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While the part of renewable energy sources - solar, wind, marine and hydro - in the energy mix has been growing steadily in recent years, fossil fuels still play a major role in energy generation, distribution and consumption.
In 2015, global generation of electricity was 24 255 TWh. Hydropower accounted for around 16% of the total, making it the main renewable energy (RE) source for electricity generation. It will also play a key role in the future integration of power generated by new RE sources and in balancing its impact on the grid.
Ahmad Hosni, MSc, a Functional Safety Senior Engineer, Certified Functional Safety Expert/Professional and Certified Fire Protection Specialist, has just published a book on process safety and reliability programmes for process industry plants. e-tech publishes here a summary of the main findings of his book.
Fuel cells (FCs) convert chemical energy from a fuel into electrical energy and heat through a chemical reaction, and not through combustion. Increasingly they are being introduced in stationary, transportation and portable or mobile power generation applications for different domains. IEC International Standards for FC technologies are proving essential to ensure their smooth rollout in all these areas. They are prepared by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 105
Power failure recovery is a key task for governments, hospitals and private businesses to get to grips with if they want to reduce the disruption caused by power outages resulting from natural disasters. Smart and microgrids are one of the solutions and the IEC is leading the way with the appropriate Standards.
Energy efficiency represents the biggest source of untapped energy in the world and, by helping slowing down final energy consumption, one of the main contributors in the reduction of noxious gases emissions. Improved electrical energy efficiency is made possible by standardization work performed by many IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and starts with electricity generation, distribution and storage.
Renewable Energy (RE) plays an increasingly important role in providing global populations with clean, affordable, sustainable energy. RE production and use continues to increase thanks to the falling cost of equipment and installation.
Take the 169 countries in the IEC family, the 20 000 technical experts who work in standards development, the many Certification Bodies (CBs) and Test Laboratories (TLs) in the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems, and add to the mix the rapid pace at which technologies are evolving today and you have hundreds, if not thousands of stories that can be told within the IEC community.
Information is gathered and decision making occurs at substation level in Smart Grids. The electricity-dispatching control centre deals with the strategic management of grid intelligence, while automated management handles transmission and distribution. An intelligent substation reports electricity consumption, switchboard operation, information gathering, and station decision making back to the electricity dispatching control centre. Generally, substations are unattended and rely on supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) for remote supervision and control.
A sense of collective responsibility is required to cope with the growing dependence on energy, given the fundamentally unpredictable nature of primary energy supply, the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources and changing energy consumption demands and patterns. The growing need for decentralized (local or remote, residential or commercial) power generation calls for systems that maximize small-scale electrical efficiency. Fuel cells (FCs) are ideal candidates for fulfilling this demand. In fact, at 60% proven net electrical efficiency for generators with a power output as low as 1 kWe, FC systems are head and shoulders above any other fuel conversion technology. If they are to succeed in being deployed widely, FCs for stationary applications should be able to use any locally available fuel. When and if production volumes manage to cover the extensive need for small-to-medium scale generation – which will also depend on the realization of anticipated reductions in cost – there is no reason why FCs should not also be used on the largest scales of power production.
Together with wind and marine resources, energy generation from PV (photovoltaic) systems is a relatively recent source of renewable energy. It has been expanding dramatically in recent years and is set to provide a growing share of the future global energy mix. IEC TC (Technical Committee) 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems, prepares International Standards that play a central role in the development of PV technology and that contribute to cost reduction and innovation and to safer, better and more efficient PV systems.
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