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Research Priorities for Renewable energy Technology

by 2020 and beyond
by

Jorge Escudero

on 18 December 2012

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Transcript of Research Priorities for Renewable energy Technology

Research Priorities for for
Renewable Energy Technology 1. Wind Offshore
The main challenge here is to produce cost effective electricity from reliable machines.
There is therefore a requirement for research in the following areas:
• A better understanding of the environmental conditions including wind and wave
loading;
• A better understanding of the impact of wind farms on the marine environment;
• Better models of the wind turbine structure;
• Study of the support structures, blades and drive train to better understand the loads and to develop new materials to make these components cheaper, lighter and more reliable;
• Better strategies for installation;
• Improved operations and maintenance including the enhanced role of condition monitoring;
• Better understanding of large wind turbine array interactions;
• Improvements in grid connection issues e.g. reducing costs, simplifying cable deployment, investigating different topologies for connection to shore, improving cable efficiency by use of such as HTS, DC connections, etc.
• Better understanding of the risks involved in offshore development;
• Development of new industry standards for offshore wind energy;
• Development of the regulatory requirements which are less burdensome and are based more soundly on the technical, environmental and social constraints. 2. Biomass for power generation Research and development challenges:
• Developing fuel supply chains;
• Developing high yield crops resistant to disease and pests;
• Improving pre-processing of feedstocks;
• Analysis of and mitigation against the potential conflict between food and fuel crops;
• Development of gasification processes, including the cost-effective production of hydrogen and syngas. Hydro (small Hydropower) Generators and Electrical Engineering Solar Concentrating solar power by 2020 and Beyond Complex Terrain/Forests
A better understanding of the environmental conditions is required including:
• The development of flow models for complex terrain, e.g. tailoring of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models
for use in wind resource assessment including thermal effects;
• Measuring and predicting levels of turbulence;
• Developing and validating the use of remote sensing equipment for resource estimation including the use of lidar. Built Environment
Here the challenge is to better understand the resource and to develop turbines for the urban environment. Specific challenges include:
• Downscaling wind atlases for use in the urban environment;
• The use of CFD to understand wind flow and turbulence on and around buildings;
• Developing wind turbines to maximise yield and to cope with high levels of turbulence;
• Developing new buildings to integrate wind turbines in the built environment. Offshore Complex
Terrain/Forests Built environment Civil Engineering Environmental Generators and Electrical Engineering
• Development of better low speed direct-drive generators that are suitable for low heads (<5m). These could find a use also in overtopping wave energy devices;
• Development of better generators through the adaptation of high pole permanent magnet excitation generators to small hydro applications;
• Development of submersible turbo-generators.

Mechanical Engineering (turbines)
• Development of turbines with very low environmental impact, building on the example of bulb-turbines using permanent magnets;
• Improvements in the construction materials for the turbine’s moving parts and the parts of the small-hydro installation exposed to water, e.g. using new alloys, or lighter, longer lasting, cheaper and stronger alternatives. Civil Engineering
• Techniques to custom-design for a given site the heavy, load-bearing concrete structures that enclose small hydro plants should be available that result in enclosures that cost no more than standardised enclosures. In this way, water flow may be improved at the site and its electricity output increased;
• Research into more efficient desilters with high head intakes, and self-cleaning water intakes and trashracks;
• Development of methods to increase the water head at very low head sites while causing minimal environmental disruption. Environment
The above civil engineering improvements should be part of a suite of integrated design rules that:
• Take local environmental issues into account, including, with regards to fish, the development of screening processes for downstream and upstream migrating fish (fish passes, fish guiding systems);
• Assure that correct minimum residual flows from hydropower plants and flow conditions are satisfied for each site. Hydrological assessment methods need to be improved. This involves the development of low cost but efficient measurementtechniques and hydrological site evaluation software.

Standards and monitoring
• Standardised tests of small hydro plant performance and its monitoring over the long-term will offer insights that enable reliability to be increased.
• Site developers need clearer guidelines, perhaps in the form of a software toolkit for project design. 1. Demonstration of a 10-50MW CSP plant that generates and provides storage for high temperature (550oC) and high pressure turbine steam without using any intermediate heat transfer media. Research challenges include:
• Components for higher temperature operation with alternative new heat transfer fluids (steam);• Innovative thermal energy storage using phase change materials;
• Dispatchable operation concepts, e.g. based on weather forecasts.

2. Demonstration of a 10-50MW CSP plant that generates and pro- vides storage for high temperature gas (up to 800°C) to operate a gas turbine without need for cooling water. Research challenges include:
• Advanced heliostat design and tracking concepts; • Innovative receiver concepts for high temperature power cycles;
• Innovative thermal energy storage; • Optimization of power cycle components (turbines) for solar application. 3. Demonstration of a 10-50MW CSP plant that uses novel heat transfer and storage media that are environmentally benign, increase operating temperatures beyond 500oC and reduce generation costs. Research challenges include:
• Components for higher temperature operation with alternative new heat transfer fluids (salt, gas);
• Innovative thermal energy storage concepts;
• Dispatchable operation concepts, e.g. based on weather forecasts.

4. Demonstration of combined solar electricity production and desalination in a 10-50MW plant with novel technologies, e.g. Linear Fresnel. Research challenges include:• Proof of new concentrator concepts;
• Advanced reflector and absorber concepts;
• Innovative thermal energy storage.

5. Demonstration of solar fuel upgrading at commercial scale, e.g. steam reforming. Research challenges include:• Innovative receiver reactor concepts for solar chemical application;
• Hybridisation concepts; • Advanced process control. Solar photovoltaic Emerging and new PV technologies:
• Advanced inorganic thin film technologies with emphasison high growth rates, stable and reliable materials as well as increased cell efficiency through innovative device structures;
•Organic solarcells,based on polymers,molecules,dyesensitized and hybrid cells;
• Thermo-photovoltaics;
• Novel PV-technologies;
•Novel active layers;
• Tailoring the solar spectrum to boost existing cell technologies;

Existing cell technologies
• Wafer-based crystalline silicon; in particular reducing the cell thickness and implementing advanced cells design, e.g. selective emitter, rear contact cells, etc.;
• Existing thin-film technologies; in particular emphasising the research activities on bottlenecks such as interfaces, intra-grain defects, interconnections, etc.;
• III-V multi-junction and concentrator technologies; in particular simplifying the multi-junctions formation, studying the mismatching and the tunnel layers. Components and Systems
• Reduction in the cost of PV systems including power electronics, grids, rural electrification systems, etc.;
• Multifunctional inverters, which can contribute to the stability and quality of the electric grid.urban

Environment
• Developing PV construction materials to replace conventional types. Cost analysis should consider two functionali- ties: the use of the components in producing the unit; and the production of electricity;
• Integrating distributed data acquisition and monitoring systems to improve the efficiency of whole systems, includ- ing operation and maintenance costs. Geothermal Marine Exploration and investigation to identify closely the nature of geothermal heat concentrations and prospective reservoirs at depth, also improving methods to predict reservoir performance/lifetime;
• Improving drilling and completion technologies for geothermal wells;
• Reservoir engineering, stimulating the fluid flow underground;
• Improving the efficiency of the exploration activities needed to provide heat and/or electricity from wells. This includes e.g. the production pump, the piping, the heat exchanger, the power plant and any auxiliary equipment. Scaling-up the manufacture of devices
• Testing, where advances are needed in the science of performance measurement and in solving device-scaling problems;
• Standards and certification leading to the establishment of robust guidelines for the design, development and evaluation of marine renewables.

Tidal
• To downscale marine current resource atlases and to model water flow in channels and headlands, including the application of CFD;
• To test and develop new marine current devices;
• To model and measure the response of marine current devices in the presence of water flow.

Wave
The development of wave energy forecasting systems: better forecasting will not just add value to the electricity produced from the marine energy installations, but will help with the scheduling of maintenance and repair and enable better assessments to be made of the need to protect the device if severe weather is coming.R&D efforts should be focused both on single device concepts and also on arrays of systems (wave farms) including:
• Research topics at single device level: advanced control techniques could be also considered to optimise performance and reliability;
• Research topics at wave farm level:
-Wave climate forecasting (short, medium and long time scales);
-Wave propagation (including interaction between devices);
-Submarine electrical connection systems;
• Transmission cables, AC or DC transmission. www.jorgeescudero.com source: eurec
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