Tuesday, November 20, 2007

European energy technology success stories

The project Wave Dragon is the world's first offshore wave energy converter producing power for the grid in Denmark. The project team includes partners from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and the UK. Moored in water, the 237 tonnes Wave Dragon recuperates the energy that is generated by 'overtopping' waves. The water is initially stored in a reservoir and then passed through turbines which produce electricity. This prototype corresponds to a 1:4 scale size of the full system. In comparison with traditional hydroelectric power stations, this new technology is competitive and plans to build and deploy power production unit elsewhere in the EU are already underway.

The Sol Air Project uses concentrated solar thermal energy to heat water. The vapour activates turbines which produce electricity. European industry is the owner of this particular technology, unique worldwide. In the future the size of solar power plants using central tower technology could vary form 10 megawatt electrical (MWe) to 100 MWe.

The CASTOR-project consists in the world’s largest pilot plant for demonstrating and validating new technology for the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from conventional power stations. The pilot at the Elsam power station near Esjberg in Denmark is the result of research carried out with the support of the EU’s Research Framework Programme. This pilot plant is an important part of research that will help develop better processes for carbon capture, increase public acceptance of the technology and achieve a major reduction in its costs.

Nuclear power is today producing one third of the electricity consumed in the EU. Further research is therefore important to support the long term safe operation of nuclear installations. The project NULIFE, pooling together expertise and excellence at EU level, aims to create an integrated long-standing research environment to develop harmonised lifetime assessment methods, qualified procedures and common best practices applicable to all reactors in operation in EU member, associated and candidate states.

EU Commission

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wave Dragon is an interesting technology as there is actually nothing new about it. Its just a big barge with low-head hydro turbines on it. Its also the only Wave Energy Converters (WECs) that creates electricity directly from the the power of water; no mechanical or pnematic (or any other) energy step in between.

It differ in other ways too. Most WEC’s …
- Utilise the motion of the waves (under huge stresses) in order to
generate power,
- Must utilise very expensive lightweight components and undergo
massive and constantly changing stresses and strains,
- Lose efficiency when they are scaled up and become larger,
- Require antifouling paint to prevent natural growth, Wave Dragon
does not,
- Require many joints to work together to generate power or have only
one generator,
- Require the design and utilisation of new and untested mooring
- Have limited sea-testing time,
- Require vast arrays of many devices, with added cabling
complications, to generate significant amounts of power,
… Wave Dragon does not!