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Efficiency & Conservation
Record-breaking solar panel converts 26% of sunlight into energy
A record-breaking solar panel that can convert more than a quarter of the sunlight it receives into electricity has been developed by researchers in Japan. The silicon solar cell is so efficient that it turns 26.3 per cent of the energy from the sun into renewable power. In contrast, nature’s ‘solar panels’ – leaves – have a “photosynthetic efficiency” of between three and six per cent. The scientists behind the new panel also said they believed they had found a way to create a one with the maximum level of efficiency considered to be theoretically possible – 29.1 per cent. Writing in the journal Nature Energy, the team from the Kaneka Corporation in Osaka, said: “Improving the photo-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells is crucial to further the deployment of renewable electricity. “Essential device properties such as lifetime, series resistance and optical properties must be improved simultaneously to reduce recombination, resistive and optical losses. “Here, we use industrially compatible processes to fabricate large-area silicon solar cells … the photo-conversion efficiency is over 26 per cent.” The previous record for solar cell efficiency was 25.6 per cent. Further analysis, the researchers, said “pinpoints a path to approach the theoretical conversion efficiency limit of Si solar cells, 29.1 per cent.” However a statement on the Nature website said the panels were not yet ready to be sold commercially. “Although the study represents a record-breaking efficiency for a silicon solar cell, further work is required before the individual cells can be assembled into a commercially available solar panel,” it said.
15% energy efficiency by 2020: Nasrul
January 18, 2017 Wednesday 9:22 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Wednesday said that Bangladesh has a plan to ensure attaining of 15% energy efficiency by 2020 and 20% by 2030 in the seventh five year plan. To ensure that energy efficiency, there is no option but to broaden the areas under energy security, said Nasrul while speaking as the chief guest during a stakeholders validation workshop on National Energy Audit Regulation  at the conference room of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA). He said that initially the price of energy efficient machineries are high but in the long run those are proven to be more efficient. Nasrul said if energy efficiency can be attained, then the production price will be reduced too. He said that if 15% energy efficiency can be attained by 2020, then it will save around 7,482 gigawatt-hour of electricity which is equivalent to the electricity produced in a 2,000MW power plant for one year. Presenting the key-note paper at the occasion, Siddique Zobair, member of SREDA said, around 54% energy is used in the industrial sector. If carefully used, then 31% more energy efficiency could be attained from here. Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, Power Division acting secretary said, there must be a guideline for energy audit. He urged to provide important suggestions from the workshop so that those would help formulate the guideline. Md Tajul Islam, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources also spoke on the occasion.
Category: Efficiency & Conservation
Netherlands plans to ban petrol, diesel cars
April 20, 2016 Wednesday 10:54 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
The Dutch are famous for devising innovative solutions to maximise the use of renewable energy. In 2014, the country built the world`s first solar-lit road and received praise from all over. Their latest idea - in the proposal stage currently - may not be as groundbreaking but it has the potential to completely eradicate dependence of fossil fuel in the road transport sector.              The Labour Party has proposed banning the sale of all internal-combustion cars by 2025. That means only cars powered by electric or hydrogen will be allowed to join existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles. Once the existing petrol and diesel fleet go beyond its permissible road life duration, those cars can only be replaced by `green` cars, according to the proposal. While environmentalists and many others are hailing the proposal, not all in the Netherlands are completely taken by the idea. Not yet, anyway. Most car manufacturers are reportedly not pleased. Local media reports that the proposal may be pushed through nonetheless as majority of elected officials in the Dutch parliament support the initiative. Various studies - in Netherlands and in the European Union as a whole - have shown that the sale of electric/hybrid cars in the country has been increasing. The Netherlands is enthusiastic about the launch of Tesla`s `affordable` Model 3. In a country that still is one of the most carbon-intensive on the continent, the measures it`s taking going forward appear to be in the right direction. Source: The Financial Express
Category: Efficiency & Conservation
Scientists have found a way to recycle sunlight, and it could cause a solar-power revolution
March 29, 2016 Tuesday 11:06 PM By Business Insider
The world of solar cells could be on the cusp of a revolution, as researchers seek to boost efficiency by harnessing the power to recycle light. A new study, published Thursday in the journal Science, considers the properties of hybrid lead halide perovskites, a group of materials already making waves in solar cell technology, and demonstrates their ability to absorb energy from the sun, create electric charge, and then churn out some light energy of their own. Moreover, the researchers demonstrated that such these cells can be produced cheaply, with easily synthesized materials, making the proposition much more commercially viable. “We already knew that these materials were good at absorbing light and producing charge-carriers,” says co-author Felix Deschler of Cambridge University, UK, in a telephone interview with The Christian Science Monitor. “But now we have demonstrated that they can also recombine to produce photons again.” Solar cells work by absorbing the light energy — photons — from the sun, converting this energy into electrical charge, and then conveying that charge to electrodes, which take the energy out into the power-hungry world. Hybrid lead halide perovskites were already known to do this task efficiently, but what Dr. Deschler and his team have demonstrated is an ability to do more: the perovskites are actually able to emit light themselves after creating charge — and then reabsorb that light energy. The result is a solar cell that acts like a concentrator, able to produce more energy — to boost the voltage obtained from a given amount of light — than would a cell made of materials without this recycling ability. “Why this is now a big thing is because the current record of photo cell efficiency rests at 20-21 percent, whereas the absolute limit is 33 percent,” says Deschler. “Our results suggest a route to achieve that limit.” The efficiency of a solar cell refers to the percentage of energy, given a certain amount of light, it can harness for use. According to a widely accepted 1961 paper by William Shockley and Hans Queisser, theoretical thermodynamics cap solar efficiency at 33 percent. It is simply impossible to do better, they argued. Yet the beauty of this most recent work is not only the hope of climbing closer to that theoretical ceiling, but the materials used to do so.  “You wouldn’t expect photon recycling in our materials because their fabrication is so much simpler than others,” explains Deschler. “Our materials are very cheap to make, very versatile.” The reason for surprise, even skepticism, is founded in the way these materials are made — via solution. This affords little control over the way in which the structure forms. If you have impurities in a crystalline structure, you are left with a “defect site”, which makes the material “messier,” in terms of light absorption. Without such impurities, you have what is known as a “sharp absorption onset,” allowing efficient and clear absorption of the light. “So, while they are very efficient,” says Deschler, “we’re still trying to understand why and how they’re better than other materials.” The researchers expect considerable interest from solar cell producers looking for a cheaper, more efficient way to harness the power of the sun.
Category: Efficiency & Conservation
Smart energy could save £8bn a year, say advisers
March 5, 2016 Saturday 10:11 PM By BBC News
The UK could save up to £8bn a year by using electricity better, the government`s infrastructure advisers say. The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) envisages a smart energy revolution with more cables linking the National Grid to mainland Europe. NIC also says the UK needs to store much more energy from intermittent renewable like wind and solar. Fridges, freezers and washing machines could play a part, they say. Experts believe it is the first step to a full-scale "Internet of Energy", with web-enabled home appliances like freezers and washing machines linked to the grid. Here`s how it would work: At a time of peak demand, an energy firm`s computer will contact your smart freezer to ask if power can be switched off for a few minutes to allow your neighbour to use some of the energy to cook dinner. Your well-insulated freezer will stay cold without electricity for a while, so it will agree to power down. Peak You will be rewarded with a credit on your energy bill. Multiplied across thousands of homes, smart energy means the grid will need fewer power stations than it was planning to meet peak demand. The system is already operating with firms like the hotel chain Marriott, which allows its aircon systems to be switched off to save power when electricity demand peaks. The aircon stays cool because of the volume of cold water in it, so guests don`t notice. On the other hand, at times the grid is awash with energy - at night, or when it`s very windy or sunny. In these times of energy plenty, a computer will contact your web-enabled washing machine or dishwasher to ask if they want to turn on to benefit from cheap power. This is known as demand flexibility - and the infrastructure commission says it must be supported by government. Revolution Lord Adonis, chairman of the commission, said: "Our existing power stations are closing down and their replacements will be radically different as we de-carbonise supply to reduce emissions. "This represents an enormous challenge, but it leaves the UK uniquely placed to benefit from exciting innovations set to transform the global electricity market. "The UK can lead the world in harnessing these innovations. We do not call for new subsidies or significant public spending, but rather a level playing field through fairer regulation and a better managed network to allow these exciting new technologies to compete. "If we get this right, a Smart Power Revolution could save consumers £8bn a year." The commission wants to see more ideas for storing energy - like using liquid air or pumped hydro power. `Transformative` The commission`s report will be welcomed by many in the energy industry. The head of the World Energy Council, Christophe Frei, told BBC News there would be two huge advances in energy in the 21st Century: solar power - and the internet. "Everyone knows about solar power," he said. "But people haven`t yet grasped the transformative potential of information systems on the internet to maximize the efficient use of electricity." The new flexible systems adopt the approach laid out by the technology guru Amory Lovins decades ago. He proposed that a megawatt of energy saved - which he christened a NEGAwatt - should be rewarded just as highly as the power generated. Academics warn that the flexible energy revolution must be enabled because with the future need for cars powered by electricity and homes heated by electricity to save carbon emissions, the existing grid won`t cope unless there is change. Accelerate Professor Phil Taylor from Newcastle University said: "If you unravelled the National Grid it would stretch to the moon and back. We can`t afford to renew it even if we wanted to." He said he welcomed the report, which may accelerate moves already in the system. The government has a working group on flexible demand, and the regulator Ofgem has forced electricity providers to show how they will roll out smart energy. "This report is progressive," he said. "It`s the right way to go - delivering savings through flexibility rather than more infrastructure." A report for the commission by Goran Strbac from Imperial College concluded that if there`s enough flexibility in the system, it can prove cheaper than nuclear power or carbon capture and storage technology.
Category: Efficiency & Conservation
BRAC Bank launches energy efficiency credit scheme
February 29, 2016 Monday 2:41 PM By BSS
BRAC Bank has launched energy efficiency financing loan to assist readymade garments (RMG) and textile industries to invest in energy efficiency technology. The credit programme named "Planet Solutions", is the first of its kind Bangladesh and is targeted to the readymade garment and textile industries to encourage them to invest in energy efficiency technology, said a bank`s press release. The technology service provider companies providing energy efficiency solutions will also get loan under the scheme, the bank said. Bangladesh Bank (BB) Deputy Governor SK Sur Chowdhury launched the credit scheme at a programme on Sunday, held at a city hotel where managing director and chief executive officer of BRAC Bank Selim RF Hussain and country manager of International Finance Corporation (IFC) Wendy Werner were present, among others. Selim RF Hussain said under the scheme, entrepreneurs and the technology service providing companies would be able to avail loan with flexible loan tenors based on payback period within minimum processing time. This product would be an unsecured financing with an interest rate of 6 per annum.  
Category: Efficiency & Conservation
State announces 1st building meeting new energy standards
February 19, 2016 Friday 8:43 PM By AP
A renovated student services center at Tidewater Community College is the first public-use building in Virginia completed using new state standards promoting energy efficiency and conservation in government facilities. The state Department of General Services announced the achievement in a news release Thursday. The department developed the Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards as an alternative to other international green building certification programs. The standards touch on site development, land use, indoor environmental quality, water conservation and energy efficiency. Renovations to Tidewater Community College`s Bayside Building in Virginia Beach involved converting the former campus library into a 43,000-square-foot building housing student services, computer and math labs, and more.
Category: Efficiency & Conservation
Study urges New York buildings to upgrade heating systems to cut emissions
November 25, 2015 Wednesday 11:33 PM By The New York Times
Mayor Bill de Blasio has set an ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. But one fact makes it extremely difficult to achieve: In New York City, heat literally goes out the window. Residents in apartment buildings across the city know the drill all too well. Come cold weather, steam boilers run on overdrive so that heat reaches the farthest apartments, usually on the top floors. As a result, overheated residents open their windows on even the coldest days. According to a new study, cutting back on energy waste — and cutting carbon emissions in the process — can take just a few simple fixes, like installing a tiny plate in each radiator’s valve to slow the release of steam; adding insulation and a temperature sensor; and affixing a control knob on the exterior of each radiator. The report, to be released on Friday, was written by Energy Efficiency for All, which is affiliated with the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the consulting firm Steven Winter Associates. An orifice plate, which resembles a bottle cap, “can be inserted into the radiator’s hand-valve in approximately five minutes, by handymen or plumbers,” the report says, adding, “The plates never wear out,” and even help the system run better. The most difficult part of the job is getting residents to allow access to their apartments. Jonathan Flothow, a steam system specialist at the firm who contributed to the new report, “Clanging Pipes and Open Windows: Upgrading N.Y.C. Steam Systems for the 21st Century,” explained that the plates used to slow the flow of steam were actually an old technology. “We are bringing this system up to the state of the art in 1898,” he said. About 95 percent of the apartments have been retrofitted at 460 Second Avenue in Manhattan, a 12-story, 96-unit building near 26th Street that is part of an eight-building complex that gets its steam from Consolidated Edison. Energy consumption has plummeted. “Some people like it very, very hot, and some like it cold,” said Elijah Smalls, superintendent of the complex, Kips Bay Court, whose other buildings will now be updated. “You try to find a happy medium. This way, people control their own heat. It works.” That is important because, as the report points out, apartment buildings contribute the biggest share of carbon emissions of all building types in the city. Old, inefficient steam heating systems that were designed for coal, not today’s oil and gas, are responsible for most of those emissions. New York City’s sustainability plan, “One City Built to Last,” sets a goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions from buildings by nearly 3.4 million tons a year by 2025, the report says.   “It is difficult to imagine an economically viable pathway to 2025 or 2050” in reaching the city’s carbon reduction goals, the report says, “that does not address stream distribution systems” in residential buildings. A bigger change, the report adds, is to replace current boilers with smaller, more efficient ones. “Oversized boilers — and many of New York City’s are oversized — waste fuel, cost more to install, provide uneven heating and reduce the effectiveness of conservation measures,” it says. Adding multisensor controls to heating systems is also critical, the report notes, because today most buildings estimate how long the heat should run based on the outdoor temperature, not how hot it is in an apartment. If building owners implemented the report’s recommendations, they would realize an annual savings of about $147 million, the study says. “The majority of the larger apartment buildings use steam, so making improvements to the efficiencies of those buildings can have a big impact citywide,” said Lindsay Robbins, a senior advocate for the urban solutions program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. An added benefit: “Making the steam systems more efficient can reduce the cost of living in New York City,” Ms. Robbins said. “Building owners will have lower energy bills, which means less cost to pass on to New Yorkers through rent.” The report also notes that energy conservation projects currently tend to focus on changes to lighting, which are easier to explain and have historically been supported by government incentives. Steam system improvement, by contrast, involves “comprehensive design work” and access to every apartment. The savings over time can be significant, however. The report’s authors researched one case study: a prewar mid-rise co-op with 77 apartments in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. The structure underwent many of the improvements detailed in the report. Because the work was done when the cost of home heating oil was high, the building’s estimated payback period of four and a half years — the length of time that the initial investment is covered by future savings — was actually achieved in three and a half years. And the project realized 21 percent savings on heating fuel use from the installation of the orifice plates, insulation, new boiler controls and other fixes. “The savings payback depends on the kind of fuel you burn,” Heather Nolen, an energy consultant at Steven Winter Associates, said. “If your building is an energy hog, then you’re going to have a pretty quick payback.”
Category: Efficiency & Conservation
Delhi Metro bags ISO rating for efficient energy management
2, November, 2015, 4:58:31:PM By THE TIMES OF INDIA
The Delhi Metro has become the first metro service in the country to be certified with the prestigious International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) rating for efficient energy management. "15 stations of the Delhi Metro and one of its depots have been selected for this rating, enabling Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to save 13,730 MVAH (Mega Volt Ampere Hour) and 5,628 MVAH in year 2013 and 2014 which translates to monitory savings of Rs 961 lakhs and Rs 394 lakhs respectively," a DMRC statement said. The stations and depot which have been certified are — Yamuna Bank, Anand Vihar, Sarita Vihar, Ashok Park Main, GTB Nagar, Vishwavidyalaya, Kashmere Gate, Rajiv Chowk, Mandi House, Janpath, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shahdara, Azadpur, HUDA City Centre and the Khyber Pass depot. The ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management System (EnMS) is a very recent ISO standard on Energy Management. It specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an Energy Management system, whose purpose is to enable an organisation to follow a systematic approach on achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy use and consumption. DMRC has an energy policy in place which lays down stringent energy efficient guidelines for the organisation.
Category: Efficiency & Conservation
GE combines technologies into energy efficiency company
2, November, 2015, 3:09:1:PM By Reuters
General Electric Co said on Wednesday it had started a company to focus on energy efficiency to help corporate and other customers lower their energy bills and better manage power distribution. The new company, called Current, will integrate GE`s LED, solar, energy storage and electric vehicle businesses with GE`s growing data and analytics platform. The conglomerate, which has been selling off finance assets to focus on industrial operations, already generates massive revenue in the energy sector from selling and servicing big-ticket power generation products, such as gas and wind turbines as well as an array of oilfield equipment. The company, which will be run by Maryrose Sylvester, who has been president of GE Lighting, will begin with $1 billion in revenue, and is expected to grow to $5 billion by 2020, GE said. Through analyzing energy consumption, GE said it can save customers 10 percent to 20 percent on their energy bills. "The creation of a new company within GE reinforces our commitment to take energy to the next level," GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said in a statement. GE`s will merge its LED business that serves commercial and industrial customers into the new company, while GE Lighting will continue to sell LED bulbs as well as other products to consumers, a GE spokeswoman said. GE has been shedding non-core businesses, such as its appliances unit, and some investors have questioned whether GE will eventually sell its lighting business.
Category: Efficiency & Conservation
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