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Energy policies relating to alternative energy

Current energy policies are still based heavily on natural resources. Meanwhile, the trend is increasingly toward alternative resources, such as wind power.

It's only a matter of time before natural resources, such as petroleum, are depleted. Petroleum, a fossil-based energy source deposited across millions of years, is used to produce fuel or electricity. Taking stock of the fact that 260 billion barrels (one barrel = 159 liters) of oil were extracted over the last 11 years, it's evident that the world's petroleum resources will be depleted one day. New developments in solar or wind power are aimed at providing alternative energy sources that will enable us to maintain our current standard of living. Petroleum is also required by the chemical industry to manufacture special plastics.

The advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy sources

When discussing the subject of petroleum and alternative energy, one must bear the advantages and disadvantages in mind. Our resources are running short . Because we cannot count on petroleum for the future, there will come a time when everyone will rely on the efficiency of wind power and other alternative energy sources . Unlike petroleum, wind power can be managed to ensure that it constantly renews itself. Wind power meanwhile makes it possible to have enough resources to supply entire cities. Petroleum has the additional disadvantage of harming the environment through CO2 emissions. This has resulted in increasing demand for resources such as wind power. Wind power can be classified into different categories. A class 4 wind turbine can meanwhile provide resources in a much more efficient manner than petroleum resources for instance. In addition, unlike petroleum, resources such as wind power offer a decentralized energy supply. This means that in contrast to petroleum, the utilization of wind power does not require a large power plant. Instead, it makes "transporting" the energy easier and faster. Decentralized wind power entails a massive infrastructure change. Resources such as wind power certainly bring disadvantages when it comes to the environment, although they pale in comparison to the disasters that can result from petroleum. The utilization of our resources determines how we continue to maintain our standard of living. This makes it important to continue public discourse on the issues of wind power and petroleum.

Resource shortage

It's only a matter of time before there is no petroleum left. For this reason, from a resource standpoint we should already be moving toward heavy reliance on wind power instead of petroleum. After all, from a pure scientific point of view, new petroleum resources won't be available for millions of years. Unlike petroleum, wind power is a resource that will never run dry. In Germany alone, wind power is serving as a popular alternative resource to petroleum. The demand for wind power will increase in line with the consumption of petroleum. For this reason, it is imperative that we gradually move away from petroleum and make more use of wind power or other alternative energy resources. The environmental pollution caused by petroleum is reason enough for an environmentally-conscious society to use solar or wind power. In contrast to petroleum, wind power is significantly better for the environment and offers a unique resource balance.

Power and Electrical Engineering

This topic covers issues related to energy generation, conversion, transportation and consumption and how the industry is addressing the challenge of energy efficiency in general.

innovations-report provides in-depth and informative reports and articles on subjects ranging from wind energy, fuel cell technology, solar energy, geothermal energy, petroleum, gas, nuclear engineering, alternative energy and energy efficiency to fusion, hydrogen and superconductor technologies.

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Perovskite-silicon solar cell research collaboration hits 25.2% efficiency

A 1 cm2 perovskite silicon tandem solar cell achieves an independently certified efficiency of 25.2 %. This was presented this week at an international conference in Hawaii, USA. The cell was developed jointly by HZB, Oxford University and Oxford PV - The Perovskite Company.

"Perovskite-based tandem solar cells can use light particularly efficiently and therefore offer the opportunity to achieve even higher efficiencies. That is...

15.06.2018 | nachricht Read more

Second heat source optimises heat pump system

Air-to-water heat pumps utilise the outside air as a heat source. Because of their relatively low initial cost, they are currently enjoying growing popularity among owners of new-build or refurbished low-energy homes. Their disadvantage: They work with decreasing outside air temperatures, so when the heating demand increases there is also decreasing energy efficiency. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure entitled “Double heats better” presents a new system concept in which the building exhaust air is integrated into the system as a second heat source and the regulation of the heat distribution is optimised.

Exhaust air supplies heat at a comparatively high temperature level and leads to favourable system costs. The scientists tested the interaction of the heat...

12.06.2018 | nachricht Read more

Checking power plant components in a more targeted manner

In future, conventional power plants based on coal and natural gas will have to work much more flexibly than was previously the case. One reason is that they work in close conjunction with power fed into the electricity grid from renewable energies, which means that the power plants run more often under partial load. This imposes greater stresses on the components and in a different manner than they were originally designed for. The new BINE-Projektinfo brochure entitled "Material loading in flexible power plants" presents a new concept for investigating and evaluating power plants with varying loads.

This enables operators and monitoring institutions to calculate the stability of components in terms of their damage more accurately and without compromising...

11.06.2018 | nachricht Read more

Hybrid overhead lines: More power, not more power lines

Social opposition to new high-voltage lines is delaying modernisation of the power grid. Two projects of the National Research Programmes "Energy Turnaround" and "Managing Energy Consumption" have determined the optimum design of hybrid overhead lines needed to increase the capacity of the power transmission grid and, at the same time, win popular acceptance for the new technology.

Unlike conventional power lines, hybrid overhead lines combine alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) systems on the same tower instead of two AC...

04.06.2018 | nachricht Read more

Prototype nuclear battery packs 10 times more power

Russian researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), the Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials (TISNCM), and the National University of Science and Technology MISIS have optimized the design of a nuclear battery generating power from the beta decay of nickel-63, a radioactive isotope. Their new battery prototype packs about 3,300 milliwatt-hours of energy per gram, which is more than in any other nuclear battery based on nickel-63, and 10 times more than the specific energy of commercial chemical cells. The paperwas published in the journal Diamond and Related Materials.

Conventional batteries

04.06.2018 | nachricht Read more

New High-Voltage Silicon Carbide Inverter Enables Stabilization of Medium-Voltage Grids

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE developed and successfully put into operation an inverter for direct feed-in to the 10 kV medium-voltage grid. The inverter contains high-voltage silicon carbide (SiC) transistors which allow for coupling to the medium voltage grid without requiring an additional transformer. The three-phase inverter can be used to regulate reactive power as well as to actively filter undesirable harmonics in the electricity grid. Thus, it actively contributes to the stabilization of future power grids with a large share of renewables.

According to the current state of technology, power electronics are coupled to the electricity grid mainly in the low voltage range. For grid stabilization,...

30.05.2018 | nachricht Read more

EcoSwing Superconducting Generator Proves Itself on the Test Bench

Compact design, low tower head mass, and good transportability: The generator developed in the EcoSwing research project, is to be used in the next generation of multi-megawatt turbines. To demonstrate practical feasibility of the superconductive concept, a test campaign on Fraunhofer IWES’ nacelle test bench followed by a field test on a two-blade turbine in Denmark was conceived. This first part at IWES is now completed and the experts at Fraunhofer IWES can confirm that this concept showed good results due to the functionality of the overall system.

Sometimes less really is more: 40 per cent less weight and smaller dimensions than a comparable permanent magnet synchronous generator – these EcoSwing...

29.05.2018 | nachricht Read more

Failures in power grids: Dynamically induced cascades

A reliable functioning of technical infrastructure networks is essential for our modern, high-tech society. Cascading failures, i.e. chain reactions of failures of different infrastructures, are the cause of many failures of entire networks, e.g. large parts of the European power grids. Although cascading failures are usually influenced by network-wide nonlinear dynamics between the individual failures, their modelling has so far concentrated primarily on the analysis of sequences of failure events of individual infrastructures - however, the dynamics between these events have not been taken into account.

In an article now published by Nature Communications, an analysis scheme is presented which takes into account the event-based character of the chain reaction...

25.05.2018 | nachricht Read more

Beyond the limits of conventional electronics: stable organic molecular nanowires

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology created the first thermally stable organic molecular nanowire devices using a single 4.5-nm-long molecule placed inside electroless gold-plated nanogap electrodes.

The traditional methods and materials used for the fabrication of modern integrated circuits are close to reaching (or have probably already reached) their...

24.05.2018 | nachricht Read more

Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

24.05.2018 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

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Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

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