Tag Archives: Department of Energy

Untapped Hydro Resources

Untapped Hydro Potential

Hydro power once averaged over 20% of U.S. electric power sector net generation in 1970. Over the past decade (2004–2013), hydro power provided an average of 6.8% of U.S. electric power sector net generation. Untapped non-power dam (NPD) resources  will transform small hydro into a major energy source.

The U.S. Administration’s goal is to generate 80% of the nation’s electricity to clean energy sources by 2035 and lead the world in clean energy innovation.

The hydro power resource assessment by the Department of Energy’s Hydropower Program has identified 5,677 sites in the United States with acceptable undeveloped hydro power potential. These sites have a modeled undeveloped capacity of about 30,000 MW. This represents about 40 percent of the existing conventional hydro power capacity.

The 80,000+ non-powered facilities represent the vast majority of dams in the country; more than 90% of dams are used for services, such as regulating water supply and controlling inland navigation, and lack electricity-generating equipment.

non powered dams

An assessment of energy potential from new stream-reach development in the United States led by DOE’s ORNL provides a national picture of the remaining new hydropower development opportunities in U.S. rivers and streams. The assessment concluded that the technical resource potential is 85 GW of capacity. When federally protected lands—national parks, national wild and scenic rivers, and wilderness areas—are excluded, the remaining potential is over 60 GW of capacity or 347 TWh/year of generation. Continue reading Untapped Hydro Resources

WATER CRISES: COMING CATASTROPHE

If water is not managed better, today’s crisis will become a catastrophe.

As water becomes ever more scant the world needs to conserve it, use it more efficiently. Researchers from MIT predict that by 2050, more than half of humanity will live in water-stressed areas, where people are now extracting unsustainable amounts from available freshwater sources.  We can expect a water crisis that will go viral into a catastrophe if we continue with business as usual.

Many people have a strong moral aversion to paying for the life-sustaining liquid. Some feel that water is a right, and should therefore be free. Others lobby governments to subsidize its distribution to favored groups. This results in vast, but preventable waste.

To make matters worse, few places price water properly. Usually, it is artificially cheap, because politicians are scared to charge much for something essential that falls from the sky. This means that consumers have little incentive to conserve it and investors have little incentive to build pipes and other infrastructure to bring it to where it is needed most.

Researchers from MIT predict that by 2050, more than half of humanity will live in water-stressed areas, where people are now extracting unsustainable amounts from available freshwater sources.

One reason is that as the world’s population grows larger and richer, it uses more water. Another is climate change, which accelerates hydrologic cycles, making wet places wetter and dry places drier. The World Resources Institute found that 33 face extremely high water stress by 2040 (see map).

And as the global population rises from 7.4 bn to close to 10 bn by the middle of the century, it is estimated that agricultural production will have to rise by 60% to fill the world’s bellies. This will put water supplies under huge strain.

 In many countries people can pump as much water as they like from underground aquifers, because rules are either lax or not enforced. But it is unsustainable: around a fifth of the world’s aquifers are over-exploited.

People do not drink much water—only a few liters a day. But putting food on their tables requires floods of the stuff. Growing 1 lb of wheat takes 125 gallons of water; fattening a cow to produce the same weight of beef involves 12 times more. Overall, agriculture accounts for more than 70% of global freshwater withdrawals. Farmers in parched places grow thirsty cash crops such as avocados, which could easily be imported from somewhere wetter.

water scarcity

POLLUTION

In many places water demand is high and the quality is also at risk: as in many of the most stressed watersheds, it is often compromised by pollution. A polluted water source increases the risk of sickness not just of the environment but of the people and communities that depend on it for their survival. Continue reading WATER CRISES: COMING CATASTROPHE

THE HUG SPIN-OFFS

 HUG Applications

The  HUG uses the physics of the vortex to create a spiraling motion to accelerate the flow of fluid  in order to generate electricity or provide irrigation pumps from the water flow from tidal flows, waves, rivers, rapids, ocean and other fluid flows using a helical turbine and to transfer this fluid like water, oil or natural gas at near zero friction.

 

HUG Turbine
The HUG

There are many applications or spin-offs of the HUG, a new invention or a new good, which are named by their function:

  1. The Funnel HUG, used in ‘Run-of-River’ (Run-of-River HUG), and in a waterfall (Waterfall HUG) and the Reservoir HUG used to house an array of Funnel HUGs.
  2. The Pump HUG used in a river (River HUG), at a pylon (Pylon HUG), in an ocean current (Ocean Current HUG) and a tide (Tidal HUG)
  3. The Wave Energy HUG: creating electricity from wave energy
  4. The HUG pipe or HUG pipeline
  5. The Recycle HUG to recycle gray water
  6. The HUG Siphon for Waterfalls, Watermills and Dams

The “prior art” helical turbine is used to provide rotation to either the submersible pump or the electrical generator. One of the companies—GCK Technologies Inc. has a patented turbine using the helical blade.  Lucid Energy Technologies patented the same helical turbine in a pipeline, but there is no vortex claimed for either patents.  Continue reading THE HUG SPIN-OFFS

California, Catch the Next Energy Wave

California  Wave Energy

 

OCEAN WAVE ENERGY
OCEAN WAVE ENERGY

Renewable energy companies are increasingly interested in converting the energy of California’s ocean waters into electricity. Wave Energy Conversion Technology is evolving and the need for renewable energy is clear.

California Wave Energy
California Wave Energy

Since California is one of the most fossil fuel dependent states in the world, any alternatives are worth investigating.  Continue reading California, Catch the Next Energy Wave

World Wave Energy

WORLD ENERGY

By 2040, world energy demand is expected to dramatically increase (in 25 years)

Worldwide energy usage is on track to increase by roughly 40% in the next 20 years and to nearly double by 2050. Carbon emissions still have to be cut 84% by 2050, yet almost 70% of the kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed today comes from coal or natural gas. Electricity has to be the dominant energy form used in the future.

Wave Power Average
Wave Power Average

The allure is irresistible. A wave energy system that could harness an inexhaustible, nonpolluting source of energy and be deployed economically in sufficient numbers to generate significant amounts of electricity—that would be a feat for the ages.

 Global Wave Energy
Global Wave Energy

Wave power experts say that wave energy is where wind energy was three decades ago. Continue reading World Wave Energy