Category Archives: Economics

Reliability-Based Structural Optimization of Wave Energy Converters


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Simon Ambühl, Morten Kramer and John Dalsgaard Sørensen – Energies, December 2014

Abstract

More and more wave energy converter (WEC) concepts are reaching prototype level. Once the prototype level is reached, the next step in order to further decrease the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is optimizing the overall system with a focus on structural and maintenance (inspection) costs, as well as on the harvested power from the waves.  Continue reading

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Techno-economic analysis of off-grid hydrokinetic-based hybrid energy systems for onshore/remote area in South Africa


Kanzumba Kusakana – Energy, February 2014

Abstract

Hydrokinetic power generation is a relatively recent type of hydropower that generates electricity from kinetic energy of flowing water making the conversion process more competitive compared to traditional micro-hydropower. Few authors have already analyzed the use of standalone hydrokinetic systems for rural electrification, however, there is no available literatures investigating the possibility of using this technology in combination with other renewable energy sources or diesel generator. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to investigate the potential use of hydrokinetic-based hybrid systems for low cost and sustainable electrical energy supply to isolated load in rural South Africa where adequate water resource is available. Continue reading

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An FMEA-Based Risk Assessment Approach for Wind Turbine Systems: A Comparative Study of Onshore and Offshore


Mahmood Shafiee and Fateme Dinmohammadi – Energies, February 2014

Abstract

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) has been extensively used by wind turbine assembly manufacturers for analyzing, evaluating and prioritizing potential/known failure modes. However, several limitations are associated with its practical implementation in wind farms. Continue reading

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Offshore wind structure weight algorithms


Mark J. Kaiser and Brian F. Snyder – Ships and Offshore Structures, February 2014

Abstract

Decommissioning requirements for offshore renewable energy facilities in US federal waters requires that all facilities be removed and the seafloor be cleared of all obstructions at the end of the life of the lease. Before construction activities are permitted, developers are required to post a bond based on the estimated cost of decommissioning to ensure that the federal government is protected in case of company default. The purpose of this note is to provide weight algorithms of offshore wind farm components to estimate the lift requirements in decommissioning, the scrap value of material, and disposal cost. Weight algorithms are calibrated and compared with North Sea project data and examples illustrate the procedures. The component weights at the Cape Wind farm offshore Massachusetts are estimated.

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Filed under Analytics, Economics, Installation

Obtaining renewable energy from tidal currents in the Aviles port: New services for citizens


Alvarez, E.Alvarez; Manso, A.Navarro; Gutierrez-Trashorras, A.J.; Francos, Joaquin Fernandez; Secades, M.Rico – 2013 International Conference on New Concepts in Smart Cities: Fostering Public and Private Alliances (SmartMILE), December 2013

Abstract

The port of Avilés is very tightly integrated in the city of Avilés. Within the waters of the port there is significant tidal activity. The possibility of extracting this tidal energy and using it locally to provide services for citizens and port activities is a topic of great interest. Despite the low viability of current tidal energy installations, this investigation includes a design for a micro-generator system based on a set of micro-turbines and the associated off-the-shelf electronic converters to be situated in the port of Avilés. A study of the energy production system and its economic feasibility provide the parameters to define suitable sites for the installation.

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Filed under Economics, System Development

Tidal energy machines : A comparative life cycle assessment study


Stuart R J Walker, Robert Howell, Peter Hodgson, and Allan Griffin – Proc. IMech E, Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Marine Environment, November 2013

Abstract

Marine energy in the United Kingdom is undergoing a period of growth in terms of development and implementation. The current installed tidal energy capacity is expected to rise to provide 20% of the United Kingdom’s electricity demand by 2050. This article used life cycle assessment to study four tidal energy devices, comparing their embodied energy and carbon dioxide emissions. The device designs studied included a multi-blade turbine, two three-blade horizontal axis turbine machines and an Archimedes’ screw device. Continue reading

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Technological Cost-Reduction Pathways for Axial-Flow Turbines in the Marine Hydrokinetic Environment


Daniel L. Laird, Erick L. Johnson, Margaret E. Ochs, and Blake Boren – Sandia National Laboratories Technical Report, September 2013

Abstract

This report considers and prioritizes potential technical cost‐reduction pathways for axial‐flow turbines designed for tidal, river, and ocean current resources. This report focuses on technical research and development cost‐reduction pathways related to the device technology rather than environmental monitoring or permitting opportunities. Three sources of information were utilized to understand current cost drivers and develop a list of potential cost‐reduction pathways: a literature review of technical work related to axial‐flow turbines, the U.S. Department of Energy Reference Model effort, and informal webinars and other targeted interactions with industry developers. Data from these various information sources were aggregated and prioritized with respect to potential impact on the lifetime levelized cost of energy. The four most promising cost‐reduction pathways include structural design optimization; improved deployment, maintenance, and recovery; system simplicity and reliability; and array optimization.

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A new method for failure modes and effects analysis and its application in a hydrokinetic turbine system


Liang Xie – Missouri University of Science and Technology, Masters Thesis, 2013

Abstract

The traditional failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) is a conceptual design methodology for dealing with potential failures. FMEA uses the risk priority number (RPN), which is the product of three ranked factors to prioritize risks of different failure modes. The three factors are occurrence, severity, and detection. However, the RPN may not be able to provide consistent evaluation of risks for the following reasons: the RPN has a high degree of subjectivity, it is difficult to compare different RPNs, and possible failures may be overlooked in the traditional FMEA method. Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, Operation and Maintenance

Status of micro-hydrokinetic river technology in rural applications: A review of literature


Herman Jacobus Vermaak, Kanzumba Kusakana, and Sandile Philip Koko – Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, January 2014

Abstract

Apparently, most hydrokinetic literatures mainly concentrate on large-scale technologies such as waves, tides and ocean current applications. This could be one of the reasons delaying the utilization of small-scale hydrokinetic river technology in rural areas. This paper therefore critically reviews the current status of micro-hydrokinetic river (MHR) technology for rural applications. Relevant research literatures based on developments, applications, design, operation as well as different MHR technologies involved in rural electrification projects have been reviewed. After conducting these reviews it has become clear that one of the key barriers hindering the employment of MHR technology in rural areas with access to flowing water is the lack of research demonstrating the technical, economic and environmental benefits of this technology compared to other rural electrification techniques. Studies that look towards the long-term perspective of techno-economic analysis inclusive of capital, maintenance and running costs computations need to be carried out promoting the interest in utilizing this technology. This paper will aid researchers to identify areas that need to improve as well as encourage public bodies to implement proper energy policies regarding the MHR technology usage in rural areas. It will also create awareness among site owners, investors, project developers and decision makers regarding the potential benefits of using this technology in rural areas especially in countries with little or no elevation.

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Filed under Economics, Sector Overview

Wave energy converter modeling in the time domain: A design guide


Bret Bosma, Ted K.A. Brekken, Tuba Ozkan-Haller, and Solomon Yim – First IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability (SusTech), August 2013

Abstract

As the ocean wave energy field continues to mature, developers need a generic modeling methodology to test their designs before building prototypes. A design methodology for a first-pass time-domain simulation is a goal of this work. Built on results from the frequency domain analysis, the general procedure for obtaining time domain results is presented. Wave energy researchers and developers can use this design guide as a step in the process of obtaining a cost of energy estimate for their device. Promoting the development of wave energy converters by providing a sound modeling methodology is an aim of this research.

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Filed under Economics, Modeling, System Development