Updated: 11/24/2005; 11:21:24 PM.

Future energy
Renewables, fuel cells, hydrogen, and efficiency


daily link  Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Selsam Wind Energy: A New Type of Wind Turbine: Interesting multi-rotor design from a California inventor, using advanced carbon materials to utilize lower-speed wind resources.  Meanwhile, the State of California is offerering funds for development of lower-speed wind:  "Though California is recognized as the industry leader for total installed wind capacity at over 1,800 MW, the state ranks only 17th in terms of available high wind resource areas -- of class 5 and above .. Upon reviewing the most recent high-resolution resource maps for the state, it is evident that there are significantly more low wind speed resource areas (Class 3 to 4 at 10 m) than high wind resource areas."  11:17:27 AM  permalink  

Identifying Environmentally Preferable uses for Biomass Resources: A study of North American biomass resources and their comparative effects on greenhouse emissions.  Recommendations:

  1. If biomass is specifically grown to produce energy, avoid using low-yielding energy crops. Wheat, canola, or corn should not be used as energy crops, as they require considerable energy inputs in the form of fertilizer etc., take up prime farmland, and deliver small yields per hectare. Switchgrass or wood from short-rotation forestry (e.g., poplar or willow) should be used to produce energy.
  2. Use biomass waste and energy crops where they displace fuels with high carbon
    content. Combined heat and power, or the production of either biofuels or hydrogen are preferred over electricity-only options, since electricity production will usually replace relatively efficient natural gas burning.
  3. Landfilling and incineration are the best options to minimize GHG emissions from municipal solid waste. While landfilling with efficient gas collection is slightly preferred over incineration.  Composting is not recommended due to the considerable methane emissions from pockets of anaerobic activity.
  4. Do not produce biodiesel from virgin vegetable oils. Available land can be used more efficiently by growing other crops for energy purposes. However, waste oil and fat should be used to make either biodiesel, or a diesel additive.
  5. If the ultimate goal is to displace a maximum quantity of fossil fuels, combined heat and power systems are the preferable biomass use option. 
  10:34:10 AM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2005 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 11/24/2005; 11:21:24 PM.