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Learning from India’s Power Revolution

India growing fast

While its skyrocketing population and fast-developing, mobile-using economy are fueling India’s demand for coal and oil, the country is under increasing global pressure to substantially curb its greenhouse gas emissions. And even though India is responding to that challenge with some aggressive renewable energy mandates, there is concern from the nation’s leaders about removing the use of oil & gas at the risk of constraining the country’s ability to create jobs, build out infrastructure, and lower poverty levels. In a country in which nearly one-third of the population lacks adequate access to the electrical grid and half of all homes experience a power outage every day, leaders simply cannot afford to pull the plug on fossil fuels. After all, the country’s reliance on coal lies at around 60%.

The UK is more established

In the UK, similar calls for a more renewable-heavy mix should, in theory, be easier to meet. The nation is on a much more solid economic footing, and its infrastructure, while ageing, is much more established than India’s. Power outages are sporadic and generally limited in scale. As such, the country should be more capable of weathering a significant reduction in its use of fossil fuels. It should also be able to shift much of that effort to the generation and delivery of renewable energy forms.

Opportunity for innovation

Despite fossil fuel generation being deeply entrenched in the UK – on average, UK residents use approximately 40% more energy than their Indian counterparts[8] – the underlying factor for greater energy efficiency in India is the opportunity to implement new and innovative forms of energy generation. The reason for India’s growth in this field of renewable energy is simple: the nature of the infrastructure, or rather lack of it, in an emerging nation, means that India can re-invent for itself how power is generated and distributed. Less entrenchment can allow greater flexibility.

Developing markets

Policy-makers in developed markets are beginning to rethink the security and overreliance of their power grids, and as infrastructure creaks in Europe and North America, the need for alternatives to fossil fuels becomes more pressing. There are clear lessons in energy innovation which can be learned from developing markets like India. India is catching up fast. Ernst & Young’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index 2015 rates the UK and India at #8 and #4, respectively – India has jumped up three places since last year. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and so in India, driven by its rapid economic growth, we will see in just a short few years a swift transition from straggler to the world leader in clean energy.

Hydrocarbon refrigeration, and what everyone should know about it.

It is expected that hydrocarbon refrigerants will be approved for commercial and residential refrigeration equipment use in the United States within the next 90 days. Original equipment manufacturers are designing new hydrocarbon refrigeration equipment for 2012 introductions. To familiarise technicians with hydrocarbon refrigerants in preparation for the upcoming changes, Mr Gifford provided a comprehensive overview of the differences between hydrocarbons and fluorinated refrigerants.

The US Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) 

The SNAP ruling for hydrocarbon, which is expected to be out by the end of the year, is divided into two components: 

  • Refrigerators and freezers: the charge limitations are 57g (2.0 ounces) in any refrigerator, freezer, or combination refrigerator and freezer.  This is equivalent to the liquid you would find in a typical cigarette lighter.
  • Retail food refrigerator and freezers: the charge limitation for propane R290, which is a substitute for R12, R502 and R22, is 150g (5.3 ounces).

Advantages of hydrocarbons, their working temperatures and pressures

Hydrocarbons are environmentally benign refrigerants. Their global warming potentials (GWP) are considerable lower than fluorinated refrigerants. Both R600a and R290 have a GWP of 3, which is relatively insignificant when you look at R12, R134a and R22, which have global warming potentials of 10,900, 1,430, and 1,810 respectively. Hydrocarbons also have lower discharge temperatures, improving the system reliability. One of the key benefits of hydrocarbons is the reduction in refrigerant charge. Compared to R22 and R134a, R290 results in a 40% reduction in refrigerant charge. R600a results in a 45% reduction in charge compared to R134a, and a 60% reduction compared to R12.

Hydrocarbon working temperatures and pressures:

  • Condensing temperature 10-13°C over the environment temperature
  • Suction pressure 3-5°C below the environment temperature
  • Compressor discharge temperature: lower than or equal to 120°C
  • Compressor dome temperature: Lower than or equal to 110°C
  • Compressor winding temperature: Lower than 130°C
  • Equalising pressure (psig): 58/58 for R600a and 128/128 for R290 for low back pressure
  • Peak pressure (discharge) (psig): 145 for R600a and 360 for R290 for low back pressure
  • Stabilised discharge pressure (psig): 113 for R600a and 290 for R290 for low back pressure

Hydrocarbon evacuation

The recommended minimum evacuation level for R600a and R290 systems is 200 microns. Moreover, technicians should use a high quality vacuum pump specifically designed for evacuation and the vacuum should be pulled from both high and low pressure sides to ensure there are no condensables left in the system. Care should be taken to prevent moisture from entering systems and components prior to assembly otherwise evacuation will take longer.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power?

Did you know that the energy sun provides to the earth for one hour could meet the global energy needs for one year? Undoubtedly, the sun is a powerful energy source, and even though we are not able but to collect a fraction of this energy, yet harnessing this power by installing solar panels can make a significant difference to the planet. While it has been widely criticised for being expensive or inefficient, solar energy has now proved to be extremely beneficial – not only for the environment but also for private economy. Thanks to available solar panel grants, as well as, the increasingly competitive prices in the market, solar energy has become the main source of energy for more and more families. The technology has been drastically improved the last years, and has been complemented by solar battery storage systems, turning solar into a significantly more efficient source of clean energy. However, there are always downsides no matter the energy source you choose to analyse.  GreenMatch has outlined the key advantages and disadvantages of solar power in the following points:

Advantages of Solar Energy

1. Renewable Energy Source

Among all the benefits of solar panels, the most important thing is that solar energy is a truly renewable energy source. It can be harnessed in all areas of the world and is available every day. We cannot run out of solar energy, unlike some of the other sources of energy. Solar energy will be accessible as long as we have the sun, therefore sunlight will be available to us for at least 5 billion years when according to scientists the sun is going to die.

2. Reduces Electricity Bills

Since you will be meeting some of your energy needs with the electricity your solar system has generated, your energy bills will drop. How much you save on your bill will be dependent on the size of the solar system and your electricity or heat usage. Moreover, not only will you be saving on the electricity bill, there is also a possibility to receive payments for the surplus energy that you export back to the grid. If you generate more electricity than you use (considering that your solar panel system is connected to the grid). 

3. Diverse Applications

Solar energy can be used for diverse purposes. You can generate electricity (photovoltaics) or heat (solar thermal). Solar energy can be used to produce electricity in areas without access to the energy grid, to distill water in regions with limited clean water supplies and to power satellites in space. Solar energy can also be integrated into the materials used for buildings. Not long ago Sharp introduced transparent solar energy windows.

4. Low Maintenance Costs

Solar energy systems generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. You only need to keep them relatively clean, so cleaning them a couple of times per year will do the job. If in doubt, you can always rely on specialised cleaning companies, which offer this service from around £25-£35. Most reliable solar panel manufacturers offer 20-25 years warranty. Also, as there are no moving parts, there is no wear and tear. The inverter is usually the only part that needs to be changed after 5-10 years because it is continuously working to convert solar energy into electricity and heat (solar PV vs. solar thermal). Apart from the inverter, the cables also need maintenance to ensure your solar power system runs at maximum efficiency. So, after covering the initial cost of the solar system, you can expect very little spending on maintenance and repair work.

5. Technology Development

Technology in the solar power industry is constantly advancing and improvements will intensift in the future. Innovations in quantum physics and nanotechnology can potentially increase the effectiveness of solar panels and double, or even triple, the electrical inout of the solar power systems.

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