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Über dieses Buch

What lies beyond the era of fossil fuels? While most answers focus on different primary energy resources, Energy Systems in the Era of Energy Vectors provides a completely new approach.

Instead of providing a traditional consumption analysis of classical primary energy resources such as oil, coal, nuclear power and gas, Energy Systems in the Era of Energy Vectors describes and assesses energy technologies, markets and future strategies, focusing on their capacity to produce, exchange, and use energy vectors. Special attention is given to the renewable energy resources available in different areas of the world and made exploitable by the integration of energy vectors in the global energy system.

Clear definitions of energy vectors and energy systems are used as the basis for a complete explanation and assessment of up-to-date, available technologies for energy resources, transport and storage systems, conversion and use. The energy vectors scheme allows the potential realization of a worldwide sustainable energy system to fulfill global development expectations by minimizing both the impact on the environment, and the international political frictions for access to limited and concentrated resources.

Energy Systems in the Era of Energy Vectors is an informative read for researchers and advanced students in industrial, energy and environmental engineering. It also contains valuable information for managers and technicians working in the energy sector.



Chapter 1. Energy Systems

It is appropriate to underline that the definitions herein introduced differ from those that several authors adopted on the basis of other nomenclatures. For instance, some prefer to define “secondary energies” those types of energy that allow to transfer energy in space or in time, with a view to make it available wherever and whenever needed. In this framework, the name

energy vector

is ascribed to this type of function.

Fabio Orecchini, Vincenzo Naso

Chapter 2. Energy Resources

A general assessment of the availability of energy resources is essential for whichever long-term energy policy. As concerns renewable energy sources, the difference vis-à-vis the most widespread fossil sources (RES are regularly-renewed energy flows), whereas fossils can be considered as “fixed” resources) induces to make some preliminary remarks about the definition of RES potential.

Fabio Orecchini, Vincenzo Naso

Chapter 3. Energy Vectors

While considering the human use of energy, “where” and “when” are often more important than “how” and “how much”. Human beings do not simply need energy: they need it wherever and whenever they decide. An energy system is therefore satisfactory when it is able to guarantee the right quantity and form of energy in the right moment (for all required time) and at the place of need.

Fabio Orecchini, Vincenzo Naso

Chapter 4. Energy Conversion and Transformation Plants

The energy necessary for end-use has different forms (mechanic, luminous, electric, thermal); it can be of different origin, and there are different processes that make it available. The primary sources directly available in nature are not always conveniently and efficiently usable in the processes from which the most suitable form of energy for end-use can be obtained. For this reason, in almost all cases, primary sources undergo

conversion or transformation processes

, whose outcome is indicated by the so-called

secondary sources


Fabio Orecchini, Vincenzo Naso

Chapter 5. Distributed Generation and Cogeneration

The distributed generation of electric power, rather than a real technology, represents a paradigm of energy production, being complementary and/or alternative to the centralised and localised production in large-scale plants. It is based on the use of small-size generators that operate close to end users and with a power ranging from a few kW to some MW. To date, the spreading and the incidence related to distributed generation on global electric power production are marginal, although increasing. On the other hand, a considerable and articulated series of technical–economic evaluations exist, describing the present state of the art and setting out generally growing developments for the next decade.

Fabio Orecchini, Vincenzo Naso

Chapter 6. Energy Useful Effect and End Use

The exploitation of energy sources and the entire pathway of energy vectors in time and space have a main purpose: to meet the needs of human beings in order to make their lives more comfortable, more productive and socially active. Human beings do not directly need any energy sources or vectors additional to food; they have concrete and easily identifiable needs, and energy is aimed at meeting these needs.

Fabio Orecchini, Vincenzo Naso


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