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Off Grid Energy Independence
Posted on June 11, 2018 by Dr Peter Harrop

Zero Emission Minigrids and Off Grid: Huge New Business Explained

At Wolfson College Cambridge 21 June there is a day of business insight forums on the burgeoning technology and application of off-grid electricity. This equipment will be a business of hundreds of billions of dollars in 2038 say IDTechEx analysts organising the sessions. When sold as solutions, for example mobile desalinators, smart roads, cooking and fish farm systems, they will be a market value that is a multiple of that.
The morning session "Off Grid Electricity Generation Needs, Systems and Markets" addressed by Dr Peter Harrop and Dr Iain Meager covers the market drivers, systems and market forecasts. What are the increasing difficulties with grids that are triggering grid defection? Why are 600 GW of diesel and gas gensets capability slated for replacement and by what? What are the many new needs for electricity where no grid will ever be - from upper atmosphere drones aloft for five years on sunshine, to deep sea mining getting electricity from the sea, ice making for offshore fish farms, robotic heavy farming on land, advancing armies and over 10,000 inhabited islands. The demand for desalinators is doubling every five years and many other large markets are emerging. How can a ship belching the equivalent of three million cars be made zero emission using these technologies?
Learn why cities, airports and electric vehicle charging networks are going off grid. Which projects, countries and technologies are most impressive? Why and how are gigafactories and 300MW desalinators going off grid or "fringe of grid"? When will solar roads (110 projects) add motion and heat harvesting, automatic deicing and charging vehicles at speed, off grid? Why will $1000/MWh sometimes get the business from polluters but $50/MWh is needed elsewhere?
The afternoon covers, "New Off Grid Energy Harvesting Technologies" focussing on the new ways of creating electricity from water, wind, infrared and daylight and the technology roadmap ahead. That includes many surprises such as; use of ocean salinity or thermal gradient, new vortex turbines in rivers and canals, spiral turbines recently inserted in city water pipes and Aerial Wind Energy with tethered drones. Building and vehicle integrated photovoltaics will double in efficiency and many harvesters working together will help to eliminate those troublesome batteries. Indeed, some new wave energy works even with one meter waves and is therefore often continuous. The new open water wave and tidal power is not a party trick: orders up to 100MW each have been taken in the last few months, some where the client will not accept solar or wind due to their ugliness and grabbing of real estate.
Will 1MW high rise windows also assist cities to go off grid and with what technologies? Those attending will learn of a host of new businesses being created, such as hydroplaning Seabubble water taxis charged by the river in Paris and US greenhouses with optimal plant growth and their own solar electricity from the same magenta glass. Add Google ships moored offshore that act as chemical factories or data centres, all with zero emission energy independence. Welcome "hurricane proof flexible solar".
Understand why and how the concrete monstrosities called dams and tidal barriers are giving way to invisible wave and tidal power with no infrastructure, just the device in a river or sea. Key features of new power harvesters include mobility, deskilled infrequent maintenance and far less material used than is seen in an offshore wind turbine. Learn how there are many reasons for giant wind turbines and their equivalents underwater. Can turbines be replaced with triboelectric, magnetostrictive or dielectric elastomer materials that directly create electricity from movement for example? This session delves into the new power electronics involved, the similar choices of water and wind turbine and the winning types of Wave Energy Converter WEC. What are the leading technologies now and over the next 20 years? What is called zero emission but emits potent greenhouse gas methane, employs nasty poisons or traps them in man made lakes and what is genuinely clean? It is all here.
To find out more about the Cambridge Business Insight Forums on 21 June please visit
Dr Peter Harrop

Authored By: Dr Peter Harrop


Posted on: June 11th 2018