de energía, un ciclo de vida más prolongado y una mayor seguridad. La mayor densidad de energía significa que las baterías de estado sólido pueden almacenar más energía en un envase más pequeño y liviano, lo que las hace ideales para vehículos eléctricos y dispositivos portátiles. Además, su vida útil más larga y sus características de seguridad mejoradas las convierten en una opción atractiva para el almacenamiento de energía a escala de red, lo cual es crucial para la integración de fuentes de energía renovables como la solar y la eólica.

Litio-Azufre
Otra tecnología innovadora es la batería de litio-azufre (Li-S). Con una densidad de energía teórica cinco veces mayor que la de las baterías de iones de litio, las baterías Li-S pueden representar un gran avance en el almacenamiento de energía al proporcionar soluciones livianas y de alta capacidad para una amplia gama de aplicaciones. Además, el uso de azufre, un material abundante y económico, reduciría la dependencia de recursos finitos como el cobalto, que es esencial para la producción tradicional de baterías.

Eliminar las preocupaciones
Sin embargo, es esencial reconocer las preocupaciones que rodean el desarrollo de baterías, como el impacto ambiental de los procesos de minería y fabricación y la disponibilidad limitada de ciertos materiales. Por el contrario, son precisamente estos desafíos los que brindan la oportunidad de desarrollar nuevas tecnologías que mitiguen estos problemas. Por ejemplo, la batería de iones de sodio es una alternativa sostenible a las baterías de iones de litio, ya que el sodio es mucho más abundante y accesible que el litio. Esto reduciría la presión sobre la minería de litio, reduciendo el impacto ambiental negativo de la producción de baterías.

También es importante reconocer que es probable que la investigación en curso sobre el reciclaje de baterías y los métodos de eliminación alivie gran parte de la preocupación actual sobre el impacto ambiental de las baterías. Al invertir en estas tecnologías, podemos crear un ciclo sostenible en el que las baterías se produzcan de manera más responsable y se reciclen y eliminen de manera respetuosa con el medio ambiente.

Liberando un potencial enorme
Por lo tanto, el desarrollo de tecnologías de baterías avanzadas no solo es esencial para el crecimiento y la sostenibilidad de nuestra sociedad, sino que también presenta una oportunidad para abordar muchos de los problemas asociados con las tecnologías de baterías actuales. Al invertir en investigación e innovación en almacenamiento de energía, podemos desbloquear el inmenso potencial de estas tecnologías y allanar el camino para un futuro más limpio, más eficiente y sostenible. Ha llegado el momento de apoyar la investigación sobre baterías, ya que el poder para cambiar nuestro mundo está al alcance de la mano.

https://www.change.inc/energie/welke-ba ... slag-39813
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New KAUST tandem solar cell breaks efficiency world record
Michael Irving, April 18, 2023

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A sample of new record-breaking silicon/perovskite tandem solar cells, developed by KAUST

The dynamic duo of silicon and perovskite continue their rampage through the solar cell industry. Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have developed a new silicon/perovskite tandem solar cell with a record-breaking efficiency.

Most commercial solar cells have traditionally been made with silicon as the active ingredient, and this has gotten the tech into widespread use. But unfortunately, these solar cells are starting to bump up against the physical limits of silicon’s efficiency, so there isn’t much more room left for improvement without radically changing the recipe.

Enter perovskite. This crystalline material has quickly shot up the ranks from under 4% efficiency in 2009 to over 25% by 2021 to rival silicon, and it’s not done yet. When the two materials are forced to work together, they achieve even better results, with efficiencies recently reaching well over 30%.

And now, a new record has been set. Engineers at the KAUST Solar Center have developed a silicon/perovskite tandem solar cell with an efficiency of 33.2%, under regular one-Sun illumination, which is the highest efficiency of any kind of two-junction solar cell. The record has been independently certified by the European Solar Test Installation and added to the Best Research-cell Efficiency Chart managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

This marks a 0.7% increase over the previous record-holder: a cell with 32.5% efficiency developed by a team at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin and announced last December. These broken records are coming thick and fast lately – just two years earlier efficiency was yet to crack the 30% barrier.

The KAUST team hasn’t elaborated on exactly what improvements were made to the solar cell to claim the new record. But this kind of incremental advance usually comes from minor tweaks to materials, manufacturing methods, structures and design.

That work is set to continue, as the researchers focus on scaling the cells to industrial sizes of over 240 cm2 (37 sq in).

Source: KAUST
https://newatlas.com/energy/kaust-tande ... ld-record/
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Solar dish reactor produces hydrogen and captures waste products
Michael Irving, April 17, 2023

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The parabolic dish that plays a key role in the new solar hydrogen reactor from EPFL-LRESE EPFL

Engineers at EPFL have built and tested a solar reactor that can generate hydrogen gas from sunlight and water. The system is not only highly efficient at producing hydrogen, it also captures the “waste” products of oxygen and heat to put them to use too.

Hydrogen is set to be a key player in renewable energy, and one of the most effective ways of producing it is by splitting water into its constituent molecules. When done using solar energy, this process is called artificial photosynthesis, and that’s the process this new reactor is tapping into.

The EPFL reactor looks like a satellite dish, and it works on a similar principle – the large curved surface area collects as much light as possible and concentrates it onto the small device suspended in the middle. In this case, the dish is collecting the heat from the Sun and focusing it by around 800 times onto a photoelectrochemical reactor. Water is pumped into this reactor, where the solar energy is used to split its molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.

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The reactor at the heart of the new EPFL solar-to-hydrogen system - LRESE EPFL

The reactor also captures two waste products of the process that are usually just released – oxygen and heat. The oxygen could be handy for hospitals or industrial use, while the heat is passed through a heat exchanger and could be used to heat water or a building’s interior.

The reactor was tested on the EPFL campus over 13 days, in August 2020 and February and March 2021, to get a sense of how it worked in different weather conditions. Its solar-to-hydrogen efficiency was found to be over 20% on average, producing around 500 g (1.1 lb) of hydrogen per day. The team says that with this output, over a year the system could power 1.5 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles driving the average distance, or provide about half of the electricity demands of a four-person household.

“With an output power of over 2 kilowatts, we’ve cracked the 1-kilowatt ceiling for our pilot reactor while maintaining record-high efficiency for this large scale,” said Sophia Haussener, corresponding author of the study. “The hydrogen production rate achieved in this work represents a really encouraging step towards the commercial realization of this technology.”

The next step, the researchers say, is to build a demonstration plant of a few hundred kilowatts at a metal production facility, where the hydrogen will be used for metal annealing, the heat for hot water, and the oxygen collected for nearby hospitals.

The research was published in the journal Nature Energy
Source: EPFL

https://newatlas.com/energy/artificial- ... -hydrogen/
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Del artículo de la EPFL:
With their artificial photosynthesis system well on its way to scale-up, Haussener is already exploring new technological avenues. In particular, the lab is working on a large-scale solar-powered system that would split carbon dioxide instead of water, yielding useful materials like syngas for liquid fuel, or the green plastic precursor ethylene.
Vienen muchos cambios simultáneos en el tema.
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Water purification membrane generates electricity as it filters
Loz Blain, March 07, 2023

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A new advanced membrane can filter sewage or seawater into drinking water – and generate electricity in the process - KIST

In a highly unexpected approach to renewable energy, researchers in Korea have developed a low-cost, easily-manufactured advanced membrane that actually generates electricity as it turns wastewater, seawater or groundwater into drinking water.

A team from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and Myongji University, both located in Seoul, has published a new paper describing an "electricity generation and purification membrane for water recycling."

The team claims it can reject more than 95% of contaminants smaller than one hundred millionth of a meter in size, including heavy metal particles and the microplastics that are now found in distressing quantities in rainwater from Antarctica to the Tibetan Plateau, rendering it unsafe to drink. It seems to work regardless of the acidity of the water source as well, performing well across a pH range of 1-10.

Imagen

Left: a home-made experimental cell with a water feed pump. Right: side view of the cell, showing the sandwiched membrane in the middle - KIST

The membrane is a two-layer sandwich, the top layer being a conductive polymer, and the bottom being a porous filter. As contaminated water is poured onto the top layer, it moves laterally across the membrane, creating a cross-flow of ions that can be harvested as an electrical current using electrodes at either end of the membrane.

While the study claims the membrane showed "high energy generation performance" in experimental testing, the lab prototype is small and so are the corresponding power figures. The study abstract reports a maximum power level of just 16.44 microwatts, and a maximum of 15.16 millijoules of energy generated over an unspecified time period. And the power generation is continuous – just 10 microliters of water was enough to generate electricity for more than three hours.

The team is now working on follow-up research to scale up its work to factory-relevant size, a press release claiming that "since the membrane can be manufactured using a simple printing process without size restrictions, it has a high potential to be commercialized due to low manufacturing costs and processing time."

Imagen
Props must go to KIST's graphics team for this wild image- KIST

Lead author Ji-Soo Sang sees the material having potential as a next-generation renewable energy source. "As a novel technology that can solve water shortage problem and produce eco-friendly energy simultaneously," he says, "it also has great potential applications in the water quality management system and emergency power system."

The paper is published in the journal Advanced Materials (NB! Por subscripción).
Source: KIST

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Re: Notas de energías renovables

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Recuperación del 70 por ciento de litio (de baterías)
Erneuerbare Energien, 14/04/2023

Un proceso de reciclaje desarrollado en el Instituto de Tecnología de Karlsruhe combina procesos mecánicos y reacciones químicas para recuperar materias primas de las baterías. Según el comunicado de prensa, el método permite reciclar una amplia variedad de baterías de iones de litio de manera rentable, energéticamente eficiente y respetuosa con el medio ambiente. En particular, debería ser posible recuperar hasta el 70 por ciento del litio sin necesidad de productos químicos corrosivos, altas temperaturas o clasificación previa de los materiales. El nuevo método sirve no solo para baterías domésticas y de vehículos, sino también para portátiles, teléfonos inteligentes y otros dispositivos pequeños que con baterías de litio.

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EDITORIAL FEATURE
Iron-Air Batteries: A New Class of Energy Storage
Reginald Davey, Mar 27 2023 - Reviewed by Laura Thomson
Iron-air batteries are an innovative, exciting development in high-performance energy storage. This article will look at what this technology means for the battery industry and modern society, and the technological solutions provided by Form Energy.

Imagen
Image Credit: Krisana Antharith/Shutterstock.com

Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Green Technology Not Without its Limitations
The impact of modern industrialized society on the environment has become a crucial issue in recent decades.

Fossil fuel exploitation and use in energy generation and heavy industry lead to greenhouse gas emissions, a primary driver of climate change and rising global temperatures.

Renewable energy generation technologies, such as photovoltaic solar cells and wind turbines, electric vehicles, hydrogen-based technologies, and energy storage devices, have all received intense research focus.

Technological developments have accelerated the move toward a post-carbon economy over the past decades.

The rapid electrification of the global electric system, heavy industry, and transportation requires high-performance, reliable, safe, and durable green energy storage technologies. Lithium-ion battery technology has emerged as a forerunner in energy storage.

Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable, possess high energy efficiency, long life spans, charge faster than conventional rechargeable batteries, have a high energy density, have high charge-discharge cycles, and are small and light.

While lithium-ion batteries have distinct advantages, they also have several critical drawbacks. They are expensive to manufacture, have safety hazards, such as susceptibility to heat, which can cause them to catch fire, and are susceptible to aging effects and deep charge phenomena.

Sustainability and environmental issues are also associated with this battery technology's manufacture. Lithium-ion batteries use rare metals such as nickel and cobalt, and mining critical metals like lithium is a key environmental problem. Growing demand for batteries has increased the cost of rare metals.

Entering the Energy Storage Industry’s “Iron Age”
Lithium-ion batteries are used in many consumer goods, from electric vehicles to smartphones. However, this battery technology is insufficient for the global electric system, where output is measured in megawatts. The electrification of renewable energy grids requires new energy storage technology.

Developing new energy storage solutions based on different metals and materials is currently a critical focus in battery technology research.

One alternative technology, which has recently received much attention, is iron-air batteries. Iron-air batteries are not new, first developed in the 1960s by NASA.

This technology has the potential to overcome several key issues with lithium-based batteries. Iron is the fourth most abundant element on Earth, which overcomes a significant problem with using lithium: the element’s rarity. The use of iron curtails the extensive use of water in lithium mining and groundwater contamination.

Iron-air batteries can provide energy grids with reliable, safe, efficient, and longer-term energy storage capabilities than conventional technologies. This attractive technology has the potential to revolutionize grid-scale energy storage.

Form Energy’s Iron-Air Battery Solutions
Form Energy is a Massachusetts, US-based energy storage and battery technology company developing and providing innovative iron-air battery technologies which can help address the demands of the global electric system.

The company’s flagship commercial product is a washing machine-sized iron-air battery. Technology development is supported by $760 million of funding and the construction of a new manufacturing facility in West Virginia in the US. The company hopes that the first iron-air batteries will enter production in 2024.

The Technology
Each unit holds approximately 50 iron-air cells, surrounded by an electrolyte.

Key to their operation is the principle of “reverse rusting” wherein the cells “breathe” in air. In this process, iron is transformed into iron oxide, producing energy. The reaction can be reversed by applying a current and converting the iron oxide back into iron.

While lithium-ion batteries only provide about four hours of energy storage capacity, iron-air batteries could provide up to one hundred hours of storage, which is around four days. Therefore, iron-air batteries can act as a bridging technology during energy gaps, such as cloudy days, which would otherwise limit solar power plants.

Iron-air batteries do have one disadvantage compared to lithium-ion batteries, however. They are big and recharge slowly. Form Energy envisions that the technology will be used in blocks, providing the capability to handle long load times, with lithium-ion batteries handling spikes in demand.

Form Energy’s battery technology uses safe, abundant, and sustainable materials: iron, water, and air. The optimized energy storage solutions provided by Form Energy have the potential to be cost-effective and cost-competitive with legacy power plants, making cheap, renewable energy available for use year-round.

FormwareTM
Form Energy also provides a grid toolkit, FormwareTM, to provide grid planners with the capability to identify investments that will maintain long-term renewable grid energy reliability.

Partnering with leading academic institutions, the company has developed a highly capable, next-generation, and technology-neutral toolkit.

What Does This Mean For the Future of the Industry?
The energy industry is undergoing a revolution currently, with legacy fossil fuel power stations being phased out in favor of cheap, clean, and renewable energy. However, renewables are extremely vulnerable to daily and seasonal fluctuations in power generation capabilities.

For renewable energy to be viable, it must meet the power generation capabilities of current fossil fuel technologies.

It must also be cost-competitive with coal, natural gas, and oil. A key roadblock is long-term and reliable energy storage, which cannot be adequately satisfied by current battery technology.

Form Energy’s next-generation iron-air battery technology could help to revolutionize energy storage for the global electric system. The company predicts tens of gigawatts of demand will be unlocked for multi-day storage over the next decade. This will help the US achieve its net zero commitments.

With this technology, Form Energy could help the US economy (and possibly the world economy) accelerate toward a resilient, reliable full decarbonized energy grid. With full deployment, billions of dollars in savings could be realized for American energy consumers.

References and Further Reading
https://formenergy.com/

Orf, D (2023) Iron-Air Batteries Are Here. They May Alter the Future of Energy

Bonheur, K (2019) Lithium-ion Battery: Advantages and Disadvantages

Wagner, O.C (1968) Secondary Iron-air Batteries

https://www.azocleantech.com/article.as ... cleID=1673
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A massive geothermal apartment complex is going up in Brooklyn, the first of its kind
Diana Olick, 26/04/2023

Imagen
Largest geothermal energy complex in the U.S. is under construction in Brooklyn

On the edge of the East River in Brooklyn, the cranes haven’t arrived at the construction site yet. Instead, massive drills are scattered across the full city block, drilling 320 boreholes nearly 500 feet into the ground. When construction is completed in 2025, the site will house the largest residential apartment complex in the U.S. to be heated by geothermal energy.

Geothermal heating and cooling has been around for a while, but is generally used just on single houses or small buildings. Often, the geothermal system is not at the same location as the building. But Lendlease, an Australia-based developer, is now trying geothermal on a massive scale in Brooklyn in a test that could end up being a blueprint for net zero living.

“We will be using it for everything from a swimming pool that will be heated through geothermal. We will be using it for all the domestic hot water in the building and also for heating and cooling, which will be heat pumps in every apartment,” explained Scott Walsh, director of development for Lendlease.

Here’s how it works: Water below the frost line is at a constant temperature. By drilling down to it and creating a loop system of pipes, the water is brought up through heat exchanges, which can heat or cool the building all year long.

“It’s approximately 55 degrees once you get below the frost line, and we are using that constant to cool in the summer and to be warmer in the winter,” explained Walsh. “Akin to your heart and the arteries and the veins in your body.”

The project at 1 Java Street will have 834 rental units across 5 buildings, including a 37-story and a 20-story tower. Using geothermal will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 53%, but it will cost about 6% more to build. Over a 20-year span, Walsh said, Lendlease will more than make that back.

“So as a long-term owner of an apartment building, we view this as in addition to its sustainability a financially sustainable practice,” he added.

This kind of innovation is rapidly becoming necessary because New York has new emissions sustainability standards for large buildings going into effect next year that require emissions reductions of 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. Retrofitting older buildings to comply will be incredibly costly. This complex will be entirely net zero when it opens.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/26/a-massi ... oklyn.html
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This geothermal startup showed its wells can be used like a giant underground battery
James Temple, March 7, 2023

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Fervo’s enhanced geothermal demonstration site in northern Nevada. / ALASTAIR WIPER/COURTESY OF FERVO ENERGY

In late January, a geothermal power startup began conducting an experiment deep below the desert floor of northern Nevada. It pumped water thousands of feet underground and then held it there, watching for what would happen.

Geothermal power plants work by circulating water through hot rock deep beneath the surface. In most modern plants, it resurfaces at a well head, where it’s hot enough to convert refrigerants or other fluids into vapor that cranks a turbine, generating electricity.

But Houston-based Fervo Energy is testing out a new spin on the standard approach—and on that day, its engineers and executives were simply interested in generating data.

The readings from gauges planted throughout the company’s twin wells showed that pressure quickly began to build, as water that had nowhere else to go actually flexed the rock itself. When they finally released the valve, the output of water surged and it continued pumping out at higher-than-normal levels for hours.

The results from the initial experiments—which MIT Technology Review is reporting exclusively—suggest Fervo can create flexible geothermal power plants, capable of ramping electricity output up or down as needed. Potentially more important, the system can store up energy for hours or even days and deliver it back over similar periods, effectively acting as a giant and very long-lasting battery. That means the plants could shut down production when solar and wind farms are cranking, and provide a rich stream of clean electricity when those sources flag.

There are remaining questions about how well, affordably, and safely this will work on larger scales. But if Fervo can build commercial plants with this added functionality, it will fill a critical gap in today’s grids, making it cheaper and easier to eliminate greenhouse-gas emissions from electricity systems.

“We know that just generating and selling traditional geothermal is incredibly valuable to the grid,” says Tim Latimer, chief executive and cofounder of Fervo. “But as time goes on, our ability to be responsive, and ramp up and down and do energy storage, is going to increase in value even more.”

‘Geothermal highway’
In early February, Latimer drove a Fervo colleague and me from the Reno airport to the company site.

“Welcome to Geothermal Highway,” he said from behind the wheel of a company pickup, as we passed the first of several geothermal plants along Interstate 80.

The highway cuts through a flat desert in the midst of Nevada’s Basin and Range, the series of parallel valleys and mountain ranges formed by separating tectonic plates.

The crust stretched, thinned, and broke into blocks that tilted, forming mountains on the high side while filling in and flattening the basins with sediments and water, as John McPhee memorably described it in his 1981 book, Basin and Range. From a geothermal perspective, what matters is that all this stretching and tilting brought hot rocks relatively close to the surface.

There’s much to love about geothermal energy: it offers a virtually limitless, always-on source of emissions-free heat and electricity. If the US could capture just 2% of the thermal energy available two to six miles beneath its surface, it could produce more than 2,000 times the nation’s total annual energy consumption.

But because of geological constraints, high capital costs and other challenges, we barely use it at all: today it accounts for 0.4% of US electricity generation.

To date, developers of geothermal power plants have largely been able to tap only the most promising and economical locations, like this stretch of Nevada. They’ve needed to be able to drill down to porous, permeable, hot rock at relatively low depths. The permeability of the rock is essential for enabling water to move between two human-drilled wells in such a system, but it’s also the feature that’s often missing in otherwise favorable areas.

Starting in the early 1970s, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory began to demonstrate that we could engineer our way around that limitation. They found that by using hydraulic fracturing techniques similar to those now employed in the oil and gas industry, they could create or widen cracks within relatively solid and very hot rock. Then they could add in water, essentially engineering radiators deep underground.

Such an “enhanced” geothermal system then basically works like any other, but it opens the possibility of building power plants in places where the rock isn’t already permeable enough to allow hot water to circulate easily. Researchers in the field have argued for decades that if we drive down the cost of such techniques, it will unlock vast new stretches of the planet for geothermal development.

A noted MIT study in 2006 estimated that with a $1 billion investment over 15 years, enhanced geothermal plants could produce 100 gigawatts of new capacity on the grid by 2050, putting it into the same league as more popular renewable sources. (By comparison, about 135 gigawatts of solar capacity and 140 gigawatts of wind have been installed across the US.)

“If we can figure out how to extract the heat from the earth in places where there’s no natural circulating geothermal system already, then we have access to a really enormous resource,” says Susan Petty, a contributor to that report and founder of Seattle-based AltaRock Energy, an early enhanced-geothermal startup.

The US didn’t make that full investment over the time period called for in the report. But it has been making enhanced geothermal a growing priority in recent years.

The first major federal efforts began around 2015, when the Department of Energy announced plans for the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy laboratory. Drilling at the selected Utah FORGE site, near Milford, finally commenced in 2016. The research lab has received some $220 million in federal funds to date. More recently, the DOE has announced plans to invest tens of millions of dollars more in the field through its Enhanced Geothermal Shot initiative.

But there are still only a handful of enhanced geothermal systems operating commercially in the US today.

Fervo’s bet
Latimer read that MIT paper while working in Texas as a drilling engineer for BHP, a metal, oil, and gas mining company, at a point when he was becoming increasingly concerned about climate change. From his own work, he was convinced that the natural-gas fracking industry had already solved some of the technical and economic challenges highlighted in the report.

Latimer eventually quit his job and went to Stanford Business School, with the goal of creating a geothermal startup. He soon met Jack Norbeck, who was finishing his doctoral dissertation there. It included a chapter focused on applied modeling of the Los Alamos findings.

The pair cofounded Fervo in 2017. The company has since raised nearly $180 million in venture capital from Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, DCVC, Capricorn Investment Group, and others. It’s also announced several commercial power purchase agreements for future enhanced-geothermal projects, including a five-megawatt plant at the Nevada site that will help power Google’s operations in the state.

Under those deals, Fervo is contracted to provide a steady flow of carbon-free electricity, not the flexible features it’s exploring. But almost from the start, utilities and other potential customers told the company that they needed to line up clean sources that could ramp generation up and down, to comply with increasingly strict climate regulations and balance out the rising share of variable wind and solar output on the grid.

“If we can come up with a way to solve this,” Norbeck says he and Latimer realized, “we might really have a way to change the world.”

Fervo began to explore whether they could do so by taking advantage of another feature of enhanced geothermal systems, which the Los Alamos researchers had also highlighted in later experiments.

Creating fractures in rocks with low permeability means that the water in the system can’t easily leak out into other areas. Consequently, if you close off the well system and keep pumping in water, you can build up mechanical pressure within the system, as the fractured rock sections push against the earth.

“The fractures are able to dilate and change shape, almost like balloons,” Norbeck says.

That pressure can then be put to use. In a series of modeling experiments, Fervo found that once the valve was opened again, those balloons effectively deflated, the flow of water increased, and electricity generation surged. If they “charged it” for days, by adding water but not letting it out, it could then generate electricity for days.

But the company still needed to see if it could work in the real world.

The tests
After crossing in Humboldt County, Nevada, Latimer eventually steered onto a dirt road. The Fervo site announced itself with a white drilling rig in the distance, soaring 150 feet above a stretch of brown desert. The geology under this particular stretch of land includes hot rocks at shallow depths, but not the permeability needed for traditional plants.

In 2022, the company drilled twin boreholes there, using a nearly 10-inch fixed-cutter drill bit to slowly grind through mixed metasedimentary and granite formations. The wells gradually bend beneath the earth, ultimately plunging some 8,000 feet deep and running around 4,000 feet horizontally.

Fervo then injected cold water under high pressure to create hundreds of vertical fractures between them, effectively forming a giant underground radiator amid rock that reaches nearly 380 ˚F (193 ˚C).

Imagen
Tim Latimer (right), CEO of Fervo, and Eric Eddy (left), drilling engineer, at the site in northern Nevada. FERVO ENERGY

Around 8 a.m. on January 28, the company shut off the valve on what’s known as the production well, where the water would normally surface, starting the first tests of what it calls Fervo Flex. The pressure shot up to several hundred pounds per square inch and kept building gradually over the next 10 hours or so.

Norbeck was standing near that well when they opened it back up around 7 p.m., his eye trained on the bubble gauge of a big yellow weir box, a simple, time-tested tool for measuring flow rates. The hot water produced a flash of steam as it hit the open air, and the readings peaked.

Fervo's employees continued the tests for days, shutting the well down for eight to 10 hours and opening it back up for 14 or more, operating it as they would on a grid with plentiful daytime solar power. On the morning of our visit, the company was several days into an effort to operate the system without pumping in more water, to understand how long it could last as a form of energy storage.

Fervo may be the first company to field-test this means of combining storage and flexibility at an enhanced-geothermal site. The US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E division provided $4.5 million in funding for the experiments.

Inside the site’s safety trailer, Latimer opened a laptop and began clicking through a presentation. A set of charts displayed a series of smooth curves and spikes as pressure built and production soared in each of the tests. Then he clicked to a page that showed the earlier results from the models, which more or less mirrored the results.

“It works, is the punchline,” Latimer said. “What we modeled is exactly what happened.”

Value to the grid
The core challenge in creating a carbon-free power sector is that the amount of electricity generated from wind and solar farms fluctuates dramatically through the day and year.

This will create increasingly significant challenges as renewables come to dominate electricity grids. Studies find that total system costs begin to rise sharply as renewables exceed about 80% of generation—unless there are major sources of carbon-free electricity that can work on demand, cheaper forms of long-duration energy storage, or other technical solutions.

That’s because there can be extended periods of the year when solar, wind, and other fluctuating sources don’t provide enough energy to keep things running through the night or day. Regional grids relying almost entirely on those resources would often have to add massive banks of expensive and relatively short-lived batteries as well as more renewables plants to charge them, just to keep the lights on through those stretches.

A geothermal power plant that can dial electricity up and down, and fill in for waning renewables for hours to days, promises to address those challenges, providing a highly valuable resource for grids that are growing increasingly green.

“The technology innovations that we’re demonstrating … would easily enable geothermal to fill that 20% role,” Latimer says.

Last year researchers at Princeton, working with Fervo, ran a series of simulations of carbon-free electricity grids across the western US in 2045, exploring what sets of technologies would be most attractive for the lowest-cost versions of such systems.

Adding Fervo’s flexibility features made geothermal a much more appealing option. Today there’s only about four gigawatts of geothermal energy in the US. But for future scenarios, the model added between 25 and 74 gigawatts of flexible geothermal capacity to its carbon-free grids, compared to only up to 28 gigawatts when geothermal plants couldn't operate in that way. The added capability of those facilities also drove down total grid system costs by as much as 10%.

“If we can make it work … it could be a very large deal,” says Wilson Ricks, a Princeton energy systems researcher and the lead author of the working paper.

These features should also increase the economic value and profits of the geothermal plants themselves, potentially making them easier to finance.

Other companies long ago figured out ways of cranking down the output of geothermal plants. But it often doesn’t make much financial sense to do so — you’re just shutting down the plant and not getting paid.

In Fervo’s case, though, these facilities could throttle down during periods when ample solar or wind is depressing the wholesale price of electricity, and crank out more than usual when those sources decline and prices rise, Latimer says.

Open questions
Fervo still faces some real challenges, however.

While all of this looks great in models and now in field tests, making the numbers work for commercial plants might require significant changes in electricity market rules and power purchase agreements. The structures in place today still largely reward operators for cranking at max capacity at all times.

The company will also need to do much more work to demonstrate that these storage and ramping capabilities can work continuously within large-scale commercial plants operating in a variety of regions and geologies.

Meanwhile, some important questions remain about enhanced geothermal as a basic concept, leaving aside the added features Fervo is exploring.

The field suffered a serious blow in 2009, when an early commercial effort in Basel, Switzerland, appeared to trigger a series of small earthquakes, including a magnitude 3.4 event, which reportedly caused several million dollars in damages.

There have been significant advances since in site selection, well design, and other practices that minimize the possibility of inducing sizable seismic events, says Joseph Moore, the managing principal investigator at Utah FORGE. The additional storage and flexibility features Fervo is exploring shouldn’t introduce any additional dangers of this sort, he adds.

But induced seismicity remains an issue that must be handled carefully and monitored for continually, and it does create concerns for communities considering such projects.

In addition, there simply haven’t been many enhanced geothermal systems built or run over extended periods. It may still prove difficult or expensive to reliably create enough fractures and pathways to ensure the necessary flow rates in certain cases and places, says Travis McLing, the geothermal program lead at the Idaho National Laboratory.

In addition, the systems could lose permeability over time as biofilms emerge in the wells, minerals form in the fractures, and other changes occur. That could reduce the output and undermine the economics, McLing says. “Reservoir sustainability is my biggest concern,” he wrote in an email.

‘Core fundamentals’
Latimer also stresses that the geothermal field has made significant improvements in understanding seismic risks and developing practices that minimize the odds of inducing significant earthquakes.

That includes drilling horizontally through multiple geological zones to average pressure shifts across broader areas, as Fervo has done in Nevada. The company has also partnered with the US Geological Survey to closely monitor seismicity on the site and evaluate other techniques developed to further reduce such risks.

Fervo’s commercial plan is still primarily focused on producing a steady flow of clean electricity. The Nevada plant is set to begin delivering precisely that to Google and other customers later this year.

But Latimer and Norbeck believe that the flexibility and storage features will be an economic bonus on top of the core advantages of enhanced geothermal systems, and that the initial field results show it’s well worth continuing to explore the potential.

“It gave us confidence that the core fundamentals are there,” Norbeck says. “Now it comes down to optimization, cost reductions, and things like that. But the physics are all validated, and the concept can work.”

https://www.technologyreview.com/2023/0 ... d-battery/
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Re: Notas de energías renovables

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Fraunhofer IPA desarrolla proceso de desmontaje para baterías de autos eléctricos
12/05/2023

Imagen
Una de las herramientas de desarrollo propio: una vez que se han retirado todas las piezas individuales desde el exterior, un robot separa la carcasa superior del paquete de baterías de la carcasa inferior. - © Fraunhofer API

Los socios del proyecto Demobat no solo han desarrollado un sistema flexible para separar los componentes individuales de la batería, sino también una forma de recuperar las materias primas que contienen de la Masa Negra (*).

Investigadores del Instituto Fraunhofer de Ingeniería de Fabricación y Automatización (IPA) han desarrollado una solución para desmontar las baterías usadas de los coches eléctricos. Esto significa que existe la posibilidad de que en el futuro se recuperen las valiosas materias primas de las instalaciones de almacenamiento. “Porque un factor decisivo para poder sobrevivir frente a la competencia es la disponibilidad y el costo de las materias primas necesarias para las baterías y los motores eléctricos”, dice Alexander Sauer, responsable de Fraunhofer IPA y del proyecto, con vistas a la competencia. el mercado de los coches eléctricos. "Es aún más importante no triturar simplemente las baterías viejas que aún contienen materias primas valiosas, como ha sido la norma hasta ahora".

Separar por elemento
Sin embargo, el requisito previo básico para poder reutilizar los componentes de la batería es que los componentes de una batería se puedan desmontar según los elementos. Esto es exactamente en lo que doce socios de investigación han estado trabajando desde finales de 2019 en el proyecto "Desmantelamiento industrial de baterías y motores eléctricos (Demobat)" y han encontrado una solución.

Crean sus propias herramientas
Antes del desmontaje real, las baterías deben probarse para determinar la capacidad restante y los signos de envejecimiento. Aquí también se incluye un análisis de temperatura. A esto le sigue una prueba de cómo se pueden abrir las baterías y quitar los componentes. Para este propósito, se creó un robot de prueba en Demobat. Además, se desarrollaron las herramientas necesarias que pueden, por ejemplo, agarrar objetos y aflojar tornillos o conexiones. Esto, a su vez, requiere un potente procesamiento de imágenes, capaz de reconocer una gran cantidad de tornillos, cables y otros componentes. Además, los componentes no siempre son fácilmente reconocibles, por ejemplo, debido a los efectos del envejecimiento.

Se probaron 25 diferentes técnicas
Con este fin, los investigadores diseñaron y probaron 25 técnicas diferentes en el proyecto, ocho de las cuales se armaron completas como robots de demostración y prueba. Éstos se pueden utilizar para una operación industrial continua. Además, los socios del proyecto han desarrollado un sistema flexible con el que se puede desmontar una batería hasta el nivel de la celda sin destruirla. Una parte importante del sistema de desmontaje flexible es el concepto de seguridad, en el que la temperatura se emplea como un indicador de reacción en cadena, en caso de que se incendie una batería.

Se desarrolla una cadena de valor
Otro objetivo del proyecto era establecer una cadena de valor eficiente. En este caso, los componentes del paquete de baterías deben separarse mecánicamente y para regresar a la producción. Los investigadores recurrieron al reciclaje a base de agua, que es una forma novedosa de recuperación directa de materia negra. Se usó un chorro de agua a alta presión para separar el revestimiento del electrodo de las láminas portadoras después de que las baterías se separaron mecánicamente. De esta manera, se puede reciclar materiales con baja huella de carbono, lo que reduce significativamente los gases de efecto invernadero durante la producción.

Desmontar motores eléctricos automáticamente
Además, los investigadores han desarrollado una forma de desmontar automáticamente motores eléctricos y otros componentes de operación. Los robots industriales también podrán hacerlo en el futuro. Los socios del proyecto han construido herramientas especializadas para este propósito. Aquí también se utilizan sistemas de procesamiento de imágenes de apoyo, que reconocen tornillos y componentes y ahorran el entrenamiento manual de los robots para cada paso individual del proceso. Para evitar que el robot choque con los componentes, se realiza un control del éxito mediante sensores y sistemas de cámaras 3D después de cada paso de desmontaje. La transmisión posterior de la señal al control central del proceso garantiza un flujo de proceso seguro.

https://www.erneuerbareenergien.de/tran ... us-e-autos

(*) Masa negra es el término industrial utilizado para describir el material que queda una vez que las baterías de iones de litio caducadas se trituran y se retiran todas las carcasas. Este material contiene elementos de alto valor, incluidos litio, níquel, cobalto, manganeso, cobre y grafito, que una vez recuperados, pueden reciclarse para producir nuevas baterías de litio.
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CIC energiGUNE consigue instalar un prototipo de batería orgánica de flujo redox
Viernes, 19 de mayo de 2023

El centro de investigación vasco referente en almacenamiento ha demostrado la viabilidad técnica de su propuesta, avalada por la fabricación e instalación de un prototipo de batería orgánica de flujo redox. De hecho, la instalación del prototipo de batería redox se llevó a cabo el pasado mes de marzo en la sede de Siemens Gamesa en Zaragoza, de cara a su puesta en funcionamiento a la finalización del proyecto europeo Higreew este mes de mayo. Este tipo de baterías de flujo redox se postulan como una alternativa factible ya que, al contrario que las baterías de vanadio, se basan en elementos abundantes y de fácil acceso y, además, con bajo impacto ambiental.

CIC energiGUNE, centro de investigación vasco referente en almacenamiento de energía electroquímica, almacenamiento y conversión de energía térmica y tecnologías del hidrógeno, ha celebrado el segundo y último seminario del proyecto europeo Higreew, liderado por el centro vasco y que, tras tres años de investigación, ha demostrado la viabilidad técnica de su propuesta, avalada por la fabricación e instalación de un prototipo de batería orgánica de flujo redox. Más de 70 participantes, de 10 países diferentes de la UE, han tomado parte en este encuentro, en el que se ha analizado también el futuro de las baterías de flujo Redox durante los días 16 y 17 de mayo en Vitoria-Gasteiz.

"En los tres años de desarrollo del proyecto, el consorcio Higreew ha conseguido llevar el concepto de materiales activos orgánicos del laboratorio al prototipo de batería y, por lo tanto, estamos un paso más cerca de llevar la tecnología al mercado", ha asegurado Raquel Ferret, directora de Desarrollo de Negocio de CIC energiGUNE. De hecho, la instalación del prototipo de batería redox se llevó a cabo el pasado mes de marzo en la sede de Siemens Gamesa en Zaragoza, de cara a su puesta en funcionamiento a la finalización del proyecto Higreew este mes de mayo.

En este contexto, y bajo el título ´Baterías de flujo, acercando la tecnología al mercado´, el seminario mostró casos de uso de las baterías redox de la mano de los actores industriales más relevantes en el ámbito del almacenamiento de energía estacionaria, así como de desarrolladores de materiales y baterías. Asimismo, permitió acceder a las nuevas tendencias de mercado, junto a una visión científica de los componentes clave de las baterías, e incluso se perfilaron ideas, desde el punto de vista político, sobre la nueva regulación de las baterías. Además, la reunión sirvió para definir el camino a seguir con respecto a las necesidades y tendencias de la industria, así como sobre la potencial contribución de la tecnología de flujo redox a la descarbonización de la economía, gracias a su capacidad para facilitar el almacenamiento de energía renovable.

Objetivos de Higreew
Este proyecto europeo tiene como objetivo el desarrollo de un nuevo electrolito orgánico de base acuosa y de bajo coste para obtener baterías más sostenibles, competitivas, asequibles y de mayores prestaciones que permitan sustituir materiales como el vanadio -el más utilizado en la actualidad-, un material tóxico y difícil de obtener en Europa. En este sentido, este tipo de baterías de flujo redox se postulan como una alternativa factible ya que, al contrario que las baterías de vanadio, se basan en elementos abundantes y de fácil acceso y, además, con bajo impacto ambiental, según informa el propio CIC energiGUNE en un comunicado. Destacan los hitos alcanzados durante el proyecto en desarrollo de materiales, como los nuevos compuestos orgánicos que permiten baterías de alto voltaje 1.3-1.5V, y membranas más selectivas, que destacan por procesados de bajo coste, lo cual se traduce en incrementos de potencia superiores al 10% y sistemas de mayor durabilidad y menor coste.

Gracias al desarrollo de diferentes generaciones de materiales, se ha conseguido integrar las primeras generaciones de éstos en un prototipo de 5 kilovatios (kW), mientras se sigue trabajando en el procesado y escalado de las últimas generaciones de materiales. En lo que respecta al diseño, destaca la creación de nuevos diseños de celdas y stacks, y, sobre todo, la construcción de un prototipo completamente funcional basado en una química alternativa. Este prototipo cuenta con un control de sistema adaptado a los nuevos electrolitos que permitirá un incremento en la eficiencia de operación de la batería, tal y como se está testeando actualmente en un entorno real.

Como resultado adicional del proyecto, CIC energiGUNE ha empezado el desarrollo de una nueva generación de electrolitos basados puramente en materiales orgánicos, lo que permitirá competir en prestaciones con el electrolito de vanadio (>1.25V) a la par que disminuir los costes de electrolito (<50€/kWh), que actualmente representa el principal coste en estos sistemas (>150€/kWh).

El consorcio Higreew, liderado por CIC energiGUNE, está formado por 10 entidades referentes en materiales, sistemas de almacenamiento y energías renovables: Gamesa Electric, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, C-Tech Innovation Ltd, University of West Bohemia New Technologies – Research Centre, Pinflow Energy Storage, Uniresearch, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Innovation and Technology y Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology.

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Harnessing the Power of Photosynthesis to Produce Multicarbon Fuels
May 19 2023, Reviewed by Skyla Baily

Scientists have developed a solar-powered technology that transforms carbon dioxide and water into liquid fuels that can be immediately added to the engine of a car as a drop-in fuel.

Imagen
A photoreactor with an artificial leaf working under solar irradiation. Image Credit: Motiar Rahaman

The University of Cambridge researchers used photosynthesis to transform CO2, water, and sunlight into multicarbon fuels, ethanol, and propanol, in a single process. These fuels have a high energy density and are simple to store and transfer.

Unlike fossil fuels, these solar fuels emit no carbon and are totally renewable; also, unlike most bioethanol, they do not divert agricultural land from food production.

While the technology is still in the lab, the researchers believe their “artificial leaves” are a vital step toward moving away from a fossil-fuel-based economy. The findings were published in the journal Nature Energy.

Because it is derived from plants rather than fossil fuels, bioethanol is promoted as a cleaner alternative to petrol. The majority of cars and trucks on the road now run on petrol containing up to 10% ethanol (E10 fuel).

The United States is the world’s biggest bioethanol producer: over 45% of all corn farmed in the United States is utilized for ethanol production, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Biofuels like ethanol are a controversial technology, not least because they take up agricultural land that could be used to grow food instead.
Erwin Reisner, Professor, Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge
Erwin Reisner headed the study.
For several years, Reisner’s research team at the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry has been employing artificial leaves to generate sustainable, zero-carbon fuels inspired by photosynthesis (the process by which plants convert sunlight into food).

Until recently, these artificial leaves have only been capable of producing simple chemicals like syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide used to produce fuels, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and fertilizers. However, for the technique to be more practical, it must be capable of producing more complicated molecules directly in a single solar-powered step.

The artificial leaf can now effectively produce pure ethanol and propanol without the need for a syngas production step.

The scientists created a copper and palladium-based catalyst. The catalyst was modified such that the artificial leaf could make more complex chemicals, namely the multicarbon alcohols ethanol and n-propanol. Both alcohols have a high energy density and are easily transported and stored.

Other researchers have been able to create comparable chemicals using electrical power, but this is the first time such complex chemicals have been created with an artificial leaf using energy from the sun.
Shining sunlight on the artificial leaves and getting liquid fuel from carbon dioxide and water is an amazing bit of chemistry. Normally, when you try to convert CO2 into another chemical product using an artificial leaf device, you almost always get carbon monoxide or syngas, but here, we’ve been able to produce a practical liquid fuel just using the power of the Sun. It’s an exciting advance that opens up whole new avenues in our work.
Dr. Motiar Rahaman, Study First Author, University of Cambridge
At the moment, the device is merely a proof of concept, with only minimal efficiency. The researchers are attempting to improve the light absorbers’ ability to absorb sunlight, as well as the catalyst’s ability to turn more sunlight into fuel. Additional research will also be necessary to scale the device so that it can create significant amounts of fuel.
Even though there’s still work to be done, we’ve shown what these artificial leaves are capable of doing. It’s important to show that we can go beyond the simplest molecules and make things that are directly useful as we transition away from fossil fuels.
Dr. Motiar Rahaman, Study First Author, University of Cambridge
The study was funded in part by the European Commission Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship, the Cambridge Trust, and the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability. Erwin Reisner is a Fellow and Motiar Rahaman is a Research Associate of St John’s College, Cambridge.

Journal Reference
Rahaman, M., et al. (2023) Solar-driven liquid multi-carbon fuel production using a standalone perovskite–BiVO4 artificial leaf. Nature Energy. doi.org/10.1038/s41560-023-01262-3. (NB! Por subscripción)

Source: https://www.cam.ac.uk

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Mitad propaganda, pero interesante de todas maneras.

Brenmiller Inaugurates World’s First-Ever Gigafactory for Thermal Energy Storage
May 5 2023, Laura Thomson

Imagen
Left to Right: Dr. Ron Tomer, President of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, Avi Brenmiller, CEO and Chairman of Brenmiller Energy, Benny Biton, Mayor of Dimona, and Dr. Gideon Friedmann, Chief Scientist at the Israel Ministry of Energy inaugurate Brenmiller’s TES gigafactory in Israel (Photo: Business Wire)

The new facility will serve as Brenmiller’s primary manufacturing hub and its production lines are expected to reach full capacity by the end of 2023, producing up to 4 GWh of its patented bGen™ TES modules annually. To the Company’s knowledge, its factory in Dimona is the world’s first-ever TES gigafactory.

“We’re Israeli—we’re building technologies that can reach up to 1400°F in the middle of the desert—we know a thing or two about harnessing heat, and we’re ready to share that knowledge with the world,” said Avi Brenmiller, founder and CEO at Brenmiller Energy. “Unveiling our TES gigafactory marks a pivotal milestone in our Company’s history: what started as a family business has grown into a Company that can help the global economy’s efforts to decarbonize, and we believe our gigawatt-scale production capacity will allow us to meet growing demand for our solutions from industrial and utility customers.”

Financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) through a €7.5 million ($8.2 million) facility agreement with EIB, Brenmiller’s TES gigafactory is equipped with advanced machinery and features a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar system to help power its operations with renewable energy.

"The need for energy independence throughout the EU is indisputable," said Thomas Östros, the EIB Vice-President responsible for energy. "Renewables alone, however, will not solve our energy or climate crisis. Long-duration energy storage is critical to back up renewable intermittency, decarbonize our electric grids and industrial factories, and ensure a secure energy supply. We're pleased to have provided financing for Brenmiller's gigafactory, which will manufacture thermal energy storage technologies that help the EU overcome today's critical energy challenges."

“Dimona has a rich history of energy innovation and is proud to be home to Brenmiller’s new TES gigafactory. Brenmiller’s production facility will create well-paying jobs and attract competitive talent to the region,” said Benny Biton, Mayor of Dimona.

“Nearly half of all Israeli exports come from the high-tech sector,” said Dr. Ron Tomer, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel. “Brenmiller’s gigafactory will strengthen the impact that Israel’s manufacturing community can have on the global economy by producing truly innovative decarbonization technology.”

Brenmiller’s bGen TES system is an intelligent, scalable, and cost-effective solution that enables industrial- and utility-scale decarbonization by turning renewable electricity into clean steam, hot water, or hot air. This provides industrial factories and power plants critical reliability, protection from renewable intermittency and fluctuations in energy market prices, in addition to 24/7 access to electric heat.

Source: https://bren-energy.com/
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Hamburgo utilizará aguas residuales para generar calor
19/05/2023, Erneuerbare Energien

Imagen
Johnson Controls instalará cuatro grandes bombas de calor en la planta de tratamiento de aguas residuales de Hamburgo.

Johnson Controls instalará cuatro grandes bombas de calor en la planta de tratamiento de aguas residuales de Hamburgo. La instalación está programada para terminarse en 2025.

Hamburgo está en proceso de descarbonizar gradualmente su red de calefacción urbana. Un recurso son las grandes bombas de calor. Para aumentar la eficiencia de las instalaciones, se emplea el calor residual de aguas residuales que llegan a la planta de tratamiento central de Hamburgo en Dradenau. Ahí el proveedor de bombas de calor y consultor Johnson Controls construirá cuatro de estos sistemas para Hamburg Wasser y Hamburger Energiewerke. Los socios del proyecto acaban de firmar el contrato de construcción. Con la instalación, que aprovecha el exceso de electricidad verde, Hamburgo puede reducer en 66 000 toneladas anuales las emisiones de CO2 para proporcionar calefacción urbana.

Calefacción para 39.000 hogares
Como parte del contrato, Johnson Controls instalará cuatro grandes bombas de calor, cada una de 15 megavatios. La ingeniería de detalle está en marcha. Tras la puesta en marcha, que la ciudad planea para 2025, las bombas de calor proveeran calefacción sin combustibles fósiles a 39.000 viviendas, extrayendo el calor de las aguas residuales tratadas que salen diariamente de la planta de tratamiento, para alimentar la red central de calefacción urbana de Hamburger Energiewerke, parte de la red de calefacción Hafen Energiepark. “La electrificación de la calefacción y refrigeración es un paso esencial en la transición energética y en el logro de los objetivos de descarbonización del Acuerdo Climático de París”, dice Tomas Brannemo, responsable de negocios de Johnson Controls en Europa y otras regiones. “Las bombas de calor son fundamentales para desbloquear recursos de calefacción renovables subutilizados y allanar el camino hacia un sistema de energía sostenible más integrado”.

Utilizar fuentes de energía locales
Brannemo está seguro de que el proyecto elevará el listón de la calefacción ecológica para los servicios públicos europeos. "El proyecto de calor de aguas residuales de Hamburgo es un ejemplo de cómo la transición térmica puede tener éxito si utilizamos constantemente fuentes de energía locales y la última tecnología", añade Christian Heine, portavoz de la dirección de Hamburger Energiewerke. "Las aguas residuales son un recurso valioso para nosotros, que hemos estado utilizando durante mucho tiempo para generar energía respetuosa con el clima y cuyo potencial estamos explotando constantemente", afirma Ingo Hannemann, director técnico y portavoz de la dirección de Hamburg Wasser. “Las bombas de calor extraen el calor residual de las aguas residuales tratadas para alimentarlo a la red de calefacción urbana como calor útil. Nos complace hacer una contribución al Hafen Energy Park y, como socio de soluciones de la ciudad, poder iniciar un proyecto que suministre calor a Hamburgo a partir de fuentes renovables".

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New coating covers perovskite solar cells' last Achilles heel
Michael Irving, May 30, 2023

Imagen
A new coating helps protect perovskite from the elements, allowing it to keep its efficiency high for longer/Depositphotos

Perovskite is quickly gaining on silicon in the solar cell field, but it has one major drawback – durability. Now, a new treatment has been shown to keep perovskite solar cells working at 99% of their efficiency after 1,000 hours of use.

Silicon solar cells may have had a head start of several decades, but perovskite is rapidly closing the gap after only about 15 years. Not only is its efficiency approaching that of silicon, but it's also cheaper, lighter and more flexible.

But of course, there’s a catch – perovskites tend to break down when exposed to the elements, which isn’t ideal for devices designed to sit out in the Sun all day, every day, for decades. Scientists have experimented with strengthening them by adding bulky molecules, 2D additives, carbon nanodots made of hair, or quantum dots, among other things.

Now a team has used a new adhesive to protect perovskites. It’s called BondLynx, and it was originally produced by Canadian materials company XlynX for other purposes before being tested on solar cells.

The problem with perovskites begins when organic components in the material are activated by heat and light and can escape, weakening the perovskite and damaging other materials in the solar cell. BondLynx is a crosslinker that forms chemical covalent bonds with those organic components, preventing them from wiggling loose and reducing efficiency.

The team treated perovskite solar cells with BondLynx, and then exposed them to long-term heat and light to see how well they fared compared to solar cells that hadn’t been treated. The solar cells started with an efficiency of 24%, and retained almost 99% of this after 1,000 hours of continuous exposure to simulated sunlight. By comparison, untreated solar cells lost 35% of their original efficiency under the same conditions over the same time frame.

The solar cells were also exposed to a constant heat of 60 °C (140 °F) for 600 hours. The BondLynx-treated ones managed to hang onto almost 98% of their efficiency over that time, while the control group lost 27% of theirs.

Although the tests were only conducted for a matter of months, the fact that the treated cells barely lost any efficiency at all suggests they should be able to endure for far longer. Along with another recent coating was estimated to give perovskite solar cells a 30-year lifetime, this plucky new contender might have patched up its Achilles heel and soon challenge silicon for solar supremacy.

The research was published in the journal Joule. (NB! Por subscripción)

Source: XlynX
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