Renewable Energy Technologies owns, develops, acquires and operates renewable energy projects in the U.S. and Canada that integrate our "waste to energy" technologies for cities and towns at our "Bioenergy Centers."
We help cities and towns become energy independent through our "Bioenergy Centers" that combine biorenewable energy technologies with renewable energy technologies at a centralized location in or near the city, and generate green energy including; Biomethane, B100 Biodiesel, E100 Ethanol from one or more of the following waste streams, biorenewable energy and renewable energy technologies:
- Anaerobic Digesters
- Anaerobic Lagoons
- Biomass Gasification
- Cogeneration power plants
- Concentrating Solar Power Plants
- Landfill Gas to Energy
- Methane Recovery
- Municipal Solid Waste
- Oilseed Crops
- Plasma Gasification
- Thermal Gasification
- Trigeneration Power plants
- Waste Gasification
- Waste to Energy facilities
- Waste to Fuel
- Waste to Watts
- Wastewater Treatment Plants
- Wind Power Generation
How Our Bioenergy Centers Integrate Biorenewable Energy Technologies Work To Make Towns and Cities Energy Independent While Reducing or Eliminating Environmental Problems.
We design, finance, invest and build "bioenergy centers" for cities and towns – in or near the city that integrates our multiple biorenewable energy technologies that generate; B100 Biodiesel, biomethane, E100 Ethanol, and green electricity.
Waste streams include those from; agricultural and livestock facilities, wastewater treatment systems, landfills, anaerobic digesters, which we then produce biomethane, B100 biodiesel, and E100 ethanol for use within the town.
Agricultural waste, such as corn stover and "waste" hay, is processed through our biomass gasification plant that produces synthesis gas, or biomethane. Livestock waste and manure is processed through anaerobic digester, which produces biomethane that will be used as a fuel in our cogeneration, trigeneration or E100 ethanol plants. Other waste streams including municipal sold waste are processed and utilized to produce additional biomethane and our Bioenergy Centers will produce a profit along with reducing or eliminating waste streams that could have otherwise posed future environmental risks and liabilities to the city.
Renewable Energy Technologies provides Biorenewable Energy consulting and project development services, including engineering feasibility and economic analysis, construction, finance/investments, ownership, and operations. More specifically, we provide the following power and energy project development services:
- Project Engineering Feasibility & Economic Analysis Studies
- Engineering, Procurement and Construction
- Environmental Engineering & Permitting
- Project Funding & Financing Options; including Equity Investment, Debt Financing, Lease and Municipal Lease
- Shared/Guaranteed Savings Program with No Capital Investment from Qualified Clients
- Project Commissioning
- 3rd Party Ownership and Project Development
- Long-term Service Agreements
- Operations & Maintenance
- Green Tag (Renewable Energy Credit, Carbon Dioxide Credits, Emission Reduction Credits) Brokerage Services; Application and Permitting
We provide "cooler, cleaner, greener" power and energy project development services as well as "turnkey" products and services in the areas of "Renewable Energy Technologies" and in developing clean power/energy projects that will generate a "Renewable Energy Credit," Carbon Dioxide Credits and Emission Reduction Credits. Through our strategic partners, we offer "turnkey" power/energy project development products and services that may include; Absorption Chillers, Adsorption Chillers, Automated Demand Response, Biodiesel Refineries, Biofuel Refineries, Biomass Gasification, BioMethane, Canola Biodiesel, Coconut Biodiesel, Cogeneration, Concentrating Solar Power, Demand Response Programs, Demand Side Management, Energy Conservation Measures, Energy Master Planning, Engine Driven Chillers, Solar CHP, Solar Cogeneration, Rapeseed Biodiesel, Solar Electric Heat Pumps, Solar Electric Power Systems, Solar Heating and Cooling, Solar Trigeneration, Soy Biodiesel, and Trigeneration.
Unlike most companies, we are equipment supplier/vendor neutral. This means we help our clients select the best equipment for their specific application. This approach provides our customers with superior performance, decreased operating expenses and increased return on investment.
Our company develops and raises investment capital for renewable energy and power projects. Our investors include angel and institutional investors. We also offer Private Placement Memorandums and Regulation D Offerings – that includes accounting, legal and financial management services for qualified clients and renewable energy projects.
To find out if we may be interested in assisting your company with your renewable energy project, please read the information on this website and then send e-mail to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org call: 832-758-0027 with your specific project information.
What are "Renewable Energy Technologies?"
Any technology that exclusively relies on an energy source that is naturally regenerated over a short time and derived directly from the sun, indirectly from the sun, or from moving water or other natural movements and mechanisms of the environment. A renewable energy technology does not rely on energy resources derived from fossil fuels, or waste products from inorganic sources. Renewable energy technologies include; Bioenergy (such as biomethane recovery from , landfills, animal operations and POTW's), Geothermal, Hydrogen, Hydropower, Ocean, Solar, and Wind power generation technologies. More information about these renewable energy technologies follows below beginning with the paragraph on "Bioenergy."
We provide Renewable Energy Technologies engineering and project development services. We incorporate many energy-saving technologies, products and services into our renewable energy power and energy projects that may include the use of; Absorption Chillers, Adsorption Chillers, Automated Demand Response, BioMethane, Cogeneration, Concentrating Solar Power, Demand Response Programs, Demand Side Management, Energy Master Planning, Energy Performance Contracting, Energy Savings Performance Contracting, Engine Driven Chillers, Geothermal Power Plants, Landfill gas to Energy, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, Quadgeneration, Solar CHP, Solar Cogeneration, Solar Trigeneration, Trigeneration and Energy Conservation Measures.
Our company provides turn-key project solutions that include all or part of the following:
- Engineering and Economic Feasibility Studies
- Project Design, Engineering & Permitting
- Project Construction
- Project Funding & Financing Options
- Shared/Guaranteed Savings program with no capital requirements
- Project Commissioning
- Operations & Maintenance
Bioenergy technologies use renewable biomass resources to produce an array of energy related products including electricity, liquid, solid, and gaseous fuels, heat, chemicals, and other materials. Bioenergy ranks second (to hydropower) in renewable U.S. primary energy production and accounts for three percent of the primary energy production in the United States.
Biomass (organic matter) can be used to provide heat, make fuels, and generate electricity. This is called bioenergy. Wood, the largest source of bioenergy, has been used to provide heat for thousands of years. But there are many other types of biomass—such as wood, plants, residue from agriculture or forestry, and the organic component of municipal and industrial wastes—that can now be used as an energy source. Today, many bioenergy resources are replenished through the cultivation of energy crops, such as fast-growing trees and grasses, called bioenergy feedstocks.
Unlike other renewable energy sources, biomass can be converted directly into liquid fuels for our transportation needs. The two most common biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol, an alcohol, is made by fermenting any biomass high in carbohydrates, like corn, through a process similar to brewing beer. It is mostly used as a fuel additive to cut down a vehicle's carbon monoxide and other smog-causing emissions. Biodiesel, an ester, is made using vegetable oils, animal fats, algae, or even recycled cooking greases. It can be used as a diesel additive to reduce vehicle emissions or in its pure form to fuel a vehicle.
Heat can be used to chemically convert biomass into a fuel oil, which can be burned like petroleum to generate electricity. Biomass can also be burned directly to produce steam for electricity production or manufacturing processes. In a power plant, a turbine usually captures the steam, and a generator then converts it into electricity. In the lumber and paper industries, wood scraps are sometimes directly fed into boilers to produce steam for their manufacturing processes or to heat their buildings. Some coal-fired power plants use biomass as a supplementary energy source in high-efficiency boilers to significantly reduce emissions.
Even gas can be produced from biomass for generating electricity. Biomass Gasification systems use high temperatures to convert biomass into a natural gas, or BioMethane. The gas fuels a turbine, which is very much like a jet engine, only it turns an electric generator instead of propelling a jet. The decay of biomass in landfills also produces a BioMethane gas that can be burned in a boiler to produce steam for electricity generation or for industrial processes.
New technology could lead to using biobased chemicals and materials to make products such as anti-freeze, plastics, and personal care items that are now made from petroleum. In some cases these products may be completely biodegradable. While technology to bring biobased chemicals and materials to market is still under development, the potential benefit of these products is great.
The term "biomass" means any plant derived organic matter available on a renewable basis, including dedicated energy crops and trees, agricultural food and feed crops, agricultural crop wastes and residues, wood wastes and residues, aquatic plants, animal wastes, municipal wastes, and other waste materials. Handling technologies, collection logistics and infrastructure are important aspects of the biomass resource supply chain.
Biopower technologies are proven electricity generation options in the United States, with 10 gigawatts of installed capacity. All of today's capacity is based on mature direct-combustion technology. Future efficiency improvements will include co-firing of biomass in existing coal fired boilers and the introduction of high-efficiency gasification combined-cycle systems, fuel cell systems, and modular systems.
A variety of fuels can be made from biomass resources, including the liquid fuels ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, and gaseous fuels such as hydrogen and methane. Biofuels research and development is composed of three main areas: producing the fuels, finding applications and uses of the fuels, and creating a distribution infrastructure.
Bio-based Chemicals and Materials
Bio-based chemicals and materials are commercial or industrial products, other than food and feed, derived from biomass feedstocks. Bio-based products include green chemicals, renewable plastics, natural fibers, and natural structural materials. Many of these products can replace products and materials traditionally derived from petrochemicals, but new and improved processing technologies will be required.
Integrated Bio-energy Systems and Assessments
The economic, social, environmental, and ecological consequences in growing and using biomass are important to understand and consider when addressing technological, market, and policy issues associated with bioenergy systems.
Geothermal energy technologies use the heat of the earth for direct-use applications, geothermal heat pumps, and electrical power production. Research in all areas of geothermal development is helping to lower costs and expand its use. In the United States, most geothermal resources are concentrated in the West, but geothermal heat pumps can be used nearly anywhere.
Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth. It's clean and sustainable. Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the Earth's surface, and down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock called magma.
Almost everywhere, the shallow ground or upper 10 feet of the Earth's surface maintains a nearly constant temperature between 50° and 60°F (10° and 16°C). Geothermal heat pumps can tap into this resource to heat and cool buildings. A geothermal heat pump system consists of a heat pump, an air delivery system (ductwork), and a heat exchanger—a system of pipes buried in the shallow ground near the building. In the winter, the heat pump removes heat from the heat exchanger and pumps it into the indoor air delivery system. In the summer, the process is reversed, and the heat pump moves heat from the indoor air into the heat exchanger. The heat removed from the indoor air during the summer can also be used to provide a free source of hot water.
In the United States, most geothermal reservoirs of hot water are located in the western states, Alaska, and Hawaii. Wells can be drilled into underground reservoirs for the generation of electricity. Some geothermal power plants use the steam from a reservoir to power a turbine/generator, while others use the hot water to boil a working fluid that vaporizes and then turns a turbine. Hot water near the surface of Earth can be used directly for heat. Direct-use applications include heating buildings, growing plants in greenhouses, drying crops, heating water at fish farms, and several industrial processes such as pasteurizing milk.
Hot dry rock resources occur at depths of 3 to 5 miles everywhere beneath the Earth's surface and at lesser depths in certain areas. Access to these resources involves injecting cold water down one well, circulating it through hot fractured rock, and drawing off the heated water from another well. Currently, there are no commercial applications of this technology. Existing technology also does not yet allow recovery of heat directly from magma, the very deep and most powerful resource of geothermal energy.
Geological, geochemical, and geophysical techniques are used to locate geothermal resources.
Drilling for geothermal resources has been adapted from the oil industry. Improved drill bits, slimhole drilling, advanced instruments, and other drilling technologies are under development.
Geothermal hot water near the Earth's surface can be used directly for heating buildings and as a heat supply for a variety of commercial and industrial uses. Geothermal direct use is particularly favored for greenhouses and aquaculture.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps, or ground-source heat pumps, use the relatively constant temperature of soil or surface water as a heat source and sink for a heat pump, which provides heating and cooling for buildings.
Underground reservoirs of hot water or steam, heated by an upwelling of magma, can be tapped for electrical power production.
Advanced technologies will help manage geothermal resources for maximum power production, improve plant operating efficiencies, and develop new resources such as hot dry rock, geopressured brines, and magma.
Geothermal technologies release little or no air emissions. Geothermal power production produces much lower air emissions than conventional energy technologies.
In the United States, geothermal resources are concentrated in the West, although low-temperature resources can also be found in the rest of the country. Geothermal heat pumps can be used nearly anywhere.
Hydrogen is the third most abundant element on the earth's surface, where it is found primarily in water (H²O) and organic compounds. It is generally produced from hydrocarbons or water; and when burned as a fuel, or converted to electricity, it joins with oxygen to again form water.
Hydrogen is the simplest element; an atom consists of only one proton and one electron. It is also the most plentiful element in the universe. Despite its simplicity and abundance, hydrogen doesn't occur naturally as a gas on the Earth—it is always combined with other elements. Water, for example, is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen (H²O). Hydrogen is also found in many organic compounds, notably the "hydrocarbons" that make up many of our fuels, such as gasoline, natural gas, methanol, and propane.
Hydrogen can be made by separating it from hydrocarbons by applying heat, a process known as "reforming" hydrogen. Currently, most hydrogen is made this way from natural gas. An electrical current can also be used to separate water into its components of oxygen and hydrogen. Some algae and bacteria, using sunlight as their energy source, even give off hydrogen under certain conditions.
Hydrogen is high in energy, yet an engine that burns pure hydrogen produces almost no pollution. NASA has used liquid hydrogen since the 1970s to propel the space shuttle and other rockets into orbit. Hydrogen fuel cells power the shuttle's electrical systems, producing a clean byproduct—pure water, which the crew drinks. You can think of a fuel cell as a battery that is constantly replenished by adding fuel to it—it never loses its charge.
Fuel cells are a promising technology for use as a source of heat and electricity for buildings, and as an electrical power source for electric vehicles. Although these applications would ideally run off pure hydrogen, in the near term they are likely to be fueled with natural gas, methanol, or even gasoline. Reforming these fuels to create hydrogen will allow the use of much of our current energy infrastructure—gas stations, natural gas pipelines, etc.—while fuel cells are phased in.
In the future, hydrogen could also join electricity as an important energy carrier. An energy carrier stores, moves, and delivers energy in a usable form to consumers. Renewable energy sources, like the sun, can't produce energy all the time. The sun doesn't always shine. But hydrogen can store this energy until it is needed and can be transported to where it is needed.
Some experts think that hydrogen will form the basic energy infrastructure that will power future societies, replacing today's natural gas, oil, coal, and electricity infrastructures. They see a new hydrogen economy to replace our current energy economies, although that vision probably won't happen until far in the future.
Hydrogen is produced from sources such as natural gas, coal, gasoline, methanol, or biomass through the application of heat; from bacteria or algae through photosynthesis; or by using electricity or sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Transport and Storage
The use of hydrogen as a fuel and energy carrier will require an infrastructure for safe and cost-effective hydrogen transport and storage.
Hydrogen's potential use in fuel and energy applications includes powering vehicles, running turbines or fuel cells to produce electricity, and generating heat and electricity for buildings. The current focus is on hydrogen's use in fuel cells.
Hydrogen has an excellent safety record, and is as safe for transport, storage and uses as many other fuels. Nevertheless, safety remains a top priority in all aspects of hydrogen energy. The hydrogen community addresses safety through stringent design and testing of storage and transport concepts, and by developing codes and standards for all types of hydrogen-related equipment.
The Hydrogen Economy
The vision of building an energy infrastructure that uses hydrogen as an energy carrier — a concept called the "hydrogen economy" — is considered the most likely path toward a full commercial application of hydrogen energy technologies.
Hydropower (also called hydroelectric power) facilities in the United States can generate enough power to supply 28 million households with electricity, the equivalent of nearly 500 million barrels of oil. The total U.S. hydropower capacity—including pumped storage facilities—is about 95,000 megawatts. Researchers are working on advanced turbine technologies that will not only help maximize the use of hydropower but also minimize adverse environmental effects.
Flowing water creates energy that can be captured and turned into electricity. This is called hydropower. Hydropower is currently the largest source of renewable power, generating nearly 10% of the electricity used in the United States.
The most common type of hydropower plant uses a dam on a river to store water in a reservoir. Water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which, in turn, activates a generator to produce electricity. But hydropower doesn't necessarily require a large dam. Some hydropower plants just use a small canal to channel the river water through a turbine.
Another type of hydropower plant—called a pumped storage plant—can even store power. The power is sent from a power grid into the electric generators. The generators then spin the turbines backward, which causes the turbines to pump water from a river or lower reservoir to an upper reservoir, where the power is stored. To use the power, the water is released from the upper reservoir back down into the river or lower reservoir. This spins the turbines forward, activating the generators to produce electricity.
Types of Hydropower
An impoundment facility, typically a large hydropower system, uses a dam to store river water in a reservoir. The water may be released either to meet changing electricity needs or to maintain a constant reservoir level.
A diversion, sometimes called run-of-river, facility channels a portion of a river through a canal or penstock. It may not require the use of a dam.
When the demand for electricity is low, pumped storage facility stores energy by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir. During periods of high electrical demand, the water is released back to the lower reservoir to generate electricity.
Sizes of Hydropower Plants
Facilities range in size from large power plants that supply many consumers with electricity to small and micro plants that individuals operate for their own energy needs or to sell power to utilities.
Although definitions vary, DOE defines large hydropower as facilities that have a capacity of more than 30 megawatts.
Although definitions vary, DOE defines small hydropower as facilities that have a capacity of 0.1 to 30 megawatts.
A micro hydropower plant has a capacity of up to 100 kilowatts (0.1 megawatts).
There are many types of turbines used for hydropower, and they are chosen based on their particular application and the height of standing water—referred to as "head"—available to drive them. The turning part of the turbine is called the runner. The most common turbines are as follows:
A Pelton turbine has one or more jets of water impinging on the buckets of a runner that looks like a water wheel. The Pelton turbines are used for high-head sites (50 feet to 6,000 feet) and can be as large as 200 megawatts.
A Francis turbine has a runner with fixed vanes, usually nine or more. The water enters the turbine in a radial direction with respect to the shaft, and is discharged in an axial direction. Francis turbines will operate from 10 feet to 2,000 feet of head and can be as large as 800 megawatts.
A propeller has a runner with three to six fixed blades, like a boat propeller. The water passes through the runner and drives the blades. Propeller turbines can operate from 10 feet to 300 feet of head and can be as large as 100 megawatts. A Kaplan turbine is a type of propeller turbine in which the pitch of the blades can be changed to improve performance. Kaplan turbines can be as large as 400 megawatts.
Environmental Issues and Mitigation
Current hydropower technology, while essentially emission-free, can have undesirable environmental effects, such as fish injury and mortality from passage through turbines, as well as detrimental effects on the quality of downstream water. A variety of mitigation techniques are in use now, and environmentally friendly turbines are under development.
Legal and Institutional Issues
Legal and institutional issues include federal licensing as well as state and local permits, laws for historic and cultural preservation, and recreational requirements.
Ocean energy draws on the energy of ocean waves, tides, or on the thermal energy (heat) stored in the ocean.
The ocean contains two types of energy: thermal energy from the sun's heat, and mechanical energy from the tides and waves.
Oceans cover more than 70% of Earth's surface, making them the world's largest solar collectors. The sun warms the surface water a lot more than the deep ocean water, and this temperature difference stores thermal energy. Thermal energy is used for many applications, including electricity generation. There are three types of electricity conversion systems: closed-cycle, open-cycle, and hybrid. Closed-cycle systems use the ocean's warm surface water to vaporize a working fluid, which has a low-boiling point, such as ammonia. The vapor expands and turns a turbine. The turbine then activates a generator to produce electricity. Open-cycle systems actually boil the seawater by operating at low pressures. This produces steam that passes through a turbine/generator. And hybrid systems combine both closed-cycle and open-cycle systems.
Ocean mechanical energy is quite different from ocean thermal energy. Even though the sun affects all ocean activity, tides are driven primarily by the gravitational pull of the moon, and waves are driven primarily by the winds. A barrage (dam) is typically used to convert tidal energy into electricity by forcing the water through turbines, activating a generator. For wave energy conversion, there are three basic systems: channel systems that funnel the waves into reservoirs, float systems that drive hydraulic pumps, and oscillating water column systems that use the waves to compress air within a container. The mechanical power created from these systems either directly activates a generator or transfers to a working fluid, water, or air, which then drives a turbine/generator.
The total power of waves breaking on the world's coastlines is estimated at 2 to 3 million megawatts. In favorable locations, wave energy density can average 65 megawatts per mile of coastline.
Tidal energy traditionally involves erecting a dam across the opening to a tidal basin. The dam includes a sluice that is opened to allow the tide to flow into the basin; the sluice is then closed, and as the sea level drops, traditional hydropower technologies can be used to generate electricity from the elevated water in the basin. Some researchers are also trying to extract energy directly from tidal flow streams.
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Systems
A great amount of thermal energy (heat) is stored in the world's oceans. Each day, the oceans absorb enough heat from the sun to equal the thermal energy contained in 250 billion barrels of oil. OTEC systems convert this thermal energy into electricity — often while producing desalinated water.
Solar technologies use the sun's energy and light to provide heat, light, hot water, electricity, and even cooling, for homes, businesses, and industry.
Sunlight—solar energy—can be used to generate electricity, provide hot water, and to heat, cool, and light buildings.
Photovoltaic (solar cell) systems convert sunlight directly into electricity. A solar or PV cell consists of semiconducting material that absorbs the sunlight. The solar energy knocks electrons loose from their atoms, allowing the electrons to flow through the material to produce electricity. PV cells are typically combined into modules that hold about 40 cells. About 10 of these modules are mounted in PV arrays. PV arrays can be used to generate electricity for a single building or, in large numbers, for a power plant. A power plant can also use a concentrating solar power system, which uses the sun's heat to generate electricity. The sunlight is collected and focused with mirrors to create a high-intensity heat source. This heat source produces steam or mechanical power to run a generator that creates electricity.
Solar water heating systems for buildings have two main parts: a solar collector and a storage tank. Typically, a flat-plate collector—a thin, flat, rectangular box with a transparent cover—is mounted on the roof, facing the sun. The sun heats an absorber plate in the collector, which, in turn, heats the fluid running through tubes within the collector. To move the heated fluid between the collector and the storage tank, a system either uses a pump or gravity, as water has a tendency to naturally circulate as it is heated. Systems that use fluids other than water in the collector's tubes usually heat the water by passing it through a coil of tubing in the tank.
Many large commercial buildings can use solar collectors to provide more than just hot water. Solar process heating systems can be used to heat these buildings. A solar ventilation system can be used in cold climates to preheat air as it enters a building. And the heat from a solar collector can even be used to provide energy for cooling a building.
A solar collector is not always needed when using sunlight to heat a building. Some buildings can be designed for passive solar heating. These buildings usually have large, south-facing windows. Materials that absorb and store the sun's heat can be built into the sunlit floors and walls. The floors and walls will then heat up during the day and slowly release heat at night—a process called direct gain. Many of the passive solar heating design features also provide daylighting. Daylighting is simply the use of natural sunlight to brighten up a building's interior.
Photovoltaic solar cells, which directly convert sunlight into electricity, are made of semiconducting materials. The simplest cells power watches and calculators and the like, while more complex systems can light houses and provide power to the electric grid.
Passive Solar Heating, Cooling and Daylighting
Buildings designed for passive solar and daylighting incorporate design features such as large south-facing windows and building materials that absorb and slowly release the sun's heat. No mechanical means are employed in passive solar heating. Incorporating passive solar designs can reduce heating bills as much as 50 percent. Passive solar designs can also include natural ventilation for cooling.
Concentrating Solar Power
Concentrating solar power technologies use reflective materials such as mirrors to concentrate the sun's energy. This concentrated heat energy is then converted into electricity.
Solar Hot Water and Space Heating and Cooling
Solar hot water heaters use the sun to heat either water or a heat-transfer fluid in collectors. A typical system will reduce the need for conventional water heating by about two-thirds. High-temperature solar water heaters can provide energy-efficient hot water and hot water heat for large commercial and industrial facilities.
Solar resource information provides data on how much solar energy is available to a collector and how it might vary from month to month, year to year, and location to location. Collecting this information requires a national network of solar radiation monitoring sites.
The availability or access to unobstructed sunlight for use both in passive solar designs and active systems is protected by zoning laws and ordinances in many communities.
Consumer demand for clean renewable energy and the deregulation of the utilities industry have spurred growth in green power—solar, wind, geothermal steam, biomass, and small-scale hydroelectric sources of power. Small commercial solar power plants have begun serving some energy markets.
Wind energy uses the energy in the wind for practical purposes like generating electricity, charging batteries, pumping water, or grinding grain. Large, modern wind turbines operate together in wind farms to produce electricity for utilities. Small turbines are used by homeowners and remote villages to help meet energy needs.
Wind turbines capture the wind's energy with two or three propeller-like blades, which are mounted on a rotor, to generate electricity. The turbines sit high atop towers, taking advantage of the stronger and less turbulent wind at 100 feet (30 meters) or more aboveground.
A blade acts much like an airplane wing. When the wind blows, a pocket of low-pressure air forms on the downwind side of the blade. The low-pressure air pocket then pulls the blade toward it, causing the rotor to turn. This is called lift. The force of the lift is actually much stronger than the wind's force against the front side of the blade, which is called drag. The combination of lift and drag causes the rotor to spin like a propeller, and the turning shaft spins a generator to make electricity.
Wind turbines can be used as stand-alone applications, or they can be connected to a utility power grid or even combined with a photovoltaic (solar cell) system. Stand-alone turbines are typically used for water pumping or communications. However, homeowners and farmers in windy areas can also use turbines to generate electricity. For utility-scale sources of wind energy, a large number of turbines are usually built close together to form a wind farm. Several electricity providers today use wind farms to supply power to their customers.
Wind Energy Technologies
Modern wind turbines are divided into two major categories: horizontal axis turbines and vertical axis turbines. Old-fashioned windmills are still seen in many rural areas.
Wind Turbine Use
Wind turbines are used around the world for many applications. Wind turbine use ranges from homeowners with single turbines to large wind farms with hundreds of turbines providing electricity to the power grid.
Research advances have helped drop the cost of energy from the wind dramatically during the last 20 years. Research is carried out by research labs, universities, and utility organizations.
The wind is the fuel source for wind energy. The United States has many areas with abundant winds, particularly in the Midwest and Great Plains. Understanding the wind resource is a crucial step in planning a wind energy project. Detailed knowledge of the wind at a site is needed to estimate the performance of a wind energy project.
Wind energy is considered a green power technology because it has only minor impacts on the environment. Wind energy plants produce no air pollutants or greenhouse gases. However, any means of energy production impacts the environment in some way, and wind energy is no different.
The cost of energy from the wind has dropped by 85% during the last 20 years. Incentives like the federal production tax credit and net metering provisions available in some areas improve the economics of wind energy.
What is a "Renewable Energy Credit?"
One Renewable Energy Credit or "REC" represents one megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable energy that is physically metered and verified from the generator, or the renewable energy project.
"REC's" are created when a Renewable Energy project is certified and begins producing renewable energy. Renewable energy projects create green power which helps reduce pollution. Renewable Energy Credits are the group of environmental benefits society benefits from in the production of green power. The green-power (electricity) is sold into the local electric grid where the renewable energy project is located. The REC's are sold separately as a commodity into the marketplace.
“In a REC deal, the power from the new renewable energy facility is not physically delivered to the customer, but the environmental benefits created by the facility are attributed to that customer, directly offsetting the environmental impact of the customer’s conventional energy use.” –Bonneville Environmental Foundation
REC Offset – An REC offset represents one megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable energy from an existing facility, which may be used in place of an REC to meet a renewable energy requirement imposed under this section. REC offsets may not be traded.
Renewable Energy Credit (REC or credit) – An REC represents one megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable energy that is physically metered and verified.
Renewable Energy Credit Account (REC account) – An account maintained by the renewable energy credits trading program administrator for the purpose of tracking the production, sale, transfer, purchase, and retirement of RECs by a program participant.
Renewable Energy Credit (trading program) – The process of awarding, trading, tracking, and submitting RECs as a means of meeting the renewable energy requirements.
Renewable Energy Resource – A resource that produces energy derived from renewable energy technologies.
Renewable Energy Technology – Any technology that exclusively relies on an energy source that is naturally regenerated over a short time and derived directly from the sun, indirectly from the sun, or from moving water or other natural movements and mechanisms of the environment. Renewable energy technologies include those that rely on energy derived directly from the sun, on wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave, or tidal energy, or on biomass or biomass-based waste products, including landfill gas. A renewable energy technology does not rely on energy resources derived from fossil fuels, or waste products from inorganic sources.
See important update on California Senate Bill 700 that impacts all California Animal Farming Operations
Some of the following information provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with permission and our thanks.
What is BioMethane and BioMethanation?
BioMethane is a renewable energy/fuel, with properties similar to natural gas, produced from "biomass." Unlike natural gas, BioMethane is a renewable energy.
The cost of producing BioMethane, after installation of the BioMass Gasification equipment used to produce BioMethane (the process of making BioMethane is called "BioMethanation") is called is essentially free.
Again, unlike the price of natural gas, which has been around $6.00/mmbtu for the past year.
More About Biomass Gasification and BioMethanation Technology
The process of Biomass Gasification produces BioMethane. BioMethane is also produced in anaerobic digesters, in the process called anaerobic digestion. BioMethane is a renewable energy resource, as opposed to natural gas (methane), which is a non-renewable energy resource. BioMethane has similar qualities of methane and both are used in interchangeably, and each may be a substitute for the other.
The production and disposal of large quantities of organic and biodegradable waste without adequate or proper treatment results in widespread environmental pollution. Some waste streams can be treated by conventional methods like aeration. Compared to the aerobic method, the use of anaerobic digesters in processing these waste streams provides greater economic and environmental benefits and advantages.
As previously stated, Biomethanation is the process of conversion of organic matter in the waste (liquid or solid) to BioMethane (sometimes referred to as "BioGas) and manure by microbial action in the absence of air, known as "anaerobic digestion."
Conventional digesters such as sludge digesters and anaerobic CSTR (Continuous Stirred Tank Reactors) have been used for many decades in sewage treatment plants for stabilizing the activated sludge and sewage solids.
Interest in BioMethanation as an economic, environmental and energy-saving waste treatment continues to gain greater interest world-wide and has led to the development of a range of anaerobic reactor designs. These high-rate, high-efficiency anaerobic digesters are also referred to as "retained biomass reactors" since they are based on the concept of retaining viable biomass by sludge immobilization.
Biomass Gasification and the Production of BioMethane
Biomass is a renewable energy resource which includes a wide variety of organic resources. A few of these include wood, agricultural residue/waste, and animal manure.
Biomass Gasification is the process in which BioMethane is produced in the BioMass Gasification process. The BioMethane is then used like any other fuel, such as natural gas, which is not a renewable fuel.
Historically, biomass use has been characterized by low btu and low efficiencies. However, today biomass gasification is gaining world-wide recognition and favor due to the economic and environmental benefits. In terms of economic benefits, the cost of the BioMethane is essentially free, after the cost of the equipment is installed. BioMethane, probably the most important and efficient energy-conversion technology for a wide variety of biomass fuels. The large-scale deployment of efficient technology along with interventions to enhance the sustainable supply of biomass fuels can transform the energy supply situation in rural areas. It has the potential to become the growth engine for rural development in the country.
Principles of Biomass Gasification
Biomass fuels such as firewood and agriculture-generated residues and wastes are generally organic. They contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen along with some moisture. Under controlled conditions, characterized by low oxygen supply and high temperatures, most biomass materials can be converted into a gaseous fuel known as producer gas, which consists of carbon monoxide, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen. This thermo-chemical conversion of solid biomass into gaseous fuel is called biomass gasification. The producer gas so produced has low a calorific value (1000-1200 Kcal/Nm3), but can be burnt with a high efficiency and a good degree of control without emitting smoke. Each kilogram of air-dry biomass (10% moisture content) yields about 2.5 Nm3 of producer gas. In energy terms, the conversion efficiency of the gasification process is in the range of 60%-70%.
Multiple Advantages of Biomass Gasification in Methane Production
Conversion of solid biomass into combustible gas has all the advantages associated with using gaseous and liquid fuels such as clean combustion, compact burning equipment, high thermal efficiency and a good degree of control. In locations, where biomass is already available at reasonable low prices (e.g. rice mills) or in industries using fuel wood, gasifier systems offer definite economic advantages. Biomass gasification technology is also environment-friendly, because of the firewood savings and reduction in CO2 emissions.
Biomass gasification technology has the potential to replace diesel and other petroleum products in several applications, foreign exchange.
Applications for Biomass Gasification
Thermal applications: cooking, water boiling, steam generation, drying etc.
Motive power applications: Using producer gas as a fuel in IC engines for applications such as water pumping Electricity generation: Using producer gas in dual-fuel mode in diesel engines/as the only fuel in spark ignition engines/in gas turbines.
Publicly Owned Treatment Works ("POTW's") or Wastewater Treatment Systems
More and more, cities, counties and municipalities are faced with greater environmental compliance issues relating to their municipally-owned landfills, Publicly Owned Treatment Works ("POTW's") or Wastewater Treatment Systems.
A city's landfill and/or POTW provide an excellent opportunity for cities to reduce their emissions as well as provide an additional revenue stream. These facilities may have valuable gases that our company recovers and pipes to one of our clean, environmentally-friendly cogeneration or trigeneration energy systems.
Our company provides economic and ecological solutions for cities and municipalities with environmental liabilities (air emissions) associated with POTW operation and provide a new cash flow simultaneously. We offer turn-key solutions for cities that include the preliminary feasibility analysis, engineering and design, project management, permitting and commissioning. We provide very attractive financing packages for cities that do not add to a city's liability, yet provide a valuable new revenue stream. And, we are also able to offer a turn-key solution for qualified municipalities that includes our company owning, operating and maintaining the onsite power and energy plant.
At the heart of the system is a (Bio) Methane Gas Recovery system similar those used in Flare Gas Recovery or Vapor Recovery Units. Methane Gas Recovery, Flare Gas Recovery, Vapor Recovery, Waste to Energy and Vapor Recovery Units all recover valuable "waste" or vented fuels that can be used to provide fuel for an onsite power generation plant. Our waste-to-energy and waste to fuel systems significantly or entirely, reduces your facility's emissions (such as NOx, SOx, H2S, CO, CO2 and other Hazardous Air Pollutants/Greenhouse Gases) and convert these valuable emissions from an environmental problem into a new cash revenue stream and profit center.
Methane Gas Recovery and vapor recovery units can be located in hundreds of applications and locations. At a landfill, Wastewaster Treatment System (or Publicly Owned Treatment Works – "POTW") gases from the facility can be captured from the anaerobic digesters, and manifolded/piped to one of our onsite power generation plants, and make, essentially, "free" electricity for your facility's use. These associated "biogases" that are generated from municipally owned landfills or wastewater treatment plants have low btu content or heating values, ranging around 550-650 btu's. This makes them unsuitable for use in natural gas applications. When burned as fuel to generate electricity, however, these gases become a valuable source of "renewable" power and energy for the facility's use or resale to the electric grid.
Additionally, if heat (steam and/or hot water) is required, we will incorporate our cogeneration or trigeneration system into the project and provide some, or all, of your hot water/steam requirements. Similarly, at crude oil refineries, gas processing plants, exploration and production sites, and gasoline storage/tank farm site, we convert your facility's "waste fuel" and environmental liabilities into profitable, environmentally-friendly solutions.
Our Methane Gas Recovery systems are designed and engineered for these specific applications. It is important to note that there are many internal combustion engines or combustion turbines that are NOT suited for these applications. Our systems are engineered precisely for your facility's application, and our engineers know the engines and turbines that will work as well as those that don't. More importantly, we are vendor and supplier neutral! Our only concerns are for the optimum system solution for your company, and we look past brand names and sales propaganda to determine the optimum system, which may incorporate either one or more; gas engine genset(s) or gas turbine genset(s), in cogeneration or trigeneration mode – in trigeneration mode, we incorporate absorption chillers to make chilled water for process or air-conditioning, fuel gas conditioning equipment and gas compressor(s).
Our turn-key systems include design, engineering, permitting, project management, commissioning, as well as financing for our qualified customers. Additionally, we may be interested in owning and operating the flare gas recovery or vapor recovery units. For these applications, there is no investment required from the customer.
For more information, please provide us with the following information about the flare gas or vapor:
- Type of gas being flared or vented (methane, bio-gas, digester, landfill, etc.).
- Chromatograph Fuel/Gas analysis which provides us with the btu's (heating value) and the composition of the gas and its' impurities such as methane (and the percentage of methane), soloxanes, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, and any other hydrocarbons.
- Total amount of gas available, from all sources, at the facility.
Many industrial processes generate large amounts of waste energy that simply pass out of plant stacks and into the atmosphere or are otherwise lost. Most industrial waste heat streams are liquid, gaseous, or a combination of the two and have temperatures from slightly above ambient to over 2000 degrees F. Stack exhaust losses are inherent in all fuel-fired processes and increase with the exhaust temperature and the amount of excess air the exhaust contains. At stack gas temperatures greater than 1000 degrees F, the heat going up the stack is likely to be the single biggest loss in the process. Above 1800 degrees F, stack losses will consume at least half of the total fuel input to the process. Yet, the energy that is recovered from waste heat streams could displace part or all of the energy input needs for a unit operation within a plant. Therefore, waste heat recovery offers a great opportunity to productively use this energy, reducing overall plant energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Waste heat recovery methods used with industrial process heating operations intercept the waste gases before they leave the process, extract some of the heat they contain, and recycle that heat back to the process.
Common methods of recovering heat include direct heat recovery to the process, recuperators/regenerators, and waste heat boilers. Unfortunately, the economic benefits of waste heat recovery do not justify the cost of these systems in every application. For example, heat recovery from lower temperature waste streams (e.g., hot water or low-temperature flue gas) is thermodynamically limited. Equipment fouling, occurring during the handling of “dirty” waste streams, is another barrier to more widespread use of heat recovery systems. Innovative, affordable waste heat recovery methods that are ultra-efficient, are applicable to low-temperature streams, or are suitable for use with corrosive or “dirty” wastes could expand the number of viable applications of waste heat recovery, as well as improve the performance of existing applications.
Various Methods for Recovery of Waste Heat
Low-Temperature Waste Heat Recovery Methods – A large amount of energy in the form of medium- to low-temperature gases or low-temperature liquids (less than about 250 degrees F) is released from process heating equipment, and much of this energy is wasted.
Conversion of Low Temperature Exhaust Waste Heat – making efficient use of the low temperature waste heat generated by prime movers such as micro-turbines, IC engines, fuel cells and other electricity producing technologies. The energy content of the waste heat must be high enough to be able to operate equipment found in cogeneration and trigeneration power and energy systems such as absorption chillers, refrigeration applications, heat amplifiers, dehumidifiers, heat pumps for hot water, turbine inlet air cooling and other similar devices.
Conversion of Low Temperature Waste Heat into Power –The steam-Rankine cycle is the principle method used for producing electric power from high temperature fluid streams. For the conversion of low temperature heat into power, the steam-Rankine cycle may be a possibility, along with other known power cycles, such as the organic-Rankine cycle.
Small to Medium Air-Cooled Commercial Chillers – All existing commercial chillers, whether using waste heat, steam or natural gas, are water-cooled (i.e., they must be connected to cooling towers which evaporate water into the atmosphere to aid in cooling). This requirement generally limits the market to large commercial-sized units (150 tons or larger), because of the maintenance requirements for the cooling towers. Additionally, such units consume water for cooling, limiting their application in arid regions of the U.S. No suitable small-to-medium size (15 tons to 200 tons) air-cooled absorption chillers are commercially available for these U.S. climates. A small number of prototype air-cooled absorption chillers have been developed in Japan, but they use “hardware” technology that is not suited to the hotter temperatures experienced in most locations in the United States. Although developed to work with natural gas firing, these prototype air-cooled absorption chillers would also be suited to use waste heat as the fuel.
Recovery of Waste Heat in Cogeneration and Trigeneration Power Plants
In most cogeneration and trigeneration power and energy systems, the exhaust gas from the electric generation equipment is ducted to a heat exchanger to recover the thermal energy in the gas. These heat exchangers are air-to-water heat exchangers, where the exhaust gas flows over some form of tube and fin heat exchange surface and the heat from the exhaust gas is transferred to make hot water or steam. The hot water or steam is then used to provide hot water or steam heating and/or to operate thermally activated equipment, such as an absorption chiller for cooling or a desiccant dehumidifer for dehumidification.
Many of the waste heat recovery technologies used in building co/trigeneration systems require hot water, some at moderate pressures of 15 to 150 psig. In the cases where additional steam or pressurized hot water is needed, it may be necessary to provide supplemental heat to the exhaust gas with a duct burner.
In some applications air-to-air heat exchangers can be used. In other instances, if the emissions from the generation equipment are low enough, such as is with many of the microturbine technologies, the hot exhaust gases can be mixed with make-up air and vented directly into the heating system for building heating.
In the majority of installations, a flapper damper or "diverter" is employed to vary flow across the heat transfer surfaces of the heat exchanger to maintain a specific design temperature of the hot water or steam generation rate.
In some co/trigeneration designs, the exhaust gases can be used to activate a thermal wheel or a desiccant dehumidifier. Thermal wheels use the exhaust gas to heat a wheel with a medium that absorbs the heat and then transfers the heat when the wheel is rotated into the incoming airflow.
A professional engineer should be involved in designing and sizing of the waste heat recovery section. For a proper and economical operation, the design of the heat recovery section involves consideration of many related factors, such as the thermal capacity of the exhaust gases, the exhaust flow rate, the sizing and type of heat exchanger, and the desired parameters over a various range of operating conditions of the co/trigeneration system — all of which need to be considered for proper and economical operation.