Natural gas and hydrogen hybrid micro-turbine generator for the software and technology industry development.
This project seeks to develop an industry of high tech and mobile applications aimed at national and international markets based on the consolidation of hybrid electricity generators technologies which will use natural gas and hydrogen generated by solar panels as a fuel for micro-turbines, guaranteeing a very reduced environmental impact and an efficient management of energy, thereby becoming a software and technology company committed to environmental sustainability.As this project is focused on the development of the software&tech industry,based on the exploitation of renewable energy, as is the case of hydrogen combined with natural gas, at the same time the project opens the possibility of establishing an important research center in the area of technology and renewable energy with a significant repercussion on the training of human resources and the generation of new jobs. Within this framework, it is planned to build offices characterized by their efficient energy management and having, as their main source of energy production, generators capable of producing electricity with low levels of CO2 emissions. For this purpose, it is planned to use Capstone natural gas micro-turbines, which are characterized by their reputation for being the most silent and efficient on the market. Moreover, a system of interconnected solar panels will be built, mounted on mobile metal-mechanical structures which, by means of an automatic control system, will follow the sun’s movement during the day and, in this way, the efficiency in capturing solar radiation will increase significantly. The electricity generated by the panels will be used to generate hydrogen and oxygen, which will be obtained by separating them from fresh water. Once separated, these gases will be stored in special tanks. The next step involves a process of mixing the hydrogen, oxygen and natural gas creating a hybrid combustible to feed the micro-turbine. The combustion residue will be water vapor and low CO2.
What actions do you propose?
First of all, we are going to focus on the integration of all the equipment and machinery that will shape the electricity generation system.
To do this, we are going to buy a C-65 Capstone Turbine (65KW unit) that we will adapt to our needs. After that, the next step will be the calibration of the micro-turbine parameters in order to configure the chromatography of the new fuel mixture that will result after combining hydrogen, oxygen and natural gas. On the other hand, according to the performance tests that we will carry out with the new fuel mixture, it is very likely that we are going to be obliged to modify the original injectors of the turbine in order to optimize fuel consumption.
The next step will be the installation of the solar panels in the mobile structures (tracking systems) that will be configured to follow the sun’s movement during the day in order to optimize the solar energy absorption, which in turn, will be strongly related to the daily hydrogen production.
Once the solar panel grid is ready, the next step will be the interconnection of the solar panels grid with the electrolysis units that will split fresh water into oxygen and hydrogen.
The resulting gases are going to be transported into a blending chamber where the hydrogen, oxygen and natural gas are going to be mixed considering the most efficient chromatography combination that will be able to work smoothly in the micro-turbine avoiding any kind of popping reaction in the expansion chamber.
All the generation and blending process of the hydrogen will be regulated and permanently monitored by an automatic control system that will guarantee a safe and reliable hybrid fuel production process.
Taking into account that we are going to be able to recover H2O vapor from the exhaust, we will install a water recovery system that is going to recycle the residue water for the electrolysis process or it can equally be used as drinking water for human consumption.
Furthermore, we are planning to implement CHP (Combined heat power) applications in our system, taking advantage of the heat that is generated by the MT. The CHP applications consist of installing a heat exchanger in the exhaust of the MT to heat water and use that heated water to produce hot & cold A/C for the facilities with an absorption chiller unit.
This is a very useful application, because we will be able to use heat that otherwise would be thrown away into the atmosphere uselessly.
With this hybrid system we expect to reduce considerably the CO2 emissions of the Micro-turbine, reduce natural gas consumption, and increase the overall efficiency of the system. On the other hand, we consider that this is a practical way of reducing fossil fuel consumption combining renewable energy sources with conventional energy sources without compromising the cost effectiveness of the system and the reliability.
Another solution that we are planning to implement, in the short term, taking advantage of the capability of connecting two micro turbines in parallel or in series via software, depending on the power needs, increasing the actual generation capacity of a micro turbine by a factor of two and creating a second virtual micro turbine that will have exactly the same power electronics boards and battery packs of the original one, but, in this case, we will replace the turbine generator with a control unit that will emulate a turbine engine in order to confuse the rest of the hardware. The purpose of this virtual turbine configuration is reducing the original price of the whole MT unit to less than half, taking into account that the MT’s engine is the most expensive element of the unit. The main objective of the virtual arrangement is to take advantage of the periods of time where the MT is not required to work at full capacity and use that margin to operate the turbine always at full capacity and use that surplus energy to charge the battery packs of the virtual turbine that will be connected in series to the other one, so, during periods of time where the facilities require more energy than the energy that the original MT is capable of generating, the virtual unit will be connected in series with the main generation unit and both will work together to deliver the required energy during pick hours of energy consumption. With this, the result in the case of a C-65 unit will be a virtual C-130 (130KW) unit capable of satisfy the energy needs of the facilities for half the price.
The objective of doing this is to reduce the high initial acquisition cost of a Micro Turbine in comparison with a conventional diesel generator that is cheaper, but more inefficient, and consequently, encourage the adoption of Micro Turbines that are more efficient and offer more technological flexibility in order to implement better and more creative generation solutions through software, hardware and fuel mixture re-configurations.
Who will take these actions?
One of the biggest limitations for developing countries to adopt renewable energy technologies is the financial factor. Conventional energy sources and technologies are more affordable and because of that, the adoption of these new technologies is more challenging. On the other hand, there is a technological gap between the industrialized countries and developing countries that must be overcome, in the short term, in order to make these new technologies more practical and easily adaptable in these countries. To achieve this, there must be training, technology exchange, cost reductions and technical support that encourage the adoption of new technologies and ensure reliability. That is why government participation is crucial in order to create laws and strategies that stimulate and reward the use of environmental friendly and efficient technology. We believe that a great way to stimulate the implementation of systems like these an many others, is stimulating a free market of energy generation, where any private or public entity will be able to install generators of these characteristics and inject their surplus power to the grid making good profits. Currently in some countries this is not allowed and only big private and public companies are allowed to produce electricity. If we were able to change these situations and offer subsidies and loans to stimulate the proliferation of these systems, many people would be interested in contributing to the cause and at the same time, making good living, creating new jobs and having a positive social and economic impact.
Where will these actions be taken?
We believe that because of the hybrid nature of the Project, these kinds of generation systems are very adaptable and can become very popular in many places.
The big advantage behind these kinds of systems is that we are able to re-use technology that is already available on the market and make it more efficient.
We consider that the first step in order to reduce the overall CO2 emissions in the world is to focus on energy efficiency first. This means that, in order to obtain a smooth transition in technology and energy sources, first we have to focus on efficiency and take advantage of the current technology and resources that we have available. This is a big issue in developing countries where the adoption of new technologies is not feasible. If we analyze in depth the energy market, the only countries that are able to develop and actually carry out clean energy projects successfully are the richest ones, so, in order to have a global impact, we have to analyze multiple alternatives that become feasible and practical to be implemented in different regions, even more so if we consider the over supply of natural gas that it is currently available in the world, which in fact is one of the cleanest fossil fuels available right now.
If we take into account that a big portion of the energy that is generated in regions like South America comes from natural gas, these kinds of systems could have a significant impact on the CO2 reduction of the region.
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
According to Capstone Co. , a C-65 running at 65 KW will have a mass flow rate of 1.08 lb/s in the exhaust.On the other hand, the carbon dioxide emissions represent 2.56% of the exhaust mass flow.
So the mass flow rate of CO2 would be 1.08 * .0256 = 0.0276 lb/s CO2
If we do a quick calculation we end up having:
0.027648 lb/s x 3600sec/1hrs =99.5328 lb/h CO2.
99.5328 lb/h x 24 h/day = 2388,78 lb/day CO2
2388.78 lb/day x 365 days/year = 871904.7 lb/year
Now if we consider two C-65 working at full capacity we will generate approx. 1,743,809.4 lb/year.
We realize that because of the implementation of the virtual MT we can reduce almost half of the CO2 generation during peak hours, on the other hand, taking into account the amount of CO2 generated by one C-65 unit during one year working at full capacity, the project is aimed at reducing the emissions by, at least, 50% and even more if the Micro Turbine is able to work with a fuel mixture richer in hydrogen than natural gas.
What are other key benefits?
We are going to encourage the replication of multiple software development facilities like these in different places in order to stimulate the curiosity and innovation of new generations interested in clean energy, technology and software development. These centers will enable people to learn and develop programing skills that will allow them to get a job and get involved in software development projects for national and international clients without a university degree and focusing on technical skills to incorporate them in a global labor force.
This is a great opportunity for developing countries to be fully integrated into a global industrial market because this industry does not require very complex facilities, supply chain and expensive machinery to manufacture products and goods. The only requirements are comfortable facilities, computers, stable Internet connection and creative people in order to be able to produce technology and software solutions.
What are the proposal’s costs?
COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS
When drawing up the financial plan, a complex business scenario will be considered. To do so, application downloads at a world level will be forecast based on the knowledge that the number of downloads registered in 2013 was, approximately, 70 billion and it is forecast that this number will grow to 200 billion in 2017.
We will proceed to calculate the number of downloads at a world level and, subsequently, it will be determined that, of the total of downloads in all the world, only the percentage of downloads corresponding to Latin America will be taken into consideration. This is only equivalent to 9% of the total of downloads. Furthermore, it will be established that, of this figure, the market niche of Luka Apps will be focused on the sale of video games. This niche of the market will be equal to 30% of total downloads at a Latin American level.
Next, in accordance with market tendencies where it is seen that users are more and more reluctant to pay for applications, it will be defined that only 7% of users will be willing to pay $1 for each download.
To finalize, it will be defined that the likelihood that the segmented users at a Latin America level buying applications created by Luka Apps will be 0.001% which, clearly, is a very low purchase probability, which makes the business scenario even more difficult. With all these filters applied to the model, the following data for approximate income was obtained.
The initial stage of the project will be the debugging and improvement of the generation system. Considering the fact that we are the representatives of Capstone Turbine Corporation in Bolivia, we will work together receiving permanent support of the corporation to develop our prototype. Once we have a tested and reliable version of the system, the idea is to compete against diesel generators with a more solid cost – benefit strategy to pay back the initial research expenses and monetize the new solution in order to invest our profits in developing Lukapps.
We consider that the initial stage will take approximately 1 year, until we have a commercial version of the solution for the market.
The next stage of the project is the re-investment of our profits in the developing of Lukapps and start with the core project taking advantage of the lessons learned and technical background acquired during the first stage. We assume that after one year of commercialization of the solution, we will have enough cash to start with the construction of the facilities and the recruiting process for the new company. (2 years assuming that the first one will be designated to pay back research expenses and monetize the solution with acceptable margins).
The third stage will be the actual consolidation of Lukapps in the national and global software & tech industry. At the beginning, the strategy will be focus on offering outsourcing services for big software corporations around the world and gradually start developing independent projects aiming to global markets. (3 – 15 years).
1) Carbon Tax (Industry)
Note: With our solution we will reduce the overall CO2 emissions of the generators supporting the initiative for carbon taxation, adapting current technology to these regulations.
2) Solar Steam (Industry)
Note: The concept of “dual axis tracking / zero cosine losses” will be applied in our solar panels arrangements with technology that we already developed years ago in order to increase the overall efficiency of the solar panels and generate more hydrogen.
Note: Even though we are not completely related to this proposal, we find some points in common, like the decentralized grids. With our solution, it is very feasible to develop decentralized power grids around poor regions instead of trying to extend centralized grids, which is prohibitively expensive for poor countries.
Solar tracking system/Hydrogen production/ Hybrid electricity generators, Bolivia 2013 (Thesis):
Capstone Turbine Corporation Webpage:
Monelco SRL Webpage/ Capstone Turbine Representatives in Bolivia:
Capstone Turbine Receives 2013 Emissions Reduction Certificate From the US EPA Combined Heat and Power Partnership:
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