NEW ENERGY: WHAT SOUTH KOREA IS LOOKING AT
A South Korean newpaper took a look at the new New Energy projects, many presented at the seventh International Sustainable Energy Symposium at Seoul’s Ritz-Carlton August 24.
After an all-too-brief scan, South Korea’s DongA wondered if today's New Energy is about to be old: “Are massive windmills always necessary to tap wind power? Are wide blue solar panels a must for solar energy?”
Profiled: A small artificial tree that generates electricity from the slightest breeze; Anaconda, a plastic wave energy concept; Floating deepwater wind turbines; Copper pipes laid into heat-absorbing asphalt to supply solar-heated hot water; multicolored thin films with increasing efficiency; deep geothermally generated steam.
These are all exciting ideas. Some have real potential - it's just a little too soon to know which ones.
A recent European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) study predicted most European wind will come from deepwater floating turbines in the 2030-2050 period. Experimental trials of deep geothermal and copper pipes in asphalt for hot water are ongoing. The other projects are in prototype stages.
One of the best reasons to study New Energy: Possibilities beyond tomorrow. People building audaciously, hopefully.
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Global Search for New Energy Sources Heating Up
August 29, 2008 (DongA Ilbo)
Cheon Wan-gi, Professor of Engineering, Cheju National University; John Chaplin, Anaconda team leader/Professor of Engineering, University of Southampton; Blue H; Worcester Polytechnic Institute researchers; Korea Institute of Science and Technology research team (Park Nam-gyu, leader) and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology research team (Bae Byeong-soo, leader); Dr. Song Yun-ho, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources
A small artificial tree that generates electricity from wind; Anaconda, a wave energy concept; Floating deepwater wind turbines; Copper pipes laid into heat-absorbing asphalt to supply solar-heated hot water; multicolored thin films with increasing efficiency; deep geothermally-generated steam
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5 to 6 hours: A 3.3 mph wind blowing a 100-“leaf” electric tree could charge an AA battery.
2030-2050: Most European wind expected to come from deepwater floating turbines.
2050: A Korean expert says the U.S. will have enough deep geothermal to replace 100 nuclear power plants.
- The Anaconda is being developed in the UK at the University of Southampton.
- Blue H’s floating offshore wind installation will be 19 kilometers out to sea.
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute is in Massachusetts.
- France, Germany and Australia developing deep geothermal, drilling 3 to 5 kilometers down for the earth’s heat.
- The wind energy tree is a meter (~3 feet) high. It is made of piezoelectric material, material that generates energy from movement.
- Anaconda, now in small prototype but eventually to be 7 meters in diameter and 200 meters long, is a snake-like plastic, fluid-filled cylinder with sealed ends. It rides the ocean surface. With wave motion the fluid inside compresses, flows through and turns a turbine at the tube’s end.
- The Blue H offshore installations are said to be able to utilize stronger, more consistent winds, cheaper to build and less intrusive to the ocean environment and shipping than near offshore installations anchored in the seabed.
- The heat of solar energy can be absorbed by water in high thermal conductivity copper pipes in asphalt can be used as a solar hot water heater.
- Research teams are varying the colors solar panels’ glass in pursuit of capturing a wider slice of sunlight’s spectrum and boosting thin film efficiencies.
-Deep geothermal uses the 200 degree-Celsius deep earth hot rocks to boil water to drive turbines.
A Blue H floating deepwater wind turbine. (click to enlarge)
- Cheon Wan-gi, Professor of Engineering, Cheju National University: “Though the technology is not sufficient now, a material upgrade will significantly reduce charging time…While wind generators only work at wind speeds of seven to 25 meters per second, tree generators are available with a windspeed of four meters per second.”
- John Chaplin, Anaconda team leader/Professor of Engineering, University of Southampton: “A 200-meter-long rubber snake generates electricity enough to power 2,000 households…It is more effective and breaks less than existing wave-energy devices.”
- Dr. Song Yun-ho, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources: “The United States plans to tap into underground terrestrial heat to produce energy equivalent to that produced by 100 nuclear power plants by 2050. If successful, the energy issue will be solved with one stroke.”