Posts filed under ‘eólica’

Hidrógeno almacenado a partir del viento para producir energía.

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No es el primer proyecto pero seguramente sí el más ambicioso. El Gobierno alemán acaba de hacerlo público: quiere utilizar energía eólica para romper la molécula del agua (H2O), extraer así hidrógeno (H2), almacenarlo en forma de gas y utilizarlo como combustible para los vehículos o como fuente de electricidad a demanda, es decir, cuando haga falta.

El proyecto pretende evitar que se desperdicie la energía que no pueden inyectar en las redes eléctricas los parques eólicos alemanes cuando sopla mucho el viento y es baja la demanda, por ejemplo, a determinadas horas de la noche.

La distribuidora de electricidad Stadtwerke Mainz, el fabricante de gases industriales Linde, la multinacional Siemens y la Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas de RheinMain acaban de hacer público el lanzamiento del proyecto, consistente en la construcción de una formidable central de electrólisis en el distrito de Hechtsheim, en Mainz (la electrolizadora es la instalación que rompe la molécula del agua y obtiene hidrógeno). Las obras del denominado Parque de la Energía de Mainz (Energiepark Mainz) comenzarán en la primavera de 2014, según han confirmado las partes. La iniciativa, que cuenta con un presupuesto de diecisiete millones de euros, está apoyada por el Ministerio Federal de Asuntos Económicos y Tecnología de Alemania.

Según sus promotores, después de su puesta en marcha, que está previsto suceda en 2015, el objetivo último del Energiepark Mainz es hacer «una significativa contribución al éxito de la Energiewende de Alemania» (que así ha denominado el gobierno de aquella nación al cambio de rumbo que quiere imprimir a su política energética, en pos de un horizonte cero nuclear y 100% renovable). Mainz quiere convertirse así -según informan sus promotores- en una especie de «faro» de esa política. El proyecto consistiría en fin en la construcción de una planta de electrólisis que produzca con energías renovables hidrógeno para su almacenamiento, su distribución mediante camiones cisterna o su inyección en la red de gas natural para su uso en la generación de calor o electricidad.

Leer más: H2 del viento.

15 de diciembre de 2013 at 15:41 Deja un comentario

NUEVO MOLINO DE VIENTO 600 VECES MÁS EFECTIVO: INVELOX

A pesar de que existen diseños y leyes muy bien establecidas en el mundo de la energía eólica, también hay desarrollos paralelos que buscan ofrecer opciones radicales y más eficientes. Uno de ellos es INVELOX, un aerogenerador creado por la empresa SheerWind. El sistema parece estar compuesto por “embudos” que enrutan y concentran el viento sobre una turbina instalada en tierra, y de acuerdo al fabricante, esto permite aumentar la potencia entre un 81 y un 660 por ciento

¿Cómo optimizar a una turbina de viento? Si tomamos la palabra de los expertos en este campo, no sería algo del todo necesario: Sólo basta con adoptar el clásico diseño de eje horizontal con tres aspas y aplicar el tamaño suficiente en su construcción para obtener la mayor eficiencia. Por supuesto, eso no impide que existan múltiples variantes de turbinas de viento, cada una de ellas con sus defensores y detractores. En los últimos años, varias compañías han intentado ingresar al mercado con diseños revolucionarios de turbinas. La promesa de quebrar la ley de Betz, acompañada de supuestas reducciones de costos en instalación y mantenimiento están a la orden del día. Esta vez nos encontramos con el aerogenerador INVELOX, desarrollado por SheerWind.

 Imagen

La idea detrás de INVELOX depende de una serie de embudos que capturan el viento desde cualquier dirección. El viento es concentrado y acelerado a través de tuberías(cortesía del efecto Venturi), hasta llegar a una turbina instalada en tierra. El fabricante ha dicho que este diseño puede acelerar un viento de 16 km/h a 64 km/h, para dejar la turbina a una velocidad de 15 km/h. INVELOX también tiene la capacidad de funcionar con vientos de muy baja velocidad (1,6 km/h), algo imposible para las turbinas convencionales. En comparación con un “sistema típico”, el INVELOX puede producir entre un 81 y un 660 por ciento más de potencia. Y en cuanto a su economía, un costo de 750 dólares por kilovatio instalado debería ser un punto atractivo para proyectos de escala reducida.

El viento es enviado a la turbina independientemente de su dirección

Es necesario mencionar que no se trata de tecnología particularmente nueva. El diseño parece estar inspirado en las Turbinas Compactas de Aceleración Eólica (o CWAT en inglés), que no se han convertido en una opción comercialmente viable hasta ahora. También está la declaración del incremento en la potencia del 600 por ciento. Si este«sistema convencional» que se utilizó como comparación fue instalado a la misma altura, sería una condición injusta como mínimo. Finalmente, el aerogenerador INVELOX no ha sido sometido a pruebas de agencias externas, probablemente debido a cuestiones de propiedad intelectual y seguridad. Todos están entusiasmados por declarar que han pulverizado la ley de Betz.

LEER MAS: INVELOX

18 de mayo de 2013 at 13:29 Deja un comentario

Offshore Wind In New England Offers Learning For Great Lakes

When Scan­dia, a Nor­we­gian wind com­pa­ny, announced its plans to install 200 tur­bines in Lake Michi­gan four miles from the tourist town of Lud­ing­ton, Michi­gan, in 2009, they like­ly didn’t antic­i­pate the con­tro­ver­sy that would erupt.

After all, the project would be deliv­er­ing domes­ti­cal­ly pro­duced renew­able ener­gy to replace planet-warming fos­sil fuels. It would cre­ate local jobs installing and oper­at­ing the tur­bines. A near­by pumped-hydro facil­i­ty for stor­ing back­up ener­gy sat in the near­by dunes, com­plete with sub­sta­tions and high-voltage lines they could use to move elec­tric­i­ty from their off­shore tur­bines to the grid.

“The devel­op­er thought, We’ll build wind farms out in Lake Michi­gan, hook up in Lud­ing­ton, and every­one will be delighted,” recalled Arn Boezaart, direc­tor of the Michi­gan Alter­na­tive and Renew­able Ener­gy Cen­ter at Grand Val­ley State Uni­ver­si­ty.

Instead, “they were basi­cal­ly run out of town,” Boezaart recalled.

Res­i­dents of this pic­turesque town were out­raged about the prospects of scores of wind tur­bines ruin­ing their view. Nobody had con­sult­ed them. And Michi­gan, like every other Great Lakes state, lacks even a rudi­men­ta­ry pro­ce­dure for reg­u­lat­ing off­shore wind farms, with­out which there would be lit­tle oppor­tu­ni­ty for pub­lic hear­ings.

A sim­i­lar brouha­ha unfold­ed over the past decade in Nan­tuck­et Sound, off the south­ern coast of Cape Cod, over a pro­posed 468 MW wind farm known as Cape Wind. Res­i­dents of the area spent nine years fight­ing the project before the Inte­ri­or Depart­ment approved it in 2010.

Off­shore wind farms may be a com­mon sight in Euro­pean waters, but the Unit­ed States has yet to build its first. Plans for sev­er­al East Coast wind farms are mov­ing for­ward, and con­struc­tion of the Block Island Wind Farm, in the Rhode Island Sound, could begin next year. Mean­while, Ohio’s Lake Erie Ener­gy Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (LEED­Co) is scal­ing up to build a nine-turbine, 27 MW wind farm in Lake Erie off Cleve­land.

As off­shore wind lurch­es for­ward, bet­ter tech­ni­cal and pol­i­cy tools are need­ed, off­shore wind experts said recent­ly at the annu­al con­fer­ence of the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion for the Advance­ment of Sci­ence (AAAS) in Boston. At the con­fer­ence, they offered new mod­els, plan­ning tools and lessons learned from the bat­tles over off­shore wind in New Eng­land.

Bet­ter sit­ing with sci­ence
“There’s a lot of inter­est in doing [off­shore wind] if costs can be justified,” econ­o­mist Robert Grif­fin of the Palo Alto, California-based Nat­ur­al Cap­i­tal Project, said at the AAAS con­fer­ence. The wind speeds off­shore are high­er, which means wind farms can pro­duce more elec­tric­i­ty per tur­bine, and East Coast off­shore sites are close to major cities that con­sume a lot of elec­tric­i­ty.

At the con­fer­ence, Grif­fin described a new wind ener­gy model he devel­oped that iden­ti­fies sites where wind com­pa­nies could prof­itably devel­op a wind farm.

The model, called the Inte­grat­ed Val­u­a­tion of Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices and Trade­offs (InVEST), can help cal­cu­late the power the wind farm would pro­duce and the price per kilowatt-hour the owner would need to charge to make a prof­it. The model con­sid­ers the mea­sured wind speeds at a site, infor­ma­tion about tur­bines and cables, and the dis­tance to the near­est node of the elec­tri­cal grid. The model will be released March 1.

Although the model was devel­oped for the North Atlantic, “there’s no rea­son this couldn’t work in the Great Lakes,” Grif­fin told Mid­west Ener­gy News.

Lorry Wag­n­er, pres­i­dent of LEED­Co, sees promise in Grif­fin’s approach.

“Right now you have one set of tools on the tech­ni­cal side that give you your cost of ener­gy, and anoth­er set of tools that give you your pro forma—your finan­cial data,” he said.

If the InVEST model is accu­rate in its tech­ni­cal and finan­cial pre­dic­tions, it would be “very use­ful” in plan­ning for var­i­ous con­tin­gen­cies, such as high­er main­te­nance costs than pre­dict­ed, or ris­ing inter­est rates that make bor­row­ing money for cap­i­tal costs more expen­sive, Wag­n­er said.

”It could help you do a lot of what-ifs,” he said.

Sus­tain­able wind, sus­tain­able fish
Con­ser­va­tion­ists have their own set of what-ifs, as do com­mer­cial fish­ers.

A sys­tem­at­ic map­ping approach could help them meet their goals as well, said Sally McGee, who directs the North­east Marine Pro­gram for the Nature Con­ser­van­cy and serves on the New Eng­land Fish­ery Man­age­ment Coun­cil, the major region­al plan­ning body for the fish­ing indus­try.

To plan off­shore wind well, you need to know “where the wind is, where the fish are, and where are the impor­tant places for conservation,” she said.

She pre­sent­ed a map that over­lapped the three types of infor­ma­tion. Wind speed data came the Depart­ment of Ener­gy, fish gath­er­ing spots came by aggre­gat­ing fish­ing ves­sel trip reports between 2007 and 2011, and con­ser­va­tion hotspots came from the North­west Atlantic Marine Ecore­gion­al Assess­ment.

The con­ser­va­tion maps can “turn on the light on places that are most impor­tant for con­serv­ing ecosystems,” she said.

McGee offered two exam­ples to illus­trate the use­ful­ness of this approach—and the impor­tance of get­ting all the key par­ties talk­ing early.

Off the coast of Mass­a­chu­setts, the state gov­ern­ment was push­ing for wind ener­gy to be sited off­shore, and a map of promis­ing wind areas hap­pened to over­lap with scal­lop­ing grounds that pro­duce more than $60 mil­lion worth of scal­lops each year.

“That real­ly put the fish­ing indus­try on edge,” and pro­mul­gat­ed a lot of mis­trust, McGee said.

For the Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island, how­ev­er, the plan­ning went more smooth­ly. State offi­cials talked to fish­ers early, and ruled out one tract of water with good wind that was also a major fish­ing area.

Mean­while, con­ser­va­tion­ists were con­cerned that many of the world’s crit­i­cal­ly endan­geredright whales fed each April in Rhode Island Sound, where the wind farm would be built. The devel­op­er, Deep­wa­ter Wind, and Con­ser­va­tion Law Foun­da­tion (CLF) agreed last month to delay pile dri­ving in April of the wind farm’s con­struc­tion year, even though that’s prime con­struc­tion sea­son.

Lessons for the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes region is at least sev­er­al years behind New Eng­land in plan­ning for off­shore wind, and devel­op­ment has pro­ceed­ed in stops and starts.

At the time of the Scan­dia tus­sle, then-Michigan Gov. Jen­nifer Granholm was pro­mot­ing the devel­op­ment of off­shore wind. Michi­gan owns 40 per­cent of the ter­ri­to­r­i­al waters of the Great Lakes, and much of that area is windy.

In 2009, “we had all sorts of peo­ple [in Michi­gan] cheer­ing us on,” Boezaart said. Under an exec­u­tive order from Granhom, the state estab­lished the now-inactive Great Lakes Off­shore Wind Coun­cil (GLOW), which iden­ti­fied five pri­or­i­ty areas for wind devel­op­ment in Michi­gan’s Great Lakes waters.

There was sim­i­lar sup­port in Wis­con­sin, Ohio and Illi­nois, and Ohio con­duct­ed a map­ping exer­cise for its Great Lakes waters, con­sid­er­ing fac­tors such as wind resources, water depth, and the loca­tion of Lake Erie’s ship­ping lanes and ship­wrecks.

But in the 2010 elec­tions vot­ers replaced Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­er­nors with Repub­li­can ones in Michi­gan, Wis­con­sin and Ohio.

“It was like some­body flipped the switch and the resound­ing col­lec­tive inter­est in wind ener­gy on the Great Lakes dis­ap­peared overnight,” he said.

Nev­er­the­less, those push­ing off­shore wind are not sit­ting idle. The states and provinces of the region have a rich his­to­ry of col­lab­o­rat­ing on Great Lakes issues, said Vic­to­ria Peb­bles, who runs the Great Lakes Wind Col­lab­o­ra­tive, which brings togeth­er wind devel­op­ers, util­i­ties, aca­d­e­mics, con­ser­va­tion groups and gov­ern­ment.

“We’ve man­aged to work through things,” she said.

Peb­bles sug­gest­ed emu­lat­ing the fed­er­al Bureau of Ocean Ener­gy Man­age­ment to help agen­cies devel­op and stream­line per­mit­ting before the inevitable off­shore wind pro­pos­als turn up. BOEM’s Smart from the Start pro­gram, launched in 2010, aims to speed off­shore wind devel­op­ment by get­ting states and the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment talk­ing. That’s what Michi­gan’s GLOW Coun­cil was try­ing to do, she said.

Great Lakes wind devel­op­ers will also have to learn how to build wind farms in waters that freeze each win­ter, but that shouldn’t be too much of a hur­dle, Wag­n­er, of LEED­Co, said.

“The abil­i­ty to build struc­tures in water with ice has been known for hun­dreds of years, but the chal­lenge is to do it as cost-effectively as pos­si­ble” with­out over­build­ing, he explained.

A shift in the wind?
The recent head­winds faced by off­shore wind devel­op­ers may be shift­ing.

“Despite the fact that we have pol­i­tics at state level that are wind-resistant, we have a great push for off­shore wind at fed­er­al level,” Boezaart said.

In 2010, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama issued Exec­u­tive Order 13537, man­dat­ing a new nation­al ocean pol­i­cy that pro­motes mul­ti­ple uses of U.S. coastal waters, includ­ing off­shore wind. The Depart­ment of Ener­gy has a five-year plan in place to devel­op off­shore wind nation­al­ly, and a strat­e­gy that com­mits to devel­op­ing in-water wind tech­nolo­gies by 2015, he said.

In March 2012, the heads of ten fed­er­al agen­cies and five Great Lakes states—Illi­nois, Michi­gan, Min­neso­ta, New York and Penn­syl­va­nia—signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing to coor­di­nate review and per­mit­ting of off­shore wind projects in the Great Lakes, which could reduce bureau­crat­ic hur­dles.

In Decem­ber, the Depart­ment of Ener­gy has also thrown in some cash to get seven off­shore wind projects up to speed.

These includ­ed a $4 mil­lion invest­ment for LEED­Co’s Lake Erie project. The com­pa­ny will obtain an addi­tion­al $1 mil­lion from pri­vate investors.

In Europe, Wag­n­er said, $200 mil­lion is being invest­ed in off­shore wind, and big com­pa­nies like Lego, Ikea, and Black­stone are invest­ing as well, as are pen­sion funds.

“We’re start­ing to get a lot of pri­vate money involved,” he said.

And both he and Boezaart are opti­mists about the future of large-scale off­shore wind in the lakes.

“Soon­er or later,” Boezaart said, “we’ll take a look at the mas­sive amount of wind ener­gy avail­able in the Great Lakes.”

3 de marzo de 2013 at 22:49 Deja un comentario


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