Scientists are studying ways to use the potential of waste heat in order to reduce carbon emissions. Via Phys.org.
Industrial processes that require high temperatures often expel any surplus heat into the environment. While industries are fairly good at using as much of this surplus as possible, a small amount of heat is always wasted…
In a new study, published in Applied Energy, scientists from the University of Bath evaluated the opportunities for industry to recover heat, and analysed which technologies would work best.
‘A large potential was seen in opportunities for re-use on site, which is the simplest method often practiced at the moment. If you have this heat currently going into the atmosphere, and you have a demand for heat at a lower temperature elsewhere in the manufacturing process you can directly use it,’ explains Dr Jonathan Norman of the University of Bath, lead researcher on the project.
‘We also found good potential for converting heat into electricity. The advantage with this is that you don’t need to re-use the heat nearby, because electricity is easily transported, and can be used for many things,’ Norman says….
‘If we supplied electricity from the heat surplus, it wouldn’t have to be generated by a fossil fuel, and if it was used locally then it wouldn’t place more pressure on the emission-intensive national grid. Overall, through a combination of technologies, we think recycling heat would save about 2.2 mega tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. In comparison, onshore wind generation in the UK saved about 3.5 Mt of CO2 equivalent in 2010, compared to the average emissions of the national grid’ Norman explains.
Lockheed Martin will build the world’s largest wave energy farm off the coast of Victoria, Australia, via engineering.com:
The PowerBuoy is a piston style wave energy harvester. Most of it is below sea level, anchored to the ocean floor. A piston is connected to a floating island – the Take Off Unit – that bobs up and down with the waves. Those movements are converted to rotational motion that spins a generator. The 600 Volt outputs of several PowerBuoys are connected to an Underwater Substation Pod whose output goes to shore through a subsea cable.
The project will roll out in three phases, with the first phase producing 2.5 MW peak. It’s likely that they’ll use Mark 3 PowerBuoys, which have been thoroughly tested off the coasts of Hawaii and Scotland. Each Mark 3 weighs 180 tons and can be towed to its location by a standard tugboat. It has a peak output of 866 kW and a projected life of 25 years.
Under development is the Mark 4 PowerBuoy, with a peak output of 2.4 MW. As part of the agreement, Lockheed Martin will assist OPT with the design and manufacturing of its product line, so we’re likely to see the Mark 4 in later phases of this project.
Compared to offshore wind power, wave energy offers several advantages. First, the converters only stand 38 feet (11.5 m) above the ocean surface, so they’re barely visible from the shoreline. According to the US Department of Energy, “The size of the PowerBuoys when viewed from shore would be [equivalent to] approximately 1.6 millimeters when viewed from arm’s length.” They also produce less noise and have practically no impact on ocean life, including birds. Wave energy can be predicted up to 72 hours in advance, giving grid operators plenty of notice regarding changes in electricity production.
While some are exploring the use of solar energy with clothing, Kolon Sport is exploring wind energy, according to Design Week. Its Life Tech jacket has a tri-layered system for water and wind protection, and also features a first aid and survival kit. But the real interest lies in its power generation capability.
It also features a wind-turbine mounted on the jacket sleeve, which can be angled to generate power throughout the day when the wearer is on the move. It can be used to power devices such as GPS and smartphones, as well as the jacket’s built-in Heatex system, which provides up to seven hours of heat up to a temperature of 40-50ºC.
The wind turbine can also be attached to the side of a tent at night for continued energy harvesting.
The jacket was developed by Semourpowell to address basic needs such as shelter, warmth and communication.
Ian Whatley, associate design director at SeymourPowell, says, ‘The concept was born from invaluable insights gathered by working with leading experts in extreme survival; so we’re absolutely confident that the design and features are based on solid foundations.
Although this garment is designed for survival, it may have a use in windy cities. Could a daily commute include wind power? Attaching a turbine at the elbow allows for hand movement and stride, but perhaps it could be done on the back of belts or on top of hats. Just a few weeks ago, wind turbines the size of rice were in the news, so perhaps wind energy in our threads will eventually be common.
First off, I would like to thank PT and Limor for the chance to post to the blog, this is an awesome opportunity.
I teach three high school courses in Energy Systems and am an avid developer/enjoyer of open source hardware, primarily Arduino based. Each of my courses focus on physics principles pertaining to energy (primarily electrical and mechanical) and reinforces them through in-depth lab projects that physically demonstrate the math. I really like the students to break out of theory and get their hands dirty with a lab, such as dissecting, measuring and reassembling internal combustions or making bio-fuel.
Over the past two years, I have integrated two Makerbots (a Cupcake and a Thing-o-Matic) into my curriculum, which the students have avidly been using to produce everything from compressed gas jet engine nozzles to hubs for scale wind turbines. I have also installed a 50watt Epilog Helix 24, which has been priceless in the design of shiftable gearboxes, enclosures, etc.
Some of my open source projects include:
ArduSat, an Arduino based motherboard for what is to be historys first high school designed and built cubesat, TJ3Sat (www.tj3sat.wikidot.com)
The VEXMAS shield, a joint endeavor with my good friend and fellow tinkerer Charles delaCuesta, which creates an interface between Arduino and ALL of the VEX hardware (http://code.google.com/p/vexmas-shield/)
The Kilroy board, a Arduino compatible PICAXE 20X2 based development board that we use at the high school to teach 500+ freshman how to program and interface with hardware.
In contributing to the Adafruit blog, I would like to make as much of my expertise available to the community as possible and look forward to hear your questions, comments, complaints, etc.