Archive for the ‘Green Updates’ Category

Nanyang Technological University in Singapore to Build Renewable Energy Integration Demo Microgrid

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) recently announced it will be building a hybrid microgrid which will integrate multiple large-scale renewable energy sources.

The first in the region, the hybrid microgrid will test and demonstrate the integration of solar, wind, tidal-current, diesel, storage and power-to-gas technologies, and ensure these energy sources operate well together.

To be built under the new Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator – Singapore (REIDS) initiative, the hybrid microgrid will be located offshore at Semakau Landfill and is expected to produce power in the megawatt (MW) range, which will be suitable for small islands, isolated villages, and emergency power supplies. It will be able to power around 250 HDB 4-room apartments, which together consume a peak of 1 MW.

This initiative is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), and the National Environment Agency (NEA). The S$8 million initial microgrid infrastructure will also facilitate the development and commercialization of energy technologies suited for tropical conditions to be developed by NTU together with 10 world leading companies.

“Sustainability is one of the major pillars of NTU’s research. We have been very active in clean energy research such as in tidal, solar and wind technologies and this new initiative will allow us to apply our research and integrate the different energy sources. In so doing, we hope to develop practical renewable solutions for the energy integration industry,” said NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson.

The initiative is expected to attract $20 million worth of projects over the next five years, in addition to the initial $8 million investment in infrastructure on the Semakau Landfill.

The ten energy and clean tech industry leaders who seek to be part of this effort include Accenture, Alstom, Class NK, DLRE, GDF Suez, Renewable Energy Corporation, Schneider Electric, Trina Solar, Varta and Vestas.

“NTU’s REIDS will serve as a strategic living lab for Singapore, encompassing a large scale microgrid with a plug-and-play setup that clean energy industry leaders can leverage to develop and demonstrate and diverse range of clean energy technologies,” said EDB’s Assistant Managing Director Mr Lim Kok Kiang.

The REIDS project is to be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, a microgrid facility will be built at the Semakau Landfill that will oversee energy storage facilities, solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. The hybrid microgrid will be designed to provide a full-scale test-bed for Singapore’s on-going energy research, working closely with scientists and engineers from both the public and private sectors.

A key problem posed by renewable energy sources is that of intermittent power supply. According to NTU, the hybrid microgrid aims to ensure a stable and consistent power supply through the integration of a variety of smart energy management and storage systems.

The second phase of the project will involve the development of a scaled-up tidal energy facility around Semakau Landfill and St. John’s Island, which will then be integrated with the first phase.

A key long term goal of the initiative is the development of microgrid technologies that can help provide electricity to overseas communities that do not have access to power. This is in addition to introducing new technologies that can stabilize power grids in urban communities. Both are widely regarded as critical needs across Asia.

Nobel prize for physics 2014 goes to inventors of energy-efficient LED light

The invention of an energy source that lights up our computer and/or mobile phone screens and holds promise to brighten up the quality of life of over 1.5 billion people around the world, has been awarded the Nobel prize for physics 2014.

Announcing that “this year’s Nobel prize for physics is about light”, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences decided to award the most coveted prize to three Japanese scientists — Isamu Akasaki from Meijo University, Hiroshi Amano from the Nagoya University, Japan and Shuji Nakamura from the University of California “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.”

The laureates were rewarded for having invented a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source — the blue light-emitting diode (LED).

According to the committee, the laureates’ inventions revolutionized the field of illumination technology.

New, more efficient, cheaper and smarter lamps are developed all the time. White LED lamps can be created in two different ways. One way is to use blue light to excite a phosphor so that it shines in red and green. When all colours come together, white light is produced.

Battery Storage Breakthrough Allows Recharge in Just 2 mins

A team of scientists from Singapore have developed a new lithium-ion battery that can be recharged by up to 70 per cent in only two minutes – a breakthrough that will allow electric vehicles to charge 20 times faster than the current technology.

Phys.org reports that the breakthrough came when the team from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) replaced the graphite traditionally used for the anode (negative pole) in lithium-ion batteries with a new gel material made from titanium dioxide – an abundant, cheap and safe material found in soil.

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The scientists discovered a simple method to turn the naturally spherically shaped titanium dioxide particles into nanotubes with a diameter one thousand times thinner than that of a human hair – the nanostructure then helps speeds up the chemical reactions taking place in the new battery, allowing for superfast charging.

The battery will also have a longer lifespan of over 20 years, meaning it can endure more than 10,000 charging cycles – 20 times more than the current battery standard of 500 cycles.

Invented by Associate Professor Chen Xiaodong from NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, the science behind the formation of the new titanium dioxide gel was published in the latest issue of Advanced Materials.

And it’s big news for the electric vehicle industry, improving on charging time 20-fold and doing away with frequent battery replacements.

NTU professor Rachid Yazami, who was the co-inventor of the lithium-graphite anode 34 years ago that is used in most lithium-ion batteries today, said Prof Chen’s invention is the next big leap in battery technology.”While the cost of lithium-ion batteries has been significantly reduced and its performance improved since Sony commercialised it in 1991, the market is fast expanding towards new applications in electric mobility and energy storage,” he said.