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About this book

This book reveals key challenges to ensuring the secure and sustainable production and use of energy resources, and provides corresponding solutions. It discusses the latest advances in renewable energy generation, and includes studies on climate change and social sustainability. In turn, the book goes beyond theory and describes practical challenges and solutions associated with energy and sustainability. In particular, it addresses:

· renewable energy conversion technologies;

· transmission, storage and consumption;

· green buildings and the green economy; and

· waste and recycling.

The book presents the current state of knowledge on renewable energy and sustainability, supported by detailed examples and case studies, making it not only a cutting-edge source of information for experts and researchers in the field, but also an educational tool for related undergraduate and graduate courses.

Table of Contents


Sustainable Energy: What, Why, and How?

Sustainability, or the ability to be sustained, essentially means something can be continued or prolonged for an extended period of time (Apple Inc. 2015). A common use of this word comes from the world of commerce: if a business is sustainable, it has the potential to be profitable over the long term.
Paul Henshaw

A Review of Wind Energy Resource Assessment in the Urban Environment

This chapter provides a synopsis of an emerging consensus on methodologies for conducting assessments of wind flow resources in the urban environment. Such evaluations of the urban turbulent flow are becoming more common, as the value of such information is realized for assessing building planning, ventilation and exhaust design, urban wind energy harvesting, placement of solar modules, and comfort of pedestrians around these structures. This chapter places emphasis on wind resource assessment for the use of wind energy harvesting, and it notes the growing body of research pointing to accepted methods for combining experimental data collection with CFD modelling to optimize the placement of small wind turbines (SWT). The experimental research points to a changing view on the accepted 10 min averaging times used for calculating turbulence statistics. Specifically, recent results revealed significant effects of shorter averaging time on the turbulence intensity, which may be relevant for SWT. CFD models tend to use RANS closures with modified and nonlinear models. These aim to accurately predict the mean effect of unsteady recirculation around rooftops, where wind harvesting devices are likely to be installed. This review documents the multitude of approaches, showing the current trends toward standardized method of wind resource assessment.
Mireille B. Tadie Fogaing, Hermes Gordon, Carlos F. Lange, David H. Wood, Brian A. Fleck

Advances in Wind Power Forecasting

Wind is a force of nature and naturally changes speed and direction with time, so the amount of wind power generation from wind farms also varies. Rapid growth in wind power production has led to the integration of wind power into the power grid. Wind power forecasting enables wind farms to address the intermittency and predictability issues to a satisfactory extent and to participate in the electricity market in the same way as any other power supplier. This chapter provides an overview of existing wind power forecasting methods, their time scales (short term, medium term, and long term), and most popular statistical analyses used to assess their performance. Models reviewed in this chapter include persistence method, physical models, statistical methods, machine learning methods, and hybrid methods.
Madison E. Dittner, Ahmad Vasel

Lean Energy Buildings: Applications of Machine Learning, Optimal Central Chilled-Water Systems, and Hybrid Solar-Ground Source Heat Pump Systems

This chapter discusses topics for improving energy efficiency in buildings that employ: (i) conventional large, central heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, and (ii) unitary HVAC systems, specifically distributed ground-source heat pump (GSHP) systems. First the chapter discusses the framework of energy informatics, including data classes, data measurement and acquisition, data organization and warehousing, data visualization, data analytics, and actionable information and control. Second, we address the question, “Now that building energy data are available, what do we do with it to inform actionable items?”. The usefulness of an energy informatics approach for improving the control of key building energy systems, including outdoor air and pump/fan control, is demonstrated though case examples. Thirdly, we discuss unitary HVAC systems, specifically GSHP systems, which have gained popularity because of their higher energy efficiency, lower maintenance, and lower environmental impact compared to conventional heating and cooling systems. Our focus is reducing their capital cost through the coupling of solar energy systems to the GSHP system, hence the term hybrid solar-GSHP system. Technical and economic aspects of hybrid solar GSHP systems are discussed for both heating- and cooling-dominated buildings, and system simulation examples are provided. Finally, an emerging type of hybrid solar-GSHP system, one that uses combined photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) collectors, is described, which provides a means of getting buildings toward net-zero energy.
Andrew Chiasson, J. Kelly Kissock, Abinesh Selvacanabady

Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV): From Deserts to Rooftops

The current photovoltaic market is completely dominated by the conventional single junction PV panels, despite the fact that the highest energy efficiency of multi-junction solar cells is in the form of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system. CPV technology has faced many challenges of reliability and performance since its conception. However, despite much improvement in design and reliability, CPV technology is still unable to gain the attention of customers and energy planners with its high-performance potential. Due to its response to only solar beam radiations, CPV systems are believed to be only suitable to operate in clear sky weather conditions. That’s why the current gigantic CPV systems are only designed to be installed in open desert regions. It is still lacking the same application scope which the conventional PV is experiencing. With the aim to boost its market potential, in this chapter, a compact CPV design is discussed with low cost but highly accurate performance, to be targeted to install at the rooftop of commercial and residential building in the urban region. In addition, the performance of CPV system is also evaluated and compared with the different conventional PV system in the tropical weather condition with low beam radiation availability.
Muhammad Burhan, Muhammad Wakil Shahzad, Kim Choon Ng

Solar Energy, the Future Ahead

Climate change due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuels has led to channel resources in the commercial use of renewable energy sources. Solar energy is one of the potential energy sources that is not fully exploited, despite available the technology, to obtain both thermal and electrical energy. This paper evaluates solar energy from a point of view of potential, technology, and future challenges. Results of research on solar energy implementation are shown. Solar energy is presented as a source of energy in a good position to help meet its growing demand for clean energy from conversion systems.
José P. Paredes-Sánchez, Jesús Las-Heras-Casas, Beatriz M. Paredes-Sánchez

Evaluation of the Changes in Greenhouse Gas Emissions After Migration Towards Electric Mobility

The fight against climate change and air pollutant concentration is nowadays one of the biggest challenges for most of the large cities in the world. An emerging technology, the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), offers a great power to contribute to clean the air, decarbonize the cities, and reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. But on the far side of the Moon we can find that what people call zero emissions or low carbon vehicles (less than 50 gCO2eq/km) do not fit well with the concept of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and even with BEVs. This is because the energy consumed by these electric propelled vehicles comes from a battery, mostly a Li-ion one, that has to be filled with electricity produced from different (renewable or not) sources, as it occurs in many European countries. The aim of this work is to evaluate the environmental consequences of changing to an electrified mobility and also to shed light to this controversy, highly influenced by technological, political, social, and market aspects.
Roberto Álvarez Fernández, Borja Dalmau Giménez

Bioenergy as an Alternative to Fossil Fuels in Thermal Systems

Biomass energy can be obtained from different sources and nature. The estimation of biomass potential as an energy source is being investigated all over the world from a technological and environmental challenge point of view, in the current context of energy transition. This paper reviews the perspectives of traditional approaches compared to the recently presented uses of biomass in energy systems as an alternative to fossil fuels. The present work shows research results in the energy context. Bioenergy proves to be an alternative fuel in conventional energy conversion systems.
José P. Paredes-Sánchez, Luis M. López-Ochoa

Thermal Energy Storage Systems

One way of improving resiliency in industrial and energy-intensive infrastructures, particularly those with renewable energy production, is combining the grid with energy storage systems. Among various forms of energy, thermal energy is extensively available such as waste heat energy in manufacturing systems or solar thermal energy that can be harvested in a sustainable form. The concept behind thermal energy storage (TES) systems is to store thermal energy in a medium for a later use. TES systems can be categorized into three main sections of sensible, Latent and thermo-chemical TES systems. The poor rate of storage and release of thermal energy, lack or reliability and maturity, and limitation in storage capacity are the main drawbacks of existing TES systems, impede their real-world use in industry. This chapter provides an introduction to these TES systems and provides a summary of researchers’ efforts to overcome the challenges exist in utilizing these TES systems in industry. Furthermore, the details of potential application of TES systems are provided.
Ethan Mohseni Languri, Glenn Cunningham

What Else is Emerging from the Horizon?

In search of what else is emerging from the horizon in the renewable energy field, the key property to focus on is the auto-breeding capability, a feature that allows the success of an energy technology in a free competition. On the other hand, if a mature energy technology needs subsidy, this is a clear self-demonstration that auto-breeding is not possible for it. High-altitude wind is a concentrated, powerful and steady resource. Its potential has long been known, but only thanks to recent developments in the field of engineering and mechatronics, its exploitation is now possible. In the following, it will be described the state of the art of these new technologies, whose capital cost and LCOE projections clearly show the potential to auto-breed and really boost the quick replacement of fossil fuels. Among the others, we shall describe in more detail the KiteGen technology, because it is considered by several stakeholders the most advanced, being based on the vastest proprietary IP asset. Moreover, it is one the first players oriented towards large-scale devices.
Giancarlo Abbate, Eugenio Saraceno
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