Germany Invests in Hydrogen Technology for Renewable Storage, Vehicles

By Miriam Widman

The tanks look like they could hold propane, gasoline or any other form of conventional energy.

But the storage tanks in Prenzlau, some 70 miles north of Berlin, hold energy produced from wind. A hybrid power plant sponsored by four large companies is being tested there to see if the plant’s wind-hydrogen-biogas technology will work.

The system takes wind energy and turns it into hydrogen, which allows it to be stored. First electricity is produced in three wind turbines, which is then used to produce C02-free hydrogen. This so-called “green” hydrogen can be stored and mixed with biogas in a combined heat and power plant, to be used as needed in times of higher demand.



Five US States Now Get 20 Of Their Electricity From Wind Power

With the calendar year winding down, very nearly everyone, this site included, are putting out their year-in-review content—and the American Wind Energy Association is no different. It’s pretty easy to get down on US renewable energy policy if you’re just paying attention to the nonsense coming out of legislators bought and paid for by the polluting class, but there were some truly great milestones in US wind power in 2011.



Advances in wind power technology

When we talk about renewable energy sources, wind power is considered the most effective resource. There have been so many technological advances in the utilization of wind power resulting in a clean, renewable, cost-effective means of generating electricity. In order to obtain optimal efficiency from the smart grid, advancements in power system is essential.

Newer technologies used in connecting the turbines to the grid can enable us to get better energy production and face the electric disturbances smoothly. Here is a list of 2011’s best technological advances in wind power technology.



KiteGen looks to get wind-power off the ground

Wind-power has rapidly evolved over the last decade to become a key part of the alternative energy mix with towering rows of turbines now dotting horizons all over the globe. One of the drawbacks to the conventional windmill approach is that they are still low to the ground, so why not go to where the winds are stronger and more consistent – up. Like the Magenn Air Rotor System, KiteGen technology is aiming to do just that. The system generates energy by guiding tethered kites over a predefined flight path in order to rotate a ground based turbine and, while only in the testing and planning phases, it looks to be a promising solution. The large wings (or kites) in the KiteGen system are driven by avionic sensors located in a dome base that also houses an electric generator. The control system is designed to automatically guide the kites in order to rotate the turbine and maximize torque. As altitude increases, average wind speeds increase as well. This is a factor that traditional wind turbines cannot compete against, since they are stationary and are generally only able to reach heights of 100m.



The Kite Wind Generator

It’s an expert estimation that the total energy stored in wind is 100 times higher than actually needed by humans on this earth. The catch is that we have to learn and devise ways to trap this wind power blowing across the planet earth. Experts tell us one more thing that most of the wind energy is available at high altitude and we can’t manufacture turbines of that height. So we have to think of new ways to trap that wind power blowing at a significant height. Some experts estimate that the total energy contained in wind is 100 times the amount needed by everyone on the planet. However, most of this energy is at high altitudes, far beyond the reach of any wind turbine.

Now researchers want to create something like a kite that can float at a higher altitude to trap the wind energy.

Kite Wind Generator
The Kite Wind Generator simply known as KiteGen is an Italian company. They are installing kites that sprout from funnel like structures. They are mounted on giant poles. When wind blows these kites come out of funnels. For short, use kites that spring from funnels on the end of giant poles when the wind blows. For each kite, winches release a pair of high-resistance cables to control direction and angle. These kites are light and ultra-resistant. These kites are similar to those used for kite surfing – light and ultra-resistant, capable of flying up to a height of 2,000 meters.

KiteGen people have thought of new ways to exploit the wind power existing at an altitude. They have discarded the usual heavy and static plants like current wind turbines, but opted for light, dynamic and intelligent ones. They have installed all the light devices in the air and heavy ones on the ground for generating power. The basics of the wind turbines and KiteGen are same. But they have moved the heaviest parts to the ground. They claim that the resulting structure, base foundation included, is much lighter and cheaper. They have also provided flexibility regarding the height of kites. If the wind is strong at certain height, the height of the kite too can be adjusted accordingly. If today wind if blowing nicely at 1000m, say, kites can be adjusted at the same height. If tomorrow the strong wind is blowing at certain other height, wind kites can be flown at that height to gain maximum advantage of the wind power.

The swirling kites prompt KiteGen’s core in motion, and the rotation activates large alternators producing a current. They also have a control system on autopilot. This control system manipulates the flight pattern so that maximum power can be generated be it night or day. The KiteGen people are concerned with the environment too. They don’t want the lives of birds to be affected by their flying kites. So they have installed the advanced radar system that can redirect kites within seconds in case they detect flying of birds.

The cost of the technology is US$750,000 and it won’t takes acres and acres of space like a wind farm. You can install the whole machinery within a diameter of just 100 meters. KiteGen claim that they can produce half a GW of energy, and produce it at a cost of US$2.5 per GW. Its creators, Sequoia Automation, say a 2,000 meter-version would generate 5GW of power.


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Source: alternative-energy