Heat pumps save energy for heating and cooling

Heat pumps use physical laws of thermodynamics to move large amounts of thermal energy for heating and cooling with little energy expenditure.

Image: Polytechnic University of Valencia / from the article

by Emiliano Bellini, 08/04/2020 in PV Magazine

Residential heat pump produces water up to 75 C: Scientists in Spain have developed a new heat pump that can produce 6.49 kWh of heat for each kilowatt-hour of power it consumes. The device could generate hot water at a temperature of up to 75 C.

Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain and heating specialist Saunier Duval, a unit of Germany-based Vaillant Group, have developed a new residential heat pump based on natural refrigerants.

The device uses propane as a refrigerant, which allows for high energy efficiency, while keeping carbon dioxide emissions to almost zero.

“Our heat pump can heat homes completely environmentally friendly, without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In addition, its high-efficiency energy allows it to be classified as renewable energy, by pumping energy from the environment”, said researcher José Gonzalvez.

Read the complete article….

Featured image: Diagram of a phase change heat pump. Legend: 1. Condenser coil (hot side heat exchanger, gas cools and liquifies); 2 Metering Device (liquid expands and cools), 3. Evaporator coil (cold side heat exchanger, liquid vaporizes and heats up), 4. Compressor (gas is compressed and heats up). Red = Gas at high pressure and very high temperature, Pink = Liquid at high pressure and high temperature, Blue = Liquid at low pressure and very low temperature, Light Blue = Gas at low pressure and low temperature. Note: the arrows in the diagram are meant to indicate the flow of air and coolant; they do not correspond to heat flow, which in the system depicted is (generally) from right to left. / Author: Ilmari Karonen, own work / Licensing: Public Domain.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Zero carbon by 2030

Imagine waking up and not being ashamed of your country!

We live with ever increasing anxiety about species extinction (possibly including our own), environmental degradation, catastrophic bushfires and floods, deaths from heat stroke and a government that fails to act on the emergency. To survive, we will probably have to actively remove and safely sequester a significant fraction of the existing greenhouse gas from the global atmosphere, and possibly also enhance Earth’s reflectivity enough to reduce the amount of heat it captures from solar radiation. These goals will be hard to achieve, but let’s begin with the comparatively easy task of completely stopping human generated greenhouse gas emissions, i.e., zero carbon emissions from human activities.

Zero carbon by 2030 is a reasonable aspiration, especially in Australia.  We have the knowledge and the resources for a technological transition.  All we need is the political will. If we can do this, then we’ll know whether we have to do the other things also, and by then we should have a government able and willing to take leadership on these jobs as well.

Big necessary decisions must be made to advance Australia’s part in the Paris Agreement, including withdrawing public money and government support from fracking the Beetaloo Basin; closing down the giant new offshore gas field of the Scarborough-Pluto LNG project in W.A. and stopping the Adani coal mine and others in the Galilee Basin in Qld.  Serious social disruption will occur without a blueprint for future industries and jobs. 

The declaration of a Climate Emergency and the contingencies that flow from this will guide an economic transformation.  Just as radical change happened with the declaration of the war economy, shifting perspectives made the impossible seem possible. We cannot imagine how fast change can happen as we are used to the spin, obfuscation, rorting, incompetence, reliance on the market to find solutions and the privatisation of government decisions via outsourcing to big donors in contemporary government.

Setting aside the debate about the necessity of the limits to growth and a whole systems approach we need to elect a new Federal Government who can work with a cross bench to shift public opinion as fast as is politically possible.

Many industries and communities are writing blueprints for the future.  One comprehensive plan that will inspire hope and creative action in people who seek election at the 2022 Federal Election is The Million Jobs Plan by Beyond Zero Emissions.

by Beyond Zero Emissions, June 2020

The Million Jobs Plan: A unique opportunity to demonstrate the growth and employment potential of investing in a low-carbon economy

Read the entire document….

The publisher, Beyond Zero Emissions is an internationally recognised energy think-tank, that shows through independent research and innovative solutions how Australia can thrive through a transition to a zero-emissions economy. The plan aims to create employment, modernise our infrastructure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It proposes nation-building, transformative projects that can upgrade the economy, modernise industry, reskill the workforce and deliver a different future – economically and socially. The Plan includes case studies for coal industry regions.  The Plan aims to make Australia more prosperous, fairer and more resilient, with local jobs that are lasting, secure, well-paid and backed by safe and fair working conditions. Their research shows that this is entirely achievable.

Some of its key points include –

  • 70% of new jobs to be created in regional areas
  • Australia wide transmission line upgrades with government and private investment
  • renewable energy industrial zones and zero carbon community initiatives
  • Australian made manufacturing creating new supply chains
  •  Building mass scale renewables to electrify industry and drive the development of zero emissions metals, green hydrogen, steel and aluminium
  • electrify public transport including regional trains and buses
  • energy efficient social housing and the creation of new standards to drive net-zero energy housing
  • technology to boost local building material production through government procurement policy to prioritise local, lower embedded emissions
  • the creation of a renewable hydrogen sector to meet emissions free ammonia for use in the production of fertilizers
  • investing in the circular economy with resource recovery and waste recycling, from raw material extraction to end-of-life
  • revegetation of 27M hectares in 5 years, replanting to achieve carbon neutrality
  • regenerative agriculture as well as wetlands regeneration and biodiversity protection
  • investing in training and upskilling the workforce
  • a green stimulus package to foster research and development and jobs in education

We applaud the many people who have put their hands up to stand for election in 2022 to collectively advance Australia’s contribution to solving the existential crisis we currently face.

For information on how to make your vote count to elect House and Senate representatives in your electorate who will put action on climate change at the top of their to do list, our Traffic Light Voting System will give you information about the various candidates and show you how to make the most of your vote.

 Finally, a comprehensive analysis of the science of the state of the planetary emergency is essential reading.

Featured Image: Climate Sentinel Editor, based on an image by Kirsten Gillibrand from her campaign as a Democratic candidate in the primaries for the US Presidential Election in 2020. Source: via Wikimedia Commons.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Cheap H₂ storage may dispatch power for months

Hydrogen gas stored for less than $3/kg may provide months of dispatchable power to cover intermittent green energy generation

by Emiliano Bellini, 14/02/2022 in PV Magazine

Hydrogen under $3/kg may ensure affordable seasonal energy storage in the US

Researchers from the United States have investigated how fuel cells and electrolyzers may be able to operate under intermittent availability provided by both wind and solar and have found that an affordable hydrogen-based system for seasonal energy storage could be achieved at a hydrogen price lower than $3, produced from inexpensive renewable electricity at $0.02/kWh.

Featured Image: A PEM high pressure electrolyzer. Image: Wikimedia Commons/https://bit.ly/3qZ4nyZ

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

New liquid-based CO₂ capture tech for industrial emissions

Shows capacities for high CO2 capture under power plant operating conditions, minimizing energy-intensive temperature swings of other techs

by Mohen S. Yeganeh, et al. 11/02/2022 in Science Advances
Solid with infused reactive liquid (SWIRL): A novel liquid-based separation approach for effective CO2 capture: Economical CO2 capture demands low-energy separation strategies. We use a liquid-infused surface (LIS) approach to immobilize reactive liquids, such as amines, on a textured and thermally conductive solid substrate with high surface-area to volume ratio (A/V) continuum geometry…. [The technology] shows stable, high capture capacities at power plant CO2 concentrations near flue gas temperatures, preventing energy-intensive temperature swings needed for other approaches.

VC1 Editor’s comment: The science behind this technology appears to be valid, but implementing it will be too costly and engineering intensive for applications other than mitigating already concentrated carbon emissions from power plant flue gases and other large-scale industrial emitters. However, in this application the technology described here would seem to have significant advantages over other proposed technologies.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Wrapping ice and snow to slow/stop melting

Amazing breakthrough technology: cover ice and snow with ‘green’ radiative cooling foil to slow/stop melting and even help freezing

by Jinlei Li et al. 11/02/2022 in Science Advances
Protecting ice from melting under sunlight via radiative cooling: Here, we demonstrate that a hierarchically designed radiative cooling film based on abundant and eco-friendly cellulose acetate molecules versatilely provides effective and passive protection to various forms/scales of ice under sunlight. This work provides inspiration for developing an effective, scalable, and sustainable route for preserving ice and other critical elements of ecosystems.

VC1 Editor’s comment: The cost-effectiveness of this technology remains to be proven in practice. However, the the science appears to be sound, cooling effects of ultra-white paint have been proven in shopping center-scale commercial application, and the acetate film is made from renewable materials and should be safely biodegradable in application.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Lithium batteries considered suitable for long duration (up to 8 hours) storage: makes more sense if they can be effectively recycled.

By Dan Gearino, 03/03/2022 — Inside Clean Energy
In the New World of Long-Duration Battery Storage, an Old Technology Holds Its Own: California power companies choose lithium-ion batteries for an eight-hour storage project, passing on some newer options.

see also: Lithium empowered green energy storage is just getting better, less expensive, and less damaging to the environment

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.