Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
  • Publication
    A Feasibility Analysis of Photovoltaic Solar Power for Small Communities in Ireland
    Photovoltaic power generation is one of the cleanest sources for producing renewable energy, however to date its up take on the Irish renewable energy market has been extremely low. Through research carried out on regions where these technologies are widely used and developed, this project investigates the feasibility of using photovoltaic systems to generate power under Irish climatic conditions. This involved a comparative investigation between solar insolation in Ireland and in regions currently using Photovoltaic systems. This projects main aim was to identify if photovoltaic systems were a feasible source of power generation for a sustainable community of 130 eco-friendly homes based on the fact that they are built to B1 energy rating standards. B1 implies an energy use of between 75kwh/m²/yr and 100kwh/m²/yr. Results showed that houses of 140 m² have a PV area requirements ranging from 20 m² - 26 m², while the larger live/work units of 195 m² have an area requirement of 27 m² - 36 m². While the communal solar park has an area requirement of 2665 m² - 3553 m² without spacing, this however will differ when space requirements are calculated to prevent overshadowing. The results obtained prove that such systems are feasible, however may be dependent on governmental support or grants. The installation of such a system would not only provide benefits to the members of this eco-village through production of on-site energy, but also to national legislation relating to reduced CO2 emissions and increases in the percentage share of renewables in gross national electricity consumption. The results suggest that this system could produce between 1431000 - 1908000 kWh per year, enough to sufficiently supply the community, while producing excess energy for three-quarters of the year, while displacing between 283338 - 377784 kg/ CO2/yr.
  • Publication
    Energy requirements and environmental impacts associated with the production of short rotation willow (Salix sp.) chip in Ireland
    Willow Salix sp. is currently cultivated as a short rotation forestry crop in Ireland as a source of biomass to contribute to renewable energy goals. The aim of this study is to evaluate the energy requirements and environmental impacts associated with willow (Salix sp.) cultivation, harvest, and transport using life cycle assessment (LCA). In this study, only emissions from the production of the willow chip are included, end-use emissions from combustion are not considered. In this LCA study, three impact categories are considered; acidification potential, eutrophication potential and global warming potential. In addition, the cumulative energy demand and energy ratio of the system are evaluated. The results identify three key processes in the production chain which contribute most to all impact categories considered; maintenance, harvest and transportation of the crop. Sensitivity analysis on the type of fertilizers used, harvesting technologies and transport distances highlights the effects of these management techniques on overall system performance. Replacement of synthetic fertilizer with biosolids results in a reduction in overall energy demand, but raises acidification potential, eutrophication potential and global warming potential. Rod harvesting compares unfavourably in comparison with direct chip harvesting in each of the impact categories considered due to the additional chipping step required. The results show that dedicated truck transport is preferable to tractor-trailer transport in terms of energy demand and environmental impacts. Finally, willow chip production compares favourably with coal provision in terms of energy ratio and global warming potential, while achieving a higher energy ratio than peat provision but also a higher global warming potential.
      663Scopus© Citations 44
  • Publication
    The Evaluation of Flash Point and Cold Filter Plugging Point with Blends of Diesel and Cyn-Diesel Pyrolysis Fuel for Automotive Engines
    The production of synthetic fuels from alternative sources has increased in recent years as a cleaner, more sustainable source of transport fuel is now required. The European Commission has outlined renewable energy targets pertaining to transport fuel which must be met by 2020. In response to these targets Ireland has committed, through the Biofuels Obligation Scheme of 2008, to producing 3% of transport fuels from biofuels by 2010 and 10% by 2020. In order to be suitable for sale in Europe, diesel fuels and biodiesels must meet certain European fuel specifications outlined in the EN 590:2009 standard. The aim of this paper was to prepare blends of varying proportions of synthetic diesel (Cyn-diesel) fuel, produced from the pyrolysis of plastic, vs regular fossil diesel. The flash point (°C) and cold filter plugging point (°C) of these blends as well as of the conventional petroleum diesel fuel were analysed in relation to compliance with the European fuel standard EN 590. The results confirmed that blending of Cyn-diesel with conventional petroleum diesel has a highly significant effect on the properties of the resulting fuel blend. The results show that by increasing the Cyn-diesel content of the blend, the flash point of the blend decreases and the cold filter plugging point increases. Furthermore, comparing the fuel blends to EN 590 specifications has highlighted significant trends. The cold filter plugging points of all of the fuel blends are in compliance with EN 590 specifications. However, only blends of up to, and including, 40% Cyn-diesel are in compliance with EN 590 specifications for flash point. This analysis shows that a blend of 40% Cyndiesel is in compliance with all of the EN 590 specifications examined, and as such could be placed on the European fuel market (provided that the blend meets the requirements for the other properties in the EN 590 specification). This finding highlights the potential for Cyn-diesel blends to be incorporated into the European and national renewable energy targets.
      551Scopus© Citations 9
  • Publication
    The evaluation of viscosity and density of blends of Cyn-diesel pyrolysis fuel with conventional diesel fuel in relation to compliance with fuel specifications EN 590:2009
    The production of synthetic fuels from alternative sources has increased in recent years as a cleaner, more sustainable source of transport fuel is now required. In response to European renewable energy targets, Ireland has committed, through the Biofuels Obligation Scheme of 2008, to producing 4% of transport fuels from biofuels by 2010 and 10% by 2020. In order to be suitable for sale in Europe, diesel fuels and biodiesels must meet certain European fuel specifications outlined in the EN 590:2004 and EN 14214:2009 standards. The aim of this project is to prepare blends of varying proportions of synthetic diesel fuel (Cyn-diesel), produced from the pyrolysis of plastic, versus regular fossil diesel. The viscosity (mm2/s) and density (kg/m3) of these blends as well as of the regular diesel fuel were analysed in relation to compliance with the European fuel standard EN 590.
      1263Scopus© Citations 18
  • Publication
    Investigation of the potential impact of the Paris Agreement on national mitigation policies and the risk of carbon leakage; an analysis of the Irish bioenergy industry
    A criticism of production-based reporting and accounting of greenhouse gas emissions, as implemented under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, is the risk of mitigation measures adoption in one country to reduce national emissions, leading consequentially to the displacement of the source activity to other jurisdictions, thus resulting in an increase in net global emissions referred to as 'carbon leakage'. An important outcome of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) to the 1992 UNFCCC may be 'plugging' of carbon leakage. This study examined the bioenergy industry in Ireland to determine the extent of existing carbon leakage due to national energy policy and to establish if measures identified within the relevant intended nationally determined contributions will result in plugging of carbon leakage. The study focused on co-firing of biomass with peat, the major use of biomass for energy generation in Ireland. The results show that significant levels of carbon leakage occur due to reliance on imported biomass feedstocks to meet co-firing targets under Irish energy policy. In the post-COP21 scenario, one of the three Intended Nationally Determined Contributions analysed contains a measure which has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from imported biomass by 32%, highlighting the potential of the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon leakage.
      775Scopus© Citations 30
  • Publication
    Greenhouse gas and energy based life cycle analysis of products from the Irish wood processing industry
    The timber industry in Ireland is an important producer of wood products for export and indigenous use, and supplies significant volumes of sawmill co-products as biomass for energy generation. This research expands existing knowledge on the environmental impacts of wood supply chains in Ireland by widening the analysis to incorporate the wood processing stage. The study determines and analyses energy and material inputs in the production of several timber products; sawnwood, wood chip, wood-based panel (WBP) boards and wood pellets, with an analysis of the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Forestry operations and transportation make an important contribution to overall emissions. Electricity usage is responsible for the majority of emissions in sawmilling. Integration of combined heat and power (CHP) systems with sawmilling and pellet manufacture reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The penetration of renewables in the Irish national grid mix is forecast to increase by 2020 in line with EU renewable energy targets. Analysis shows that the forecast fall in the carbon intensity of the grid will have a positive effect on the reduction of GHG emissions from the wood processing supply chains. Wood energy products compare favourably with other sources of biomass energy and with fossil fuels.
      1309Scopus© Citations 55
  • Publication
    A Feasibility Assessment of Photovoltaic Power Systems in Ireland; a Case Study for the Dublin Region
    Photovoltaic (PV) power generation is one of the cleanest sources for producing renewable energy; however uptake on the Irish renewable energy market to date has been low. There is a lack of support for solar PV systems in Ireland; there is currently no solar PV energy feed-in-tariff as there are for other renewable energy systems in Ireland. Despite the current lack of support, the Government has indicated that support for the uptake of solar PV installations will be provided through the provision of a feed-in tariff in the future. The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of installing PV systems under Irish climatic conditions at a location based in Dublin, Ireland, from a technical, environmental and economic point of view. This was achieved by carrying out a life cycle assessment of potential environmental impacts, and analysis of energy and economic payback times relating to the proposed PV system. Four possible renewable feed-in-tariffs (based on existing feed-in-tariffs for other renewable energy systems) were considered to determine the effect of such tariffs on the overall economics of the proposed PV system. Results show that life cycle GHG emissions are 69 g CO2-eq per kWh generated by the system, significantly lower than the current electricity grid mix emissions of 469 g CO2-eq per kWh. It will take 5.23 years of operation of the solar plant to generate the same amount of energy (in terms of primary energy equivalent) that was used to produce the system itself. The economic payback time varies from 19.3 and 34.4 years depending on the rate of renewable energy feed-in-tariff applied. The costs for the production of PV electricity in this study are higher than is usual in countries where the solar PV market is more developed, e.g., Germany, due to constraints with building integration and lack of experienced PV installers. As more PV is deployed, the Irish PV installer base will increase and ‘learning by doing’ effects will allow installers to install projects more efficiently and quickly under Irish conditions, leading to significantly reduced costs.
      1119Scopus© Citations 28
  • Publication
    Feasibility study of an offshore wind farm in the Aegean Sea, Turkey
    Offshore wind power technology holds the potential for tackling major problems associated with energy and climate change as well as triggering economic growth and providing employment opportunities. Offshore wind power has the potential to play a key role for Turkey in achieving stated 2023 energy targets due to the country's favourable geographic location and coastline. However, there are currently no offshore wind farm projects in Turkey. The aim of this study is to determine the feasibility of an offshore wind farm in the Turkish seas. Prior to that, offshore wind market in the EU is reviewed, and the current status regarding the wind power market and supporting mechanisms are reviewed regarding the situation in Turkey. A location is proposed in the Aegean Sea, based on consideration of wind speeds and other factors. Technical analysis is conducted with the use of windPro software, and potential annual energy production of the proposed project is calculated. Combined with the economic analysis, feasibility of such an offshore wind farm is discussed. Issues with the current supporting mechanism are identified, and solutions are proposed for the future development of offshore wind farms in Turkey.
      958Scopus© Citations 49
  • Publication
    Potential to Increase Indigenous Biodiesel Production to help meet 2020 Targets - An EU perspective with a focus on Ireland
    The biofuels penetration rate target in Ireland for 2013 is 6% by volume. In 2012 the fuel blend reached 3%, with approximately 70 million litres of biodiesel and 56 million litres of ethanol blended with diesel and gasoline respectively. For January and February 2013, the blend rate had only reached 2.7%. The target of 10% by 2020 remains which equates to approximately 420 million litres. Achieving the biofuels target would require 345 ktoe by 2020 (14,400 TJ). Utilising the indigenous biofuels outlined in this paper leaves a shortfall of approximately 12,000 TJ or 350 million litres (achieving 17% of the 10% target) that must be either be imported or met by other renewables. 70% of indigenous production from one biodiesel plant is currently from TME and UCOME. If this remains for 2020 then only 30% remains equating to approximately 10 million litres indigenous production for a second biodiesel plant (30% of 21+13 million litres) which has planned capacity of 40 million litres (36,000 t). In terms of the EU biofuels sustainability criteria, up to 2017, a 35% GHG emissions reduction is required compared to fossil fuels. From 2017 onwards, a 50% GHG reduction is required for existing installations and a 60% reduction for new installations.
      1174Scopus© Citations 13
  • Publication
    Feasibility Study of Carbon Dioxide Plume Geothermal Systems in Germany−Utilising Carbon Dioxide for Energy
    To manage greenhouse gas emissions, directives on renewable energy usage have been developed by the European Commission with the objective to reduce overall emissions by 40% by 2030 which presents a significant potential for renewable energy sources. At the same time, it is a challenge for these energy technologies which can only be solved by integrated solutions. Carbon capture and storage combined with geothermal energy could serve as a novel approach to reduce CO2 emissions and at the same time facilitate some of the negative impacts associated with fossil fuel-based power plants. This study focuses on the technical and economic feasibility of combining these technologies based on a published model, data and market research. In the European Union, Germany is the most energy intensive country, and it also has an untapped potential for geothermal energy in the northern as well as the western regions. The CO2 plume geothermal system using supercritical carbon dioxide as the working fluid can be utilized in natural high porosity (10–20%) and permeability (2.5 × 10−14–8.4 × 10−16 m2) reservoirs with temperatures as low as 65.8 ◦C. The feasibility of the project was assessed based on market conditions and policy support in Germany as well as the geologic background of sandstone reservoirs near industrialized areas (Dortmund, Frankfurt) and the possibility of carbon capture integration and CO2 injection. The levelized cost of electricity for a base case results in € 0.060/kWh. Optimal system type was assessed in a system optimization model. The project has a potential to supply 6600/12000 households with clean energy (electricity/heat) and sequester carbon dioxide at the same time. A trading scheme for carbon dioxide further expands potential opportunities.
      211Scopus© Citations 16