tirsdag 30. september 2014

Decentralised mini-grids based on renewable energy - Case Study: Svalbard

Group work, NorRen Summer School, by
Sara Ghaem Sigarchian, PhD candidate at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Chiara Bordin, PhD candidate University of Bologna, Italy
Dr. Gideon Goldwine, Ben-Gurion University, Israel
Fabio Buonsanti, Head of Operations Norway at Aega AS, Norway
Georgios Fytianos, PhD candidate at NTNU, Norway

What we would like to focus on is something that could be considered a bridge between policy and science section, and something that lies on the edge of this summer school and that reflects both our interdisciplinary backgrounds and the interdisciplinary nature of the research institutes to which we belong to.
Svalbard is the vastest and northernmost wild area in Western Europe, that sixty percent of the archipelago is glacier and it is a paradise for rare species of seabirds.

As a country with well-established traditions in environmental and climate research, it was highly surprising to learn about the controversial choice of Norway to encourage a coal enterprise on Svalbard.

tirsdag 23. september 2014

Smart Campus project

By participants at the NorRen Summer School 2014
Professor Paul Borza, Professor at Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania
Professor Gady Golan, President at Hermelin Academic College of Engineering, Israel
Kaveri Bhuyan, Researcher at SINTEF, Norway
Vasco Gomes, Researcher at Transylvania University Brasov, Romania
Mohammad Ostadi, PhD candidate at NTNU, Norway, and
Nuno Amaro, PhD candidate at University in Lisbon, Portugal

Smart Grids are the electric grids of the future. 

Although everyone in science and technology knows the term, there is not yet a clear definition for it. To help people understand the methodologies involved, our group decided to create a little example of a smart grid.

The created project was named Smart Campus. The idea is to establish a micro grid system, operating as an energetic island, in a Smart Grid context. The campus consists of 5 departments/buildings which can be seen as grid users. 
The main goals of this project include:
  1. Creation of a self-sustained self-managed energy system;
  2. To demonstrate a holistic energy efficient system;
  3. To generate consumption and tariff patterns for optimization of energy efficiency;
  4. Consumer and government education by increasing customer awareness;
  5. Dissemination and deployment of the Smart Grid concept;
  6. Building a knowledge base of the smart grid consumers behavior;
  7. Connecting to the distribution network and other micro grids.
Like any faculty campus, this one is connected to the power grid. However, it will only buy energy from the grid as a last resource, since it has its own power sources. The considered power sources are: solar panels, wind turbines, a micro hydro generator, and a diesel generator. Since one of the main issues in existing electric grids is related to energy storage, this campus will also have a storage system consisting of batteries (for medium term storage) and flywheels acting as fast energy stabilizers to assure the continuity of the electric system in case of a fault.

To measure spent energy and to be able to optimize energy consumption it is necessary to add intelligent devices such as smart meters and smart energy counters. The considered consumers for this scenario are comprised of departments and neighboring micro-grids which are faculties. This brings up the possibility to not only use generated energy in the campus, but also to trade it with neighbors.

onsdag 17. september 2014

Smart Grids – What’s in it for me?

Gabriela Pena, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Orna Raviv, University of Haifa, Israel
Ofira Ayalon, University of Haifa, Israel
Peter Hall, University of Sheffield, UK
Rikke Stoud Platou, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Shiyu Yan Norwegian school of economics - Norway
Zvi Baum, University of Haifa - Israel

Although there is universally accepted definition of what smart grids will be, they may be broadly regarded as a collection of energy generation, distribution, storage, communication and usage technologies that will allow consumers to flexibly access a wide range of energy services. They will allow greater freedom of energy usage, will allow consumers to become producers and the emergence of new generators plus many other benefits. Above all Smart Grids will allow citizens and communities to play a truly democratic role in the energy market.

Source: http://www.offshorewind.biz/2012/06/21/germany-siemens-tests-smart-grid/

torsdag 4. september 2014

How to light up rural Bangladesh: Renewable energy mini-grid solution for villages

Katherine Inzani, PhD student, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Ershad Ullah Khan, PhD student, Department of Energy Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Duong Le, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Energy, Politecnico di Milano, Italy​ 
Nhi Nguyen, PhD student, Department of Energy, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Livingstone Senyonga, PhD student, NMBU School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Bangladesh in 2014: three quarters of rural villages are in darkness with no clean fuel for cooking. Kerosene lanterns and hurricane lamps light up the darkening sky and generate black carbon. People cook their meals by firewood in open traditional stoves. Women and children face dangerous health problems. Business and studies end at dusk. Sustainable access to electricity for the 100 million of the population that are not connected to the national grid is a huge challenge but will give widespread benefits. Here we present a model for electrification of a typical village in Bangladesh, and show that it is feasible, with some initial funding, to utilize local resources for electricity and clean cooking fuel in a sustainable way. This in turn will support social services such as healthcare and schools, and encourage development of local businesses and entrepreneurship.

Mini-grid configuration

Electricity is a pre-requisite for technological development and economic growth of a nation. Around 30% of people in Bangladesh earn below $2 per day. Countries that are lower in per capita energy consumption have low adult literacy rates, life expectancies and education index. In remote areas of Bangladesh especially in the rural and hilly regions, the health, education and communication system are in deteriorating condition because of the unavailability of electricity. In this context, energy deficiency is one of the main barriers to poverty alleviation, industrial and economic advancement, empowerment, and rural development. 

A typical village is Sherpur, located on the bank of the river Jamuna. The village consists of 219 households with an average of five family members. It is unlikely that the village will be connected to the national grid in the next 25 years. The main livelihood is agriculture and the lifestyle is simple, not requiring large amounts of electricity for dramatic improvement. Electricity for lighting, cooling, TV, radio and IT alone would bring enormous benefits, facilitating better learning conditions in schools, with longer study hours and PC-based learning made possible, as well as benefiting business and improving communication and healthcare. TV, lighting and productive uses in community centers enhances social life and may foster community based development. Risk of fire from kerosene lamps and candles would be significantly reduced. Energy security would no longer be related to the availability of diesel and kerosene.

Energy resources from a hybrid system

The electricity and cooking fuel needs of the village can be provided by a hybrid system of photovoltaics, an anaerobic biomass digester and a small-scale gas engine.

Solar PV systems utilize semiconductor-based materials (solar cells) which directly convert solar energy into electricity. Solar PV systems have many attractive features, including modularity, no fuel requirements, zero emissions, no noise and no need for national grid connection.

In a biomass digester, agricultural residues (biomass) are converted into a combustible gas in a high temperature digester, and the gas is cleaned to remove tars and particulates before being stored in a large tank. From the storage tank, clean gas is partly provided through a piping network to the individual households in the village for cooking using gas stoves. Reduced deforestation, health benefits and hygiene improvement through waste disposal are considerable benefits of using the anaerobic digester. This gas is also provided to an internal combustion engine-generator to generate electricity along with the PV solar.