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(ME – 514A: Alternative Energy Resources)


Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane,
but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small
percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. It is formed when layers of
decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the
surface of the earth over millions of years. The energy that the plants originally obtained from
the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas.


Millions of years ago, the remains of plants and animals (diatoms) decayed and built up in thick
layers, sometimes mixed with sand and silt. Over time, these layers were buried under sand,
silt, and rock. Pressure and heat changed some of this organic material into coal, some into oil
(petroleum), and some into natural gas. In some places, the natural gas moved into large cracks
and spaces between layers of overlying rock.


1000 B.C. - The Chinese used it to heat seawater and separate the salt to make the water
100 A.D. - the King of Persia (Iran) built a kitchen in his palace around a natural gas flame that
had been ignited by lightning.
1700 - Britain became the first country to commercialize the use of natural gas 1816
- Natural gas was first used in Baltimore (America) to fuel street lamps.
1858 - William hart formed the America’s first natural gas company, Fredonia Gas Light
1885 - German chemist and physicist Robert Von Bunsen perfected the Bunsen BURNER.

Today, natural gas is widely used. In fact, it is the third largest source of energy after petroleum
and coal.


1. RUSSIA - PROVEN RESERVES: 47,800,000 m3

2. IRAN - PROVEN RESERVES: 34,020,000 m3
3. QATAR - PROVEN RESERVES: 24,530,000 m3
4. USA - PROVEN RESERVES: 9,659,000 m3
7. UAE - PROVEN RESERVES: 6,091,000 m3
9. NIGERIA - PROVEN RESERVES: 5,111,000 m3
10. ALGERIA - PROVEN RESERVES: 4,504,000 m3





• CNG - Compressed natural gas (CNG) (methane stored at high pressure) is a fuel which
can be used in place of gasoline (petrol), diesel fuel and propane/LPG. It is safer than other
fuels in the event of a spill, because natural gas is lighter than air and disperses quickly
when released.
• LNG - Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas (predominantly methane, CH4, with some
mixture of ethane C2H6) that has been cooled down to liquid form for ease and safety of
non-pressurized storage or transport.


If we increase gas production to fill the energy gap left by oil, then those reserves will only
give us an additional eight years, taking us to 2060.


• Multiple scenarios have been analyzed until 2030 and 2060. In all scenarios, gas
consumption grows. The global demand for energy will grow and by 2060 the electricity
demand will double. The greatest growth in gas demand is expected in Asia.

Continued increases in natural gas demand for electricity and other uses could result in
shortages and significant price increases in the future.


An important application of future development is trigeneration to obtain cold as well as heat
and electricity. Another application is in hydrogen cells to generate electricity in different
types of land transport. In domestic use, natural gas will begin to be used combined with
electricity to generate heat in kitchens, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, that is, a
hybrid of electrical appliances with gas appliances.


• Natural gas is a relatively clean burning fossil fuel
• Natural gas is mainly methane, a strong greenhouse gas
• Natural gas production affects the environment
• Advances in drilling and production technologies have positive and negative effects on the
• Natural gas production, transportation, distribution, and storage require strict safety
regulations and standards


Because natural gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, distributors add mercaptan (a
chemical that smells like sulfur) to give natural gas a distinct unpleasant odor (it smells like
rotten eggs). This added odor serves as a safety measure to help detect leaks in natural gas


• When burned, natural gas releases 25-30% less CO2 than oil.
• And produces 40-50% less CO2 than coal.


1. Produces Less Soot 1. Highly Inflammable

2. Abundant Supply 2. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
3. Infrastructure in Place 3. Non-Sustainable
4. Cheaper 4. Not Easy to Use
5. Can be easily transported 5. Expensive Pipelines

• Asphyxiation
-It is a serious health condition where the body is not able to get sufficient oxygen supply,
which may lead to loss of consciousness, brain damage and death.
• Effects on Respiratory System
-Symptoms such as pneumonia, nausea, vomiting, irregular breathing, memory loss,
fatigue, sinus pain and headache are also reported because of the exposure to natural gas.
• Physiological Effects
-When mercaptan is inhaled in sufficient amounts, it causes physiological effects such as
dizziness, headache, vomiting, shivering, fever and unconsciousness.

Coal - 100,000 (41% global electricity)

Oil - 36,000 (33% of energy, 4% of electricity)
Natural Gas - 4,000 (22% global electricity)
Nuclear - 90 (11% global electricity)


Technological innovation in the exploration and production sector has equipped the industry
with the equipment and practices necessary to continually increase the production of natural
gas to meet rising demand. Some of the major recent technological innovations in the
exploration and production sector include:

• 3-D AND 4-D SEISMIC IMAGING - Exploration teams can now identify natural gas
prospects more easily, place wells more effectively, reduce the number of dry holes drilled,
reduce drilling costs, and cut exploration time.
• CO2-SAND FRACTURING - Fracturing techniques have been used since the 1970s to help
increase the flow rate of natural gas and oil from underground formations.
• COILED TUBING - This greatly reduces the cost of drilling, as well as providing a smaller
drilling footprint, requiring less drilling mud, faster rig set up, and reducing the time normally
needed to make drill pipe connections.
• SLIMHOLE DRILLING - a method of drilling exploratory wells in new areas, drilling deeper
wells in existing fields, and providing an efficient means for extracting more natural gas
from un-depleted fields.
• OFFSHORE DRILLING TECHNOLOGY - improved offshore drilling rigs, dynamic
positioning devices and sophisticated navigation systems are allowing safe, efficient
offshore drilling in waters more than 10,000 feet deep.
• HYDRAULIC FRACTURING - A liquid mix that is 99 percent water and sand is injected into
the rock at very high pressure, creating fractures within the rock that provide the natural
gas a path to flow to the wellhead.


• Cooling natural gas to about -260°F at normal pressure results in the condensation of the
gas into liquid form, known as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
• LNG can be very useful, particularly for the transportation of natural gas, since LNG takes
up about one six hundredth the volume of gaseous natural gas.
• LNG is typically transported by specialized tanker with insulated walls, so that any heat
additions are countered by the energy lost from LNG vapor that is vented out of storage
and used to power the vessel.


• Fuel cells powered by natural gas are an extremely exciting and promising new technology
for the clean and efficient generation of electricity.
• Fuel cells have the ability to generate electricity using electrochemical reactions as
opposed to combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity.

The use of natural gas-powered fuel cells has a number of benefits, including:

• Clean Electricity
• Distributed Generation
• Dependability
• Efficiency


The natural gas industry is joined by government agencies and laboratories, private research
and development firms, and environmental technology groups in coming up with new
technologies that may improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental
soundness of the natural gas industry.




1. Geologists locate the types of rock that are likely to contain natural gas deposits. Some of
these areas are on land and some are offshore and deep under the ocean floor.
2. They often use seismic surveys on land and in the ocean to find the right places to drill wells.
3. Seismic surveys on land use echoes from a vibration source at the surface of the earth.
4. Seismic surveys in the ocean rely on sound that create sonic waves to explore the geology
beneath the ocean floor.
5. If a site seems promising, an exploratory well is drilled and tested. Once a formation is proven
to be economic for production, one or more production wells are drilled down into the
formation, and natural gas flows up through the wells to the surface.


The actual practice of processing natural gas to pipeline dry gas quality levels can be quite
complex, but usually involves four main processes to remove the various impurities:

1. Oil and Condensate Removal

• In order to process and transport associated dissolved natural gas, it must be separated
from the oil in which it is dissolved. This separation of natural gas from oil is most often
done using equipment installed at or near the wellhead.
2. Water Removal
• In addition to separating oil and some condensate from the wet gas stream, it is necessary
to remove most of the associated water. Most of the liquid, free water associated with
extracted natural gas is removed by simple separation methods at or near the wellhead.
3. Separation of Natural Gas Liquids
• Natural gas coming directly from a well contains many natural gas liquids that are
commonly removed. In most instances, natural gas liquids (NGLs) have a higher value as
separate products, and it is thus economical to remove them from the gas stream.
4. Sulfur and Carbon Dioxide Removal
• Natural gas from some wells contains significant amounts of sulfur and carbon dioxide.
This natural gas, because of the rotten smell provided by its sulfur content, is commonly
called ‘sour gas’.
• The process for removing hydrogen sulfide from sour gas is commonly referred to as
‘sweetening’ the gas.
• It is quite similar to the processes of glycol dehydration and NGL absorption. In this case,
however, amine solutions are used to remove the hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.
This process is known simply as the ‘amine process’.



With LNG, gas is liquefied and transported internationally via tankers and then regasified into its
original state for distribution and sale. Additionally, the hydrocarbon takes up significantly less
space as a liquid than a gas; LNG is approximately 1/600th the volume of the same amount of
natural gas.

1. Liquefaction
• Natural gas is liquefied by lowering the temperature of the hydrocarbon to approximately
-260 degrees Fahrenheit (-160 degrees Celsius). This temperature drop liquefies the
methane present in the natural gas, making transportation at atmospheric pressure in the
form of LNG possible.
2. Transportation
• LNG is kept in its liquid form via autorefrigeration. This is a process in which the fuel is
kept at its boiling point. Through autorefrigeration any additions of heat are offset by the
energy lost from the LNG vapor, vented out of the storage and used to power the tanker.
3. Regasification
• Once it has reached its destination, the LNG is offloaded from the tanker and either stored
or regasified. The LNG is dehydrated into a gaseous state again through a process that
involves passing the LNG through a series of vaporizers that reheat the fuel above the 260
degree Fahrenheit (-160 degrees Celsius) temperature mark. The fuel is then sent via
established transportation methods, such as pipelines, to the end users.


1. Gathering Systems - This includes a processing facility, which removes impurities like water,
carbon dioxide or sulfur that might corrode a pipeline, or inert gases, such as helium, that
would reduce the energy value of the gas.
2. The Transmission System - It is composed of steel pipes ranging from 20 inches to 42 inches
in diameter. They move large amounts of natural gas to local distribution companies (LDCs).
3. Compressor Stations - Compressor stations are located approximately every 50 to 60 miles
along each pipeline to boost the pressure that is lost through the friction of the natural gas
moving through the steel pipe.
4. Linepack - A transmission line operating at about 1,000 pounds of pressure that stores about
200 million cubic feet of gas, in case of hourly fluctuations.
5. Gate Stations:
• reduce the pressure in the line
• add an odorant so that consumers can smell even small quantities of gas.
• measure the flow rate of the gas
6. The Distribution System - Within each distribution system, there are sections that operate at
different pressures, with regulators controlling the pressure. Generally speaking, the closer
natural gas gets to a customer, the smaller the pipe diameter is and the lower the pressure
7. Introducing Natural Gas into Your Home - Natural gas runs from the main into a home or
business in what's called a service line. When a gas furnace or stove is turned on, the gas
pressure is slightly higher than the air pressure, so the gas flows out of the burner and ignites
in its familiar clean blue flame.




•Shale is a fine-grained, sedimentary rock that does not disintegrate in water.

•Thick sheets of this impermeable rock can “sandwich” a layer of natural gas between them.
•Shale gas is considered an unconventional source because of the difficult processes
necessary to access it.


•Biogas is biological matter that comes from plants or animals, living or non-living
•a type of gas that is produced when organic matter decomposes without oxygen being
•This takes place in landfills or where organic material such as animal waste, sewage, or
industrial byproducts are decomposing.


•Tight gas is trapped underground in an impermeable rock formation that makes it extremely
difficult to extract.
•Extracting gas from “tight” rock formations usually requires expensive and difficult methods,
such as fracking and acidizing.

•Historically, when coal was mined, the natural gas was intentionally vented out of the mine
and into the atmosphere as a waste product.
•As its name implies, coalbed methane is commonly found along seams of coal that run

•Methane hydrates were discovered only recently in ocean sediments and permafrost areas
of the Arctic.
•Methane hydrates form at low temperatures (around 00C, or 320F) and under high pressure.
•When environmental conditions change, methane hydrates are released into the


•Although most of the natural gas wells are on land, some wells are drilled into the ocean
•Drilling for natural gas offshore, in some instances hundreds of miles away from the nearest
landmass, poses a number of different challenges over drilling onshore.

•Town gas or coal gas refers to a gaseous mixture, used as a fuel, that is released when
bituminous coal is burned.
•Town gas was introduced as a fuel for lighting and cooking in the early 19th century.

*Natural gas is a versatile, clean-burning, and efficient fuel that is used in a wide variety of


1. Electricity Generation - The primary use for natural gas is to generate electrical power.
2. Heating - Natural gas heat feels warmer than an electric heat pump.
3. Cogeneration - Electrical energy and heating can be used simultaneously through
4. Trigeneration - Trigeneration is the combination of electricity, heating and cooling. 5.
Transportation - natural gas has been used to power vehicles since the 1930’s.
6. Manufacturing - Natural gas is used in a wide variety of manufacturing processes.


1. Fertilizers - Natural gas is a major feedstock for the production of ammonia, via the
Haber process, for use in fertilizer production.
2. Hydrogen Production - Natural gas can be used to produce hydrogen. Hydrogen has
many applications: it is a primary feedstock for the chemical industry, a hydrogenating agent,
an important commodity for oil refineries, and the fuel source in hydrogen vehicles.
3. Animal and fish feed - Protein rich animal and fish feed is produced by feeding natural
gas to “Methylococcus capsulatus” bacteria on commercial scale.
4. Others - Natural gas is also used in the manufacture of fabrics, glass, steel, plastics,
paint, vinyl flooring, carpeting, artificial limbs and heart valves, sun glasses, deodorant and
cell phones.


Applications: natural gas power plants, thermal power plants; electricity cogeneration.
Applications: steam generation; central heating systems; food industry; cement industry;
drying; firing ceramic products; metal casting; heat treatments; metal tempering and
annealing; smelting furnaces
Applications: hot water; heating; cooking; dryers; gas fires; barbecues; preheating
Applications: climate control: central heating systems; hot water; cooking/preparing food
Applications: buses; taxis; transport fleets; forklift trucks; private vehicles


Steam Generation Units

• consists of a steam generation unit, where fossil fuels are burned in a boiler to heat water
and produce steam that then turns a turbine to generate electricity.
Centralized Gas Turbines
• hot gases from burning fossil fuels (particularly natural gas) are used to turn the turbine and
generate electricity.

Natural gas power plants usually generate electricity in gas turbines (which are derived from jet
engines), directly using the hot exhaust gases of fuel combustion.


COMPRESSOR - Takes in air from outside of the turbine and increases its pressure.
COMBUSTOR - Burns the fuel and produces high pressure and high velocity gas. TURBINE
- Extracts the energy from the gas coming from the combustor


1. Air-fuel mixture ignites.

The gas turbine compresses air and mixes it with fuel that is then burned at extremely high
temperatures, creating a hot gas.
2. Hot gas spins turbine blades.
The hot air-and-fuel mixture moves through blades in the turbine, causing them to spin
3. Spinning blades turn the drive shaft.
The fast-spinning turbine blades rotate the turbine drive shaft.
4. Turbine rotation powers the generator.
The spinning turbine is connected to the rod in a generator that turns a large magnet
surrounded by coils of copper wire.
5. Generator magnet causes electrons to move and creates electricity.
The fast-revolving generator magnet creates a powerful magnetic field that lines up the
electrons around the copper coils and causes them to move. The movement of these
electrons through a wire is electricity.



• Simple cycle gas plant consists of a gas turbine connected to a generator.

• The simple cycle is fairly straight forward yet less efficient than the combined cycle, and is
only used for meeting the fluctuating electricity needs of society, known as peaking power.


• Combined cycle gas plant consists of a simple cycle plant in combination with another
external combustion engine, hence its name "combined cycle".
• It makes up for the efficiency of simple cycle plants, because it makes use of the hot
exhaust gases that would otherwise be dispelled from the system.

*About 20.3% of the world’s electricity comes from natural gas.


1. Surgut-2 Power Station (5,597 MW) - RUSSIA

2. FUTTSU Power Station (5,040 MW) – JAPAN
3. Kawagoe Power Station (4,802 MW) – JAPAN
4. TATAN power plant Power Station (4,384 MW) – TAIWAN
5. Chita thermal power station (3,996 MW) – JAPAN

*About 22.9% of our country’s electricity comes from natural gas.



• Began commercial operations in November 2016
• Has 414-MW installed power generation capacity
• Reaches full capacity in under two hours
• The most efficient natural gas plant in Southeast Asia, at ISO (International Organization for
Standardization) conditions


• Started commercial operations in September 2016
• Has a 97-MW installed power generation capacity
• The first land-based power plant in the Philippines to use aero-derivative engines, allowing
the plant to reach full load in under 15 minutes
• Can start and stop multiple times a day to react to the needs of the grid


• The largest natural gas facility in the country with a design life of 25 years
• The Ilijan plant's construction began in March 1999 and was commissioned in June 2000.
• It is designed to draw natural gas from the Malampaya gas field.


• Commenced commercial operations in October 2002

• Has an installed power generation capacity of 500 MW
• Has been operating for almost 20 years, but is still in tip-top condition due to numerous
operational activities


• Came online in October 2001

• Has been operating for almost 20 years, but is still in tip-top condition due to numerous
upgrades and activities
• Sells its electric output to Meralco, the largest distributor of electricity in the Philippines

 Alternative Energy is any energy source that is an alternative to fossil fuel. These alternatives
are intended to address concerns about fossil fuels, such as its high carbon dioxide
emissions, an important factor in global warming. Marine energy, hydroelectric, wind,
geothermal land solar power are all alternative sources of energy.
 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RESOURCES talks about the supply of energy that can replace
fossil fuel that emits carbon dioxide that is harmful in the environment. A.E.R. also focuses
on utilizing limited energy resources that can be helpful to overcome crisis in renewal of


 Nuclear energy is the energy in the nucleus of an atom. Atoms are the smallest particles that
can break a material. At the core of each atom, there are two types of particles (neutrons
and protons) that are held together. Nuclear energy is the energy that holds neutrons
and protons.
 Nuclear energy can be used to produce electricity. This energy can be obtained in two ways:
nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. In nuclear fusion, energy is released when atoms are
combined or fused together to form a larger atom. The sun produces energy like this.
In nuclear fission, atoms are split into smaller atoms, releasing energy. Actually, nuclear
power plants can only use nuclear fission to produce electricity.

 The energy sources popularly known as ‘renewables’ (such as wind and solar), will be hard
pressed to supply the needed quantities of energy sustainably, economically and reliably.
They are inherently intermittent, depending on backup power or on energy storage if they are
to be used for delivery of base-load electrical energy to the grid.
 The alternative — dedicated energy storage for grid-connected intermittent energy sources
(instead of backup power) — is in many cases not yet economically viable. However,
intermittent sources plus storage may be economically competitive for local electricity supply
in geographically isolated regions without access to a large electric grid. Yet nuclear fission
energy will, even then, be required for the majority displacement of fossil fuels this century.
 Nuclear energy is capable of economic viability for an instance, in the national energy
program in France, where the unit price of electricity in a market supplied about 75% by
nuclear fission is among the lowest worldwide.
Economic Viabilities of Nuclear Energy:
 presence of a ‘level playing field’
 standardization of the plants, built in large series and supported by a standardized
supply chain
 a long-term governmental energy policy (stable over a time period of several decades)
including, among other features, good (unbiased, accurate, evidence-based) public
 a stable and streamlined licensing process that is technology-neutral, risk-informed and
capable of resolving promptly any safety issues that may arise during construction and
 careful siting considerations to avoid areas most prone to severe natural hazards
 introduction of the concept of payment for ‘external costs’ (e.g. air pollution, solid wastes,
decommissioning) that is applied to all energy technologies based on common standards

 Nuclear fission is among the energy sources that are least polluting and have the lowest
overall environmental impact.
 Operating nuclear power plants do not produce air pollution nor do they emit CO2.
 The 435 operating nuclear power plants prevent the emission of more than 2 billion tons of
CO2 annually.
 Only nuclear power plants are capable of sustainably and reliably supplying the large
quantities of clean and economical energy needed to run industrial societies with minimal
emission of greenhouse gases.


 Nuclear power is cost competitive with other forms of electricity generation, except where
there is direct access to low-cost fossil fuels.
 Fuel costs for nuclear plants are a minor proportion of total generating costs, though capital
costs are greater than those for coal-fired plants and much greater than those for gas-fired
 In assessing the economics of nuclear power, decommissioning and waste disposal costs
are fully taken into account.

The economics of nuclear power involves consideration of several aspects:

 Capital costs, which include the cost of site preparation, construction, manufacture,
commissioning and financing a nuclear power plant. Building a large-scale nuclear reactor
takes thousands of workers, huge amounts of steel and concrete, thousands of components,
and several systems to provide electricity, coolingventilation, information, control and
communication. To compare different power generation technologies, the capital costs must
be expressed in terms of the generating capacity of the plant (for example as dollars per
 Plant operating costs, which include the costs of fuel, operation and maintenance (O&M),
and a provision for funding the costs of decommissioning the plant and treating and
disposing of used fuel and wastes. Operating costs may be divided into ‘fixed costs’ that are
incurred whether or not the plant is generating electricity and ‘variable costs’, which vary in
relation to the output. Normally these costs are expressed relative to a unit of electricity (for
example, cents per kilowatt-hour) to allow a consistent comparison with other energy
 External costs to society from the operation, which in the case of nuclear power is usually
assumed to be zero, but could include the costs of dealing with a serious accident that are
beyond the insurance limit and in practice need to be picked up by the government. The
regulations that control nuclear power typically require the plant operator to make a provision
for disposing of any waste, thus these costs are ‘internalised’ (and are not external).
 Electricity generation from fossil fuels is not regulated in the same way, and therefore the
operators of such thermal power plants do not yet internalise the costs of greenhouse gas
emission or of other gases and particulates released into the atmosphere. Including these
external costs in the calculation improves the economic competitiveness of new nuclear
 Other costs such as system costs and nuclear-specific taxes.

Phase 1: Considerations Before a Decision to Launch a Nuclear Power Program is Taken
Understanding for the need of development and establishment of:
 Fuel cycle strategies (procurement policy, disposal)
 Nuclear material management plan
 Communication plan with stakeholders
Phase 1: Considerations Before a Decision to Launch a Nuclear Power Program is Taken
Nuclear power: requires long term commitment and stable policy
 At least 10-15 years of extensive work by various sectors (government, utility,
industry) before connection of the first NPP to grid
 Operation of ~60 years + waste disposal
 Government may wish to support NP program to reduce uncertainties of the
implementation program, such as:
 Energy policy in support of NP as an option
 Investment to natural infrastructure building
 Pre-licensing arrangement
 Funding or loan guarantee to NPP project
 Arrangement for long-term power off-take contracts for capital intensive NPP
Phase 2: Policy Decision for NP Project – Start of Construction
 Outline
 Follows policy decision – substantive work begins for ensuring the necessary level of
technical and institutional competence is achieved by State and commercial
 Ensure the necessary level of technical/institutional competencies achieved
 Assessment
 Confirm viability of NP by feasibility study
 Establish framework and capabilities
 Enact legal framework
 Establish regulatory body
 Decide financial and operational modality for the ownership and implementation of
NPP project (design assessment, establishing user requirement, tendering bid, bid
Phase 2: Regulatory Body
Should have;
 hired, organized and trained a competent staff
 established site environmental assessment and licensing requirements,
 adopted a set of codes & standards for licensing and operation,
 issued regulations for nuclear plant design and construction,
 issued regulations for safeguards, security, radiation protection and emergency planning,
 issued regulations for the transportation, handling and storage of nuclear and radioactive
 performed environmental assessments and licensing of sites,
 prepared for the review and licensing of nuclear plant designs
Phase 2: Owner/operator
Should have;
 increased its staffing as appropriate for bid development and evaluation,
 established a formal management systems program and begin formal staff training to create
a safety and quality management culture
 developed bid evaluation criteria
 established a nuclear security and safeguards program
Phase 3: Activities to implement a first NPP
 Construction, engineering, safety, standards and security guides, quality requirements
 Human resource commitment will be greatest during construction. There can be more
than 6000 people in the site
 Financial Commitment
 Expertise developed and accepts the long term management of the NPP
 Develop safety culture
 Deal with regulator in open and transparent manner
Regulatory Body
 Provide the framework to deal with Owner/Operator
 Possibly establish on site presence for inspection of NPP
 Establish safety standards
 Establish security guidelines
Member State
 Maintain international commitments
 Maintain partnerships with other state members
 Maintain trust of neighboring States
 Ensure peaceful, safe, and secure operation of NPP project


Current Status:
 The use of nuclear energy for commercial electricity production began in the mid-1950s. In
2013, the world’s 392 GW of installed nuclear capacity accounted for 11% of electricity
generation produced by around 440 nuclear power plants situated in 30 countries.
 Outlining the world’s nuclear power status and trends, the autonomous international
organization notes that 434 nuclear power reactors were in operation worldwide with a total
generating capacity of 371.7 GWe (Giga Watt Electric) at the end of 2013.
 At the end of 2013, more than 80% of the currently operating nuclear power plants worldwide
had been in service for 20 years or more, and many countries had given high priority to
licensing their nuclear power plants to operate for terms beyond the 30 to 40 years as
originally anticipated.
 The impact of nuclear accidents has been a topic of debate since the first nuclear
reactors were constructed in 1954, and has been a key factor in public concern about nuclear
facilities. Technical measures to reduce the risk of accidents or to minimize the amount of
radioactivity released to the environment have been adopted, however human error remains,
and "there have been many accidents with varying impacts as well near misses and
Mayak or Kyshtym nuclear complex (Soviet Union): 29 September 1957
 A fault in the cooling system at the nuclear complex, near Chelyabinsk, results in a chemical
explosion and the release of an estimated 70 to 80 tons of radioactive materials into the air.
Thousands of people are exposed to radiation and thousands more are evacuated from their
homes. It is categorized as Level 6 on the seven-point International Nuclear Events Scale
Windscale nuclear reactor (UK): 7 October 1957
 A fire in the graphite-core reactor, in Cumbria (England), results in a limited release of
radioactivity (INES Level 5) – International Nuclear Level Scale. The sale of milk from nearby
farms is banned for a month. The reactor cannot be salvaged and is buried in concrete. A
second reactor on the site is also shut down and the site decontaminated. Subsequently part
of the site is renamed Sellafield and new nuclear reactors are built.
Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (USA): 3 January 1961
 A steam explosion in reactor SL-1 during preparation for start-up destroys the small US Army
experimental reactor and kills three operators.
Three Mile Island power plant, Pennsylvania (US): 29 March 1979
 The Three Mile Island accident was the United States' worst of its kind. A cooling malfunction
causes a partial meltdown in one reactor, resulting in a release of radioactivity (INES Level
5). The site's first reactor (TMI One) on the Susquehanna river was closed for refueling. The
second was at full capacity when two malfunctions occurred: first there was a release of
radioactive water, then radioactive gas was detected on the perimeter. No deaths or injuries
were reported. It is considered the United States' worst nuclear accident and led to major
safety changes in the industry.
Chernobyl power plant (Soviet Union): 26 April 1986
 One of four reactors explodes after an experiment at the power plant (INES Level 7). The
resulting fire burns for nine days and at least 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs
dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima is released into the air. Radioactive deposits are found
in nearly every country in the northern hemisphere.
 Two people died in the explosion and another 28 from acute radiation sickness in the
immediate aftermath. Some experts predict thousands of extra cancer deaths as a result of
the disaster.

Severesk, formerly Tomsk-7 (Russia): 6 April 1993

 A tank at a uranium and plutonium factory inside the plant explodes, resulting in radioactivity
being dispersed into the atmosphere contaminating an area of over 120 sq. km (INES Level
4). A number of villages are evacuated and left permanently uninhabitable.
Tokaimura nuclear fuel processing facility (Japan): 30 September 1999
 The Tokaimura accident shook confidence in the industry in Japan
Workers break safety regulations by mixing dangerously large amounts of treated uranium in
metal buckets, setting off a nuclear reaction (INES Level 4).
 Two of the workers later, died from their injuries and more than 40 others are treated for
exposure to high levels of radiation.
 Hundreds of residents living nearby were evacuated from their homes while the nuclear
reaction continued, but were allowed home two days later.
Mihama power plant (Japan): 9 August 2004
 Five people died in an accident at the plant in the Fukui province (INES Level 1). Seven
people are also injured when hot water and steam leaks from a broken pipe.
 Officials insist that no radiation leaked from the plant, and that there is no danger surrounding
the area.
Fukushima Daiichi power plant (Japan): 11 March 2011
 A series of fires are set off, after cooling systems fail. Venting hydrogen gas from the reactors
causes explosions, forcing engineers to use seawater in an effort to cool overheating reactor
 Originally classified as INES Level 5, the severity was raised to INES Level 7 on 12 April
2011 when a new estimate suggested higher levels of radiation than previously thought had
leaked from the plant.
 Despite the classification, the incident is said to be much less severe than Chernobyl, and
officials insist there is only a minimal risk to public health.
Marcoule nuclear site (France), 12 September 2011
 One person is killed and four are injured - one with serious burns - after an explosion in a
furnace used to melt down nuclear waste and recycle it for energy. No radiation leaks nor
damage to the plant are detected.


 Pros:
a) Low Pollution
- Nuclear energy has the least effect on nature since it doesn’t discharge any gasses like
methane and carbon dioxide, which are the primary “greenhouse gasses.”
b) Lower Cost
- Nuclear power produces very inexpensive electricity. The cost of the uranium, which is utilized
as a fuel in this process, is low.
c) Reliability
- It is estimated that with the current rate of consumption of uranium, we have enough uranium
for another 70-80 years.
- nuclear power plant has no such constraints and can run without disruption in any climatic
d) More proficient than Fossil Fuels
- It doesn’t rely on fossil fuels and isn’t influenced by fluctuating oil and gas costs. Coal and
natural gas power plants discharge carbon dioxide into the air, which causes a number
of environmental issues. With nuclear power plants, carbon emissions are insignificant.
 Cons:
a) Environmental impact
- Actually transporting nuclear fuel to and from plants represents a pollution hazard because it
is radioactive thus, dangerous.
b) Radioactive Waste Disposal
- The greater part of this waste transmits radiation and high temperature, implying that it will
inevitably consume any compartment that holds it. It can also cause damage to living things in
and around the plants.
c) Nuclear accidents
- The radioactive waste produced can pose serious health effects on the lives of people as well
as the environment.
Ex: The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident in Ukraine and in Fukushima Nuclear Power
Plant incident

d) High Maintenance
- nuclear waste must be kept up, observed and watched to keep the materials from falling into
the wrong hands and causing problems. These administrations and included materials cost
cash – on top of the high expenses needed to put together a plant, which may make it less
desirable to invest in.
e) Wrong usage of weapons
- nuclear energy is used to make weapons. Nuclear power plants are a prime target for
terrorism activities. Little lax in security can be brutal for humankind.

Philippine Nuclear Power Plant

 In the Philippines, there is only one Nuclear Power plant installed. The Bataan Nuclear
Power Plant (BNPP). It was Philippines' only attempt at building a nuclear power plant.
 Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant, completed but never fueled, on Bataan
Peninsula, 100 kilometers (62 mi) west of Manila in the Philippines.
 The Philippine nuclear program started in 1958 with the creation of the Philippine Atomic
Energy Commission (PAEC) under Republic Act 2067.
 Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in July 1973 announced the decision to build a
nuclear power plant. This was in response to the 1973 oil crisis, as the Middle East oil
embargo had put a heavy strain on the Philippine economy, and Marcos believed nuclear
power to be the solution to meeting the country's energy demands and decreasing
dependence on imported oil.
 Construction on the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant began in 1976. Following the 1979 Three
Mile Island accident in the United States, construction on the BNPP was stopped, and a
subsequent safety inquiry into the plant revealed over 4,000 defects. Among the issues
raised was that it was built near major faults and close to the then dormant Pinatubo volcano.
 Also the reason BNPP was mothballed is due to safety concerns in the wake of the 1986
Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Ukraine and issues regarding corruption.
 The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was a focal point for anti-nuclear protests in the late 1970s
and 1980s. The project was criticised for being a potential threat to public health, especially
since the plant was located in an earthquake zone onnected to Mount Natib, a caldera
volcano similar to Mount Pinatubo.
 The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was built in the early 1980s but never went into operation
because it sits on a tectonic fault and volcano.
 After decades of studies and serious researches, The DOE is reviewing the possibility of
building a nuclear facility in some areas such as Sulu ahead of the decision on whether to
revive the postponed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
 PNRI, on the other hand, suggested Palawan, which is one of the most popular destinations
in the country both for local and foreign tourists.
 Following proposals submitted in 2017 by Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. Ltd. and
Russia’s Rosatom to rehabilitate the plant, opposition to the nuclear plant also raised
concerns related to safety and health issues, reliance on imported uranium, high waste, and
the steep cost of decommissioning.

Two Fundamental Nuclear Processes

 Fission
- is the energetic splitting of large atoms into two smaller atoms, called Fission Products.
Ex: Uranium or Plutonium
- this nuclear reaction was the first to be discovered than the other, and is widely used in all
commercial nuclear power plants to generate heat which turns into electricity.
 Fusion
- the combining of two small atoms to produce heavier atoms and energy.
Ex: Hydrogen and Helium
- can release more energy than fission without producing as many radioactive byproducts.
- has not been commercially developed yet and needs serious research.

 Industry
- use of isotopes and radiations in modern industry is of great importance for the development
and improvement of processes, for measuring, automation and quality control.
Ex: Tracers and X-rays
 Hydrology
- Isotopes can be used to investigate underground water sources and to determinate their
origin, their recharge method, whether there is any risk of intrusion or contamination by salty
water and whether it is possible to use it in a sustainable form.
 Mining
- through the use of nuclear sounding lines the physical and chemical state of the ground can
be determined
Ex: diagraphy of monitoring wells and isotopic dating
 Agriculture and Food
- lengthen their conservation period by eliminating pathogenic germs and insects
Ex: Plague control
 Plant mutation breeding
- The use of radiation essentially enhances the natural process of spontaneous genetic
mutation, significantly shortening the time it takes.
 Fertilizers
- Labelling' fertilizers with a particular isotope (e.g. nitrogen-15) provides a means of
ascertaining how much has been taken up by the plants, allowing for better management of
fertilizer use.
 Insect control
- Radiation is used to control insect populations via the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). SIT
involves rearing large populations of insects that are sterilised through irradiation (gamma or
X-rays), and introducing them into natural populations.

 Consumer Products
- One of the most common uses of radioisotopes today is in household smoke detectors. These
contain a small amount of americium-241 which is a decay product of plutonium-241 originating
in nuclear reactors.
 Medicine
- diagnosis and treatment techniques have become as commonplace, more reliable and
precise for patients that undergo some sort of therapeutic radiologic or diagnosis proceeding.
Ex: Radiopharmaceuticals, Gammagraphy, Radiotherapy, Diagnosis through radioisotopes,
sterilization of medical equipment, study of tumor cells
 Art
- heritage conservation, age determination (i.e., geological and archeological formation)
 Environment
- used to detect and analyze various contaminating agents
Ex: Neurotronic Activation Analysis
 Space Exploration
- space navigation using nuclear batteries
 formerly known as an atomic pile, is a device used to initiate and control a self-sustained
nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear reactors are used at nuclear power plants for electricity
generation and in propulsion of ships. Heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid
(water or gas), which in turn runs through steam turbines.

Classification by generation
 Generation I reactor
 Generation II reactor
 Generation III reactor
 Generation IV reactor

Pressurized water reactors (PWR)

 Pressurized water reactors (PWRs) are the most common type of reactor worldwide. PWRs
use ordinary (or “light”) water as both coolant and moderator. The coolant is pressurized to
stop it from flashing into steam to keep it liquid during operation. Powerful pumps circulate
the water through pipes, transferring heat that boils water in a separate, secondary loop. The
resulting steam drives the electricity-producing turbine generators.
Boiling water reactors (BWR)
 Boiling water reactors (BWRs) make up 15% of reactors globally. In a BWR, light water acts
as both coolant and moderator. The coolant is kept at a lower pressure than in a PWR,
allowing it to boil. The steam is passed directly to the turbine generators to produce
electricity. While the absence of a steam generator simplifies the design, radioactivity can
contaminate the turbine.
Pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR)
 Also known as CANDU reactors, pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) represent about
12% of the reactors in the world and are used at all Canadian nuclear power generation
stations. They use heavy water as both coolant and moderator, and use natural uranium as
fuel. As in a PWR, the coolant is used to boil ordinary water in a separate loop. CANDU
reactors can be refueled without shutting the reaction down.
Gas-cooled reactors (GCR)
 Gas-cooled reactors (GCRs) are in use only in the United Kingdom. There are two types, the
Magnox (named from the magnesium alloy used to clad the fuel elements) and the advanced
gas-cooled reactor (AGR). Both types use carbon dioxide as the coolant and graphite as the
moderator. The Magnox uses natural uranium as fuel, while the AGR uses enriched uranium.
Like CANDU reactors, these designs can be refueled while operating.
Light water graphite reactors (LWGR)
 Light water graphite reactors (LWGRs) are used in Russia, with ordinary water as the coolant
and graphite as the moderator. As with BWRs, the coolant boils as it passes through the
reactor and the resulting steam is passed directly to turbine generators. Early LWGR designs
were often built and operated without the safety characteristics and features required
elsewhere. The well-known 1986 accident at Chernobyl (Ukraine) happened to a reactor of
this type.
Fast breeder reactors (FBR)
 Because slow neutrons are more likely to split uranium atoms, most reactor types are
designed to make use of them. In contrast, fast breeder reactors (FBRs) use fast neutrons to
convert materials such as uranium-238 and thorium-232 into fissile materials, which then fuel
the reactor. This process, combined with recycling, has the potential to increase available
nuclear fuel resources in the very long term. FBRs operate mainly in Russia.
Small modular reactors (SMR)
 The modern small modular reactor (SMR) is designed to be built economically in factory-like
conditions (rather than onsite), and with capacities between approximately 10 MWe and 300
 There is growing interest in SMRs to provide electricity to service small electricity grids, and
possibly to provide heat for resource industries. SMRs can also be added incrementally to
larger grids as demand grows. The IAEA estimates that as many as 96 SMRs could be
operational worldwide by 2030.

 The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) is "a co-operative international endeavor which
was set up to carry out the research and development needed to establish the feasibility and
performance capabilities of the next generation nuclear energy systems.
 Reactors are grouped into two: Thermal Reactor and Fast Reactor

 A thermal reactor is a nuclear reactor that uses slow or thermal neutrons. A neutron
moderator is used to slow the neutrons emitted by fission to make them more likely to be
captured by the fuel.
Types of Thermal Reactor:
 Very-high-temperature reactor (VHTR)
- The very high temperature reactor concept uses a graphite-moderated core with a once-
through uranium fuel cycle, using helium or molten salt as the coolant. This reactor design
envisions an outlet temperature of 1,000 °C. The reactor core can be either a prismatic-block
or a pebble bed reactor design. The high temperatures enable applications such as process
heat or hydrogen production via the thermochemical iodine-sulfur process. It would also be
passively safe.
 Molten-salt reactor (MSR)
- A molten salt reactor is a type of nuclear reactor where the primary coolant, or even the fuel
itself is a molten salt mixture. There have been many designs put forward for this type of reactor
and a few prototypes built. The early concepts and many current ones rely on nuclear fuel,
perhaps uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) or thorium tetrafluoride (ThF4), dissolved in molten fluoride
salt. The fluid would reach criticality by flowing into a core where graphite would serve as the
moderator. Many current concepts rely on fuel that is dispersed in a graphite matrix with the
molten salt providing low pressure, high temperature cooling.
 Supercritical-water-cooled reactor (SCWR)
- is a reduced moderation water reactor concept that, due to the average speed of the neutrons
that would cause the fission events within the fuel being faster than thermal neutrons, it is more
accurately termed an epithermal reactor than a thermal reactor. It uses supercritical water as
the working fluid. SCWRs are basically light water reactors (LWR) operating at higher pressure
and temperatures with a direct, once-through heat exchange cycle.

 A fast reactor directly uses the fast neutrons emitted by fission, without moderation. Unlike
thermal neutron reactors, fast neutron reactors can be configured to "burn", or fission, all
actinides, and given enough time, therefore drastically reduce the actinides fraction in spent
nuclear fuel produced by the present world fleet of thermal neutron light water reactors, thus
closing the nuclear fuel cycle. Alternatively, if configured differently, they can also breed more
actinide fuel than they consume.
Types of Fast Reactor:
 Gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR)
- The gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR) system features a fast-neutron spectrum and closed fuel
cycle for efficient conversion of fertile uranium and management of actinides. The reactor is
helium-cooled and with an outlet temperature of 850 °C it is an evolution of the very-high-
temperature reactor (VHTR) to a more sustainable fuel cycle. It will use a direct Brayton cycle
gas turbine for high thermal efficiency.
 Sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR)
- The SFR is a project that builds on two closely related existing projects, the liquid metal fast
breeder reactor and the integral fast reactor.
- The goals are to increase the efficiency of uranium usage by breeding plutonium and
eliminating the need for transuranic isotopes ever to leave the site. The reactor design uses
an unmoderated core running on fast neutrons, designed to allow any transuranic isotope to
be consumed (and in some cases used as fuel).
 Lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR)
- Lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR) features a fast-neutron-spectrum lead or lead/bismuth eutectic
(LBE) liquid-metal-cooled reactor with a closed fuel cycle. Options include a range of plant
ratings, including a "battery" of 50 to 150 MW of electricity that features a very long refueling
interval, a modular system rated at 300 to 400 MW, and a large monolithic plant option at 1,200
MW (The term battery refers to the long-life, factory-fabricated core, not to any provision for
electrochemical energy conversion). The fuel is metal or nitride-based containing fertile
uranium and transuranics. The LFR is cooled by natural convection with a reactor outlet coolant
temperature of 550 °C, possibly ranging up to 800 °C with advanced materials. The higher
temperature enables the production of hydrogen by thermochemical processes.
 A nuclear power plant or nuclear power station is a thermal power station in which the
heat source is a nuclear reactor. As it is typical of thermal power stations, heat is used to
generate steam that drives a steam turbine connected to a generator that produces

Systems of Nuclear Power Plant

 Nuclear reactor
 Generator
 Steam turbine
 Cooling system
 Safety valves
 Main condenser
 Feedwater pump
 Emergency power supply

Nuclear reactor
- is the heart of the station
- the reactor's core produces heat due to nuclear fission. With this heat, a coolant is heated as
it is pumped through the reactor and thereby removes the energy from the reactor.
Steam turbine
- The purpose of steam turbine is to convert the heat contained in steam into mechanical
- the engine house with steam turbine is usually structurally separated from the main reactor
building. It is so aligned to prevent debris from the destruction of a turbine in operation from
flying towards the reactor.
Safety valves
- can be used to prevent pipes from bursting or the reactor from exploding.
- are designed so that they can derive all of the supplied flow rates with little increase in
- converts mechanical power supplied by the turbine into electrical power.
- uses Low-pole AC synchronous to generate high rated power.
Cooling system
- removes heat from the reactor core and transports it to another area of the station, where the
thermal energy can be harnessed to produce electricity or to do other useful work.
Main condenser
- is a large cross-flow tube-and-shell heat exchanger that takes wet vapor, a mixture of liquid
water and steam at saturation conditions, from the turbine-generator exhaust and condenses
it back into subcooled liquid water so it can be pumped back to the reactor by the condensate
and feedwater pumps.
- the cross-flow aspect of a typical main condenser means the two fluids that are exchanging
heat, turbine exhaust and the cold water from a river or other water source, are flowing in
perpendicular directions.
Feedwater pump
- takes the water from the condensate system, increasing the pressure and forcing it into either
the steam generators (in the case of a pressurized water reactor) or directly into the reactor
(for boiling water reactors).


 Condensate Pump
- raises pressure from almost vacuum levels to about 350 pounds per square inch.
 Low Pressure Feedwater Heaters
- heat condensate water flowing through the tubes with steam exhausted from turbine.
Temperature is raised from about 90F to about 350F
 High Pressure Feedwater Heaters
- raises temperature of the feedwater passing through tubes from about 350F to about 450F
using steam exhausted from the turbine passing on the outside of the tubes.


 Uranium (Uranium-233 and Uranium-235)
- the fuel most widely used to produce nuclear energy because uranium atoms split apart
relatively easily.
- is mined from the earth, therefore considered to be nonrenewable
Ex: United States, Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Uzbekistan
 Plutonium
- Plutonium 239 is an isotope of plutonium. Plutonium-239 is the primary fissile isotope used
for the production of nuclear weapons along with Uranium. Plutonium is also one of the three
main isotopes demonstrated usable as fuel in thermal spectrum nuclear reactors and has a
half-life of 24,110 years.
- isn't found in nature, trace elements of plutonium are found in naturally occurring uranium
ores by irradiation of natural uranium with neutrons followed by beta decay.
 The nuclear reaction
- neutrons are fired at the uranium atoms, causing them to split and release more neutrons.
These then hit other atoms, causing more splits, and so the chain reaction continues.
 Water is heated
- Water is passed through the reactor vessel, where the chain reaction heats it to around 300°C.
The water needs to stay in liquid form for the power station to work, so the pressurizer applies
around 155 times atmospheric pressure, to stop it from boiling and evaporating.

 Circulation of Hot Water

- A coolant pump then circulates the hot, pressurized water from the reactor vessel through to
a steam generator.
 Steam production
- hot, pressurized water flows through thousands of looped pipes while a second stream of
water flows around the outside of the pipes. This water is under much less pressure, so the
heat from the pipes boils it into steam.
 Steam energy is converted to electrical energy
- steam passes through a series of turbines, causes them to spin and converts the steam’s
heat energy into mechanical energy.
 Steam generation
- shaft connects the turbines into a generator that are spinning 300 rpm and the generator uses
an electromagnetic field to convert this mechanical energy into electrical energy.
 Electrical energy is passed to national grid
- a transformer converts the electrical energy to the high voltage needed by the national grid.
 Electricity is sent through power lines to homes
- uses high voltages to transmit electricity efficiently through the power lines through homes,
businesses and services that use the electricity
 The steam is cooled and recycled
- hot steam is passed over pipes full of cold water pumped in from the sea. These cool the
steam and condense it back into water. It’s then piped back into the steam generator, where it
can be reheated turned into steam again, keeping the turbines turning and the electricity
generation going.
Alternative Energy Resources

General Outlook

What is Coal?
• Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock.
• Coal is composed primarily of carbon, along with variable quantities of other elements,
chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen.
• Coal is the world’s most abundant energy resource.
• There are over 892 billion tons of proven coal reserves worldwide, enough to last nearly 110
years at current rates of production.
• The World Coal Association notes that there are recoverable reserves of coal in almost 80
• Coal is actively mined in 70 nations, with 85% consumed within the country in which it is
produced. Only 15% of coal is traded internationally.
Top 3 Global Coal Resources:
1. U.S.
• Despite its poor environmental credentials, coal remains a crucial contributor to energy
supply in many countries.
• Coal is the most wide-spread fossil fuel around the world, and more than 75 countries have
coal deposits.
• The current share of coal in global power generation is over 40%, but it is expected to
decrease in the coming years, while the actual coal consumption in absolute terms will grow.
• Coal is playing an important role in delivering energy access, because it is widely available,
safe, reliable and relatively low cost.
Coal-fueled power plants currently fuel 37% of global electricity and, in some countries, coal fuels
a higher percentage of electricity.

Coal in the past

• In England and France, the scarcity of wood began earlier than in Germany.
• In the 16th century, the British navy was already import large quantities of timber from
Scandinavia and Russia because England simply did not have enough large trees to build
the many ships it needed.
• Clive Ponting explains in his highly recommended Green History of the World that the
English would not have ruled the seas without the trees that the navy brought back from the
• It was a vicious circle: the navy needed the trees from the colonies in order to build the ships
to get there.
• By the 19th century, all English battleships were made of imported timber until gradually
ships began to be made of steel.
• Why wasn’t France ever a major sea power?
-partly because France had already devastated its forests in the 12th century to build
gothic cathedrals.
• Before the keystone was put into the vaulted arch, the entire construction had to be held up
by a wooden frame.
• Similarly, Greece lost most of its forest during its primacy some 2,000 years ago.
• Today, the country suffers from severe erosion without its natural tree cover.
• England was one of the places where coal was first used for heating on large scale.
• (China having started much earlier).
• In the Middle Ages, "sea-coal was widely used -- "sea" because the coal was found in seams
directly on the seashore near Newcastle and because this coal was transported by sea.
• In 1257, Queen Eleanor left Nottingham because she could not bear the polluted air any
• In 1306, King Edward I banned coal from London altogether. The ban did no good; people
preferred coughing to freezing.
• As Barbara Freese explains in Coal: A Human History, there is documentation since 1600
that garden plants in London suffered from the polluted air.
• In 1661, in his manifesto against coal called Fumifugium,' John Evelyn called for a ban on
“this hellish sea-coal”.
• Apparently he was not aware that a ban had been in effect in London for some 350 years; it
was just not being enforced.
• By 1700, British coal production was already several times greater than that of the entire rest
of the world.
• In an interview with Jeffrey Michel, author of the 2005 study ‘Status and Impacts of the
German Lignite Industry’, explain another aspect of dilemma:
• -‘A train pulls up to a power plant. This train is supposed to take away the carbon dioxide that
the coal plant produces when the coal has been unloaded. Normally, the train that takes the
carbon dioxide away from the plant would have to be longer than the train that brings the coal
because one ton of coal produces slightly more than one ton of carbon dioxide on the
average because the carbon in the coal combines with oxygen in the atmosphere. Who is
going to pay for that?’
• Michel’s work has brought attention to the eastern German village of Heuersdorf, where he
has been living, which is to be sacrifice so that a coal mining company owned by two US
holding firms can get the coal underneath the village.
• Families who are willing to sell their homes to the mining company are offered a fair market
price plus around 75,000 euros.
• Many have already moved away, but not without some major family disputes in cases where
children wanted their parents to take the money and run but the parents wanted to spend
their retirement years where they had spend their lives.
• The offer for extra 75,000 euro only applies to the people originally living in their homes when
the offer was first made; in other words, if the parents die, the children cannot move into the
house and sell it to the mining company.
• It is a strategy designed to clear out the village as quickly as possible.
• In the case of coal, there can be no doubt that the landscapes are completely destroyed
• It takes decades for the lunar landscapes that strip mining leaves behind to be re-cultivated
and even the landscape are never restored to their original condition.
• Coal mining practices are no worse in Germany than elsewhere. At present, Germany is
importing more and more hard coal because its domestic reserves are simply too expensive.
• As a result, in recent years German coal miners have been migrating to United States, where
coal mining is booming.
• Part of the reason for the success of coal power in the US is that the mining companies are
allowed to completely devastate the landscape without paying the environmental cost.
• In the US, the term “mountaintop removal” has been coined for the brutal strip mining that
has been taking place in the Appalachians and elsewhere.
• There are grassroots movements against such devastation, which leaves giant tracts of land
damaged for centuries and can also cause disasters that threaten human lives.
• For instance, on October 11, 2000, some 250 million gallons of coal-laden sludge came
sliding down a mountain in the Appalachians for about 100 miles.
• Groundwater was poisoned for years by the sludge, though miraculously no one was killed.
• But this common practice in the US is still far better than everyday practices in China.
• In the US, state of the art technology is used and safety standards are relatively strict to
protect the lives of the miners.
• In China, a number of mines are operated by small and mid-size businesses, with miners
doing basically everything with muscle power.
• Rarely do safety measures ensure that the mountain does not collapse, trapping the miners
in their own graves.
• According to Barbara Freese, 51 coal miners dies in the US in 1992, compared to around
10,000 in China in 1991,
• The number of coal miners who die from the effects of coal mining really is much higher.
• According to the recent studies, the health costs from these emissions amount to $160
• Researchers discovered that the water in the North Sea has become 2 degrees Celsius
warmer in the last 20 years and many species on which these birds feed have moved into
colder waters.
• The environmental impact of coal power extend beyond plants and animals to directly affect
• The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that some 24,000 Americans
die from the effects of emissions from coal pant every year.
• Of these, 22,000 could be saved if the strictness “clean coal” technologies were
• According to EPA, 63 percent of the sulfur dioxide emissions come from coal plants.
• The extent to which coal plants impact the environment became measurable by accident in
August 2003 during a blackout in US. Coal plants in the northeast were shut down and within
24 hours concentrations of sulfur dioxide in the air in Pennsylvania dropped by 90 percent.
Clean Coal?
• Why don’t the Chinese just switch over to our cleaner coal technology?
The answer is quite simple: it would make their coal more expensive.
• Same as the Western country,
“For our coal plants may be cleaner than those in developing countries but our current plants are
as clean as technology would allow today.”
• The US Department of Energy plans to have clean coal plants as the standard by 2020
without making power significantly more expensive.
• The Future Gen project aims to put such plants on the grid in the next ten years.
• In the presidential elections of 2004, George W. Bush increased his support for clean coal
from $1.6 billion to $3.7 billion, while candidate John Kerry went so far as to promise $10
• The coal industry has been profitable since 19th century, but it currently is calling for state
subsidies for programs that finally will make it relatively clean.
• According to a study in 2000 conducted by the US coal industry, “it would have to cost some
$65 billion to equip all the country’s coal plants to meet the latest environmental standards.
Coal Power Today
• Coal is number one source of electricity worldwide and unfortunately, in the past few
decades it has become clear that carbon dioxide poses a great danger.
• The industry has been focusing on scrubbing carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen
oxides out of coal emissions, but until recently little attention was paid to carbon dioxide.
• Today some 70 to 90 percent of sulfur dioxide can be removed from a coal plant’s flue gas.
• Carbon sequestering is widely held to be the solution for the carbon dioxide problem.
• In this process, the carbon dioxide that a plant produces is separated, possibly liquefied, and
pumped into storage areas underground such as gas and oil fields.
• Ideally, the carbon dioxide would be injected back into the subterranean field where it came
• What sounds like a brilliant idea actually works, as the project by Norway’s state-run oil firm
Statoil shows.
• Since 1996, Statoil has been separating carbon dioxide from the natural gas and oil fields
under the North Sea and pumping it back into the reservoirs.
• This method has the nice side effect: the pressure in the subterranean field is kept high.
• But even in this case, the project only pays for itself because Norway was one of the first
countries to impose a substantial tax on carbon dioxide emissions - in 1991, long before the
Kyoto Protocol.
Kyoto Protocol- an international treaty which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change that commits state parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the scientific consensus that global
warming is occurring.
• The major carbon dioxide sequestration project at the Weyburn oil field in southern
Saskatchewan, Canada, is an excellent example of this contradiction.
What’s the catch?
• While sequestration may work in the oil and gas industry, it may not in the coal industry
because carbon dioxide emissions from coal mainly occur at the power plants.
• According to a report in the British daily The Guardian, Great Britain could store its entire
carbon dioxide emissions for at least ten years under the North Sea.
• Greenpeace has estimated that Germany could store only around seven years’ emissions
within its own boarders.
• The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has estimated that the world could
sequester some 400 billion tons of carbon.
• And it is not going to be cheap. Estimates are that sequestering will cost between $80 and
$420 per ton of carbon dioxide.
• In the Kyoto Protocol, a ton of carbon dioxide will only cost around $6, and the Norwegian tax
that made that country’s sequestering project possible “only” charges around $50 per ton of
carbon dioxide.
• But when it comes to coal, sequestering will only increase costs. Estimates are that at $100
for a ton of carbon dioxide, the price of a kilowatt-hour from a plant would double.
• And what will we do once our capacities have been exhausted in the mid 21 st century?
• No problem, say the researchers in the EU project JOULE II, which came to much different
conclusions in the 1990s.
• They estimated the storage capacity within the EU and Norway alone at 800 billion tons of
carbon dioxide.
• The project also believed that the oceans could store around one trillion tons of carbon
dioxide without any nasty consequences.
• But in the summer of 2004, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association
announced that by 2100 the oceans could have the lowest pH value in the past five million
years because of the absorption of carbon dioxide that is already underway.
Coal as a bridge to a renewable future
• As we have seen, coal has long been hated for the environmental damage it causes but
loved even more for the heat it gives off.
• James Lovelock, the principal creator of the concept of the earth as a single living organism,
made headlines in 2004 when he called for more nuclear power to prevent impending doom
from global warming.
• He set off a debate about pros and cons of nuclear power: the earth has to be saved from
coal power.
What does climate change have to do with coal plants?
• It would be astonishing if the increase in the share of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
during industrialization (from around 280 parts per million to 328 parts per million) had not led
to the greenhouse effect.
• In the meantime, the debate about whether climate change is happening and why, is no
longer conducted outside the US, and continues inside the US only among those with vested
interest in fossil energy.
• Coal power is cheap as long as we do not calculate the external cost.
• Perhaps more important unlike oil and gas, which will become scarce in the next few
decades, our coal reserves will last for a few more centuries.
• Lovelock admits himself that it would take decades before the concentration of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere would be reduced.
The Climate
• In August 2002, the center of the city of Dresden was flooded after 6.2 inches of rain fell in
one night – far more than twice the old record for a 24-hour period.
“Do we have to wait for further proof of climate change?” asked Harald Schutzeichel, CEO at SAG,
Germany’s largest solar power plant planning company, after the flood.
• His statement reflected the sentiment of almost all Germans, and the sentiment was only
reinforced a year later when the country experienced the record hot, dry summer of 2003.
• Remember the hurricane that appeared off the coast of Brazil in 2003 – the first one ever
recorded in the south of the equator.
• As George W. Bush once put it, no “sound science” has proved any such link. Science does
not ever prove anything;
-It merely disproves theories and comes up with new ones that are considered workable until disproved themselves.
• Science is not about having right answers. It is about coming up with new results that even
your critics can reproduce reliably.
• Critics of the concept of global warming – who are extremely few and far between but do
receive equal coverage in the “balanced” US media – like to argue that no one has proved
that mankind is responsible for global warming.
• It is impossible to run experiments on the climate of the Earth beyond the computer models
used today.
• In the past 450,000 years, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has ranged
between approximately 175 and 300 parts per million.
• Scientists hope that we will able to stop this trend short of 550 parts per million by 2100 –
and fear that we will not.
• Climate experts also agree that there will be more natural disasters in the 21st century than in
the 20th century. If sea level rises, we are not just going to have less beach.
• The world’s largest reinsurer, Munich Re, has calculated that the damage from natural
disasters has increased eightfold in the past 30 years.
• Company predicts that, if this development continues, the damage will exceed the world’s
gross product by 2060.
• The company estimated that the damage from the natural disasters in 2004 amounted to $40
billion, partly because of the extraordinary large number of hurricanes in the Caribbean.
• In 2003, the damage was estimated globally at $15 billion.
Types of Coal
 The WCA explains that the quality of coal is largely determined by:
 The type of vegetation the coal originated from;
 The coal’s depth of burial;
 Temperatures and pressures at that depth; and
 How long it took the coal to form.
 All of these factors contribute to “the degree of transformation of the original plant material to
carbon,” and it is carbon content that determines a coal’s “rank.”
 Peat
 Peat is formed from decaying vegetation, and is considered to be the precursor
of coal.
 Peat is an important industrial fuel in some regions, including Ireland, Finland
and Scotland.
 When dehydrated, peat becomes an effective absorbent for fuel and oil spills
on both land and water.
 Peat coal contains high moisture and a small percentage of volatile matter and
% of Carbon.
 It has very less heating value of 2393 KJ/Kg.
 Lignite Coal
 A type of coal that is generally yellow to dark brown, is the first product of the
coalification process.
 Formed from peat compressed at shallow depths at temperatures below 100
degrees Celsius, or 212 degrees Fahrenheit, lignite beds are easily mined;
many are also quite thick.
 Geologically young for coal, having formed anywhere between 251 million
years ago and the present.
 Encyclopedia Britannic states that nearly half of the world’s proven coal
reserves are made up of lignite and sub-bituminous coal.
 However, lignite hasn’t been widely exploited because other types of coal are
superior to it in terms of handling and storage stability.

Has a low calorific value, which means that transporting it over any significant
distance is uneconomical in comparison to other types of coal.
 Sub-bituminous Coal
 Also called black lignite.
 Is a type of coal that falls between lignite and bituminous coal, as per the
classification system used in the US and Canada.
 Geologically, it is a young coal variety, having formed anywhere from 251
million years ago to the present.
 When dry and free of ash, sub-bituminous coal contains 42 to 52 percent
carbon; its calorific value ranges from 19 to 26 megajoules per kilogram.
 It is dark brown to black and is brighter than lignite, which often has a woody
structure rather than a compact shine.
 3 sub-bituminous coal producers
 Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU)
 the world’s largest private-sector coal company, owns the North Antelope
Rochelle mine, the Caballo mine and the Rawhide mine, all of which are
located in the Powder River Basin.
 Arch Coal
 the second-largest overall producer in the Southern Powder River Basin, owns
the Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines, also situated in the Powder River
 Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE:CLD)
 Low-sulfur, sub-bituminous coal producer owns the Antelope and Cordero Rojo
mines in Northeast Wyoming, as well as the Spring Creek mine in Southeast
 Bituminous Coal
 a relatively soft, black coal that is formed by the diagenetic and sub-
metamorphic compression of peat bog material.
 It also produces more energy than lower-quality coals.
 This type of coal is made up of between 60 and 80 percent carbon, while the
rest of it is a combination of water, air, hydrogen and sulfur.
 It contains a tar-like substance called bitumen, hence its name.
 There are two types of bituminous coal, thermal and metallurgical.
 Thermal coal
 Also known as steam coal, thermal coal is a key source of energy and is often
used by power plants around the world.
 These plants burn this type of bituminous coal for steam, which is used by
electrical grids to generate electricity.
 Used by various industrial buyers, including chemical plants, paper
manufacturers and the cement industry.
 The world’s top producers of thermal coal include: Australia, Colombia, China,
Russia, the US, Indonesia and South Africa.
 The main importers of this coal type are China, India, Taiwan, Japan, Pakistan
and various other countries in Asia like Malaysia and South Korea.
 Thermal coal: Major producers
 Anglo American (LSE:AAL)
 is a diversified mining company that focuses on the production of
thermal and metallurgical coal, as well as iron, manganese, copper and
 Its thermal coal operations are located in South Africa and Colombia.
 South32 (ASX:S32)
 is a global resource company whose operations span three
continents, and include projects in Australia, Africa and South America.
 The company’s coal unit, South Africa Energy Coal, is located in South
Africa, and has four mining operations in the coalfields of Mpumalanga.
 Metallurgical coal
 Metallurgical coal, also called coking coal, is a type of bituminous coal used
extensively in the steel industry.
 Coke is made from metallurgical coal via a process known as caking.
 It involves heating coking coals in a coke oven until they become plastic, fuse
together and then solidify into coke particles.
 Major metallurgical coal-producing countries include the US, Canada and
Australia. As with thermal coal, China and India are the top importers.
 By 2035, overall demand for metallurgical coal is expected to rise to 394 million
tonnes, with Asian demand accounting for about 92 million tonnes of that
 Metallurgical coal: Major producers
 subsidiary Rio Tinto Coal Australia has operations spanning six
continents and numerous commodities.
 It operates two mines in Queensland: Hail Creek and Kestrel
 produces high-quality coal, among other resources. Its Queensland operation, known as the
BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, includes seven mines in the coal-rich Bowen Basin.
 Illawarra Coal, BHP Billiton’s coking coal project in New South Wales, includes three
underground coal mines.
 Anthracite Coal
 Anthracite, the rarest and most mature coal, accounts for only about 1 percent
of the world’s total coal reserves.
 highest carbon content.(90% carbon)
 It is much harder than those other types of coal, and because of its ability to
burn cleaner and hotter than they do it is ideal for specific industrial-use cases.
 Though green-energy sources are quickly gaining popularity, anthracite and
other types of coal remain an important part of the world’s energy mix.
 Anthracite coal producers
 Blaschak Coal
 another private company based in Pennsylvania, was founded in 1937, acquiring its first
mine in 1945.
 It is one of the top anthracite producers in the US, holding five mines and two processing
 Lehigh Anthracite,
 also a private Pennsylvania-based company, is a joint venture between Robindale Energy
Services and BET Entities.
 The company mines from the Mammoth, Forty-Foot, Primrose and Orchard seams at the
Lehigh anthracite mine, which is the largest surface-mining permit in Pennsylvania.
Types of Technology
• Pulverized Coal Technology
– Pulverized Coal (PC) Technology, which involves grinding the coal, burning it to make
steam, and running the steam through a turbine to generate electricity.
– Pieces of coal are crushed between balls or cylindrical rollers that move between two
tracks or "races."
– The raw coal is then fed into the pulverizer along with air heated to about 650°F from
the boiler.
– As the coal gets crushed by the rolling action, the hot air dries it and blows the usable
fine coal powder out to be used as fuel.
– The powdered coal from the pulverizer is directly blown to a burner in the boiler.
– The burner mixes the powdered coal in the air suspension with additional pre-heated
combustion air and forces it out of a nozzle similar in action to fuel being atomized by
a fuel injector in modern cars.
– Under operating conditions, there is enough heat in the combustion zone to ignite all
the incoming fuel.
– A pulverized coal-fired boiler is an industrial or utility boiler that generates thermal
energy by burning pulverized coal that is blown into the firebox.
– Pulverized coal power plants are broken down into three categories; subcritical
pulverized coal (SubCPC) plants, supercritical pulverized coal (SCPC) plants, and
ultra-supercritical pulverized coal (USCPC) plants.
– The primary difference between the three types of pulverized coal boilers are the
operating temperatures and pressures.
– Subcritical plants operate below the critical point of water (647.096 K and 22.064
– Supercritical and ultra-supercritical plants operate above the critical point.
– As the pressures and temperatures increase, so does the operating efficiency.
– Subcritical plants are at about 37%, supercriticals at about 40% and ultra-
supercriticals in the 42-45%.
– Pulverized coal provides the thermal energy which produces about 50% of the world's
electric supply.
• Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)
– A newer technology known as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) converts
coal into a gas, runs the gas through a combustion turbine to generate electricity, and
uses the excess heat from that process to generate additional electricity via a steam
– The gasification process can produce syngas from a wide variety of carbon-containing
feed stocks, such as high-sulfur coal, heavy petroleum residues, and biomass.
– With additional process equipment, a water-gas shift reaction can increase gasification
efficiency and reduce carbon monoxide emissions by converting it to carbon dioxide.
– An IGCC plant improves the overall process efficiency by adding the higher-
temperature steam produced by the gasification process to the steam turbine cycle.
– In IGCC, water consumption is reduced by combustion in a gas turbine, which uses
the generated heat to expand air and drive the turbine.
• Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB)
– The circulating fluidized bed (CFB) is a developing technology for coal combustion to
achieve lower emission of pollutants.
– By using this technology, up to 95% of pollutants can be absorbed before being
emitted to the atmosphere.
– Fluidization is the phenomenon by which solid particles are transported into a fluid like
state through suspension in a gas or liquid.
– The Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) enacted in December 2011 by the EPA
have forced all the countries in Europe and America to strictly adhere to this policy.
– This means that emissions such as metals, acid gases, organic compound, flue gas
acids and other pollutants from power plants or industrial facilities have to meet the
requirements set by EPA and upgrades have to be done for facilities that do not meet
the standards.
– Circulating fluidized bed technology can be implemented in many different fields
ranging from oil and gas to power stations.
– This technology is highly sought after due to its numerous benefits.
– Some of the popular applications of circulating fluidized bed are circulating fluidized
bed scrubber and circulating fluidized bed gasification system.
– The importance of this technology has grown recently because of tightened
environmental regulations for pollutant emission
Clean Coal Technology
– The term "Clean Coal" was used to refer to technologies that were designed to reduce
emission of pollutants associated with burning coal, such as washing coal at the mine.
– This step removes some of the sulfur and other contaminants, including rocks and
– Concerns exist regarding the economic viability of these technologies and the
timeframe of delivery, potentially high hidden economic costs in terms of social
and environmental damage, and the costs and viability of disposing of removed
carbon and other toxic matter.
Uses of Coal
Coal in Iron & Steel Production
– Coal is essential for iron and steel production; some 64% of steel
production worldwide comes from iron made in blast furnaces which use
– World crude steel production was 965 million tonnes in 2003, using
around 543 Mt of coal.
Raw Materials
– A blast furnace uses iron ore, coke (made from specialist coking
coals) and small quantities of limestone.
– Iron ore is a mineral containing iron oxides. Commercial ores
usually have an iron content of at least 58%.
– Iron ore is mined in around 50 countries – the seven largest
producers account for about 75% of world production.
– Around 98% of iron ore is used in steel making.
• Coking coals must also have low Sulphur and phosphorous contents and, being
relatively scarce, are more expensive than the steam coals used in electricity
• It is then ‘purified’ or ‘carbonized’ in a series of coke ovens, known as batteries.
Blast Furnace
• The raw materials – iron ore, coke and fluxes (minerals such as limestone
which are used to collect impurities) – are fed into the top of the blast furnace.
• Air is heated to about 1200°C and is blown into the furnace through nozzles in
the lower section.
• The air causes the coke to burn producing carbon monoxide, which creates the
chemical reaction.
• Around 0.63 tonnes (630 kg) of coke produces 1 tonne (1000 kg) of steel.
– Developments in the steel industry have enabled ‘pulverized coal injection’
technology to be used.
– This allows coal to be injected directly into the blast furnace.
– Steel is 100% recyclable, with some 383 Mt of recycled steel used in 2003 and
around 400 Mt used in 2004.
Coal Liquefaction
• In a number of countries coal is converted into a liquid fuel – a process known
as liquefaction.
• The liquid fuel can be refined to produce transport fuels and other oil products,
such as plastics and solvents.
• There are two key methods of liquefaction:
- Direct coal liquefaction – where coal is converted to liquid fuel in a single
-Indirect coal liquefaction – where coal is first gasified and then converted to
• In this way, coal can act as a substitute for crude oil, a valuable role in a world
ever more concerned with energy security.
• The cost effectiveness of coal liquefaction depends to a large extent on the
world oil price with which, in an open market economy, it has to compete.
• Germany produced substantial amounts of coal-derived fuels during the Second
World War, as did embargoed South Africa between the mid1950s and 1980s.
• South Africa continues large-scale production of liquid fuels to the present day.
• The only commercial-scale coal liquefaction process currently in operation
worldwide is the indirect Sasol (Fischer-Tropsch) process.
Coal and Cement
• Is critical to the construction industry – mixed with water, and gravel it forms
concrete, the basic building element in modern society.
• Cement is made from a mixture of calcium carbonate (generally in the form of
limestone), silica, iron oxide and alumina. Coal is used as an energy source in
cement production.
• Coal combustion products (CCPs) can also play an important role in concrete
production. CCPs are the by-products generated from burning coal in coal-fired
power plants.
• These by products include fly ash, bottom ash, and boiler slag and flue gas
desulphurization gypsum.
• Fly ash, for example, can be used to replace or supplement cement in concrete.
Coal is also an essential ingredient in the production of specialist products:
• Activated carbon
-an extremely strong but light weight reinforcement material used in construction,
mountain bikes and tennis rackets.
• Carbon fiber
- used in filters for water and air purification and in kidney dialysis machines.
• Silicon metal
-used to produce silicones and silanes, which are in turn used to make lubricants,
water repellents, resins, cosmetics, hair shampoos and toothpastes.
How is coal converted to electricity?
• Improving access to electricity worldwide is a key factor in alleviating poverty.
• It is staggering to think that 1.6 billion people worldwide, or 27% of the world’s
population, do not have access to electricity.
• Steam coal, also known as thermal coal, is used in power stations to generate
• The earliest conventional coal-fired power stations used lump coal which was
burnt on a grate in boilers to raise steam.
• Nowadays, the coal is first milled to a fine powder, which increases the surface
area and allows it to burn more quickly.
• The electricity generated is transformed into the higher voltages – up to
400,000 volts –power line grids.
• When it nears the point of consumption, such as our homes, the electricity is
transformed down to the safer 100-250 voltage systems used in the domestic
• Electricity is generated when these are rapidly rotated in a strong magnetic
• Coal is first milled to a fine powder, which increases the surface area and
allows it to burn more quickly.
• In these pulverized coal combustion (PCC) systems, the powdered coal is
blown into the combustion chamber of a boiler where it is burnt at high
• The high pressure steam is passed into a turbine containing thousands of
propeller-like blades.
• The steam pushes these blades causing the turbine shaft to rotate at high
• A generator is mounted at one end of the turbine shaft and consists of carefully
wound wire coils.
• Electricity is generated when these are rapidly rotated in a strong magnetic

Efficiency improvements
• Efficiency gains in electricity generation from coal-fired power stations will play
a crucial part in reducing CO2 emissions at a global level.
• A one percentage point improvement in the efficiency of a conventional
pulverised coal combustion plant results in a 2-3% reduction in CO2 emissions.
Coal-fired team station
• Heat is created
- Before the coal is burned, it is pulverized to the fineness of talcum powder. It is then
mixed with hot air and blown into the firebox of the boiler. Burning in suspension, the
coal/air mixture provides the most complete combustion and maximum heat possible.
• Water turns to steam
- Highly purified water, pumped through pipes inside the boiler, is turned into steam
by the heat. The steam reaches temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and
pressures up to 3,500 pounds per square inch, and is piped to the turbine.
• Steam turns the turbine
- The enormous pressure of the steam pushing against a series of giant blades turns
the turbine shaft. The turbine shaft is connected to the shaft of the generator, where
magnets spin within wire coils to produce electricity.
• Steam turns back into water
- After doing its work in the turbine, the steam is drawn into a large chamber in the
basement of the power plant. In this important step, millions of gallons of cool water
from a nearby source (such as a river or lake) are pumped through a network of tubes
running through the condenser. The cool water in the tubes converts the steam back
into water that can be used over and over again in the plant.
Thermal Power
Pulverized Coal-fired Power Generation
• Pulverized coal-fired power generation is currently the major method of coal-
fired power generation.
• Coal is pulverized to fine powder and is burned in the boiler.
• Heat in the boiler boils the water into steam.
• The steam pressure turns the steam turbine and the generator generates
Combined Cycle Power Generation
• A combined cycle power first generates gas by burning fuel in the compressed
Pressure of the gas rotates the gas turbine and the generator creates electricity.
• Moreover, exhaust heat from gas turbine is utilized for boiling water to generate
steam, which rotates turbine to generate.
Integrated Coal Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)
• Integrated coal gasification combined cycle (IGCC) gasifies the fuel coal in the
• Gasified fuel is burnt in the compressed air to generate gas.
• Pressure of the gas rotates the gas turbine to generate electricity.
• Furthermore the exhaust gas heat from gas turbine is utilized to boil water into
steam to generate electricity.
Electricity from Coal
Advantages Disadvantages
Burning coal is one of the cheapest Burning coal produces carbon
waya to generate power at the dioxide, which contributes to
moment. greenhouse effect. It also produces
sulphur dioxide (forms acid rain).
The world has many coal reserves. Coal is not renewable
Coal can be safely transported. Coal-fired stations need huge amount
of fuel.
Coal power plant can be built Maximum of 50% efficiency.
anywhere where there are good
transport links and a plentiful supply
of cooling water.

Southeast Asia, with its abundant bioenergy resources, holds a strategic position in the global
biomass energy atlas. There is immense bioenergy potential in Southeast Asian countries due to
plentiful supply of diverse forms of biomass wastes such as agricultural residues, woody biomass,
animal wastes, municipal solid waste, etc. The rapid economic growth and industrialization in the
region has accelerated the drive to implement the latest waste-to-energy technologies to tap the
unharnessed potential of biomass resources.

Southeast Asia is a big producer of agricultural and wood products which, when processed in
industries, produces large amounts of biomass residues. According to conservative estimates, the
amount of biomass residues generated from sugar, rice and palm oil mills is more than 200-230
million tons per year which corresponds to cogeneration potential of 16-19 GW.

Rice mills in the region produce 38 million tonnes of rice husk as solid residue which is a good fuel
for producing heat and power. Sugar industry is an integral part of the industrial scenario in
Southeast Asia accounting for 7% of sugar production worldwide. Sugar mills in Thailand,
Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam generate 34 million tonnes of bagasse every year. Malaysia,
Indonesia and Thailand account for 90% of global palm oil production leading to the generation of
27 million tonnes of waste per annum in the form of empty fruit bunches (EFBs), fibers and shells,
as well as liquid effluent.

Woody biomass is a good energy resource due to presence of large number of forests in Southeast
Asia. Apart from natural forests, non-industrial plantations of different types (e.g. coconut, rubber
and oil palm plantations, fruit orchards, and trees in homesteads and gardens) have gained
recognition as important sources of biomass. In addition, the presence of a large number of wood
processing industries also generates significant quantity of wood wastes. The annual production of
wood wastes in the region is estimated to be more than 30 million cubic meters.

The prospects of biogas power generation are also high in the region thanks to presence of well-
established food-processing and dairy industries. Another important biomass resource is
contributed by municipal solid wastes in heavily populated urban areas. In addition, there are
increasing efforts both commercially and promoted by governments to develop biomass energy
systems for efficient biofuel production, e.g. bio-diesel from palm oil.

Biomass resources, particularly residues from forests, wood processing, agricultural crops and
agro-processing, are under-utilized in Southeast Asian countries. There is an urgent need to utilize
biomass wastes for commercial electricity and heat production to cater to the needs of the industries
as well as urban and rural communities.

Southeast Asian countries are yet to make optimum use of the additional power generation potential
from biomass waste resources which could help them to partially overcome the long-term problem
of energy supply. Technologies for biomass utilization which are at present widely used in Southeast
counties need to be improved towards best practice by making use of the latest trends in the
biomass energy sector.

Biomass Energy Potential in Philippines

The Philippines has abundant supplies of biomass energy resources in the form of agricultural crop
residues, forest residues, animal wastes, agro-industrial wastes, municipal solid wastes and aquatic
biomass. The most common agricultural wastes are rice hull, bagasse, cane trash, coconut
shell/husk and coconut coir. The use of crop residues as biofuels is increasing in the Philippines as
fossil fuel prices continue to rise. Rice hull is perhaps the most important, underdeveloped biomass
resource that could be fully utilized in a sustainable manner.

Biomass energy plays a vital role in the nation’s energy supply. Nearly 30 percent of the energy for
the 80 million people living in the Philippines comes from biomass, mainly used for household
cooking by the rural poor. Biomass energy application accounts for around 15 percent of the primary
energy use in the Philippines. The resources available in the Philippines can generate biomass
projects with a potential capacity of more than 200 MW.

Almost 73 percent of this biomass use is traced to the cooking needs of the residential sector while
industrial and commercial applications accounts for the rest. 92 percent of the biomass industrial
use is traced to boiler fuel applications for power and steam generation followed by commercial
applications like drying, ceramic processing and metal production. Commercial baking and cooking
applications account for 1.3 percent of its use. (further information about the APPLICATIONS of
biomass energy will be discussed later)

The EC-ASEAN COGEN (stands for) Programme estimated that the volume of residues from rice,
coconut, palm oil, sugar and wood industries is 16 million tons per year. Bagasse, coconut husks
and shell can account for at least 12 percent of total national energy supply. The World Bank-Energy
Sector Management Assistance Program estimated that residues from sugar, rice and coconut
could produce 90 MW, 40 MW, and 20 MW, respectively.

Biomass is the most versatile of all types of renewable energy as it can provide heat, electricity, and
motor fuel. Not surprisingly, biomass is expected to make up nearly 2/3 of Germany’s renewable
energy consumption by 2020. But serving as a source of energy is only one thing biomass does
well – it also provides food and materials for production (such as timber and oils). As a result,
demand for biomass is great from a number of competing sectors. Unfortunately, the
potential for sustainable biomass is limited, and the focus in German policy is on promoting the use
of residue and waste.

Biomass is a special source of renewable energy in a number of ways. First, it can directly provide
all three types of energy carriers: electricity, heat, and fuel (liquids, solids, and gas). Second, it is
easily storable and dispatchable; when there is not enough sun or wind, biomass-fired generators
can be ramped up as need be. Third, the major drawback: biomass requires strict management to
be sustainable. No matter how many solar panels we install, we will not use up the sun any faster,
nor will we measurably reduce the amount of wind on Earth if we keep installing wind turbines. But
with biomass, we have to avoid resource depletion, prevent monocultures from reducing
biodiversity, and ensure that the energy needs of rich countries are not met at the expense of food
needs in poor

Because it can cover such a wide range of energy services, biomass makes up a far greater share
of the world’s energy supply than hydropower or nuclear (which only provide electricity) – indeed,
more than all other renewables combined. According to the International Energy Association’s (IEA)
World Energy Outlook 2011, “biomass and waste” covered roughly ten percent of global energy
demand over the past decade, whereas the share of nuclear power has fallen to below six percent.
Philippines Department of Energy – National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP)

The National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) outlines the policy framework enshrined in
Republic Act 9513. It sets the strategic building blocks that will help the country achieve the goals
set forth in the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. The NREP signals the country’s big leap from
fragmented and halting renewable energy initiatives into a focused and sustained drive towards
energy security and improved access to clean energy. The NREP sets out indicative interim targets
for the delivery of renewable energy within the timeframe of 2011 to 2030. Meeting the large targets
up to 2020 will be challenging as detailed planning, financing, and building of renewable energy
infrastructure will have to be undertaken at a scale, and within a time frame, never done before.

The NREP lays down the foundation for developing the country’s renewable energy resources,
stimulating investments in the renewable energy sector, developing technologies, and providing the
impetus for national and local renewable energy planning that will help identify the most feasible
and least-cost renewable energy development options. The NREP proceeds from the assumption
that certain activities can be taken right away, while others will take time to implement. As a national
program, it will require periodic review to ensure it conforms to the policy objectives set out in RA

Beyond the scale, however, are fundamental issues of transmission and grid integration for
intermittent renewable energy resources. Social and economic impacts cannot be overlooked.
These are issues that will be kept under close review, and action will be taken toward meeting the
challenges of balancing the country’s energy security needs and the overriding goal of providing
clean, affordable, and sustainable energy for all.

The NREP promises a continuing and well-coordinated effort to drive development in the renewable
energy industry, promote technology advancements, and achieve economies of scale. It provides
the basis for national and local renewable energy planning that will identify specific actions and
times upon which outcomes will be generated. Such plans will factor in cross-cutting issues and
essential interventions in the areas of transmission development and integration, energy efficiency,
off-grid electrification, climate change, technology transfer and development, local capacity building,
and partnerships.

Given the dynamic nature of the country’s energy sector, the NREP is an active document.
Forecasts and targets will be updated periodically as key developments in the energy sector
emerge. Programs will be reviewed, and deployment of renewable energy projects will be
monitored to ensure that stakeholders make good on their promise to deliver. Above all,
partnerships will be enhanced to ensure a country-wide approach in developing the country’s
renewable energy resources.

Investments in Philippine Biomass Industry

Rice farmers and millers have started to warm up to biomass power. A consortium of rice millers,
Isabela Biomass Energy Corp. (IBEC), is building a 20-MW rice-husk-fired power plant in Alicia,
Isabela. IBEC has tapped local bank Banco de Oro for a credit line of P1.8 billion to help finance
the power project and its link to the national grid. Biomass power generation can rejuvenate agri-
focused businesses as well. Victorias Milling Co. Inc. is energizing its way to financial health with
a P1.1 billion 40MW biomass power project. It is set to put up a cogeneration facility using bagasse
(leftover sugarcane fiber or sapal) at the VMC agro-industrial complex in Victorias City, Negros
Occidental province.

VMC’s usage of 3.1m to 3.3m tons of sugarcane is seen to provide enough raw materials for the
facility. When the biomass power station starts transmitting power to the Visayas grid, VMC will be
able to collect on the feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentive. VMC has formed a subsidiary, Victorias Green
Energy Corp. (VGEC) to undertake its power related projects. One of the biggest suppliers of refined
sugar in the Philippines, VMC supplies about 30 percent of the country’s daily need for refined
sugar. It sources its raw materials from district and non-district planters as well as through cane
and raw sugar purchases.

The International Finance Corp. (IFC), with support from the Government of Canada and Clean
Technology Fund, announced in August 2016, a US$161 million investment in three Biomass power
plants in Negros Occidental. It was also announced recently that Bronzeoak Philippines, owned by
the sugarcane farming Zabaleta family will develop these three projects in Negros Occidental to
support the country’s clean renewable energy initiatives. IFC will be joined by the Canadian
government and the Clean Technology Fund in funding the specified renewable energy projects
being developed by the Zabaleta-based Bronzeoak Philippines in the towns of Manapla, San Carlos
and La Carlota in the Visayas grid. IFC has stated that the project is expected to generate 70MW
of clean renewable energy for the country. Bronzeoak subsidiary South Negros BioPower
developed, in partnership with ThomasLloyd and funded by Cleantech Infrastructure Fund, a 25MW
Biomass Power Plant that would deliver about 175MW of electricity per year.

Amongst the foreign investors who have also started to take notice of the Philippines’ potential for
biomass power, is the British company MacKay Green Energy (MGE). MGE is discussing the
investment of US$100 million in a biomass power plant and plantation for feedstock in Mindanao.
The Company Chairman James R. Mackay has said that MGE would construct three Biomass
power stations with a capacity of 32 MW. The Aboitiz Group is also into biomass, with its 9MW
biomass plant in Batangas, under Aboitiz Renewables nearing completion. Biomass power is also
being considered for the transport industry. Aboitiz’s company AseaGas Corp 9MW Lian Biomass
power plant in Batangas is keen on exporting power to the Luzon grid and is considering prospects
in powering modern commercial trucks with gas. Oil firm Eastern Petroleum Group is also
diversifying into biomass power and has been seeking funding for a P4 billion biomass plant.

• Biomass combustion is the most common biomass conversion technology, applied on
household and industrial levels since ancient times.
• Over the last decades, modern biomass combustion technologies have emerged like fully
automated pellet boilers, co-firing, and efficient combined heat and power production for a
large variety of biomass resources.
• Typically works well beyond 5 MW.
• Well established technology works on the regular Rankine cycle
• Comprises over 85% of installed capacity for biomass based power production in India
(excluding biomass cogeneration).
COFIRING-This is a sub-set of combustion based power production. Some of the modern
coalfired power plants use biomass for co-firing along with coal
COGENERATION - Biomass fuels are typically used most efficiently and beneficially when
generating both power and heat through cogeneration systems (also known as combined heat and
power or CHP system).

 In the case of combustion, the biomass is fired to generate steam which turns a turbine for power
production. In the case of gasification, the biomass is gasified into a mixture of CO and H2 in a gasifier.
This gas is fed to a gas engine that produces electricity.
 Biomass gasification refers to the incomplete combustion of biomass resulting in production of
combustible gases consisting of Carbon monoxide (CO), Hydrogen (H2) and traces of Methane (CH4).
This mixture is called producer gas. Producer gas can be used to run internal combustion engines
(both compression and spark ignition) for power production, or can be used as substitute for furnace
oil in direct heat applications.
 Technology uses a combination of gasifier and gas engines. The technology has been in vogue for
decades, but is still evolving. Currently, less than 125 MW of cumulative installed capacity in India (less
than 15% of total biomass power, excluding biomass cogeneration). Works best for woody biomass,
but latest gasifiers also work reasonably well with nonwoody (including fine biomass).
 Gasifiers can work at low scales – as low as 20 kW, and works well up to 2 MW, with current
 Gasification offers the advantage to produce an intermediate homogeneous fuel (producer gas) from
an inhomogeous solid fuel for secondary conversion.
 BTG (Biomass Technology Group) established its reputation as a world-leading entity in the field of
demonstration, dissemination and monitoring of small-to-medium scale biomass-fuelled power and
heat gasifiers in the early eighties.
 A limited supply of oxygen, air, steam or a combination serves as the oxidizing agent. The product gas
consists of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane, trace amounts of higher
hydrocarbons (ethene, ethane), water, nitrogen (with air as oxidant) and various contaminants, such
as small char particles, ash, tars, higher hydrocarbons, alkalies, ammonia, acids, and the like.
 Biomass gasification is an endothermic thermal conversion technology where a solid fuel is converted
into a combustible gas.

 Counter-current fixed bed ("up draft") gasifier
 Co-current fixed bed ("down draft") gasifier
 Fluidized bed reactor
 Cross draft gasifier
 Plasma gasifier

• Fast pyrolysis is the rapid thermal decomposition of carbonaceous organic matter in the
absence of oxygen. This process occurs at low pressure, moderate temperatures and in a
very short amount of time.
• Fast pyrolysis produces three products: biochar, pyrolysis oil and non-condensable gases.
Yields are dependent on many factors including process conditions (reactor temperature,
pressure, residence time) and feedstock composition.
• Biomass fast pyrolysis systems include feedstock preparation and handling, a reactor, solid
particulate removal, a pyrolysis oil collection system, and product storage. Main reactor types
include bubbling and circulating fluidized bed reactors, rotating cone reactors, auger reactors,
ablative reactors, vacuum reactors, and free fall reactors.


• Charcoal production from wood is the most common carbonisation technology, but also agro
residues like cotton stalks can be carbonised and further upgraded to household fuels.
• Torrefaction is a partial carbonisation process at temperatures of 200-400°C, making the
biomass ‘crispy’, comparable with roasting of coffee beans. The torrefied biomass is suitable
for co-firing in coal-fired power plants.
• Compared to carbonised biomass, a higher percentage of the initial energy content of the
biomass stays in the product.

• In the absence of air, organic matter such as animal manures, organic wastes and
green energy crops (e.g. grass) can be converted by bacteria-induced fermentation into
biogas (a 40%-75% methane-rich gas with CO2 and a small amount of hydrogen sulphide
and ammonia).
• Anaerobic digestion is also the basic process for landfill gas production from municipal green
waste. It has significant potential in India as well as worldwide
• Anaerobic digestion is increasingly used in smallsize, rural and off-grid applications at the
domestic and farm-scale. The rising cost of waste disposal may improve its economic
attractiveness. Anaerobic digesters are used both at small-scale and large-scale levels.
• Small scale biogas for household use is a simple, low-cost, low-maintenance technology,
which has been used for decades. It usually concerns rural areas and communities without
connection to the grid.
• Industrial applications mainly process huge amounts of feedstock. This would require a well
developed logistical system for feedstock collection and effluent disposal. The feasibility of
such plants depends on the availability of cheap and free feedstock due to costs. (IEA
Bioenergy, 2009)
• While a significant number of the existing anaerobic digestion plants are processing residual
sludge from wastewater treatment plants, many other industries have potential for this. Most
small-scale units such as tanneries, textile bleaching and dying, dairy, slaughterhouses
cannot afford effluent treatment plants of their own because of economies of scale in
pollution abatement.
• Recycling/recovery/re-use of products from the wastes of such small-scale units by adopting
suitable technology could be a viable proposition.
• Generation of energy using anaerobic digestion process has proved to be economically
attractive in many such cases.
• Overall, power production from anaerobic digestion is quite well established as a technology,
though the economics of this route are still evolving.


The first thing is that the heat energy released from the combustion process is, in itself and in most
cases, not desired. The aim with the energy extraction process is usually not limited only to produce
hot flue gases but to produce either an energy carrier such as electricity, district heating or maybe
a fuel aimed for transportation or to actually deliver an energy service of some kind.
Hence it may be relevant first to re-introduce some
fundamental terms:

Biomass can be of different origins

Biofuel can be solid, liquid or gaseous and is simply a

fuel produced directly or indirectly from biomass


Combustion is a complete oxidation of the fuel content of carbon and hydrogen into carbon dioxide
(CO2) and water vapour (H2O(g)). During the combustion process, many of the fuel impurities will
also oxidise to a higher or lesser extent, some of them, like nitrogen and sulphur, producing harmful
emissions (NOx and SOx).
For some applications it may be desirable to separate the combustion process into separate steps.
In such cases,the biomass or the solid biofuel is chemically converted
into a new fuel such as a liquid or a gas prior to the final combustion. Conversion processes may
be thermochemical, low-temperature chemical or they may be biochemical..
Thermochemical conversion makes use of elevated temperature, and in some cases elevated
pressure, to convert the solid. For most processes, the heat needed to arrive at the process
temperature is generated through a partial combustion of the feedstock. Depending on the actual
temperature and on the process layout, more specifically: the heat recovery system, this partial
oxidation will introduce energy losses from the feedstock to the product. Also, the temperature of
the product fuel will be that of the process. Unless this sensible heat is recovered and used in the
process it will represent another loss.

Biomass Energy Potential in Philippines

The Philippines has abundant supplies of biomass energy resources in the form of agricultural crop
residues, forest residues, animal wastes, agro-industrial wastes, municipal solid wastes and aquatic
biomass. The most common agricultural wastes are rice hull, bagasse, cane trash, coconut
shell/husk. The use of crop residues as biofuels is increasing in the Philippines as fossil fuel prices
continue to rise. Rice hull is perhaps the most important, underdeveloped biomass resource that
could be fully utilized in a sustainable manner.

There are two types of Biomass systems, closed loop and open loop. In a closed loop biomass
system, the material to be burned in the plant has been planted and harvested specifically for that
purpose. For example, if switchgrass is planted, cultivated, harvested, In contrast, an open loop
biomass system uses material that was not originally intended for use as a fuel source. This is most
likely to be the waste products from another process, such as wood chips and sawdust from a
lumber mill, animal waste, farm waste, and paper mill waste.


The majority of biomass for bioenergy feed stocks comes from three sources:
• Forests (woody materials)
- Sources of wood waste are sawdust and bark from sawmills, shavings produced during the
manufacture of furniture, and organic sludge (or "liquor") from pulp and paper mills.

• Agriculture (woody and non-woody)

-Animal waste or manure. Agricultural systems produce four types of non-woody biomass
materials: cellulosic materials such as plant leaves, stems and stalks; sugar; starch (i.e., grains);
and oil-producing plant materials (e.g., soybeans)

• Waste
Urban wood waste (such as shipping pallets and leftover construction wood), the
biodegradable portion of garbage (paper, food, leather, yard waste, etc.) and the gas given off by
landfills when waste decomposes. Methane given off by sewage

However, non-forest conservation lands, such as grasslands and savannahs, and algaculture
(cultivation of algae) are also potential sources of bioenergy feedstocks.

Algae holds enormous potential to provide a non-food, high-yield, non-arable land use source of
biodiesel, ethanol and hydrogen fuels (50% of algae’s weight is comprised of oil, compared to 20%
palm oil which yield).
Microalgae are one-celled, photosynthetic microorganisms that are abundant in fresh water,
brackish water, and marine environments everywhere on earth.


• Mature Technology
• Low Running Cost
• Simple Biomass Pre-treatment
• Low Efficiency
• Single Biomass Fuel
• Large Investment
• Large scale power generation.


• High efficiency at small scale
• Flexible in capacity
• Low investment
• Another advantage is one of the resultant gases, methane can be treated the same way as
natural gas, and used for the same purposes.
• Complex Equipment
• High maintenance cost.
• Comprises of combined cycles in which combine gas turbines and steam turbines works
efficiently to produce electricity.


• Reduces amount of organic matter which might be destined to be landfilled or burnt in an
• Almost any organic material can be processed with anaerobic digestion, this includes
biodegradable wastes such as waste paper.
• Only relies on anaerobic bacteria, which are only present in some areas.
• Anaerobic digestion is used for effluent and sewage treatment.


• Heating of Hydrocarbons in zero oxygen condition
• Condenses vapors to obtain Bio-oil (pyrolysis oil)
• Similar to combustion, since the process burning is involved, it emits gases such as carbon
dioxide and carbon monoxide.
• Can be combusted in boiler for heat or electrical generation.


• Produces less pollution.
• Ethanol is unlikely to directly replace gasoline, it still needs a good combination of
technologies that will be used to replace gasoline.

‡ Biodiesel is a fuel made by chemically reacting alcohol with vegetable oils, animal fats or greases,
such as recycle restaurant grease.
‡ Biodiesel exceeds diesel in cetane number, resulting in super ignition.
‡ Biodiesel also has a higher flash point, or ignition temperature, making it more versatile where
safety is concerned.

• Biodiesel is renewable and non toxic. Compared to diesel, biodiesel (B100) reduces sulfur
oxide emissions by 95 percent and carbon monoxide by 47 percent.
• For biomass to be produced, it requires a lot of space.


‡ Biomass energy is abundant, secure and renewable.

‡ Biomass energy is not associated with environmental impacts such as acid rain, mine spoils, open
pits, oil spills and radioactive disposal.
‡ Alcohols and other fuels produced by biomass are efficient, viable and relatively clean burning.
‡ Biomass is easily available and can be grown with relative ease in all parts of the world.
‡ It can be used to generate electricity with the same equipment or in the same power plants that
are burning fossil fuels.


‡ Biomass is still an expensive energy, both in terms of producing biomass and converting it into
alcohols, very large quantity of biomass is needed
‡ Direct combustion of biomass can be harmful to the environment as burning biomass releases
carbon dioxide.
‡ There is most likely a net loss of energy as a lot of energy must be used for growing the plant
‡ Biomass has less energy than a similar volume of fossil fuels.

An Alternative Energy Resource

 What is Solar Thermal Energy?

Solar Thermal Energy is the Heat energy of the sun that is produced through nuclear fusion
which is radiated towards the Earth and its neighboring Planets.

 Solar Thermal Systems

Solar thermal power generation systems use mirrors to collect sunlight and produce steam
by solar heat to drive turbines for generating power.

 How does Solar Thermal Systems work?

Solar Thermal technologies capture the heat energy from the sun and use it for heating
and/or the production of electricity.

Solar thermal power (electricity) generation systems collect and concentrate sunlight to
produce the high temperature heat needed to generate electricity. All solar thermal
power systems have solar energy collectors with two main components: reflectors
(mirrors) that capture and focus sunlight onto a receiver. In most types of systems, a heat-
transfer fluid is heated and circulated in the receiver and used to produce steam. The
steam is converted into mechanical energy in a turbine, which powers a generator to
produce electricity. Solar thermal power systems have tracking systems that keep sunlight
focused onto the receiver throughout the day as the sun changes position in the sky.

 Types of Solar Thermal Systems

o Passive System - Passive systems have no mechanical components and rely on
design features only to capture heat

o Active System - Active systems require moving parts like fans or pumps to circulate
heat-carrying fluids

 Types of Solar Collectors

o Low Temperature
 Temperature ranges below 100°C
 typically use solar thermal energy for hot water or space heating (Boyle,
2004). Active systems often consist of a roof-mounted flat plate collector
through which liquid circulates. The collector absorbs heat from the sun and
the liquid carries it to the desired destination, for example a swimming pool
or home heating system. Passive heating systems involve intelligent building
design practices, which cut back on the need for heating or cooling systems
by better capturing or reflecting solar energy.

o Medium Temperature
 Medium-temperature (100-250°C) applications are not common. An
example would be a solar oven, which uses a specially-shaped reflector to
focus the sun’s rays on a central cooking pot. Similar systems could be used
for industrial processes, but are not widely used.
o High Temperature
 High-temperature (250°C >) solar thermal systems use groups of mirrors to
concentrate solar energy onto a central collector. These concentrated solar
power (CSP) systems can reach temperatures high enough to produce
steam, which then turns a turbine, driving a generator to produce electricity.

 History
o In 1866, Auguste Mouchout used a parabolic trough to produce steam for
the first solar engine.
o In 1886, the first patent for a solar collector was obtained by the Italian
Alessandro Battaglia in Genoa, Italy.
o In 1913, Frank Shuman finished a 55hp parabolic solar thermal energy station
in Maadi, Egypt for irrigation.
o In 1929, the first solar-power system using a mirror dish was built by American
Scientist Dr. R.H. Goddard.
o In 1968, the first concentrated –solar plant, which entered into operation in
Sant’Ilario, Near Genoa, Italy.
o In 1981, the 10MW Solar One Power Tower was developed in Southern
o In 1984, the parabolic-trough technology of the Solar Energy Generating
Systems (SEGS) begun its combined capacity is 354MW.
o In 2014, the world’s largest solar thermal plant (392MW) achieves commercial
operation in Ivanpah, California, USA.

 Technologies of Solar Thermal Energy

 Flat-plate Collector - Use both beam and diffuse solar radiation, do not require
tracking of the sun, and are low-maintenance, inexpensive and mechanically simple.
 Evacuated Tube Collector - A collector consists of a row of parallel glass tubes. A
vacuum inside every single tube extremely reduces conduction losses and eliminates
convection losses.
 Parabolic Trough Collector - Consist of parallel rows of mirrors (reflectors) curved in one
dimension to focus the sun’s rays. All parabolic trough plants currently in commercial
operation rely on synthetic oil as the fluid that transfers heat from collector pipes to
heat exchangers.
 Linear Fresnel Reflector - Approximate the parabolic trough systems but by using long
rows of flat or slightly curved mirrors to reflect the sun’s rays onto a downward-facing
linear, fixed receiver. Simple design of flexibly bent mirrors and fixed receivers requires
lower investment costs and facilitates direct steam generation.
 Parabolic Dish Reflector - Concentrate the sun’s rays at a focal point propped above
the center of the dish. The entire apparatus tracks the sun, with the dish and receiver
moving in tandem. Most dishes have an independent engine/generator (such as a
Stirling machine or a micro-turbine) at the focal point.
 Heliostat Field Collector - A heliostat is a device that includes a plane mirror which turns
so as to keep reflecting sunlight toward a predetermined target. Heliostat field use
hundreds or thousands of small reflectors to concentrate the sun’s rays on a central
receiver placed atop a fixed tower.

 Applications of Solar Thermal Energy

o Solar thermal energy

o Solar water heater
o Solar thermal power
o Solar cooling
o Solar thermal ventilation
o Solar Water Heater

Most popular and well developed application of solar thermal energy so far

o Low temperature applications

(Mainly using flat plate collector or evacuate tube collector)
 Solar Water Heater

 Solar Thermal Power - Conversion of sunlight into electricity

Direct means: photovoltaics (PV),
Indirect means: concentrated solar power (CSP).

 High temperature applications

(by means of sun-tracking, concentrated solar collectors)

o Solar Thermal Power

Electrical power is generated when the concentrated light is converted to heat
and, then, drives a heat engine (usually a steam turbine) which is connected to an
electrical power generator. Combination of storage and hybridization in a solar
thermal plant
o Solar Thermal Cooling
Solar cooling benefits from a better time match between supply and demand
of cooling load

Types of Solar Thermal Cooling

o Active cooling
Use solar thermal collectors to provide thermal energy for driving thermally
driven chillers.
o Passive Cooling (solar ventilation, solar chimney)
A way of improving the natural ventilation of buildings by using
convection of air heated by passive solar energy.
Direct gain warms air inside the chimney causing it to rise out the top and
drawing air in from the bottom.

 Solar Desalination/Distillation
 Solar humidification-dehumidification (HDH)
 HDH is based on evaporation of brackish water and consecutive
condensation of the generated humid air, mostly at ambient pressure.
 The simplest configuration: the solar still.
 In sophisticated systems, waste heat is minimized by collecting the heat from
the condensing water vapor and pre-heating the incoming water source.
 Restrictions in Using Solar Energy

 Geographical Aspects
 Low energy density
 Solar radiation has a low energy density relative to other common energy sources

 Unstable energy supply

 Solar Energy supply is restricted by time and geographical location
 Easily influenced by weather condition

 Financial Aspects
 Higher cost compared with traditional energy
 The capital cost in utilization of solar energy is generally higher than that of traditional
ones, especially for PV.

Types of Solar Thermal Plants and its systems

 What is CSP?
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is a major utility-scale application of solar
thermal energy. Instead of being used directly to heat up houses or swimming pools,
sunlight is focused by mirrors or lenses to reach a high temperature (at least 570 °F/300
°C to be effective and economically applicable) to either generate steam to propel
a turbine to produce an electric current or convert heat to electricity directly using a
Stirling engine. The former is the same concept as in a conventional power plant, but
rather than burn fossil fuels it collects the sun’s radiation and sends off no pollution or
greenhouse gases.

Different temperature levels mean different conversion methods; generally, the

higher the temperature the more efficient the conversion. Different materials and
technologies add up to different cost.

Its high working temperature requires the plants to be built in locations with direct
normal insolation (DNI) above 1800KWh/ (m2day) (circa 5KWh/ (m2day)) to be
economical. That is generally within the SunBelt—between the 35th northern and 35th
southern latitudes. But via an efficient electric transmission system, it theoretically has
the capacity to meet the world with its electricity demand.

Other Applications

SP could also be integrated into other industries to provide

power. Desalination using waste heat from power generation pumps out
freshwater to the desert regions where the mirrors are most ideally suited. The cold
water can also be used to provide air conditioning. Solar electricity could also be
used in the production of hydrogen, an increasingly important clean fuel. Solar
furnace made of parabolic dish or heliostat mirror can process fullerenes and large
carbon molecules with major potential commercial applications in semiconductors
and superconductors.

Land Rush in the Southwest

Until earlier this year, U.S. Bureau of Land Management had already received
125 applications for solar energy development on federal land totaling around
4000km2 (1544 mile2) or enough land for 70GW. , While according to a 2003 NREL
report on Southwest Solar Energy Potential, it estimates an total area of 53,727 mile2
of land that has no primary use today, excluding land with slope > 1%, <5
contiguous km2, and sensitive lands. Assuming 5 acres per MW, this size of land have
the potential of 6,877,055 MW from solar power. Yet this large-scale acquisition of
land has brought concerns about the desert environment and fragile ecosystems

Is It Expensive?

During the 1980’s, the early parabolic trough power plants in Europe generated
electricity at a cost equivalent to 70-140 U.S. cents per KWh. It quickly went down
to 30 cents when the SEGS 1 came into place in the U.S. Now it has reached a
range of 8-16 cents. These cost reductions primarily come from larger plants being
built, increased collector production volumes, building projects in solar power park
developments, and savings through competitive bidding. A general rule is that the
larger the size of the plant the lower the per kW capital cost of power plants. Today
in Southern California for example, peak power costs anywhere between US cent
10-18/kWh, almost no difference with CSP.

These fast cost reduction is also a result of CSP’s fundamentally simple

technology. It is the same principle as you burn a piece of paper using a magnifying
glass. With CSP, you just need to have a good many of them and a traditional
thermal power plants. There is no complex material selection as in PV production,
no holes to drill as geothermal has to.

A cost reduction study of PTPP and Solar Tower credit: NREL

Some Challenges and Environmental Concerns

A big challenge for CSP to power greater area is transmission as the highest
resource potential does not match with populous regions. High capacity power
lines are needed for CSP’s long-term development. Competition with agricultural,
industrial and residential use of water would also be a spiny issue. Some scientists
have brought up the concerns over the fragile ecosystem in the desert area. The
only emission from solar thermal power plants running on steam turbines, water
vapor, clean as it is, yet contributes to global warming.

Some underlying safety concerns include the incidental leakage and explosion of
some toxic oil heat transfer fluid.

Some Challenges and Environmental Concerns

After years of worldwide campaigns on global climate change, we finally do

not have to dedicate much energy in arguing for it. Now is the time for us to take
our steps to actually shift of our energy use. Taking advantage of the non-sensitive
deserts, no pollution and the lowest carbon emission among other renewable
energy technologies, and with the sun pouring more than 7 KWh/m2 day of its
energy onto the golden landscape of the southwest,43 concentrated solar power
has been quietly chasing around the sun for some 20 years, just like the sunflowers.
CSP will and should exert a bigger play in the grand picture of America’s future
renewable energy mix with duly confidence.

Solar radiance in different Countries

Different System Designs

There are currently three major types of CSP systems with respect to how the sunlight
is concentrated and different conversion processes. They are:
Parabolic Dishes
Parabolic Trough Power Plants (PTPP).
Solar Towers
Parabolic Dish

Parabolic Dish

Parabolic Dish systems use satellite-like mirror dish(es) to focus the light onto a
singlecentral receiver in front of the mirror. They so far have the highest heat-
electricity conversion efficiencies among all CSP designs (up to 30 %). The size of
the concentrator is determined by its engine. A dish/Stirling system’s concentrator
with a nominal maximum direct normal solar insolation of 1000 W/m2 and a 25-kW
capacity has a diameter of approximately 10 meters. It could also run on a single
Brayton cycle, where air, helium or other gas is compressed, heated and expanded
into a turbine. Parabolic dish could be applied individually in remote locations, or
grouped together for small-grid (village power, 10 KW) or end-of-line utility (100 MW)

The electricity has to be used immediately or transmitted to the gird as the system
has no storage device. Intermittent cloud cover can cause weakening of highly
concentrated receiver source flux. Sensible energy storage in single-phase
materials was proposed to allow a cylindrical absorber element not only absorb the
energy but also store it in its mass, thus reducing the amplitude of cloud cover
transients. Although this design only allows short period energy storage, potential
longer time storage technology would make parabolic dish more appealing.

Stirling Engine

The Stirling Engine used in the above parabolic dish: it produces grid-quality electricity
using the heat gathered by the receiver directly. It is a 4 cylinder, each with a 95cc
displacement engine (4-95 engine) that evolved from the Philips engines of the 1960's.

Costs and Rates

One dish costs around $250,000 averagely, depending on the capacity of it.
Once production rates rise, they could cost less than $150,000. Southern California
Edison Electric Company cannot give away the actual price per kWh, but they say
it is well below the 11.33 cents seen currently.
More Designs

Dish/engine system with stretched-membrane mirrors: this design allows wind to

pass through to minimize the destructive force of wind. These dish systems were
designed progressively by Jeffrey Sandubrae, P.E., a senior SAIC engineer at
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

More Designs

Infinia Inc. ’s Modular Solar Thermal Dish

$50 million investment in total
20-30% cheaper energy production than PV cells
334 dishes per 1MW of power
designed to be assembled with mass produced parts that an auto parts supplier could
each dish costs approximately $20,000

The History of Solar Dishes

Solar dishes have been in use since ancient Mesopotamian times

Polished gold dishes were used to concentrate the sun and light altar fires
In the 17th century glass lenses were used to smelt iron, copper, and mercury
In the 18th century, concentrated solar power was used to heat ovens and furnaces
Supposedly the Greek scientist Archimedes used reflective bronze shields to focus sunlight
at wooden Roman ships to set fire to them

Parabolic Trough Power Plants (PTPP)

Parabolic Trough Power Plants (PTPP)are thus far mostly developed CSP thermal
plants that are operating commercially. They consist of a solar field filled with
hundreds or thousands of solar collector assemblies (SCA). Each SCA is an
independently tracking parabolic trough solar collector consisting of four major

o parabolic reflectors (mirrors)

o receiver tube
o metal support structure
o tracking system that includes the drive, sensors, and controls

In parabolic trough collector, long, U-curved mirrors focus the rays of the sun into
an absorber pipe. The mirrors track the sun on one linear axis from north to south
during the day. The pipe is seated above the mirror in the center along the focal
line and has a heat-absorbent medium (mineral oil, synthetic oil, molten salt etc.)
running in it. The sun’s energy heats up the oil, which carries the energy to the water
in a boiler heat exchanger, reaching a temperature of about 400°C. The heat is
transferred into the water, producing steam to drive turbine. A study supported by
Japanese government found an annually-averaged collector efficiency using
supercritical CO2 as the working fluid, higher than water/vapor.
Schematic of a PTPP with a thermal storage system

In the solar field, cold heat transfer fluid comes in,picks up the heat collected by the
trough and exits at a high temperature
The Shape and Material
The Shape and Material of the collector differ from different designs as well. The
collector is generally composed of one bent glass mirror, with either silver or
aluminum coated on the backside of the glass. The glass is about four-millimeter
thick and low in iron, maximizing the reflectance of incoming sunlight (about 93.5%
with silver coating protected by multilayer paint).
Although National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) uses silver for its collector and it
has a higher reflectance, aluminum is also adopted by others for its cheaper cost
and stronger resistance to erodent environment.

Most current solar thermal power plants uses a parabolic trough design called LUZ
system (LS-1, 2 and 3) collectors. Made from galvanized steel to support its torque-
tube structure, Luz collector represents the standard design. Solargenix Energy and
NREL collaborated to have developed a new collector structure that uses extruded
aluminum. Solargenix SGX-1 collector thus weights less than steel design and is
easier to assemble and be aligned.
A simpler design called compact linear fresnel reflector (CLFR) solar collector reduces the
cost significantly. It uses simple flat (or slightly curved) mirrors, an optical system originally
developed by French engineer Augustin-Jean Fresnel. It weighs 3 kg/m2 , only one third
of parabolic trough mirror. It has a much lower concentrating temperature, at 285 °C

Ausra Inc.’s Fresnel Principle technology, originally developed by founder David Mills at
Sydney University, currently can operate in a $10-cent-per-KW range, about the same as
the current market price in terms of grid base load in the U.S. In October 2008, Ausra just
launched a 5-MW solar thermal plant in Bakersfield, California, with a 177-MW plant in
Ausra’s 5-MW plant in Calif.
The Absorber Pipe, also called heat collection element (HCE), is made up of a
several-meter-long metal tube and mostly a glass envelope covering it. In between
these two usually resides either air or a vacuum to reduce convective heat
lossesand allow for thermal expansion. A glass-to-metal seal is crucial in reducing
heat losses as well. The metal tube is coated with a selective material (black
chrome , cermet etc.) that has high solar radiation absorbance (filters out infrared
rays) and low thermal remittance (attracts more visible light). The HCE is the core
part that enables PTPP to acquire high efficiency (with only a 10% heat losses). , .
Other supporting Structures of an SCA include pylons, drive, controls, collector
interconnect. Pylons are the foundations that hoist the mirrors; drive enables the
collector to track the sun. The local controller for each SCA, connected to a central
computer, keeps track of the drive and also watches out for any abnormal
conditions. Collector interconnect are the insulated hoses that link up the whole
power cycle.

Parabolic Trough Power Plants in the U.S.

11 Parabolic Trough Power Plants have been operating in the southwestern U.S. (9
of them in California) since 1980s, producing roughly 420 megawatts of annual net
output. The recently completed Nevada Solar One PTPP has a capacity of 64 M
Florida Power & Light is investing a 300 MW CSP plant, bigger than any existing
ones. It will adopt Ausra Inc.'s compact linear fresnel reflector solar collector and
steam generation system. Spain has a layout of 1000 MW capacity for solar thermal
power plants, the first 200 MW already in place.Despite the just launched Kimberlina
concentrating solar thermal power plant in Bakersfield, Ausra Inc.,
Governor Schwarzenegger mandated a Solar Task Force of implement 3,000 MW
of new solar power by 2015. New Mexico has even outlined a CSP specific task

A list of the 11 CSP plants in the United States

Solar Tower
Solar Tower, sometimes called Central Receiver System, has rings of small
individual flat mirrors (heliostats) surrounding a central power tower (up to 100-200 m),
on top of which sits a receiver that gathers the reflected radiation.

The receiver contains a kind of fluid medium, be it water, air, mineral oil, liquid
metal, molten salt or diluted salt. The heated fluid goes to a hot fluid storage tank
(where excessive heat is stored) and then to a steam generator to engender
electricity. The medium is then reused, returning to a cold fluid storage tank and being
pumped up to the tower again. Solar tower can reach the highest temperature of all
concentrator designs.

The scheme of a solar tower plant

Solar tower possesses a higher efficiency than parabolic trough power plants
(approximately 20% vs. 15%) resulting from its higher concentrating ratio and higher
temperature. Therefore, they are expected to be more cost efficient than
parabolic trough power plants when producing at a large scale (100-200 MW) in a
longer run. Pilot projects, Solar One (later converted into Solar Two) in the Mojave
deserts in the U.S have demonstrated well-maintained functionality. They use
molten/diluted salt which could maintain the heat energy for several days. A big
challenge for solar tower now is the high cost of the overall construction and
operation, with the heliostat and the rest of the system each accounting for half of
the total cost.

Generally, Parabolic dish has have the highest heat-electricity conversion

efficiencies among all CSP designs (up to 30 %). But only have short term energy
PTPP is the most developed and most commercialized but it has less
efficiency than and less maximum temperature than Solar Towers and Parabolic
Solar Towers have a good efficiency and highest temperature attained but
a very high Construction cost

Another design is the Solar Chimney Tower Plant.

“Hot air rises.” This is the most basic fact employed in the design of the gigantic
solar chimney tower plant. The spread-out solar collectors receive the sunlight and
act like a greenhouse together with the ground. Air in the “greenhouse” is heated
and pushed toward the turbines at the bottom of the chimney at speeds of up to
70km/h (43.5 mi/h). The buoyancy effect created by the pressure difference from
the air under the collectors and ambient (surrounding/outside) air produces a
driving force to make sure the air moves fast.

The size of the collector and area and the height of the chimney decide the
capacity of the electricity production. The larger the collecting area, the more air
flow and heat it traps; the higher the height of the chimney, the greater the pressure
difference. This is called the stack effect in physics.

Heat Can Be Stored by the Ground.

The ground beneath the collector roof absorbs the heat and re-radiates it during
the night, therefore able to provide energy 24 hours a day. Other uses for the space
in between the roof and ground have been proposed, such as dehydration of fruits
or vegetables.

Principle of thermal energy storage with water-filled black tubes for additional
thermal storage capacity. This works better than soil alone as water’s heat capacity
is five times larger than that of soil. Also heat transfer between water tubes and
water is much higher than that between ground surface and the soil layers
The First Prototype Plant was established in Manzanares, Spain in 1981, jointly
invested by German government and a Spanish Utility . The chimney is 194.8 meter
(639.1 ft) in height and 10 meter(32.8 ft) in diameter ; collector zone(greenhouse)
of 244m(800.5ft) in diameter.
It produced an upwind velocity of 15 m/s(33.5mi/h), reaching a total output of 50
KW. It was set up mainly for experimental use to test different materials and other
parameters. One sections of the collector zone is actually used as a greenhouse to
grow plants.
A Future Plant In 2002, an Australian company EnviroMission acquired the
permission from the government to build a 1000 m high by 7 km diameter solar
chimney plant. A power output of 200 MW is expected.
The greenhouse will use heat enhancing properties materials including glass,
polycarbonate and polymer while the chimney will just be forged with reinforced
concrete. It will prevent over 900,000 tons of greenhouse gases otherwise to be
created by fossil fuel plants.
In Terms of Conversion Efficiency, the Australian SCPP project estimated that they
can utilize about 0.5 percent, or 5 W/m2 of 1 KW/m2, of the solar radiation the sun
pours onto the whole collecting area.

It is a rather low conversion rate considering the 15%-30% of other

concentrated solar power technologies (PTPP and Parabolic dish respectively). But
the reliability of these calculations remains to be further investigated because of
insufficient testing data.
The Bulk of the Cost of a SCPP falls on the initial construction of the plants.
It involves relatively less sophisticated technologies and therefore very ideal for less
developed countries with optimal solar insolation and large area of unused inferior
flat land. Countries like Botswana and Namibia have been looking into the
possibility of investing such a plant. Carbon credits will also help reduce the overall
leveled cost of the plant.

Generally it has a Low construction cost and has a high potential as a power
plant but for now it is still experimental and can only utilize 0.5 % of the solar radiation
that pours into the area.

Energy Production/ Generation

 Concentrating Solar Thermal

Concentrating solar thermal (CST) technologies produce high-temperature, high-

quality energy that can be used to drive a variety of engineering processes. CST is
attractive because of free and abundant solar radiation.

 CST Technologies Energy Production

Solar thermal power (electricity) generation systems collect and concentrate sunlight
to produce the high temperature heat needed to generate electricity. All solar thermal
power systems have solar energy collectors with two main components: reflectors
(mirrors) that capture and focus sunlight onto a receiver (Figure 1). In most types of
systems, a heat-transfer fluid is heated and circulated in the receiver and used to produce
steam. The steam is converted into mechanical energy in a turbine, which powers a
generator to produce electricity. Solar thermal power systems have tracking systems that
keep sunlight focused onto the receiver throughout the day as the sun changes position
in the sky.

 Generating Power with CST

Solar Thermal Plants use hundreds of thousands of mirrors called heliostats to direct
incident sunlight at a focal point located on a receiver. The heat from the sunlight is then
used to super heat molten salt held in a receiver tower. The liquid salt is gathered from a
"cold" storage tank where it is kept at 290°C (554°F) and heated by the concentrated
sunlight to 565°C (1,049°F) and sent to a "hot" storage tank. The molten salt is then used to
boil water to create steam. The steam is used under pressure, to rotate a turbine which
creates electricity. Once the molten salt has been cooled down in this process, it is sent
back to the "cold" storage tank to be used again in the same process. Used water vapor
is recollected and cooled down to liquid form and recycled once again in the same
process. The four plants currently in use are estimated to prevent around 400,000 tons of
carbon-dioxide emissions per year in the U.S.
Factors to be considered with CST
All of the components in a CST plant are designed to facilitate the absorption of well-
focused sunlight by the solar receiver; thus, all the interactions that the solar radiation
undergoes must be considered. The entire atmosphere — from the top of the Earth’s
atmosphere to the concentrator, and between the concentrator and receiver (Figure 2)
— affects the quality of the solar radiation. The night and day cycle, clouds, and aerosols
in the atmosphere cause intermittencies in the solar radiation reaching the receiver.
Intermittencies must be accounted for, but energy storage technologies can mitigate
their detrimental effects on CST performance.

 Solar Radiation and the Atmosphere

Solar radiation incident at the outer edge of the Earth’s atmosphere has an intensity
of about 1,370 W/m2 — the so-called solar constant. Because of the high temperature of
the sun, the radiation has a very high exergy. As viewed from the Earth, the sun subtends
a half-angle of about 4.65 mrad. Propagation through the atmosphere affects the
intensity and the angular distribution of the incoming solar radiation. Aerosols scatter the
incoming radiation, increasing the amount of circumsolar radiation, which affects the
concentration and distribution of the image at the receiver of a CST collector. Clouds
attenuate and scatter the radiation.

Thus, it is important to understand the time dependence and spatial distribution of

clouds and aerosols. Meteorological models and experimentally derived data from
ground stations and satellites provide an overview and inform predictions of time-
dependent changes in the atmosphere, which help to define the expected functionality
of CST technologies.
Radiation incident on the surface of the Earth is categorized as either diffuse or direct. In
direct solar radiation, most of the angular distribution of the solar source is preserved, and
this direct radiation can be concentrated and used in CST applications. Diffuse solar
radiation cannot be concentrated because the angular distribution is randomized and
optics cannot focus it.

Therefore, CSP plants rely on direct solar radiation, the intensity of which is described
by the direct normal irradiance (DNI), expressed in SI units as Watts per square meter.
Another important metric is the global horizontal irradiance (GHI), which includes the
diffuse component of the solar radiation and is measured at a plane parallel to the Earth’s
Figure 3 is global map of the direct normal irradiation, which is a time integral of DNI. High
direct normal irradiation makes the southwest U.S., northern Chile, Peru, central Australia,
Saharan Africa, and South Africa prime real estate for development of CST technologies.
Spain is a favorable location for CST development in Europe.
 Solar Concentrators
Choosing a concentrator (i.e., reflector) type is one of the chief optimization
challenges of the fledgling solar thermal industry. CST plants use four different types of
concentrators: linear Fresnel reflector (LFR), parabolic trough reflector, central receiver
system with heliostats, and paraboloidal dish reflector (Figure 4). Each reflector type is
defined by its ability to intercept and guide solar radiation to a thermal receiver that is
engineered specifically for the reflector type and application. LFR and parabolic trough
collectors are classified as line concentrators and track the sun along one axis. Central
receiver systems with heliostats and paraboloidal dish collectors are called point
concentrators and track the sun in two directions.

Solar Thermal Comparison to Solar Photovolataic (PV)

Using daylight energy at night

Solar Thermal vs. Photovoltaic

Both Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Energy generates Electricity from the sun the
difference is that how each system converts sunlight to electricity.
Solar thermal
Solar thermal electric energy generation concentrates the light from the sun to create
heat, and that heat is used to run a heat engine, which turns a generator to make

Photovoltaic, or PV energy conversion, on the other hand, directly converts the sun's light
into electricity.

Solar Thermal vs. Photovoltaic

This means that solar panels are only effective during daylight hours because storing
electricity is not a particularly efficient process. Heat storage is a far easier and
efficient method, which is what makes solar thermal so attractive for large-scale
energy production.
Solar thermal plants that have storage capacities can drastically improve both the
economics and the dispatchability of solar electricity.
BONUS info/Slide
The working fluid that is heated by the concentrated sunlight can be a liquid or a gas.
Different working fluids include water, oil, salts, air, nitrogen, helium, etc. Different engine
types include steam engines, gas turbines, Stirling engines, etc. All of these engines can
be quite efficient, often between 30% and 40%, and are capable of producing 10's to
100's of megawatts of power.
In the world of large-scale alternative energy, wind reigns supreme, mostly because
it's cheaper.
In most cases, the sun's energy is converted into electricity in one of two ways: using
photovoltaic cells; or using solar-thermal turbines. It's the solar-thermal power
plant that is poised for a big change.
Expensive Sunlight?
The big problem with solar power is the most obvious one: The sun doesn't shine all
the time. At nighttime or on cloudy days, power plants simply can't access the sun's
energy. This makes solar power expensive, since the power plants can't run 24/7.
The solution is a simple one: Store the sun's energy so you can use it when the sun's
not available.
Unfortunately, implementing that solution has been extremely problematic - until a
recent breakthrough made solar-energy storage a realistic option for the energy
The idea of storing the sun's energy is nothing new. People have been trying to
devise a way to pause the process - hold onto the energy in sunlight for a while
before converting it to electricity - for as long as solar power has been an electricity

All previous attempts, though, have been prohibitively problematic.

Store using Potential Energy?
Some have tried to store the sun's energy by using it to pump water uphill, where
the energy stays until the water moves back downhill, releasing it. Compressing and
then un-compressing air is another option.
But both of those methods waste energy - only about 80 percent of the solar power
put in is recovered on the other end
By Battery?

Batteries are also extremely inefficient, making them too expensive to be a viable
large-scale storage option.

You can store as much energy in a coffee thermos as in a laptop battery, which
costs 10 times as much
Heat is easy to store.
Storing Heat, That's essentially what the thermos is doing, storing the heat of that
And heat generates electricity in a solar-thermal power plant, so storing heat is a
way to pause the process: Let the sun heat something up, keep that thing hot until
the sun goes down, and then use that heat to generate the steam that turns the

Of course, as relatively easy as it is to store heat, you've got to find the right
substance for a solar-power application. To store the extreme heat that runs a solar-
thermal power plant, the substance has to remain stable at high temperatures - in
the area of 750 degrees F (400 degrees C) - otherwise you'd run into problems with
vaporizing and pressure changes . It's also helpful is the substance is cheap and
readily available.
Salt melts at only very high temperatures, vaporizes at very, very high temperatures
and it's available in virtually unlimited, low-cost supply.
Plus, it only loses about 7 percent of the energy put into it.
Andasol 1
The Andasol 1 power plant in Grenada, Spain, is packed with 30,865 tons (28,000 metric
tons) of Salt.
The Andasol 1 plant in Spain started generating power in November 2008, and as long as
the sun is shining, it operates pretty much like any other solar-thermal power plant. Sunlight
strikes some sort of solar collector -- in this case, a field of parabolic-trough mirrors focused
on tubes filled with oil, which warms to more than 752 degrees Farenheit (400 degrees
Celsius). That hot oil is used to boil water, which produces steam, which spins a turbine.

Andasol 1
The field of solar collectors at Andasol 1 is big enough to collect almost twice as much
sunlight as the plant needs to operate during sunny times. The extra heated oil is sent to
a heat exchanger running between giant vats of molten salt. One vat holds relatively cool
molten salt (about 500 degrees F or 260 degrees C). That salt is pumped into the heat
exchanger, where it picks up heat from the oil. The now hotter molten salt (752 degrees F
or 400 degrees C) flows into the second vat, where it waits until the sun dips behind a
Andasol 1
When the power plant needs the stored heat, the hotter molten salt is pumped
back through the heat exchanger. There, it transfers its heat to the oil that will
generate steam. The hotter oil travels to the power center, and the now-cooler
molten salt flows back into the cooler tank. The process then starts all over.
Andasol 1
Using salt to store the sun's heat, the plant can operate without sunlight, running
almost twice as long as other solar power plants. The salt-storage setup lets Andasol
1 generate 50 percent more energy than it would without it -- 178,000 megawatt-
hours of electricity That extra generating ability lowers the overall cost of the plant's
electricity. It could eventually rival the cost of natural-gas power.

Some plants are looking at using a more direct approach that skips the oil -- they
would both collect and store the sun's heat in salt. Sand is another potential heat-
storage material.
Using salt
Molten salt is circulated through highly specialized piping in the receiver (heat
exchanger) during the day, and held in storage tanks at night – requiring no fossil fuels
The tanks store the salt at atmospheric pressure
Use of molten salt for both heat transfer and thermal energy storage minimizes number of
storage tanks and salt volumes needed
Molten salt is stored at 1050⁰F (566⁰C) until electricity is needed – day or night, whether or
not the sun is shining
As electricity is needed, molten salt is dispatched from the hot tank through a heat
exchanger to create super-heated steam which then powers a conventional steam
The molten salt never needs replacing or topping up for the entire 30+ year life of the
Heat loss is only 1⁰F per day
The salt, an environmentally friendly mixture of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate, is
able to be utilized as high grade fertilizer when the plant is eventually decommissioned

Storage enables solar thermal power plants to operate just like a conventional fossil fuel
or nuclear power plant, reliably generating electricity when it’s needed most - but without
the associated harmful emissions and without any fuel costs
Solar thermal power plants with integrated molten salt energy storage can operate 24/7,
proving baseload power for both on-grid and off-grid applications
Integrated energy storage provides the ability to shift electricity generation to meet
different profile needs and deliver firm, reliable power at high capacity value
Molten salt thermal energy storage is the lowest capital cost energy storage system
Solar thermal power plants with integrated energy storage are cost-competitive with any
new build coal, natural gas, or nuclear technology
Storage allows the facility to produce more than twice as much net annual output
(megawatt hours) than any other solar technology
Firm output ensures a more stable and secure transmission system
So what?
By turning the sun into a 24/7 energy source, SolarReserve offers a realistic solution
that can meet the global need for reliable, emissions-free electric power that is
available around the clock and is a viable alternative to baseload coal, nuclear or
natural gas burning electricity generation facilities.