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Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Renewable That Could Pollute More Than Non - Renewables

Every green lover (sometimes non green lovers too) will feel enthusiastic when some one show a new method for producing Electricity from waste. They won't even fail to praise (even I won't) those innovative ideas of generating Electricity from waste and unfortunately they forgets to analyze how the Electricity is generated. Some times this waste to energy conversion may be harmful than that of some other methods of generating Electricity, like from coal.

Waste To Electricity Conversion. Image Credit : tx.us
Recently, I went to a college exhibition where they placed a miniaturized (not so small) model of Waste to Energy converter. Like the most of the existing converters, they too employed the method of burning the waste and then converting the heat generated into electricity. When I asked the student who gave the demo of that converter, "don't you think it could still pollute our environment?". He saw me like an unresolved quest and asked me "how?".

This is because, most of the people's forget to talk about the by-products generated through this burning of waste. Although the by-products generated varies according to the type of wastes that we burn, but they mostly were plastic and electronic wastes. When we burn these type of wastes, they not only increase the carbon footprint but also pollute the environment through harmful mercury, lead, ash and other polluting gases. They were strong enough to bring in the acid rains to your city and cause some severe damages to human health.


Image Credit : Green Building Press (UK)
I do support the waste to energy conversion, than any one else, just because they solve two of our problems. First by clearing the tonnes and tonnes of wastage that were keept on stealing more space in our earth and then by generating Electricity, that runs our present world. But, how do they do it also an important thing to be considered. It should be in a way, without polluting our environment. Next time when some one tell/show you a method for generating Electricity from waste, don't forget to ask them, "how do they do it?".

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Low Cost, Green Electricity From Japan's New Wind Technology

Japanese people were always being good at doing some great things silent. The latest invention from the Japan was a new aerodynamic design of wind turbine. This newly designed turbines called 'Wind Lens' were capable of producing triple the power currently produced by the existing turbines from the same wind power. Already with the current turbines, we can produce electricity for low-cost compared to electricity produced from coal (when the wind system was operated under efficient condition).
WIND LENS - a new wind turbine design

No one can do forget easily the nuclear disaster happened in japan recently because of a bone crunching earth quake. Still, the rumors (may be true) are out there saying that this disaster contaminated a large volume of sea water and the radioactive containing water was found around the seas in Japan. "Why am I need to talk about this right now?". Sure, I have to mention this incident before saying that this newly designed aerodynamic system can generate electricity from wind power at a less cost compared to electricity generated from atomic power.



This innovation is not only quite a relief for Japan from atomic power plant problems, but also to the whole world which is seeking for a low cost power generating method in a green way. Particularly, for a nation like India, which is trying to build more nuclear power plants to meet the growing demand of electricity in the nation. This new design could be a solution to go in a green way without worrying about the future disasters.

Source: mnn

Friday, July 15, 2011

IMPACT OF RENEWABLE(DISTRIBUTED GENERATION) ENERGY IN POWER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

       Long transmission is one of the main cause for electrical power loss. Even a high school kid may know this fact these days. But the power quality problem is not only due to these losses. Approximately 70 to 80% of all power quality problem can be attributed to faulty connections or wiring(a research says not me). Also some other things like harmonics, transients, electromagnetic interference and LPF(low power factor)also damage power quality but they all share the remaining 20-30% only. So we will worry about them later.

DISTRIBUTED GENERATING STATION

      Okay then, now how we are going to take care of the power quality problems due to long transmission power losses. Are we going to "lay superconductors instead of aluminium alloys and copper conductors?" or "increasing voltage level to extreme levels and implementing HVDC?". These things may happen(exclude that superconductor idea please), but with very large investment. This remedy measures also will look reasonable when we implement them for new long power transmission projects. Then what about the older lines staying out there wasting not only the power but also our money(for losses too we are paying the electricity boards).

       To resolve this problem we got to ask the help of renewable energy. The solar, wind, wave and some other power plants scattered all over a country can not only help us to meet the growing demands with depleting fossil fuels. They were like a bonus to us in resolving power quality problems. The irritating incidents like switching off of T.V's while watching a football game and shutting down of A.C in a hot day due to low voltage problems and faulty lines may end now. Integrating these scattered power houses(Distributed Generation) with the existing system surely can deliver us a good quality power. If a feeder from centralized generating station to your area encountered fault, don't worry you will still get power from a near by distributed generating station. For that we need to install solar, wind or whatever that suits to your geographic location.


But we got to be too careful while designing these integration of centralized system with distributed power generating system. Improper designing in power electronic devices may inject harmonics into the system which will further destroy the power quality instead of making it up.


DISTRIBUTED GENERATING STATION IMAGE SOURCE - http://www.performanceenergy.com

Friday, June 24, 2011

PAPER PP ALLOYS CAN SAVE THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY FROM PLASTICS

           The plastics that always sticking with the consumer electronics is now going to get replaced by a new material. PEGA Design and Engineering found a new material to make the computers, laptops and other consumer electronic devices an environmental friendly one. Currently we are in the trouble of disposing the electronic wastage's. The main reason for that is the plastics which are cheap and strong always partnering with electronics.

          The PEGA D&E got this new material called Paper PP Alloy which has all the advantages that the plastic materials having with an extra qualification of environmental friendly(biodegradable, reusable and recyclable). This Paper PP Alloy has the characteristics of paper which makes it biodegradable. It is only made up of paper and polypropylene.

Laptop Shell made from Paper PP Alloy
                                    
                                      Bio Degradable Material
            The materials needed to make Paper PP Alloy are easy to retrieve drawn the attention of consumer electronics manufactures towards this material. An even more exciting feature is Paper PP Alloy can be molded using injection molding method; it can be easily adapted without changing the manufacturing process.

Monday, May 30, 2011

DENMARK'S FLAG IS GOING TO FLY HIGH BY WIND POWER - a revolution

          Denmark set itself as a role model for the whole world on implementing renewable energy and reducing carbon emission. when we go through what Denmark actually did, they found the correct resource which is available in plenty in their country and utilized them properly. Currently Denmark's generation capacity from wind power is around 25-30%. Germany is way ahead in wind power generation by installing wind turbines every day. England and U.S(which planned to get 30% of total demand from wind) are also heading towards mass production of electricity from wind power.

WIND TURBINE
          Although Denmark is not at the top of wind power generation countries list, they were setting an example to other countries by planning to produce 50% of their total demand from wind power. If they do so they will be the first country to become highly eco friendly. They were also working on making peoples to use electric cars and to further reduce the carbon emission. An island in Denmark called Samso have enough wind turbines to supply the whole island with 10% surplus in hand. The achievement in this island is that every turbine is owned by the local peoples in that island.

LARGE NUMBER OF TURBINES INSTALLED
TO FORM WIND FARM


          I'm not really flattered just because of the Denmark's plan of "50% from Wind". I really amazed by the Denmark's electricity export ability. Although Denmark is a small country, it is holding one third of the world wind power industry.  I also feel proud to be an Electrical Engineer. The reason is that you can't send the wind power to neighboring countries just because you got plenty of them, but you can send any energy to any area by changing them into "Electricity". While living in a country where there is a plenty of "Electricity Scarcity" with 3-5 hours power cut a day(now there is no current in my town, thank god i got my laptop), Denmark really looks like a role model in utilizing the resources we have without disturbing our eco system. I believe that Denmark's wind power will never let their flag down.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

PIEZOELECTRIC ENERGY HARVESTER FROM VIBRATIONS - A MODULE FOR INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION

          This project is just an example of Vibrational Energy Harvesting. We can give whatever the vibrational source available as input. Also, here we are storing the obtained power it can be used for any purpose. If you want to eliminate battery then no problem just with the help of proper power conditioning circuit you can directly connect the obtained power to load. But make sure the continuous source of vibration before eliminating battery.

THIS IS THE BLOCK DIAGRAM FOR THE PIEZOELECTRIC ENERGY HARVESTER
FROM VIBRATIONS

THIS IS THE SET UP FOR UTILIZATION OF HARVESTED POWER

APPLICATION OF VIBRATIONAL ENERGY FROM ANY
VIBRATING SOURCE


AFTER THE APPLICATION OF VIBRATION THE INDICATOR GLOWS
INDICATING THE POWER GENERATED


NOW THE GENERATED POWER IS STORED IN BATTERY AFTER PROPERLY
CONVERTING IT INTO DC 

POWER FROM BATTERY IS GIVEN TO LOW POWER SENSOR - THERMISTOR




THEN THE POWER FROM BATTERY IS SUPPLIED TO LDR



FINALLY SUPPLYING IRDA

PIN CONFIGURATION FOR IRDA

THE NEXT THREE PICTURES SHOWS THE CONTROLLING OF SENSORS 





INTERFACING CIRCUIT OR CONNECTION DIAGRAM


video
OUTPUT OF THE PROJECT



CURRENT(ELECTRICITY) FROM COW DUNG - REDUCE THE CARBON EMISSION UP TO 8%

        "Do you know the fact that the amount of methane released by the cow's around the world is almost than that emitted by the vehicles that uses fossil fuels(car, train, flights, etc) all around the world". Methane is the most dangerous greenhouse gas that traps the heat in our atmosphere as 20 times that of CO2. They remain in atmosphere for around 15 years. Now, there is a way for every one of us to reduce the carbon emission without spending a cent. Yeah, becoming a vegetarian is the solution but are we ready to be a vegetarian. "NO", i can hear the answer hidden inside most of you. Then how we could reduce the carbon emission. Just collect the cow dungs. 
        It is not a hard job i think so. As it will be a routine in a farm to collect the cow dung to keep the farm clean. Collecting the cow dung from the farms all around us is simple and low cost. This collected cow dung is then stored in a large tank where it is mixed with proper algae or fungi for the process of biological fermentation. In this part the micro-organisms take care of everything for the generation of electricity.

THOUSAND YEAR OLD METHOD OF TURNING
COW DUNG INTO FUEL

       Although in India cow dung is dried and used as one of the primary domestic fuel for the production of heat. The high carbon emission from directly burning them makes it risky and we cannot fully utilize the energy. At this time we are left with two choices. The first choice is turning into vegetarian which most of us don't even try. The second choice is supporting the bio plants or building one of our own. If we start utilizing the whole of the cow dung all around the world we can reduce the carbon emission by 8% which will be a great achievement.

Friday, May 27, 2011

MAKING 50 WATT BULB FROM 2 LITER BOTTLE - ADVANCED CHEAPEST SOLAR ENERGY HARVESTER

           Reading the title most of may think that this is a geek's corner. Actually making a 50 watts bulb from a  2 liter soda plastic bottle doesn't really need a bit of the technical knowledge in any stream. All it needs is just a 2 liter bottle(plastic or glass, plastic bottles are highly recommended while concerning safety), 2 lids full of bleach and a camera film dispenser. If you have all these then you are ready to do solar energy harvesting and you are going to build the cheapest solar energy harvester.

WATER BOTTLE'S(CHOOSE 2 LITER BOTTLE)



   Start building the harvester by filling the 2 liter bottle with water and two lids full of bleach. Now close the bottle and close the lid with camera film dispenser for protection of lid. That's it now you made a solar energy harvester which produces light energy equivalent to 50 watts bulb. No complex procedures, no costly items required and finally to technical knowledge required. But to fit this light in your home you need a hole on your roof where this 2 liter bottle can fit with 20% of bottle from lid side should be outside the roof. Also the other disadvantage of this method is you can't store the light energy in battery during day time and use that at night time as in conventional solar panel's method.


            This method also has no maintenance problems with last longing plastic bottles.
    
            Here is a video showing how much light can be produced from this method which will surprise every one of you. Surely after seeing this video you will try to make one.

video

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FUTURE MOBILE POWER GENERATION - HARVESTING FROM VIBRATIONS USING PIEZOELECTRIC MATERIALS


          With the recent advances in wireless and micro electro mechanical systems technology, the demand for portable electronics and sensors is growing rapidly. Because these devices are portable, it becomes necessary that they carry their own power supply. In most cases this power supply is the conventional battery; however, problems can occur while using batteries because of their finite lifespan. For portable electronics, replacing the battery is problematic because the electronics could die at any time and replacement of the battery can become a tedious task. Supplying power through a long cable can be impractical, hard to install and maintain. Advances in integrated circuit manufacturing and low power circuit design have reduced the total power requirements of a sensor node to well below 1 mW.

           The sensor network systems provide new services based on the information in the real world. Sensor nodes, which constitute terminals of a sensor network system, measure the environment, such as temperature and humidity. Power consumption of wireless communication is large, so intermittent operation is effective in reducing power consumption. Consequently, sensor nodes have achieved average power consumption on the microwatt order. However, we still have a problem of maintenance cost to change battery manually of every distributed sensor node. 
ADVANCED NANO MATERIAL WHICH PRODUCES ELECTRICAL POTENTIAL
BY THE PIEZOELECTRIC PRINCIPLE
            Therefore, the power-free sensor nodes that scavenge its energy from ambient environments (mainly industries) and need no battery are strongly desired. There have been many approaches for ambient-energy scavenging technologies that use solar energy, thermal energy, and environmental vibration energy, of all these scavenging technology from vibration is quite useful. It can be applied for the sensor nodes that monitor the problems of the industrial machines such as machines, motors or monitor the circumstances in the busy traffic roads. However, conventional scavenging technologies from environmental vibration have not yet achieved to supply stable power for continuous operation of sensor nodes. The scavenged powers have reached in 100 microwatt order, but the sensor nodes require 10 mW order power instantly.
           For this reason, conventional scavenging technologies are used as a supporting battery that enhance the lifetime of the main battery. In this project, we describe a completely power-free sensor node or low power electronic device that works under small vibration energy scavenged from industrial machines with no battery. The energy harvester consists of a piezoelectric resonator or Piezoelectric Sensors(click here for Piezoelectric Ceramics: Principles and Applications) for a vibration-to-electric energy converter, and a power control circuit that store scavenged current charge to supply instant power.

Monday, May 23, 2011

TIDAL POWER - SO PROMISING FUTURE

             Got "Shocked", but not by electricity just by hearing the amount of electricity that can be generated by tidal energy as the source but with a huge investment(that may give shock to most of the investors). Why "TIDAL"? you may ask. Tidal energy sounds more interesting when we think of why we need to invest a huge amount of money for tidal and why not for other renewable's. There exists a big explanation for it.


     Tidal power generation has lot of disadvantages associated with it like High Initial Capital Investment, Limited Locations, It's Effect on Marine Life, Long Gestation Time, Difficulty in Transmission of Tidal Electricity, Weather Effects(storms and typhoons), etc. When considering advantages like No Fuel, Long Life, High Energy Density, High Load Factor attracts big investors(Siemens and Vatten fall) toward it and it's Predictable nature, Renewable, Non-Polluting and Carbon Negative gets the most of the governments attention towards it.

     The Danish government spent £1.3 billion to establish onshore wind, which currently brings £2.7bn per year in revenue. A properly capitalized wave and tidal sector could create 43,500 direct jobs and generate a potential £4.2bn per year in revenue for the  UK economy - a report says.


     


     Renewable UK’s State of the Wave and Tidal Industry report, released at the conference, states that the UK is still leading the world with the largest installed wave and tidal generating base of 2.4 MW, a further 27 MW with planning consent, 77.5 MW of projects in planning, and 700 MW expected in the Pentland Firth area by 2020.
     In total, Renewable UK forecasts 1-2 GW of wave and tidal energy installations in the UK by 2020. Then installing tidal power in India not only helps the unemployment problems out here but also can supply the uninterrupted power to the whole nation(in Tamil Nadu there is daily power cut for 3-5hrs and so on in other states may fade out) when we utilize the most of the tidal energy available here. Finally tidal power sounds so promising.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

REDUCING POWER(ELECTRICITY) LOSSES WITHOUT ANY TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE!!!!!

            "To utilize 1KW of electric energy(electricity) we need almost 2KW of equivalent input power"- it means we are utilizing power that can power us for two centuries in just a century(100 years). It may surprise many of the normal peoples but adding an another KW of the input power to 2KW for getting just a KW of power at the consumer side does not surprise any of the electrical engineers(especially in India). This is due to the fact that the electrical engineers know how much losses there exists in the normal electricity generating stations and in transmission/distribution networks.


        Instantly you may rise a question "Why don't the Engineers and Scientists work on it and get a solution to reduce the losses?". This question may sound right but what actually they were doing is working on it and they were reducing the loses bit by bit using new technologies. They need lot more years to take care of these losses, certainly we can reduce some losses right from this moment. "How can we?" you may ask and my answer to this is "JUST SAVE ELECTRICITY".
        Yeah, just wasting the electricity also adds up with the losses of electricity. If i am right then we can also reduce the losses without even having a bit of technical knowledge about electricity. All we got to do is just SWITCH OFF the things that consumes electricity when it is not in use, no matter what it is. 



I know how the peoples in India are suffering from Electricity or Power scarcity(because i'm too suffering from that). But most of the Indians were not concerned about energy conservation. All i could imagine is if we don't save the Electricity right now(with fast depletion of natural resources and vast development of industries)  we may give our descendants a dark life as gift.
 I think it is the time to change the inefficient electrical appliances with new efficient ones and start conserve electricity.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Light Energy(solar) Harvesting Using Fiber Optic Cables To Light the Buildings - Low Cost, Simple Technology

      
Fiber Optic Cable
 Bored of hearing "Switch off the lights when not in use"???. Now, a new technology came into scene to solve the problem of lighting the buildings during day time without using electricity. I know what you are thinking right now!!!. I'm for sure not going to say a word about "Photovoltaics" and let you feel bored.

     In current day scenario there are a lot of new technologies came around to generate electricity from non renewable energy sources, But most of them costs us much and can't be implemented by normal peoples who belong to low or middle class families. Not only cost matters, also the technology implemented in most of harvesting technologies are quite complex.
Building Implemented With
Fiber Optic Light Harvesting

Here it comes the Energy Harvesting via Fiber Optic cables, where we are using a mirror and lens arrangement to intensify and collect the light energy coming out from the sun. This collected light energy is then send into buildings through Fiber Optic cables. Now we got the lightings to our buildings at day time without spending much of our money.
There is an another advantage with which this technology binds with is: Using this technology we are providing natural sunlight to our buildings which eliminates the eye problems normally occur with peoples who works in artificial light. Also the sunlight is enriched with "Vitamin D" adds with advantage.
  


Saturday, February 26, 2011

ORGANIC(But Not Green) vs INORGANIC ENERGY SOURCES

      
Advanced energy harvesting from solar using Photovoltaics
While i'm browsing about saving electricity last night, i accidentally seen a web page which says that "inorganic fuels are going to dominate the future". Suddenly an article i read about Organic fuels struck my mind and i recalled some informations from that article and i posted some of which i recalled.
       Sustainable, green, renewable, organic- the words are remembered so often while debating about energy and climate changes that they tend to sound as they were similar.But of course they don't."Nuclear reactors emit no carbon and are therefore in a sense green, but uranium is non-renewable"-this is what i read in that article but this can't be green in any sense as because they don't emit carbon. First of all we are using the word "GREEN" not only to represent energy sources that will never emit carbon into atmosphere, instead we are using this word to represent the energy sources which are not giving away any by-products that are harmful to environment.


Implementation of solar cells in a large scale
  
     Hydro power is green and renewable but may not always be sustainable; coal is inorganic but it's carbon emissions make it the very opposite of green.All that is obvious enough. But even so, it may be jarring to hear- as we have found and will describe that- organic biofuels can't possibly fuel a growing world economy in a sustainable manner, whereas, in principle, inorganic fuels could.
     Now we are entered into a biofuel boosted world and most of them were saying that biofuel is the future and already america started producing it in a huge quantity. Both the biofuel and carbon scenarios are carbon neutral by definition- solar for obvious reasons, biomass because carbon emitted is reabsorbed when plants regrow(biofuels are carbon free only if crops are planted on existing tilled fields).
     Biofuels provide around 6.5 megawatt hours per square kilometer, That's roughly enough to power 60 homes.The photovoltaic system covering the same square kilometer, with a typical commercially available system efficiency of 15.5%, could power up to 12,000 homes. Also, in cars which are powered by the internal combustion engines are replaced with electric vehicles that are three times as efficient-a direct result of losses in the thermal cycle of the combustion engine.
     There exists a lengthy list which describes the advantages of inorganic over organic and i don't have much time to post them all. Instead, I can say that "Forget biofuels- only inorganic energy sources can provide prosperity   for all and forever".