Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The BENZ 50kW- High Performance

 From MyWindPowerSystem Ltd.
The BENZ 50kW 
High Performance - Direct Drive
Permanent Magnet Generator Wind Turbine System 

Available from: MyWindPowerSystem Ltd.

With automatic yaw control, speed control and pitch control for blades.

This amazing Direct Drive, Permanent Magnet Wind Turbine is specially designed for low and medium wind speeds and applies the latest design in wind turbine technology.

The direct drive, permanent magnet design guarantees reliable performance, efficiency, convenient transport easy installation and most importantly, very low maintenance.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Human Poo-Powered Vehicle Hits the Road

The Bio-Bug runs on methane gas 
generated from processing waste materials 

[From CBS News Here]

     Spare the jokes about Dung Beetles but the first methane-powered vehicle from Volkswagen made its official debut today on the streets of Bristol, England. The car, a 2 liter VW Beetle convertible, can drive 10,000 miles a year on the equivalent of the solid waste that 70 homes generate over the course of 12 months. If the car runs out of compressed methane, the system switches back to gasoline. 

     Fad or the future? At this point, that's hard to say though Geneco, the U.K. company which oversaw the conversion project, believes it's only a matter of time before methane from sewage sludge can become a popular alternative energy source for cars. (The Bio-Bug was built by the Greenfuel Company, which converts gasoline-based cars to run on liquefied petroleum gas.) In its press release, Geneco points out that more than 11,500 vehicles in Sweden run on biomethane made from sewage plants. It also notes that India and China use compressed natural gas to fuel their vehicles. But the idea still remains a novelty in the UK and virtually non-existent in the United States. 

     Geneco, which operates one of Britain's biggest sewage treatment works, put out a statement quoting the company's general manager, Mohammed Saddiq explaining how the increased production of bio gas will accelerate the growth in this still-nascent market.

     "Waste flushed down the toilets in homes in the city provides power for the Bio-Bug, but it won't be long before further energy is produced when food waste is recycled at our sewage works," he said. "It will mean that both human waste and food waste will be put to good use in a sustainable way that diverts waste from going to landfill."

     And why choose a Volkswagon Beetle for the proof-of-concept prototype in the first place? That was the contribution of a group of students who took part in a workshop, according to Siddiq.
"They thought it would be appropriate that the poo-powered car should be the classic VW Beetle Bug because bugs naturally breakdown waste at sewage works to start the treatment process which goes on to produce the energy," he said.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Major Solar Project for Barstow Region

Public voice concerns, questions about solar project

By Jessica Cejnar, Desert Dispatch

BARSTOW • Representatives from local businesses, higher education, conservation groups and individual residents asked questions and gave their opinions on a proposed solar power project that will be built east of Newberry Springs.

Tessera Solar and Stirling Energy Systems transported two busloads of people 37 miles down Interstate 40 to the proposed site for their Calico-Solar One power project Monday afternoon. What is now an empty stretch of desert may soon house 24,000 to 34,000 mirrored solar dishes. The proposed project will have the capability of generating between 500 and 850 megawatts of electricity, powering up to 425,000 homes. The site visit was followed immediately by a public hearing.

Tessera representatives said they estimate needing 100 to 700 workers during construction, which is planned for late 2010, and 140 full time workers once the project is complete. About 75 percent of those workers will be local, they said.

The proposed 8,200-acre facility is bordered by the Cady Mountains to the North and the Pisgah Crater Area of Environmental Concern to the east. When folks were given an opportunity to step off the busses, their concerns ranged from road access to air and water pollution to concerns about potential impacts to endangered species. People were also concerned with how many jobs this project would bring the community.

“People in the Greater Barstow community have a very earned suspect about energy companies based on past experiences,” said Yermo resident Joe Orawczyk, referencing Hinkley’s prior experience with Pacific Gas and Electric.

Orawczyk visited the site on his own Saturday and did his own research in addition to perusing Tessera Solar’s application for certification that was submitted to the Bureau of Land Management and California Energy Commission. He brought almost 19 pages of questions and comments with him to the meeting.

Among Orawczyk’s concerns was whether or not Tessera’s project would deplete the underground aquifer.

“The water table is 310 feet below (ground),” he said. “My concern is that the aquifer will run out eventually.”

Jeff Aardahl, California representative for Defenders of Wildlife, recommended additional analysis be done on the impacts the project could have on the desert tortoise and desert big horn sheep populations.

“Data needs to be much more detailed and disclosed to the public,” he said.

Not everyone was concerned about the projects, Allen Malloy was there in the hopes of developing a relationship between Tessera and the company he works for, Goodspeed Distributing, a fuel and lubricant supplier based in Hesperia.

Malloy and Goodspeed lubricant Sales Manager Jaime Diaz said they hope that instead of getting their fuel and lubricant needs from another company outside of the high desert, Tessera Energy will work with them.

“Our sales dollars go a long way in the community,” Malloy said. “If there’s an opportunity for my company to grow, we will try to make that business relationship (work).”

For those who weren’t able to make the public hearing and want to comment about the project, they can e-mail their comments to The docket number for the project is 08-AFC-13.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Where Have All The Subsidies Gone?

This is from the group called:

Where Have All The Subsidies Gone?

by mjohnston on March 24, 2009

I saw a legislator on CNN yesterday talking about how renewable energy gets a huge amount of money in government subsidies and how that ought to be taken away. That made me wonder just how much fossil and nuclear fuels receive in subsidies and how much Exxon raked in while we were all paying 4$ a gallon for gasoline during their 14 billion dollar profit quarter last year.

I found a page from the Energy Information Agency which explains subsidies and gives some handy charts and general figures in relation to type of energy production and how much each got in federal money. If you look at just the total amount received Refined Coal is the obvious champ taking in 2.156 billion dollars with Nuclear a close runner up at 1.267 billion.

In the above chart it looks as though renewables got the biggest share but you have to remember that there are many types of energy production included under the general heading of “renewables”. Things such as Ethanol, Biomass, Solar and Wind are all lumped together in the chart while Coal, Petroleum and Nuclear are given separate categories. If we lump all traditional (fossil/nuclear) fuel sources together and compare that figure to the conglomerate “renewables” it is apparent that traditional fuels definitely got the lions share of available government handouts.

Renewables: 4.875 Billion

Coal/Oil/Nuclear: 7.162 Billion

I did not factor end use subsidies into this on either side because they can apply to either type of fuel in the form of energy conservation efforts, etc.

Clearly traditional energy sources were the big winner in total dollars collected in the form of government subsidies. So the next time someone starts crying about alternative energy subsidies you will know what they aren’t saying…

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dr. Patrick G. Hatcher

Dr. Patrick G. Hatcher

Batten Endowed Chair in Physical Sciences, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty Director of the College of Sciences Major Instrumentation Center, Executive Director of the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium


Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Maryland, 1980
M.S in Marine Chemistry, University Miami, 1974 Chemistry, N C State University, 1970

Research Interests:

The Hatcher Group's research is in the area of environmental chemistry and geochemistry, emphasizing the origin and chemical transformations of plant-derived biopolymers in natural systems such as soils, peats, marine sediments, and oceanic waters. Other interests include the studies of the interaction of organic contaminants with natural organic matter in soils, sediments, and natural waters; The studies of the sequestration of nitrogen in the environment; Defining the origin, nature, and reactivity of black carbon (soot, charcoal, etc.) in the environment; and conversion of algae biomass to biodiesel.

Personal Website:


Office: Physical Sciences Building Room 3100-C
Laboratory: Physical Sciences Building Room 3103A & 3103E

Contact Information:

Dr. Patrick G. Hatcher
Old Dominion University
Physical Sciences Building
4402 Elkhorn Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23529

Office phone: 757-683-6537
Laboratory phone: 757-683-4807
Fax number: 757-683-5310


Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium

Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium

VCERC was created by the VA legislature in 2007 and first received funds from the Commonwealth in fiscal year (July 1st 2007-June 30th 2008). Since July 2007 VCERC has developed coastal energy technologies and the Virginian knowledge base to assist the Commonwealth in meeting the targets set out in the VA Energy Plan. VCERC’s ongoing efforts impact three key VA Energy Plan objectives: creation of renewable energy resources; improving the environment; and economic development.

Specifically, VCERC provides the research and development required for the commercialization and implementation of renewable energy by using algal biomass, wind and wave resources available in Virginia. Algal biomass energy removes pollutants from Chesapeake Bay, represents an innovative win-win wastewater remediation-biofuel production technology, and avoids utilizing food crops, trees, and other valuable natural resources to produce fuel. Project expansion in algal biofuels and wind power will lead to spin-off industry, creating jobs, investment and lowering fuel prices in Virginia.

The VA General Assembly set out key energy policy statements and objectives. In reference to VA energy policy, VCERC’s efforts will:

  • Facilitate development of energy sources that are less polluting of the Commonwealth’s air and water, and … do not contribute to greenhouse gases and global warming
  • Foster research and development of alternative energy sources that are competitive at market prices
  • Develop energy resources and facilities that do not impose a disproportionately adverse impact on economically disadvantaged or minority communities
  • Increase VA’s reliance on agricultural-based ethanol and biodiesel from crops grown in the Commonwealth
  • Ensure that energy generation and delivery systems are located in places that minimize impacts to pristine natural areas and other significant onshore natural resources, and that are as near as possible to compatible development

The Consortium is governed by a board which consists of fourteen members - with representatives from each of the eight partner universities and six government and industry partners. The Consortium is located at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.

City looks at algae as possible fix for wastewater problems

from Desert Dispatch

City looks at algae as possible fix for wastewater problems

Comments 5 | Recommend 2

Biofuel and fertilizer produced as byproducts

BARSTOW • The solution to the city’s problems with the groundwater contamination around Soapmine Road could come in the form of green algae.

Mayor Joe Gomez is floating the idea of partnering with Southern California-based developer Brad Ducich and a group of Virginia-based researchers to create an operation in which ponds full of green algae would eat the nitrates from contaminated water while the algae is harvested to make biofuels and fertilizer. The treated water could then be pumped back into the ground to flush out the contaminated groundwater.

Ducich and Dr. Patrick Hatcher, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Old Dominion University and executive director of the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, were in Barstow Friday to talk to stakeholders including the mayor, Councilman Tim Saenz, and residents of the Soapmine Road area.

The prospect could have the city and Soapmine Road residents on the same side of the table for once.

The city is under orders by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board to come up with a remediation plan for the Soapmine area groundwater. The water board determined that the high level of nitrates in the groundwater was caused by the city irrigating a field to the west of the Soapmine Road area with treated wastewater from the city’s wastewater plant for about two decades prior to 2004.

Soapmine Road resident Christina Byrne, who has been vocal on the groundwater issue, said residents are excited by the idea of using algae in the cleanup.

“The neighborhood is very optimistic,” she said. “I’m optimistic, I’m happy.”

Algae is not being used commercially for wastewater treatment currently, Hatcher said, but Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium and several other groups are currently conducting pilot projects pairing biodiesel production with wastewater remediation.

Al Darzins, group manager of the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Lab, which has put many years of research into algae-based fuels, said algae has a higher energy content and yields a far higher amount of oil per acre than other plants used for biofuels. But with the fuel costing an estimated $10 a gallon or more to produce, it is not yet cost effective, he said.

Hatcher said that with the production costs being offset by selling byproducts like fertilizer, the actual cost per gallon of biofuel could be $1.50 to $2 a gallon.

The idea of using algae for wastewater remediation in Barstow is still very much in the initial phases and will need to go to the City Council before it moves forward, Gomez said.

First Step Plus LLC, a company owned by Ducich, already has a conditional use permit to develop 34 acres on Interstate 40 by the Daggett airport into a truck stop. Now, Ducich said, he is looking at putting an algae farm on the property and selling biofuel as well as regular fuel there.

Ducich said he hopes to begin construction in the next six months.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or