Romanian Researches preparing the New Era Energy Challenges - A physicist point of view

kitefleaUrban and Civil

Nov 15, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Romanian Researches preparing the New Era Energy
Challenges
-

A physicist point of view

Mihai Varlam

22
-
23 of september 2010 Bucharest

Discussion

Overview

1.
The necessity of the change

2.
Hydrogen


a challenging option


for the future energy carrier

3. The promise of superconductibility

4.
Fusion future
-

Romanian
participation to ITER

5.
New Romanian research facility
supporting future energy
technologies






Ask

a

physicist

what

physics

is

all

about

and

he

or

she

might

reply

that

it’s

something

to

do

with

the

study

of

matter

and

energy
.

Matter


is

dispensed

with

quite

swiftly

it

is

stuff

,

substance,

what

things

are

made

from
.

But


energy’

is

a

much

more

difficult

idea
.

The

physicist

may

mumble

something

about

energy

having

many

different

forms,

and

about

how

it

is

convertible

from

one

form

to

another

but

its

total

value

must

always

rem
a
in

co
nstant
.

She’ll

look

grave

and

say

that

this

law,

the

law

of

the


conservation

of

energy,

is

a

very

important

law


perhaps

the

most

important

law

in

all

of

physics
.

But

what,

exactly,

is

being

conserved?

Are

some


forms

of

energy

more

fundamental

than

others
?


What

is

the

link

between

energy,

space,

time,


and

matter?

The

various

forms

and

their

formulae


are

so

seemingly

unrelated

is

there

some

underlying


essence

of

energy?

The scientific challenge at the
beginning of the 21th century will
include further significant
clarifications of deep physical and
chemical issues, such as the
mechanism of high
-
temperature
superconductivity and the physical
implementation of powerful
quantum computers

In

terms

of

investments,

it

was

clear

that

there

is

no

single

research

area

that

will

secure

the

future

energy

supply
.

A

diverse

range

of

economic

energy

sources

will

be

required



and

a

broad

range

of

fundamental

research

is

needed

to

enable

these
.

Many

of

the

issues

fall

into

the

traditional

materials

and

chemical

sciences

research

areas,

but

with

specific

emphasis

on

understanding

mechanisms,

energy

related

phenomena,

and

pursuing

novel

directions

in,

for

example,

nanoscience

and

integrated

modeling
.

The

projected

doubling

of

world

energy

consumption

within

the

next

50

years,

coupled

with

the

growing

demand

for

low
-

or

even

zero
-
emission

sources

of

energy,

has

brought

increasing

awareness

of

the

need

for

efficient,

clean,

and

renewable

energy

sources

The

nations

face

a

three
-
fold

energy

challenges
:


Energy

security

and

national

independence

-

growing

dependence

on

high
-
cost

imported

fossil

fuels,

for

almost

all

industrialised

countries


Environmental

sustainability



necessity

to

reduce

carbon

dioxide

and

other

greenhouse

gases

emissions

that

accelerate

climate

change


Economic

opportunity

:

the

national

economies

(including

romanian

ones)

are

thretened

by

incresing

high
-
costs

of

imported

energy

.

Every

nation

are

focused

to

create

its

own

next
-
generation

clean

energy

technologies

that

do

not

depend

on

imported

fossil

fuels
.


Expansion of existing
carbon
-
intensive
energy resources is
not the solution !

A

host

of

new

technology

is

needed

to

provide

renewable,

sustainable

and

low

carbon

energy
-
technologies

that

should

be

robust

and

cost

competitive

with

existing

fossil

fuel

based

approaches
.


Solar and
wind
energy

Carbon
sequestration

Advanced
nuclear
energy

Enhanced
electricity delivery
and efficiency

Solid
state
lighting

Hydrogen & fuel
cell

Batteries
and
biofuels

Need for science support

All these technologies are in their infancy, like the steam engine in James Watt’s day
!

Clean

energy

technologies

perform

far

bellow

their

potential,

not

for

lack

of

engineering

effort,

but

often

for

lack

of

basic

understanding

of

the

phenomena,

materials,

and

chemistry

that

govern

their

operation

or

limit

their

performance
.

For

the

time

being,

clean

energy

technologies



solar

photovoltaics,

solid
-
state

lighting,

batteries

for

plug
-
in

vehicles,

are

advancing

in

an

incremental

way,

based

on

scientific

understanding

coupled

with

engineering
.


Here

is

the

action

area

we

are

trying

to

do

something

!!!

Hydrogen & fuel cell

Low temperature
physics
-

superconductibility

Fuel cycle for fusion
technology

Lithium
-
Polymer
batteries and energy
storage

Basic
research and
technology
development

National R&D
Institute for
Isotope and
Cryogenic
Technologies

Situation

now




In

200
8

primary

worldwide

energy

consumption

was

about

1
5
.
3

Gtoe,

whose

distribution

according

to

sources,

transformation

processes

and

network

uses

is

plotted

in

Fig
ure
.

Eighty
-
two

percent

of

this

energy

has

been

transformed

into

heat,

electricity

or

movement

by

means

of

fossil

fuel

combustion

processes,

which

has

produced

CO
2

emissions

to

the


Atmosphere

equivalent


to

8
.
5

Gton

of

carbon

.


In

a

no
-
change

scenario

(base

scenario

of

the


International

Energy


Agency,

IEA)

CO
2


emissions

in

2050

can

be

expected

to


reach

14

Gton

of

carbon

The

so
-
called

hydrogen

economy

is

a

long
-
term

project

that

can

be

defined

as

an

effort

to

change

the

current

energy

system

to

one

which

attempts

to

combine

the

cleanliness

of

hydrogen

as

an

energy

carrier

with

the

efficiency

of

fuel

cells

(FCs)

as

devices

to

transform

energy

into

electricity

and

heat
.

As

an

energy

carrier,

hydrogen

must

be

obtained

from

other

energy

sources,

in

processes

that,

at

least

in

the

long

term,

avoid

or

minimize

CO
2

emissions
.

The

main

advantage

of

hydrogen

as

a

fuel

is

the

absence

of

CO
2

emissions,

as

well

as

other

pollutant

emissions

(thermal

NOx

)

if

it

is

employed

in

low

temperature

FCs
.

This

is

especially

important

for

the

transport

sector,

which

i
s

responsible

for


18
%

consumption

of

primary

energy

worldwide
.


Also,

hydrogen

can

be

expected

to

allow

the

integration

of

some

renewable

energy

sources,

of

an

intermittent

character,

in

the

current

energy

system
.

Thus,

it

is

already

working

a

system

with

a

photovoltaic

solar

panel

(or

a

windmill)

linked

to

a

reversible

FC,

which

uses

a

part

of

the

electricity

to

produce

H
2

during

the

day

(or

in

windy

conditions),

and

consumes

the

hydrogen

during

the

night

(or

in

the

absence

of

wind)

to

produce

electricity

Hydrogen research is an expensive activity, but for Romania it is far more
expensive to not do anything than to invest in this area!

Experience acquired in the
area starting with 2000

Connection with the
European JTI
-
JU

Possibility to develop large
demonstration projects

It

is

difficult

to

predict

the

long
-
term

panorama

due

to

the

uncertainty

about

the

future

of

the

energy

system
.

To

reach

the

goal

we

first

need

to

overcome

a

number

of

social

obstacles

(the

development

of

codes

and

worldwide

standards,

consumer

reticence,

lack

of

public

support

for

scientific

research,

etc
.
)

macroeconomic

difficulties

and

technological

challenges

(mainly

related

to

the

development

and

implementation

of

clean

and

efficiency

production

systems

and

to

the

decrease

of

cost

of

hydrogen

storage

systems

and

FCs)
.

If

these

difficulties

are

overcome,

beyond

2050
,

when

the

world

is

expected

to

consume

more

than

25

Gtoe

of

primary

energy

[
9
],

the

energy

supply

and

transformation

will

be

managed

as

indicated

in

Fig
ure
.

How a potential Hydrogen Future might appear!

Heat

would

be

generated

by

a

next

generation,

fail
-
safe

nuclear

power

plant

and

directed

to

the

thermochemical

processing

plant

to

produce

hydrogen

through

a

series

of

chemical

reactions
.

Biomass,

wind

and

solar

power

are

other

option

to

that
.

Hydrogen

could

then

be

stored

or

provided

as

needed

directly

to

industrial

hydrogen

users

or

to

supply

a

hydrogen

fueled

future

for

distributed

power

or

for

transport

fuel
.

National
Center for
Hydrogen
& Fuel Cell

Small
-
scale production
line for PEMFC stack
development

Hydrogen station


pilot
project

Mobile platform for high
pressure liquid hydrogen
storage


experimental
testing vehicle

Peak power management
system


concept unit

The promise of superconductibility

However,

the

growing

demand

for

electricity

will

soon

challenge

the

grid

beyond

its

capability,

compromising

its

reliability

through

voltage

fluctuations

that

crash

digital

electronics,

brownouts

that

disable

industrial

processes

and

harm

electrical

equipments

and

power

failures
.


Superconductivity

is

able

to

offer

new

opportunities

for

restoring

the

reliability

of

the

power

grid

and

increasing

its

capacity

and

efficiency
.

Superconductors

are

capable

of

carrying

current

without

loss,

making

the

parts

of

the

grid

they

replace

dramatically

more

efficient
.

Superconductivity laboratory
-

Starting status

State
-
of
-
art second
-
generation (2G)
superconducting wires based on YBa2Cu3)7
are capable of carrying five times the current
of copper wires havind the same cross
-
section
at dramatically higher efficiency.

Technologically we have ( as
knowledge) the materials,
engineering design for medium
and high
-
capacity cables that
could trasnport electricity at no
loss for smart power
-
control
devices

While their performance
compete favorably with
cooper for transporting
current, it fails significantly
in the magnetic fields
requested for transformers ,
fault current limiters,
reactive power generators
and motors.

Although present
superconducting technology
provides proof of principle and
can be deployed for some of the
grid functions, significant
barriers remain to achieving the
full potential of superconductivity
for transforming power grid.


The current
-
carrying
performance of
superconducting wires in
magnetic field of 0.1


5T
must be increased by a factor
of 5
-
10

Performance
barriers


The costs are too high to compete with
conventional technology


The major contributor to the 2G wires
high cost is the multilayered
arhitecture, which requires sequential
deposition of up to seven layers on a
flexible substrate

Cost barriers


Research and investigation to find
new superconducting materials with
higher transition and operating
temperatures are needed.


The ultimate material challenge is to
find a room
-
temperature
superconductor with no intrinsic
anisotropy.

Materials
barrier

In

the

simplest

case

only

the

inner

conductor

is

superconducting,

whereas

the

return

conductor

is

normal

conducting
.

In

this

case

only

the

inner

conductor

is

cooled

with

liquid

nitrogen
.

The

“cryostat”

consists

of

evacuated,

concentric,

and

flexible

metal

tubes

and

is

located

directly

next

to

the

conductor
.

The

outer

flexible

tube

is

surrounded

by

a

warm

dielectric

medium,

and

this

in

turn

is

surrounded

by

the

return

conductor

and

the

outer

insulation
.


Instrumental
analytical
systems


SQUAD Magnetometer


PPM


electrical and thermal
parameters measurements

Testing
facilities


Large Liquid helium and Hydrogen
production

Superconductivity support for energy
applications


Superconductivity power distribution


D
evelop
ing

a

demonstrative

technology

which

use

high

temperature

superconductivity

to

transport

electricity

and

hydrogen

within

the

same

distribution

line


Experimental

activity

in

the

field

of

use

of

HTS

materials

for

power

distribution

lines
.

Technological

and

economical

evaluations


SMES



experimental

system

for

superconductivity

magnetic

energy

storage



development

of

new

experimental

configurations


storage

by

using

rapidly

rotating

fly
-
wheels


P
ublic

awareness

and

outreach

activity

for

low
-
temperature

technologies



Declared Targets of the Laboratory

Project going to be developed at

Ramnicu Valcea

A

new

concept

which

is

strongly

motivated

in

the

last

period,

and

would

like

to

create

a

complex

system

which

could

“transport”

energy

as

hydrogen

and

electricity

within

the

same

structure,

is

proposed

to

be

particularly

investigated

and

developed

at

pilot

level

U
se

high

temperature

superconductivity

to

transport

electricity

and

hydrogen

within

the

same

distribution

line
.

The

system,

schematically

represented

in

Fig
.
,

is

aimed

at

providing

a

solution

for

large

RES

power

transport

and

delivery

regulation
.

When

RES

power

exceeds

grid

demand,

the

system

produces

hydrogen

by

water

electrolysis,

which

can

be

cooled

down

to

20
.
4

K

for

liquid

storage
.

The

stored

LH
2

can

be

reconverted

into

electric

energy

in

periods

of

RES

shortage
.

The

exceeding

part

can

be

transported

through

the

combined

MgB
2
-
superconducting

LH
2
-
cryogenic

pipeline
.

The

superconducting

line

is

operated

in

DC,

in

order

to

minimize

losses
.

The

SMES

(superconducting

magnetic

energy

storage)

is

used

as

a

large

inductance

in

order

to

reduce

the

line

current

ripple

caused

by

power

electronics

(inverter

for

connection

with

AC

grid,

choppers

for

fuel

cell,

hydrolyzer

and

RES

power

conditioning)
.


Fusion future



Romanian participation to ITER

With

the

agreement

to

build

the

international

ITER

experimental

fusion

reactor

in

Europe,

the

EU

is

to

host

one

of

the

largest

scientific

undertakings

ever

conceived

by

humanity
.

The

ITER

site

at

Cadarache,

in

southern

France,

will

become

the

focus

of

world

research

on

fusion

energy
.


This

project's

outcome

could

have

a

profound

impact

on

how

future

generations

live,

by

showing

that

energy

from

fusion

is

a

practical

possibility
.

Fusion

research

offers

the

prospect

of

a

future

energy

source

of

unlimited

scale

that

is

safe,

environmentally

responsible

and

economically

viable
.

It

will

benefit

from

an

almost

limitless

supply

of

raw

materials

for

fuel,

widely

distributed

around

the

globe
.


Fusion

research

in

the

EU

is

coordinated

by

the

European

Commission
.

Funding

comes

from

the

Community’s

EURATOM

Research

Framework

Programme

and

national

funds

from

the

Member

States

and

Associated

States
.

Coordination

and

long
-
term

continuity

is

ensured

by

ongoing

partnership

contracts

between

EURATOM

and

all

the

national

bodies
.

The

long
-
term

objective

of

fusion

R&D

in

the

EU

is

“the

joint

creation

of

prototype

reactors

for

power

stations

to

meet

the

needs

of

society

:

operational

safety,

environmental

compatibility,

economic

viability


.

Currently,

the

most

successful

and

the

largest

fusion

experiment

in

the

world

is

JET

(the

Joint

European

Torus)
.

The

basic

design

of

ITER

is

derived

from

that

of

the

JET

device
.

The

European

Fusion

Development

Agreement

(EFDA)

provides

the

framework

for

research,

mutual

sharing

of

facilities

and

the

European

contribution

to

international

projects

such

as

ITER
.

H
ydrogen isotope cryogenic
distillation is the major method
for water detritiation
technology, essential part of the
entire fusion complex

De
-
tritiation

system

in

ITER

have

been

designed

to

remove

Tritium

from

liquids

and

gases

for

reinjection

into

the

fuel

cycle
.

Remaining

effluents

will

be

well

below

authorized

limits
:

gaseous

and

liquid

Tritium

releases

to

the

environment

from

ITER

are

predicted

to

be

below

10
µSv

per

year
.

This

is

well

under

ITER's

General

Safety

Objective

of

100
µSv

per

year

and

100

times

lower

than

the

regulatory

limit

in

France

of

1000
µSv

per

year
.

Scientists

estimate

the

exposure

to

natural

background

radiation

to

be

approximately

2000
µSv

per

year
.

Where is our contribution ?

The

fusion

reaction

in

the

ITER

Tokamak

will

be

powered

with

Deuterium

and

Tritium,

two

isotopes

of

Hydrogen
.

ITER

will

be

the

first

fusion

machine

fully

designed

for

Deuterium
-
Tritium

operation
.

Commissioning

will

happen

in

three

phases
:

Hydrogen

operation,

followed

by

Deuterium

operation,

and

finally

full

Deuterium
-
Tritium

operation
.

Water

Detritiation

System

-

WDS

is

a

major

facility

which

should

be

developed

related

to

the

fuel

cycle

in

the

fusion

reactor
.

An

integrated

facility

comprising

a

WDS

based

on

combined

electrolysis

catalytic

exchange

(CECE)

employing

a

liquid

phase

catalytic

exchange

(LPCE)

column

and

an

Isotope

Separation

System

based

on

cryogenic

distillation

(CD)

is

currently

being

developed

at

Ramnicu

Valcea
.

Until

now,

this

test

facility

was

used

for

process

performance

studies

to

measure

different

isotope

separation

factors

and

to

validate

the

design

and

operation

of

such

systems

for

fusion

application
.


Visual representation of Hydrogen
Isotope separation experimental
system by cryogenic distillation

In

the

reference

design

of

ITER,

the

280

mol/h

of

detritiated

(tritium

mol

fraction

<
10

7
)

protium

extracted

at

the

top

of

the

ISS

were

to

have

been

released

to

the

environment
.

This

would

result

in

a

chronic

tritium

release

of


1

Ci/h,

or

close

to

1

g

per

year

of

tritium
.

In

order

to

reduce

this

release,

it

was

proposed

to

process

this

top

product

stream

from

the

ISS

in

the

WDS

so

that

the

WDS

will

be

a

final

barrier

for

the

tritiated

protium

waste

gas

stream

discharged

from

ISS
.

In

the

development

programme

outlined

here

the

research

basis

for

it

is

planned

to

be

developed

at

Ramnicu

V
alcea
.

An

integrated

facility

comprising

a

WDS

based

on

combined

electrolysis

catalytic

exchange

(CECE)

and

an

ISS

based

on

cryogenic

distillation

(CD)

is

currently

being

developed

at

the

NRDICIT
.

This

test

facility

will

be

used

for

process

performance

studies

to

validate

the

design

and

operation

of

these

systems

for

ITER
.

Looking Ahead

New Romanian
research facility
supporting future
energy technologies

On the way to create a scientific basis to support new energies

NRDICIT
Ramnicu Valcea

Low
-
temperature
Laboratory

National
center for
Hydrogen &
Fuel Cell

Business
development &
Inovation
Incubator

Batteries


research
laboratory

Hydrogen
isotope
Separation
Pilot facility

On the project
development
stage
development

Building stage

Thank you for your attention !