- Landfill. This is the most practiced method in the world. More often, landfills are old mining areas and abandoned quarries. It is considered to be the most cost effective way of disposing waste. The wastes are layered into thin spreads, compacted then covered with a layer of earth and more layers are added over time.
- Integrated disposal. Primarily used for municipal waste. The process involves the minimizing of the materials, separating and collecting, then reusing and recycling non organic segment. Organic materials are used for energy and fertilizer.
- Incineration. Sometimes referred to as ‘thermal treatment’, this method involves burning of the trash. This method is used to transform waste into gas, steam, heat and ash.
- Water decomposition. The process involves the removal of the organic materials and decomposes them at high temperature and pressure.
- Recycling. This means taking some of the waste materials and transforming them into new useful products.
- Plasma gasification. This consists of heating the disposed waste to over 10,000 degrees converting these wastes into
- Storage tank (may be a combination of existing heating systems)
- Expansion tank
- Solar station with pump
- Solar fluid
- Mounting hardware and
Solar PV cells are made up of layers of materials that are semi conductive just silicon. The moment light strikes the PV panels, the cells creates electric fields in all layers. The stronger the sun rays are the more electricity is generated. During cloudy days, lesser amount of electricity is produced. The following are advantages you get from Solar PV:
- Homeowners can reduce electric bills. Sunlight is always available and it is free. Once the initial installation is paid for, you can enjoy reduced electricity costs.
- Homeowners can get paid by generating more electricity than they used. In the U.S. and certain countries in Europe, government supports the Feed-In Tariff s. This is when users of renewable energy sources are paid whenever they generate electricity from sources like the wind power or solar panels.
- Renewable energy sources help save the environment. Electricity from sunlight supports green movement. It does not emit carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants.
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 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 andhas 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.
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.
Photo Credit: ell brown
Britain’s policies encouraging renewable-energy use will prevent the country from suffering an electricity crisis leading to blackouts toward the end of the decade, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.
The U.K. will build more than 30 gigawatts of power generation capacity by the end of 2016, two-thirds of it in solar, wind and biomass and the rest largely fired by natural gas, according to forecasts from the research company. That will help the nation cope with closing 19 gigawatts of fossil- fuel and nuclear power stations over this decade.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s government may avoid power shortages that blighted the U.K. during World War II and the 1970s, requiring industry to scale back operations and leaving millions of homes in the dark.
“The U.K. is embarking on an historic shift in its electricity supply, and commentators and critics have continually raised the specter of the lights going out once again,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive officer of New Energy Finance. “Our analysis shows that, barring unforeseen circumstances, it is not going to happen.”
U.K. utilities need to spend as much as 200 billion pounds ($320 billion) to replace aging power plants and upgrade the electricity grid by 2020, according to the regulator Ofgem. About a third of Britain’s fossil-fuel power stations are due to close in the next three years to meet European Union rules on emissions, including plants run by RWE AG (RWE), EON AG and SSE Plc.
Dash for Gas
RWE and Electricite de France SA are due to switch on new gas-fueled power stations this year, and in total 11 gigawatts of gas plants may be built through 2016, according to New Energy Finance. The research company predicts 2 gigawatts of biomass plants, about 11 gigawatts of wind and 8 gigawatts of solar power will be installed in the five years through 2016.
While the intermittent nature of wind and solar power means the new capacity won’t fully offset the smaller capacity of fossil-fuel and nuclear plants that are being retired, a decline in domestic usage and industrial output following the recession means U.K. power demand may not return to the peak levels of 2005 within the next two decades, New Energy Finance said.
Britain’s oldest reactor at Oldbury, southwest England, closes today. Other atomic plants may shut in the next decade as they reach the end of their working lives. Cameron on Feb. 17 signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, paving the way for the construction of a new generation of power stations in the U.K. The British premier took office saying he wanted his government to be the “greenest” ever.
EDF, in partnership with Centrica Plc (CNA), is among six utilities planning to build atomic stations in Britain. While EDF plans to have its first new plant up and running in 2018, that timeframe may slip, said Brian Potskowski, a power analyst at New Energy Finance.
“The long lead times for building new nuclear plants and uncertainty over how they will be subsidized means that the recent agreement between the U.K. and France on nuclear cooperation has little impact on whether the lights stay on in the 2015 to 2020 time-frame,” Potkowski said.
Morales, Alex & Airlie, Catherine (29 February, 2012) U.K. Renewables Push Will Prevent Power Crisis, New Energy Says. Retrieved from: https://tinyurl.com/86hwlew
ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2012) — The invention of a long-lasting incandescent light bulb in the 19th century spurred on the second wave of the industrial revolution, illuminating homes, extending leisure time and bringing us to the point today where many millions of people use a whole range of devices from mood lighting to audiovisual media centers, microwave ovens to fast-freeze ice makers, and allergy-reducing vacuum cleaners to high-speed broadband connected computers in their homes without a second thought.
However, the waves of the industrialization of the west have merely lapped at the shores of undeveloped regions and it is estimated that about a quarter of the world’s population, particularly those in rural parts of the developing world do not have access to electricity in their homes. Indeed, four-fifths of those without domestic electricity live in rural or on the urban margins. In sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion is even more startling where just 8% of the rural population has access to electricity.
Those in the developing countries are thus keen to electrify and need stable sources of power to stimulate development and improve their standard of living. The developed world is gradually recognizing the environmental costs of widespread electricity use, yet has neither the right nor the authority to deprive the developing nations of power. There is a need, therefore, to provide 100% off-grid zero-energy solutions that require little or no government involvement and are low maintenance. This would allow the developing world to wade into the technology the developed world enjoys without making the same woefully polluting mistakes regarding unsustainable power generation that are now a global problem.
Benedict Ilozor and Mohammed Kama of the Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, USA, suggest that renewable energy is a viable option for electrical power in developing and emerging nations. Writing in the inaugural issue of the African Journal of Economic and Sustainable Development, they point out that in most of these nations, the demand for energy far exceeds the generating capacity. They suggests that a rapid response to this huge demand that is informed by social, political, economic, climatic and environmental factors must be put in place so that renewable, sustainable energy supply can be identified.
The researchers have undertaken a case study of Nigeria in West Africa, which is perhaps representative of the situation prevalent in most developing and emerging nations. They suggest that cost is the limiting factor and that communities and governments would be unable to subsidize neither the one-time installation costs nor the ongoing maintenance however low, for most renewable energy solutions. It is, they say up to the private sector and commercial banks, and perhaps charitable organizations, to fund the installation of wind turbines, solar panels and other renewable energy systems so that wealth-generating development can take place and standards of living raised quickly. They posit the idea of a renewable energy mortgage that would be paid back as the specific region developed and grew economically. There are many approaches to solar power, for instance, that could be implemented by individual households or small communities for domestic electricity as well as on a larger scale, while geothermal systems could be run to provide the power for cooling.
Inderscience Publishers (2012, February 28). Developing sustainable power. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 29, 2012, from https://tinyurl.com/83lt25u
ScienceDaily (Feb. 9, 2012) — A joint research project between the University of Southampton and lithium battery technology company REAP systems has found that a new type of battery has the potential to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar power.
The research project, sponsored by REAP systems, was led by MSc Sustainable Energy Technologies student, Yue Wu and his supervisors Dr Carlos Ponce de Leon, Professor Tom Markvart and Dr John Low (currently working at the University’s Research Institute for Industry, RIfI). The study looked specifically into the use of lithium batteries as an energy storage device in photovoltaic systems.
Student Yue Wu says, “Lead acid batteries are traditionally the energy storage device used for most photovoltaic systems. However, as an energy storage device, lithium batteries, especially the LiFePO4batteries we used, have more favorable characteristics.”
Data was collected by connecting a lithium iron phosphate battery to a photovoltaic system attached to one of the University’s buildings, using a specifically designed battery management system supplied by REAP systems.
Yue adds, “the research showed that the lithium battery has an energy efficiency of 95 per cent whereas the lead-acid batteries commonly used today only have around 80 per cent. The weight of the lithium batteries is lower and they have a longer life span than the lead-acid batteries reaching up to 1,600 charge/discharge cycles, meaning they would need to be replaced less frequently.”
Although the battery will require further testing before being put into commercial photovoltaic systems the research has shown that the LiFePO4 battery has the potential to improve the efficiency of solar power systems and help to reduce the costs of both their installation and upkeep. Dr Carlos Ponce de Leon and Dr. John Low now plan to take this project further with a new cohort of Masters students.
Dr Dennis Doerffel, founder of REAP systems and former researcher at the University of Southampton, says: “For all kinds of energy source (renewable or non-renewable), the energy storage device — such as a battery — plays an important role in determining the energy utilization. Compared with traditional lead acid batteries, LiFePO4 batteries are more efficient, have a longer lifetime, are lighter and cost less per unit. We can see the potential of this battery being used widely in photovoltaic application, and other renewable energy systems.”
University of Southampton (2012, February 9). New battery could lead to cheaper, more efficient solar energy. ScienceDaily.Retrieved from: https://tinyurl.com/79m7sob