Renewable Technologies

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UK:  Geoscart, formerly Greenfield energy, a UK-based geothermal energy company has secured £15m from Macquarie Lending to roll out its technology, which integrates geothermal energy generation, heat pumps, and solar thermal panels, at 15 Sainsbury’s stores this year, with further financing lined up to expand the business over the coming years.

Sainsbury’s has now moved Geoscart from a technology trial and bedding in period to a full “business-as-usual” rollout. 

Greg Davis of Geoscart commented, "As a central part of that, we have had to set up a full finance/delivery relationship with British Gas and Macquarie, to enable the full self-funding rollout across a target of 100+ stores.  Macquarie provides the necessary finance; while British Gas stands behind the technology and installed systems – both to Macquarie and the client – for their installed life."

Geoscart is working with British Gas to deploy the systems for Sainsbury's, but also hopes to work with other corporate clients in the longer term as the market for the technology grows.

"This marks the next stage in Geoscart's growth," said Geoscart chief exective Grahame Newton in a statement. "We developed the baseline technology from the oil and gas sector and have successfully applied it to the retail-consumer space. We are looking forward to rolling out the technology to a wider audience with the help of our operational partners."

Nikolaus Woloszczuk, co-head of Macquarie Lending Europe, said it was pleased to be supporting an "an exciting development" in the area of distributed and renewable energy finance.

"We are pleased to support the upscaling of emerging technologies that allow users to lower energy bills and minimise carbon emissions on a mass scale," he added.

Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, engineering and energy at Sainsbury’s said the supermarket was "delighted" to be at the forefront of the technology.

"I hope that with Geoscart’s help we’ll now see more retailers following suit," he said.

Sainsbury's have already installed 14 geothermal and heat pump systems at its stores and is planning to roll out to 100 stores over the next three to four years incorporating the use of natural refrigerant CO2 refrigeration systems.

About Geoscart: Formerly Greenfield Energy, Geoscart are leaders in thermal energy management technologies, design, install and operate thermal energy networks sustainably and efficiently, through geo-coupling.

Geo-coupling is a system that is coupled to the subsurface rock via pipes and heat exchangers.

Related articles:

Closed Loop Geothermal Heating & Cooling for Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s cuts CO2 and energy bills through renewable technologies



Grow your refrigeration and air conditioning business with fridgehub

A report published by The Institute of Mechanical Engineers has concluded refrigeration in developing countries could eliminate a quarter of food wastage.

The report shows that nearly 50% of fruit and vegetables are lost in Sub-Saharan Africa and India. The African nation of Tanzania sees 25 per cent of all milk produced in the wet season end up as wastage, while 97 per cent of meat sold in the country has never been properly refrigerated.

With 70% of people in sub-Saharan Africa having no access to electricity at all and 350 million people in India situated off-grid in rural locations. The report urges immediate action to encourage the roll-out of sustainable cold and frozen supply chains in order to prevent unnecessary food loss and improve global food security.

Dr Tim Fox, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said, “Hunger, as well as illness from poor quality food, continues to be a significant problem in many parts of the world, and this is potentially set to get worse as global population rises,” said Dr Tim Fox, head.

“Governments and aid agencies simply funding the production of more and more food which is then spoilt and discarded is a poor use of the money, often from taxpayers or donations, and does not provide a long-term and sustainable solution to the problem of global poverty and local self-sufficiency.”

“It also presents farmers and rural communities with attractive business opportunities for development,” said Fox.

The Institution’s key recommendations in this new report are:

1. Governments of newly emerging and rapidly industrialising economies must prioritise and support investment in cold chain infrastructure to improve food security, underpin development and help alleviate poverty.

2. Donor country governments and development NGOs must support and incentivise aid recipients to develop sustainable cold chains using renewable energy and waste cold.

3. The engineering community should come together to define in detail the potential opportunities a connected cold economy presents for the developed and developing world.

Refrigeration technologies in the developing world has become a hot topic of late and as we reported a few companies are already developing solar refrigeration for use in areas without electricity.

To find out more about Refrigeration Technologies in the Developing World Click here. 

To read the full IMECHE Report Click here.

QATAR:  With the World Cup 2022 set to take place in Qatar the bid team are looking at ways to keep players and fans cool as temperatures during the world cup are expected to exceed 45°c during the day.

So far the Qatar bid team has said they will put on the tournament using solar and other renewable energy technologies which includes looking at new options for sustainable air conditioning.

One of the main issues facing the Qatari's is the installation of large scale air conditioning systems, as in order for these to work the stadiums will need to be fitted with roofs which are to be kept closed to ensure the systems efficiency. However this could have an impact on outside ambient air temperatures.

As we previously reported scientists at Arizona State University have shown that night-time temperatures are increased by more than 1°C in urban areas of the USA solely as a result of air conditioning, and the worry is that if such large scale air conditioning systems were installed the same could happen with Qatar. 

However one approach that would negate this issue is the potential for using sea water for evaporative cooling - A method to provide air conditioning to buildings by taking advantage of an available cold water source (usually deep cold water from a lake or ocean).

This technology saves more than 90% of the energy used for conventional air conditioning and is a proven technology.

There are currently 6 sea water air conditioning projects worldwide with another 2 under development, with one of those being the Kingdom of Bahrain.

With the fate of the 2022 World Cup still hanging in the balance after allegations of corruption over it's bidding process, focus has shifted away from the temperature issue which plagued the bid team during their initial award of the tournament  and with no one quite sure what the best solution will be there have also been calls to move the tournament from the summer to the winter. 

The number of cities in desert regions is expected to increase and so will the demand for air-conditioning technologies to make them habitable. 

To find out more about Sea Water Air Conditioning Click here. 

INDIA:  Like most farmers in developing countries, dairy farmers see the vast majority if their product spoil because of a lack of access not only to a refrigeration system but also due to the fact they don't have access to a reliable source of electricity.

“By the time they reach the dairy processor, it’s almost spoiled,” says Sam White, co-founder of Boston-based Promethean Power Systems, a company that’s aiming to fill the industry’s cold chain gap in India. Using thermal battery storage, Promethean’s rapid milk chiller can refrigerate the milk of several villages – up to 1,500 L.

Promethean has tested 50 of these chillers and found that villages which receive at least eight hours of intermittent power from the grid –25% to 30% of villages – are able to power the coolers, without the help of solar power or diesel fuel.

For the remaining 70% of villages that are off-grid, Promethean is currently refining a solar-powered chiller, and plans to install its first system soon. However, Promethean’s chiller costs $10,000 which is much more feasible for Dairy producers than for rural farmers.

But another company, Houston-based GreenRig Co is producing a cold storage solution that meets the need for refrigerated transport in developing countries. Their product, a solar and battery-powered tricycle cart, has a 50-60 gallon built-in chiller and can refrigerate over 330lbs (13.6kg) of food for 11 hours, or almost 50 miles.

“During a trip to rural India, I found out that the country produces enough food to feed the entire population, but somewhere between 35% and 55% of food perishes on the supply chain because of not enough refrigeration,” says Lindsay David, GreenRig Co co-founder.

The biggest challenges facing cleantech companies are attempting to reduce upfront costs to a price that’s affordable for the target market.

Amanda Faulkner, Cleantech Group analyst, says, "in contrast to companies focusing on agriculture in developed countries, entrepreneurs working in developing countries need more customers before the business can scale and become profitable. Start-ups targeting giant food and agriculture companies, such as Monsanto, might only need just one customer, but those developing products to help small farmers have to hustle quite a bit more to scale the business, as there are more single-family farmers who operate independently."

About Promethean Power Systems: Sorin Grama and Sam White founded Promethean Power Systems in 2007 to address a large market need with an innovative solution that can have a positive impact on millions of people. In 2012 Promethean Power Systems formed a joint venture with Spenta Refrigeration Pvt. Ltd. of Navi Mumbai. The new company, Promethean Spenta Technologies, aims to bridge the power gap in rural India by offering Indian farmers and food processors affordable cold-storage equipment for perishable food items.

About GreenRig Co: GreenRig Co is a Houston based company providing customized clean technology solutions and consultancy services to selected industries. GreenRig Co has helped a diverse clientele reduce particular energy costs and Co2 by an industry leading average of 72% through replacing fuel, grid and generator based power with innovative clean technology solutions.

To view Promethean Power Systems video: On a quest for Zero Milk Wastage Click here

Original Source: Kristine Wong @wongkxt 

INDONESIA:  Indonesia have been in the media frequently for their approach to renewable energies, with the most recent being construction of the world's largest geothermal power plant - Sarulla plant.

Now new figures show that Indonesia is 3rd in the world in using geothermal energy.

The table below lists the top five countries that generate electricity using geothermal energy:

Indonesia sits on roughly 40% of the world's total geothermal resources, however due to laws governing geothermal exploration as mining only around 5% of these reserves have been tapped.

With access to geothermal energy becoming increasingly important a number of supporters for geothermal energy have argued that while the costs for exploration are high the production costs and lower.

The development of Indonesia's geothermal energy potential is important as the country's electricity demand will increase by around eight percent annually. Currently, Indonesia has one of the lowest electrification rates (66 percent) in Asia, implying that there are around 80 million Indonesians that are not yet connected to the nation's electricity grid.

The Indonesian government has set the ambitious target that by 2025 renewable sources will account for 25 percent of domestic energy demand. Around 17 percent is intended to be supplied by geothermal energy.

To reach its ambitious target, the Indonesian government is offering tax incentives for renewable energy project developers (including geothermal energy) and has allocated funds for exploration activities (aiming to reduce exploration risks for the private sector). Currently, over 44 geothermal projects are in development in Indonesia.

Besides electricity generation, geothermal energy can be used for heat pumps, bathing, space-heating, green- houses, aquaculture, and industrial processes.

A conference will be held in October, giving updates on all the latest HVACR news as well as updates on geothermal energy in Indonesia. Click here to find out more. 

Aston Martin Racing has signed a partnership agreement with solar technologies experts Hanergy Global Solar Power & Applications Group, in a project exploring how the sun’s energy can be used to improve race car performance.

This project is in line with current FIA WEC regulations, in which GT cars must be fitted with an air conditioning system that keeps the temperature of the cockpit below 32 degrees centigrade or 12 degrees above ambient temperature.

Jason Chow, Executive President of Hanergy Global Solar Power & Applications Group explains, “We are interested in adapting our world leading thin film solar technologies for cars, so that, for example, a thin layer of cells can be applied to the roof or rear windscreen to power the air-conditioning or other ancillary functions without affecting the performance of the car or using the fuel or battery source.”

“The engineers at Aston Martin Racing are helping us to apply our technology and eventually to put it to the test in the most extreme of automotive environments.”

High temperatures in the race car can have extremely negative effects on drivers and, with the WEC travelling to hot destinations such Austin and Bahrain, it is a concern for all of the teams. However, running air conditioning can cause a loss of power to the engine and have a negative impact of the car's fuel efficiency.

“It’s a bit of a balancing game at the moment,” explained Dan Sayers, Chief Engineer at Aston Martin Racing. “The air conditioning system uses engine power; however, keeping the drivers cool and more comfortable is essential. If we can find a solution that keeps the driver cool without the negative effects on performance then it could have a really positive impact on GT racing.”

 “We aren’t looking at solar power technology for our race cars because it is a green option,” explains Aston Martin Racing’s Team Principal John Gaw. “We are looking at how we can use the power of the sun to improve the comfort of our race cars for our drivers and therefore increase our performance on track. However, we are looking at how we can improve our green credentials as a business now that we are moving to new premises.”

The project will run throughout 2014 with the engineers developing the technology at Aston Martin Racing’s premises ahead the next round of the WEC, the Six Hours of Austin, at the Circuit of the Americas.

Image Credit: Michael Stocke's Shutterstock

About Hanergy Solar Group: Hanergy Solar Group is the world’s leading thin-film photovoltaic technology enterprise with major businesses in R&D, design and assembly of large-scale thin-film solar turnkey production lines, as well as the development and operation of downstream solar power projects and application products. Hanergy Solar Group entered the solar power industry and grew rapidly since 2009, by continuing to fulfil the equipment sales agreements of thin-film solar turnkey production lines, and further extending the business to the downstream area of solar power.

A geothermal heat pump or ground source heat pump (GSHP) is a central heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to or from the ground.  Ground source heat pumps harvest heat absorbed at the Earth's surface from solar energy.  It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer). This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling systems, and may be combined with solar heating to form a geosolar system with even greater efficiency. Ground source heat pumps are also known as "geothermal heat pumps" although, strictly, the heat does not come from the centre of the Earth, but from the Sun.

Ground source heat pumps use pipes which are buried in the ground to extract heat from the ground. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in a building.

A ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe – called a ground loop – which is buried in the ground outside the building. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. The ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year – even in the middle of winter.

The length of the ground loop depends on the size of the building and the amount of heat needed. Longer loops can draw more heat from the ground, but need more space to be buried in. If space is limited, a vertical borehole can be drilled instead.

The benefits of installing a ground source heat pump (GSHP) include:

  • Lower fuel bills, especially when replacing conventional electric heating systems
  • Could be eligible for income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI*) for non-domestic buildings
  • Lower the building’s carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing
  • Can be used to heat and provide hot water
  • Needs little maintenance – GSHP’s are known as ‘fit and forget’ technology.
  • Renewable Heat Incentive – Commercial RHI - Owners of ground source heat pumps systems (and other eligible renewable heat technologies) installed since 15 July 2009, can apply to Ofgem to be paid around 10 pence/kWhour of renewable heat generated for the next 20 years.

Unlike gas and oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods. During the winter they may need to be on constantly to heat the building efficiently. Occupants will also notice that radiators won't feel as hot to the touch as they might do when using a gas or oil boiler.

Heat from the ground is absorbed at low temperatures into a fluid inside a loop of pipe (a ground loop) buried underground. The fluid then passes through a compressor that raises it to a higher temperature, which can then heat water for the heating and hot water circuits of the house. The cooled ground-loop fluid passes back into the ground where it absorbs further energy from the ground in a continuous process as long as heating is required.

Normally the loop is laid flat or coiled in trenches about two metres deep, but if there is not enough space a vertical loop down into the ground can be installed to a depth of up to 100 metres.  Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run, but the heat they extract from the ground, the air, or water is constantly being renewed naturally.

In July, retail giant Sainsbury’s launched the installation of their 12th Ground Source Heat Pump at their store at London Colney in St. Albans.  They have showcased their use of this innovative technology that taps renewable energy from deep underground to provide energy efficient heating, hot water and cooling for the stores.  The roll out of Ground Source Heat Pumps at 12 stores follows Sainsbury’s successful world-first use of the geo-thermal technology at its Crayford store, enabling it to supply 30 per cent of its energy from on-site renewable sources.  It has also installed 74 biomass boilers since 2008, which use wood pellets - a renewable resource - to heat stores rather than using fossil fuel-based gas.

GSHP Resources

The Ground Source Heat Pump Association - The Association provides information on GSHPs via a this website and telephone helplines and makes presentations to promote the ground source industry to key audiences.

Energy Savings Trust – Advice to homeowners on Ground Source Heat Pumps, installation, financial benefits, Planning permissions.

B&ES - Ground Source Heat Pump Guidance - Great resources that will provide more detail on Ground Source Heat Pumps

B&ES – TR 30 - The first part of the forthcoming suite of TR30 publications, this looks at different applications of Heat Pumps technology.  It provides generic installation requirements for a range of renewable energy systems including biomass fuels, solar hot water and combined heat and power (CHP).

Ground source heat pump

Image Credit: Advance NRG

This article is brought to you by Fridgehub – a major new industry website for manufacturers, distributers, service providers, operators and consumers of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump (RACHP) products and services.

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Retail giant Sainsbury’s has reached a significant milestone in its investment in renewable energy as it strives to cut CO2 emissions and reduce energy bills.  The retailer has installed 100,000 photovoltaic solar panels (22 mWp) across 210 stores - enough to cover 35 football pitches.

These will help reduce Sainsbury’s total CO2 emissions by an estimated 9,785 tonnes per year as it retains its status as the largest multi-roof solar panel operator in Europe.

Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker officially launched the retailer’s 12th Ground Source Heat Pump – another innovative technology that taps renewable energy from deep underground to provide energy efficient heating, hot water and cooling for the store.

Greg Barker said:

"Not only is Sainsbury’s increasing the amount of stores heated by renewable sources, it’s using solar panels on its roofs to generate energy too, with over 100,000 panels now up and running on over 200 stores.”

The roll out of Ground Source Heat Pumps at 12 stores follows Sainsbury’s successful world-first use of the geo-thermal technology at its Crayford store, enabling it to supply 30 per cent of its energy from on-site renewable sources.  It has also installed 74 biomass boilers since 2008, which use wood pellets - a renewable resource - to heat stores rather than using fossil fuel-based gas.

Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s Head of Engineering, Sustainability, Energy and Environment said:

"We’ve achieved a 9.1% absolute reduction in electricity use over the past four years in our supermarkets, despite a 25% increase in space, and we’re really seeing the benefits from using our underutilised space for solar panels, and from the other renewable technologies we’ve installed.

"We believe they are fundamental to the sustainability of our business and there is a strong commercial case for using each technology.  They are helping us cut carbon emissions and energy bills and achieve the environmental targets we set ourselves in our stretching 20x20 Plan.  It’s good news for the environment and is supporting job creation in the UK’s renewable energy sector."

Sainsbury’s investment in onsite renewable energy technologies is part of its ambitious sustainability target to reduce its operational carbon emissions by 30% absolute (and 65% relative) by 2020 compared with 2005. This is part of a broader target of an absolute carbon reduction of 50% by 2030.

This blog article is brought to you by Fridgehub – a major new industry website for manufacturers, distributers, service providers, operators and consumers of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump (RACHP) products and services.

Follow @theFridgehub on Twitter