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Shalaby S.M.,Clean Energy Research Center | Shalaby S.M.,Tanta University
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2017

In this work, reverse osmosis water desalination plants powered by PV and solar RC cycle systems are reviewed in detail. This review focused on the display of different designs and software used to improve productivity of the desalination plants as well as the types of solar collectors used, membrane, heat transfer fluid and working fluid of the Rankine cycle. The specific energy consumption and cost of fresh water production are also of great interest in this work. According to the results presented in this review it is not recommended to use batteries with PV to drive RO desalination plants because of the high capital and replacement cost of batteries. It is also found that when the energy recovery devices are used, the pre-heating of feed water is not required, especially in the case of PV-RO systems. Currently most of working RO plants are driven by PV, whereas solar thermal power systems (usually using PTC with ORC) are still at the stage of theoretical research. Although, the PTC-ORC-RO desalination system is recommended, it has not yet been implemented on a large scale. © 2017


« $67 Oil Has All The Majors Converging in Argentina | Main | Fleet of 150 Renault ZOE EVs for smart solar charging project » The US Department of Energy is soliciting applications (DE-FOA-0001542) for the formation of a Consortium to pursue five identified R&D topic areas related to improving the operating efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The Consortium that is funded through this solicitation will form a new technical track under the US-China Clean Energy Research Center, a bilateral initiative to encourage R&D collaboration and accelerate technology development and deployment in both countries. Funding available is $12.5 million, and will support the US Consortium. In parallel, and with equivalent resources, Chinese funding will support a collaborative counterpart Chinese Consortium. The US consortium will pursue five topics; responsive application will address all five. These are: In the 5 topics areas of the FOA, the proposed project will focus on cost-effective measures to improve the on-road freight efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks by greater than 50% (compared to the 2016 baseline truck) to reduce transportation’s fuel use and climate change impacts. To the extent that advanced technologies will be demonstrated to improve freight efficiency, they will conform to a customer-tailored drive cycle that meets the needs of the particular customer application and the EPA Phase 2 GHG/fuel efficiency regulatory cycles for the appropriate vocation. Additionally, vehicle freight efficiency improvement must be achieved within the constraint of prevailing federal emission standards and applicable vehicle safety and regulatory requirements. Projects that demonstrate systems-level fuel efficient technologies must be matched with the duty cycle of the specific truck application to deliver the expected fuel savings. Background. To encourage the rapid development and commercialization of technologies with strong climate change applications, the US DOE, Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA) agreed in November 2009 to establish a US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). (Earlier post.) Over the six years since this agreement, the CERC has successfully conducted joint research and development on clean energy topics by teams of scientists and engineers from the US and China. Under CERC, 4 pairs of US and Chinese consortia are operating collaboratively on 4 technical tracks: Each track comprises the equivalent of a $50 million bilateral commitment over 5 years, that is, $25 million for the US effort and $25 million for the China effort. In the US, this is broken down per track as $5 million per year, composed of $2.5 million per year in DOE funds, which is matched by another $2.5 million per year in non-Federal cost-share by the non-Federal partners in each consortium. President Obama and President Xi Jinping announced a renewal and expansion of the CERC in November 2014. (Earlier post.) In September 2015, Obama and Xi announced a fifth CERC track on improving the energy efficiency of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The current funding opportunity is the US’ effort to operationalize this new track. The US consortium selected under this announcement will be funded by DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The principal DOE coordinator of CERC activities within DOE, and internationally with the Chinese, is DOE’s Office of International Affairs (IA). Both IA and EERE will work in collaboration with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) for the administration of this award.


News Article | March 15, 2016
Site: phys.org

Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University are forming the Tri-State University Energy Alliance. The universities have agreed to work more closely to align their individual and collective expertise for research, technology commercialization, partnerships with industry and more. "We're committed to working together to enhance the region's resources towards energy innovation," said Alexis Abramson, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve. "In so doing, we look to create a stronger regional energy ecosystem." The universities have overlapping areas of energy research, such as grid modernization, energy storage and oil and gas; taking advantage of a regional cooperation in these areas has the potential to lead to a formidable impact. The Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve has a strong history in electrochemistry and materials applied to energy storage and growing expertise in data analytics used to explore the lifetime and reliability of energy technologies. Faculty and university partners also are actively engaged in developing a "living laboratory" to address grid modernization challenges. The University of Pittsburgh Center for Energy is dedicated to improving energy technology development and implementation including work in the areas of energy and electric power delivery, reliability, and security; energy efficiency and sustainability; advanced materials for demanding energy applications; clean energy development and integration; carbon management and utilization; direct energy conversion and recovery; unconventional gas resources; and energy workforce development. The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, launched in 2012 as a university-wide research initiative, focuses on five strategic areas: pathways to a low-carbon future, smart grid, new materials for energy, shale gas, and building energy efficiency. The Scott Institute's holistic approach to research and development—across technology, policy, integrated systems and behavioral science—facilitates identification of real-world solutions for energy problems. West Virginia University has over 120 faculty members performing research in collaboration with the WVU Energy Institute, focusing on fossil energy, sustainable energy, environmental stewardship, and energy policy. At WVU, the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory; the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions; and the US-China Clean Energy Research Center - Advanced Coal Technology Consortium; are three examples of federal-academic-industrial partnerships progressing the state-of-the-art in energy technologies. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced the alliance at noon today during Carnegie Mellon's Energy Week. Peduto addressed students, faculty and representatives from business and industry, government and non-governmental agencies and the public. Alliance members will regularly discuss energy initiatives and activities, collaboration opportunities and enable faculty, research staff and students from the four universities to connect. During the next six months, members will more specifically define the scope of alliance activities. Progress and opportunities will be reviewed and discussed regularly and at annual meetings. Explore further: New energy innovation report highlights central role of emerging economies


Fang B.,University of British Columbia | Fang B.,Clean Energy Research Center | Bonakdarpour A.,University of British Columbia | Bonakdarpour A.,Clean Energy Research Center | And 5 more authors.
Microporous and Mesoporous Materials | Year: 2013

A simple sol-gel synthesis strategy is developed to fabricate multimodal porous carbon (MPC) with hierarchical nanoarchitectures, in which monodisperse polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) spheres self-assemble themselves into an ordered lattice while the meso-sized silica particles generated in situ through base-catalyzed hydrolysis of tetraethyl orthosilicate aggregate closely at the interstices between the PSS spheres. Removal of the PSS lattice by calcination leaves a three-dimensional interconnected ordered macroporous structure, the walls of which are composed of a templated aggregate of the small silica particles, leading to a bimodal porous silica (BPS) template with open mesopores at the interstices between the small silica particles. This synthesis route allows one to readily fabricate BPS with a tailored three-dimensional ordered nanostructure, which can be further converted to MPC through the inverse replication. The MPC not only possesses ultrahigh surface area (i.e., 2220 m2/g), but also a unique hierarchical porosities composed of macro-, meso-, and micropores, which enable MPC to store and release large electrical charges rapidly whether at a low-mid or high rate. The well-developed 3D interconnected ordered macropore framework with open mesopores embedded in the macropore walls favors fast mass transport at high charge/discharge rates, providing better electric double layer capacitor performance. Compared with commonly used electrode material carbon black Pearls 2000 and other nanostructured carbons such as CMK-1 and CMK-3, the MPC has demonstrated much higher specific capacitance and energy. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


« UPS orders Agility’s new Behind-the-Cab CNG fuel systems | Main | New Buick LaCrosse upgrades computing power from 17 to 31 ECUs; new electronic control system » A new MIT Energy Initiative report spearheaded by John Heywood, Sun Jae Professor of Mechanical Engineering Emeritus at MIT, identifies three important paths forward reducing light-duty vehicle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions: improve the existing system and technologies for shorter-term benefits; conserve fuel by changing driver habits for nearer- to longer-term benefits; and transform the transportation system into one that is radically less carbon-intensive for longer-term benefits. According to the report, “On the Road Toward 2050: Potential for Substantial Reductions in Light-Duty Vehicle Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” each element is separately important, but must collectively be pursued aggressively to achieve necessary emissions reductions. More research, development, and demonstration studies are needed to lay the foundation for such a long-term transformation. There are many options available for reducing the fuel, energy, and GHG emissions impacts of LDVs. As our understanding of these options improves, our ability to better prioritize their usefulness in moving toward significantly reduced impacts increases. We should continue to adopt policies to reduce transportation energy demand and emissions, while using our evolving information base to assess and reassess which options have the greatest leverage. While recommendations like ours can never be “proven” and will always be subject to some disagreement, the sequence of topics we have analyzed here constitutes, in our judgment, a valid basis for identifying pathways that are likely to have the greatest benefit. Achieving our overall goal—reducing fleet fuel and energy consumption and GHGs by three-quarters or more—will be extremely challenging. All of us involved in studying the ways in which we can move toward that goal have a responsibility to provide ever more useful and focused advice. The research for the report was done by a team of graduate students from 2009 to 2014, and includes some 20 projects. The report addresses topics related to the evolution of vehicle technology and its deployment, the development of alternative fuels and energy sources, the impacts of driver behavior, and the implications of all of these factors on future GHG emissions in the United States, Europe, China, and Japan. In the United States, LDVs alone currently account for 43% of petroleum demand and 23% of GHG emissions, when fuel production is considered. The United States, Europe, China, and Japan consume over half of the world’s petroleum, making these countries particularly critical in efforts to reduce petroleum consumption and the associated emissions. The results of the report’s plausible yet aggressive scenarios for the United States show the potential for technological improvements to more than offset fleet growth and, by 2050, reduce fuel use and GHG impacts by up to 50%. In Europe, the anticipated fleet growth is less, as are the potential reductions from technology improvements, but the overall percentage reduction potential is similar to that in the United States. In Japan, fleet size and use are declining, so the overall reduction in impacts could be larger. In China, though current growth in fleet size is large, reductions in that growth rate and substantial technology improvements over time are expected to level off fleet fuel consumption and GHG emissions by about 2040. The report makes several recommendations that should be implemented to attain the 40-50% reductions in fleet fuel consumption and GHG emissions by 2050 that the overall assessment indicates are feasible in North America, Europe, and Japan. Larger reductions on this time scale will need additional major efforts, and would likely require a significant reduction in travel demand, and more rapid development and substantial distribution and use of low-GHG-emitting alternative sources of transportation energy, such as electricity and hydrogen. Improving the fuel consumption of mainstream vehicles is the primary nearer-term opportunity for reducing fuel use and GHG emissions. Market-based incentives should be implemented to support the US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) LDV requirements. The CAFE standard targets for LDVs leading up to the 2025 models need to be clarified as the often-quoted average number of 54.5 miles per gallon will not reflect what most new car buyers should expect to achieve in 2025. Vehicle electrification is a potentially promising alternative energy source and propulsion system technology to move toward lower fleet GHG emissions over time. From our studies of vehicle electrification, we have concluded that PHEVs offer the most viable path toward powering more vehicle miles with electricity. The market for pure BEVs is likely to be limited because their inherently limited driving range and long recharging times, and their high cost, make them less attractive to purchasers looking for an all-purpose vehicle. However, BEVs do appeal because their propulsion system is simpler than an ICE, and they do not dilute their “electric miles” with “gasoline miles,” as does a PHEV. However, the flexibility and lower costs of PHEVs appear to trump this simplicity, certainly in the nearer term. Planning for electrification should be based on growth in the PHEV market over time in contrast to the more limited expected growth in the BEV market. Recharging requirements for PHEVs are not the same as for BEVs: especially, the demand for “fast recharging” stations is really not there. The need to improve mainstream fuels, and to enable a transition to alternative fuels is both obvious and remarkably challenging. Conventional hydrocarbon fuels should be improved in the near term while we continue to develop a portfolio that includes the more promising alternative fuel options, and refine strategies as we learn more about the costs, benefits, and the viability of the pathways of different fuels. The overall strategy should include conserving energy through changes in travel behavior, improving conventional technologies, and transforming the transportation system to increasingly use lower carbon energy sources. Policies should be implemented to enforce a carbon tax combined with an increasing fuel tax; current CAFE regulations should be extended and new regulations should be implemented; and improvements in existing fuels that would achieve fleet-wide GHG emissions reductions should be explored. “On the Road toward 2050” is a synthesis of research conducted in the Sloan Automotive Laboratory at MIT over the past five years, primarily under the direction of Heywood, with support from the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) as well as MITEI Founding Member Eni S.p.A. It is the third report in a series that records the research findings of this group; “On the Road in 2020” was published in 2000 and “On the Road in 2035” was published in 2008. Because MIT has other ongoing research programs in many domains vital to transportation and mobility, MITEI has recently organized a multi-disciplinary study team from across the Institute to examine how the complex interactions between engine technology options, fuel options, vehicle characteristics, refueling infrastructure, consumer choice, public transit options, new mobility business models, and government policy will shape the future landscape of mobility. MITEI’s study on “Mobility of the Future” will explore these and other questions. The MIT Energy Initiative is MIT’s hub for energy research, education, and outreach. Founded in 2006, MITEI’s mission is to create low- and no-carbon solutions that will efficiently meet global energy needs while minimizing environmental impacts and mitigating climate change. BP, Chevron, Concawe, the Department of Energy U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center’s Clean Vehicle Consortium, the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, and the MIT-Portugal Program also provided support for the report.


Road vehicles are a key part of the climate change challenge, representing both an important source of petroleum demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. Changes to our transportation system — how much we travel, the vehicles we use, and the fuels that power them — offer the potential for substantial reductions in GHG emissions, and are necessary to mitigate climate change. Likewise, changes in policy, driving behavior, and the development of alternative fuels and energy sources are required to meet this challenge. "On the Road Toward 2050: Potential for Substantial Reductions in Light-Duty Vehicle Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions," a new report spearheaded by MIT professor of mechanical engineering John Heywood, identifies three important paths forward for light-duty vehicles (LDVs, i.e., cars and light trucks): improve the existing system and technologies for shorter-term benefits; conserve fuel by changing driver habits for nearer- to longer-term benefits; and transform the transportation system into one that is radically less carbon-intensive for longer-term benefits. Each element is separately important, but must collectively be pursued aggressively to achieve necessary emissions reductions. More research, development, and demonstration studies are needed to lay the foundation for such a long-term transformation. The report addresses topics related to the evolution of vehicle technology and its deployment, the development of alternative fuels and energy sources, the impacts of driver behavior, and the implications of all of these factors on future GHG emissions in the United States, Europe, China, and Japan. In the United States, LDVs alone currently account for 43 percent of petroleum demand and 23 percent of GHG emissions, when fuel production is considered. The United States, Europe, China, and Japan consume over half of the world’s petroleum, making these countries particularly critical in efforts to reduce petroleum consumption and the associated emissions. “Overall, we have substantial opportunities for reducing environmental and climate impacts from light-duty road vehicles,” said Heywood. “Achieving reductions in vehicle-related greenhouse gas emissions will require a major global shift towards more efficient personal and freight vehicles — including those powered with alternative, low-carbon energy sources — along with a corresponding reduction in demand for energy-intensive vehicles that is strongly incentivized with supportive policies, and ongoing research towards the technology breakthroughs needed to achieve a transition to a truly low-carbon transportation system.” The results of the report’s plausible yet aggressive scenarios for the United States show the potential for technological improvements to more than offset fleet growth and, by 2050, reduce fuel use and GHG impacts by up to 50 percent. In Europe, the anticipated fleet growth is less, as are the potential reductions from technology improvements, but the overall percentage reduction potential is similar to that in the United States. In Japan, fleet size and use are declining, so the overall reduction in impacts could be larger. In China, though current growth in fleet size is large, reductions in that growth rate and substantial technology improvements over time are expected to level off fleet fuel consumption and GHG emissions by about 2040. The report makes several recommendations that should be implemented to attain the 40-50 percent reductions in fleet fuel consumption and GHG emissions by 2050 that the overall assessment indicates are feasible in North America, Europe, and Japan. Larger reductions on this time scale will need additional major efforts, and would likely require a significant reduction in travel demand, and more rapid development and substantial distribution and use of low-GHG-emitting alternative sources of transportation energy, such as electricity and hydrogen. "On the Road toward 2050" is a synthesis of research conducted in the Sloan Automotive Laboratory at MIT over the past five years, primarily under the direction of Heywood, with support from the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) as well as MITEI Founding Member Eni S.p.A. It is the third report in a series that records the research findings of this group; "On the Road in 2020" was published in 2000 and "On the Road in 2035" was published in 2008. Because MIT has other ongoing research programs in many domains vital to transportation and mobility, MITEI has recently organized a multi-disciplinary study team from across the Institute to examine how the complex interactions between engine technology options, fuel options, vehicle characteristics, refueling infrastructure, consumer choice, public transit options, new mobility business models, and government policy will shape the future landscape of mobility. MITEI’s study on "Mobility of the Future" will explore these and other questions. “The question of how to get from point A to point B has driven the development of transportation — but now, the question we need to ask is: How can we get there most efficiently, with the least impact on the environment and climate? At the same time, we need to make these new modes enticing to consumers,” said Robert Armstrong, director of MITEI. “'On the Road toward 2050' provides an excellent roadmap for answering many of these questions, which MITEI will build on in our 'Mobility of the Future' study.” The MIT Energy Initiative is MIT’s hub for energy research, education, and outreach. Through these three pillars, MITEI helps develop the technologies and solutions that will deliver clean, affordable, and plentiful sources of energy. Founded in 2006, MITEI’s mission is to create low- and no-carbon solutions that will efficiently meet global energy needs while minimizing environmental impacts and mitigating climate change. BP, Chevron, Concawe, the Department of Energy U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center’s Clean Vehicle Consortium, the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, and the MIT Portugal Program also provided support for the underlying research for this report.


Ding Y.,University of British Columbia | Ding Y.,Clean Energy Research Center | Bi H.T.,University of British Columbia | Bi H.T.,Clean Energy Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2011

Water management in polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) has a major impact on fuel cell performance and durability. To investigate the two-phase flow patterns in PEMFC gas flow channels, the volume of fluid (VOF) method was employed to simulate the air-water flow in a 3D cuboid channel with a 1.0 mm × 1.0 mm square cross section and a 100 mm in length. The microstructure of gas diffusion layers (GDLs) was simplified by a number of representative opening pores on the 2D GDL surface. Water was injected from those pores to simulate water generation by the electrochemical reaction at the cathode side. Operating conditions and material properties were selected according to realistic fuel cell operating conditions. The water injection rate was also amplified 10 times, 100 times and 1000 times to study the flow pattern formation and transition in the channel. Simulation results show that, as the flow develops, the flow pattern evolves from corner droplet flow to top wall film flow, then annular flow, and finally slug flow. The total pressure drop increases exponentially with the increase in water volume fraction, which suggests that water accumulation should be avoided to reduce parasitic energy loss. The effect of material wettability was also studied by changing the contact angle of the GDL surface and channel walls, separately. It is shown that using a more hydrophobic GDL surface is helpful to expel water from the GDL surface, but increases the pressure drop. Using a more hydrophilic channel wall reduces the pressure drop, but increases the water residence time and water coverage of the GDL surface. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Wu Z.,Central South University | Fang B.,University of British Columbia | Fang B.,Clean Energy Research Center | Wang Z.,Central South University | And 8 more authors.
ACS Catalysis | Year: 2013

Two-dimensional MoS2 nanosheets (NSs) with high active site density were designed for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) through a microdomain reaction method. The effect of the annealing temperature on the microstructure and the HER performance of MoS2 NSs was examined, and a plausible relation between the stack structures of the MoS2 catalysts and their HER performance was also explored. The MoS2 NS electrocatalyst obtained at 550 C reveals the best HER performance with a relatively small Tafel slope of 68 mV/dec. Both the exposed surface area and active site density are very important for providing a large amount of active sites. The present work has been proved to be an efficient route to achieve a high active site density and a relatively large surface area, which might have potential use in photoelectrocatalytic water splitting. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Wu Z.,Central South University | Fang B.,University of British Columbia | Fang B.,Clean Energy Research Center | Bonakdarpour A.,University of British Columbia | And 5 more authors.
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2012

Novel nanostructured material WS 2 nanosheets (NSs) were prepared through a simple and highly reproducible approach, namely, a mechanical activation strategy by using WO 3 and S as the starting materials, and were explored as electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). The as-prepared WS 2 NSs reveal separate NSs nanostructure with a sheet thickness of less than 10nm. On the basis of experimental results obtained under various synthesis conditions, a reasonable reaction process and formation mechanism is proposed, in which the pre-treatment of ball milling is assumed to play a key role for the formation of WS 2 NSs. Due to its large active sites originating from its unique structural characteristics such as loosely stacked layers, providing highly exposed rims particularly edges, WS 2 NSs catalyst has demonstrated high electrocatalytic activity toward HER, which considerably outperforms the commonly used MoS 2 (JDC) catalyst. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Jung J.-S.,Clean Energy Research Center | Kim S.W.,Clean Energy Research Center | Moon D.J.,Clean Energy Research Center
Catalysis Today | Year: 2012

Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis (FTS) has been suggested as a key process of gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology, to satisfy the increasing demands for high-quality and environmentally friendly fuels. In this work, the catalytic performance of cobalt catalyst supported on various periodic mesoporous silicas was investigated. Silica modified Co-based catalysts were prepared by a sol-gel method followed by an impregnation method. The characteristics of supports and of the catalysts were identified by N 2 physisorption, CO chemisorption, TPR, XPS, XRD, SEM/EDX and TEM techniques. Their catalytic performance for FTS was evaluated in a fixed-bed reactor with H 2/CO molar ratio of 2, reaction temperature of 230°C and reaction pressure of 20 bar. The Co/SHS catalyst supported on periodic mesoporous silica hollow sphere (SHS) shows higher catalytic performance and C 5 + selectivity in FTS reaction than the other catalysts. It was considered that catalystic performance of cobalt based catalysts supported on various silica in FTS depends on the cobalt particle size and support structure, which is caused by pore diameter and pore size distribution. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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