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ACORE Blog
Bill Nelander

Bill Nelander

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 19:24

SunPower

Sunpower

Founded more than a quarter-century ago, SunPower has set and broken world records from the start. Without SunPower, the story of solar could not be written. The fact is, we’ve been responsible for major industry milestones since our incorporation in 1985, and we challenge conventional thinking. Delivering highest-efficiency solar cells and solar panels, and the most advanced solar energy systems, SunPower is The World’s Standard for SolarTM.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 19:14

Baker & McKenzie

BakerMcKenzie

Baker & McKenzie defined the global law firm in the 20th century, and are redefining it to meet the challenges of the global economy in the 21st.

They understand the challenges of the global economy because they have been at the forefront of its evolution. Since 1949, they have advised leading corporations on the issues of today’s integrated world market. They have cultivated the culture, commercial pragmatism and technical and interpersonal skills required to deliver world-class service tailored to the preferences of world-class clients worldwide.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 18:11

Sunlight Photonics

Sunlight

Sunlight Photonics was formed in 2007 by a team of former Bell Labs and NASA scientists and engineers to address an identified need for high-performance PV solar cells and modules which could be manufactured at competitive cost for terrestrial and aerospace extraterrestrial markets. The focus is on thin-film PV devices and Cu-In-Ga-Se (CIGS) based materials in particular, which have a demonstrated record performance of 20% conversion efficiency for small test cells (NREL 2009). The main challenges in this space pertain to the scaling of CIGS processing and cell fabrication to a manufacturing scale, while maintaining high efficiencies at a competitive cost. These challenges have been effectively addressed by the Sunlight team and the company is pursuing a manufacturing path which utilizes its proprietary solutions. Adapting to the market dynamics and commoditization of rigid PV modules, Sunlight’s business focus has moved to emerging applications where the full advantages of its technology can be utilized.

Sunlight Photonics is developing Sunlight® TFM solar cells and modules, which will be high power density, flexible, stretchable & lightweight. These products can provide solutions across a wide range of markets and applications including:

Solar UAV Aerospace Defense Transportation Mobile Electronics

Sunlight has proprietary PV cell designs and processing technologies targeting the Cu-In-Ga-Se (CIGS) family of PV materials. These materials offer the highest performance for thin-film devices. The realization of this potential on a manufacturing scale however has been challenging however, largely due to processing complexity and uniformity limitations over large areas.

To date, commercial CIGS products are manufactured on a limited scale with the highest product efficiencies reported in the 15% range, but more typically available in the 10-12% range. Like most PV modules, CIGS products are typically rigid with glass substrates/cover plates even if the CIGS cells are produced on foil substrates. A few suppliers also provide “flexible” modules incorporating cells on foil substrates. Typically, these are also heavily packaged with polymeric materials, which considerably reduce their potential weight advantage. Very few manufacturers make CIGS cells on polymeric substrates which potentially have the highest weight advantage. Typically these exhibit lower performance than devices on glass or metal foil substrates due to lower accessible temperatures in processing.

Sunlight’s proprietary single-source, single-step processing approach enables CIGS film to be deposited with excellent uniformity over large areas, it also embodies a substantial simplification of the processing and is compatible with low temperature processing. These attributes are the basis of a highly manufacturable technology which can be executed at low-cost and support processing on a wider range of flexible substrates for advanced applications.

Furthermore, Sunlight’s proprietary TFM cell designs enable specialty cells with the highest performance, which are tunable to different solar irradiations and work efficiently in both direct and diffuse illumination.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 18:08

CohnReznick

CohnReznick

CohnReznick's mission is to give enterprises the accounting, tax and business advisory insight and technical expertise they need to seize those opportunities. That insight might come from seeing the implications of a small change in a state or local tax code, or from knowing how to respond to sweeping legislation. It might come from a deep understanding the latest accounting standards, or from ideas shared between our industry professionals in areas from valuation to corporate governance to wealth management. Our flat organizational structure means that our clients have direct access to the financial knowledge they need and the resources required to move their businesses forward.

CohnReznick provides their clients with a comprehensive range of services designed to help people’s businesses succeed in a dynamic economy. Their services are aligned in three major segments: Accounting and Assurance, Tax, and Business Advisory. This combination allows them to provide comprehensive, holistic approaches to complex problems and to seize opportunities that require resources and knowledge from multiple fields.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 17:54

The Volvo Group

Volvo

The Volvo Group has products with strong brand names that have been built up over a long time. The Volvo Group’s mission includes “using our combined expertise to create transport-related products and services of superior quality, safety and environmental care for demanding customers in selected segments.”

Volvo Group is offering such services as financing, leasing and insurance, action services, warranty, rentals, IT solutions and logistical operations. They also offer various forms of service agreements, accessories and spare parts to support core products. The Volvo Group's increasingly broad range of these soft products now has evolved into a more distinct competitive advantage.

North America is a major market for the Volvo Group, representing nearly 20 percent of the Group’s 2011 sales. The Volvo Group employs more than 15,000 people in North America, and operates manufacturing facilities in six U.S. states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

The Volvo Group's vision is to become the world leader in sustainable transport solutions by: creating value for customers in selected segments; pioneering products and services for the transport and infrastructure industries; driving quality, safety and environmental care; and working with energy, passion and respect for the individual.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 17:39

3TIER

3Tier

3TIER uses weather science to help clients manage the risk of weather-driven variability—anywhere on earth and across all time horizons.

Since their founding in 1999, 3TIER has been driven by the belief that their clients' financial success will propagate a sustainable future powered by renewable energy. They have built a world-class team of atmospheric scientists with expertise in wind, solar, and hydro power generation. They have developed a proprietary technology platform that enables them to deliver accurate and objective answers quickly.

3TIER's global network of partners extends the impact of our expertise. They add market-specific value to our products and services and integrate 3TIER data into a wide array of applications that depend on accurate global resource information.

With offices servicing North America, Europe, India, Latin America and the Pacific Rim, 3TIER has global reach with products and services spanning renewable energy project feasibility, energy marketing, and asset management.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 17:21

UK Trade & Investment

UK TradeInvestment

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice. UKTI has a customer commitment to helping its UK and international customers by providing a range of services, to a high standard and improve customer service by listening to customer feedback.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 15:26

Troutman Sanders

TroutmanSanders

Troutman Sanders LLP is one of the world’s leading energy law firms. We have represented clients in energy matters since the 1920s, and our climate change practice has been active for nearly two decades.  From this foundation of experience, we have developed a dynamic renewable energy practice that advises international clients at every stage, from investment and tax structuring to development, construction and operation. Our multidisciplinary Renewable Energy practice draws its members from many practice groups, including energy, project finance, tax, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, lending and structured finance, securities and capital markets, legislative affairs, intellectual property, and environmental, among others. This full service capability allows us to offer clients a fully integrated team with the optimum balance of breadth and specialization in all relevant areas.

Friday, 13 December 2013 16:53

Waste Heat

Throughout the United States, an abundant source of emission-free power is being overlooked.  This source is waste heat, a byproduct of industrial processes that could reinvigorate American manufacturing, create jobs, lower the cost of energy and reduce overall emissions from electric generation.  If not captured and used to generate emission-free renewable-equivalent power, waste heat is released to the atmosphere through stacks, vents, flares and mechanical equipment.

Waste Heat to Power (WHP) works by capturing waste heat with a recovery unit and converting it to electricity through a process called heat exchange.  This process produces no emissions because no fuel is burned.  By using the waste heat to generate emission-free power, industrial users can route the power back to the facility or sell it to the grid to support clean energy production, distribution and use.

WHP systems use the same technologies deployed in a number of industries including the geothermal industry.  The main technologies used by WHP developers are Steam Turbine Technology, Organic Rankine Cycle, Supercritical CO2, Kalina Cycle, Stirling Engine, and emerging technologies such as Thermoelectrics. Through the application of these technologies, industrial waste heat is no longer just a byproduct – it is a valuable resource for emission-free electricity.

Steam Turbine Technology
Steam Turbine Technology is more than 100 years old and has been utilized for WHP systems since the 1970’s. Steam turbines extract the thermal energy from waste heat (steam) and use that energy to drive an electric generator.  Steam turbines are generally deployed in larger scale industrial facilities which produce high temperature waste heat.

Organic Rankine Cycle
Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology is a heat exchanging process that utilizes a refrigerant for its working fluid and captures waste heat at lower temperatures and from smaller scale projects than the steam turbine.  Since the majority of industrial waste heat in the United States is below 600 degrees Fahrenheit, the ORC’s ability to capture low temperature resources opens up many new applications for waste heat to power (WHP) projects.

Supercritical CO2, Thermoelectrics, Kalina Cycle®, Stirling Engine
Additional technologies make up a smaller but growing portion of the waste heat to power industry.  Supercritical CO2, or scCO2, uses supercritical carbon dioxide as the working fluid.  Thermoelectrics are solid-state semiconductors that capitalize on a difference in temperature to turn heat into electricity with few or no moving parts.  The Kalina Cycle®, which uses a solution of water and ammonia for its working fluid, takes advantage of the different boiling points of the two liquids to extract heat over a wider range of temperatures.  And the Stirling Engine uses cyclic compression with gases as the working fluid to capitalize on very low temperature waste heat.

Download the industry trade association’s Fact Sheet on Waste Heat to Power.  Visit The Heat is Power Association to find case studies, reports, and more information on WHP.  Read the ACORE WHP blog post.

Facts

  • There are 575 MW of installed Waste Heat to Power capacity in the United States (ICF International)
  • According to an EPA report, there is between 7 and 10 gigawatts of Waste Heat to Power capacity in the United States, enough to power 7 to 10 million American homes
  • Waste Heat to Power is included in 15 state renewable portfolio standards (The Heat is Power Association)
  • Technologies used for Waste Heat to Power are the same technologies used for the Geothermal and other industries
Friday, 13 December 2013 16:46

Waste

Waste-to-energy (WTE) is a reliable and renewable process of converting waste materials into electricity. Municipal waste is collected by local authorities from residential, commercial, and public origins, disposed in a central location, processed, and then combusted to produce heat and/or power.

In WTE facilities, trash is either burned directly or processed and shredded to produce a fuel before being combusted. The heat from the burning garbage boils water flowing inside boiler tubes and turns the water into steam. The steam can be put to direct use in a heating system or a factory, but it is most often used to turn a turbine-generator to make electricity. After any incombustible residue (ash) cools, magnets and other mechanical devices pull metals from the ash. The remaining ash is as much as 90% smaller in volume than the fuel source, and it is either deposited in a landfill, or in some cases, used to pave roads.

Waste Heat to Power (WH2P) harnesses the electricity-producing potential of a different form of waste. Large industrial facilities, ranging from oil refineries to paper mills, generate large quantities of heat to conduct their operations, and in most cases that heat is simply lost. By implementing a recovery unit to capture the waste heat, industrial users can generate power for their own plants, or sell it back to the grid. WH2P equipment is also used at renewable power plants to capture unused heat.

Waste power can also be generated from landfills. As trash and organic material decays, it releases gases that can be harnessed to produce energy (see Biomass).

To learn more about waste-to-energy, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overview.

Facts

  • The U.S. has 89 waste-to-energy plants nationwide, generating the equivalent of 2.5 GW of energy while annually disposing of 29 million tons of trash. (Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
  • Waste-to-energy plants annually recover and recycle 1.6 million tons of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, glass, and combustion ash. (EPA)
  • More than $1 billion has been invested to upgrade air quality control systems in American waste-to-energy facilities under the Clean Air Act. (Energy Recovery Council (ERC)
  • Improvements to municipal waste combustion (MWC) units have resulted in a 90% reduction in particulate matter emissions from their 1995 levels. (EPA)

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