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Advantages of using algae instead of terrestrial plants include extremely rapid growth rates and the fact that they don’t have to compete for land and water needed to grow food.
It’s going to take time and money to commercialize the technology and build the infrastructure needed to make algal biofuels competitive with fossil fuels. This fact sheet provides an overview of algal biofuels: what they are, various processes for producing them, and how they’ll fit into the country’s overall energy scheme.
Actually, that should properly be phrased “What are algae?” since “algae” is the plural form of “alga.” And there’s far more to them than just pond scum. Algae are ancient organisms with an enormous number of species; unlike plants, they don’t possess distinct organs such as leaves or roots. Hugely diverse in form, they range in size and complexity from microscopic single-celled species (microalgae) to multi-cellular seaweeds such as the giant kelps, hundreds of feet in length (macroalgae) (Figure 1). Varieties of algae may be found living in symbiotic relationships with plants or animals, protected from predators by the host while providing it with oxygen and nutrients; some in relationships so intimate it’s thought the presence of the algal species triggers latent genes in the host that influence its very development. Their life cycles vary tremendously, from simple cell division to complicated, multi-generational cycles that alternate between sexual reproduction (eggs and sperm are released by the plant) and asexual reproduction (spores). Given this incredible diversity of form, it’s not surprising that algae are utilized in equally diverse ways. Food: Algae are part of “coastal cuisines” around the world, where edible seaweeds have been consumed for centuries.
Pollution control: Algae can be used to recover nutrients from fertilizer run-off or manure effluent from agricultural operations.
A biofuel is any fuel derived from a renewable biological source, as opposed to a fossil-based source (oil, coal, natural gas). Biofuels have advantages over fossil fuels: because they’re renewable, they reduce dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels, and because they are produced domestically, they reduce dependence on foreign sources of oil, which helps increase energy security. Biofuels burn more cleanly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particulates and other pollutants.[2] Biofuels can be carbon neutral, as mentioned previously, and once the entire biofuel production chain, from growth to processing to final use, is taken into account, some biofuels are projected to be far less polluting than fossil fuels.
At first glance, it may not be obvious where an organism that grows in ponds or oceans might fit into the fuel production chain. Fast growth rates: algae species grow far more rapidly—up to 30 times faster—than terrestrial plants, and produce far more biomass per area. Efficient nutrient use: Algae use nutrients more efficiently than terrestrial plants, so there’s little chance of fertilizer run-off.
Water and land use: One of the major concerns of using terrestrial plants as a biofuel source is that they use land and fresh water—limited resources—that could otherwise be used for food production.
More carbon neutral than fossil fuels: While growing, algae consume carbon dioxide, helping mitigate greenhouse gas production.
Higher oil production: Because of their faster growth rates, algae yield more fuel per acre than terrestrial oil crops. The main biofuels produced today are biodiesel and ethanol, but algae can be a feedstock for other fuels as well, including diesel, gasoline, and aviation fuel. A variety of algal species produce oil (lipids); some produce so much that, under a microscope, lipid droplets can be seen within the cell (Figure 2). Renewable gasoline and diesel: Algal oil can be used as a feedstock in existing refineries, where it can be processed into gasoline and diesel that are chemically identical with petroleum-based fuels.
Aviation biofuel: Aviation fuel can be produced from algal oil or algal biomass, using different processing pathways.
Biodiesel: Once the oil is extracted from the algae, it can be processed into biodiesel for use in standard diesel engines.
You can probably see where this is going: a simple standing pond is not going to be the future of industrial algae farming.
Because of these drawbacks, algae are generally grown in artificial ponds that have some form of circulation control. To overcome these drawbacks, ponds have been closed in by simply covering them with a transparent or translucent barrier—in effect, the tank is turned into a giant greenhouse.
For better control of the factors affecting algal growth, a photobioreactor (PBR) can be used (Figure 4). PBRs are much more expensive to construct, operate, and maintain than raceway ponds, although the costs can be partially offset because biomass productivity is far higher. There’s no doubt that algal fuels will have a role in the energy economy of the future; how large a role depends on how the industry deals with a host of challenges. Furthermore, simply getting the oil out of the algal biomass is not the end of the economic story. Another factor to keep in mind is the time it will take to develop the necessary cultivation and harvesting techniques, processing equipment, and industrial processing pathways to get from pond to pump.
Fracking and the recent crash in oil prices have made it harder for algal biofuels to reach cost parity with fossil fuels and reduced interest in algae as a source for biofuels. The future for algae as a source of fuel remains promising—and given a chance, it may indeed live up to that promise.
This method is also known as a€?slip castinga€? or a€?slip cast extrusiona€? and is used to repair cracked or spalled flues that are otherwise sound condition.
The energy used to power the motors of electric vehicles is provided by electricity stored in batteries rather than the burning of petroleum-based fuels in an internal combustion engine (ICE).
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), use their electric motor to supplement a smaller internal combustion engine using petroleum fuel (usually gasoline or diesel). Extended range electric vehicles (EREV) employ an on-board electric generator run by a gasoline engine as their supplemental system. The difference between EREVs and PHEVs is that EREVs use a petroleum fuel motor to create electricity that powers an electric motor that powers the vehicle, whereas PHEVs use a petroleum fuel motor that directly powers the vehicle. Note that the more common hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) such as the original Toyota Prius, are not plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Electric vehicles offer an array of social, economic and environmental benefits, primarily by reducing the amount of gasoline needed.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions[3] from electricity to power a PEV are reduced by about half from those of a gasoline engine. Improved health from reduced soot and nitrous oxides: These are also produced from burning petroleum, causing or aggravating breathing problems for many people. Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) transfer: A few utilities offer consumers direct payments or discounts on their electric bill if they allow utilities to withdraw some power from plugged in batteries and feed power back into the grid to meet peak electric demands.
Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) transfer for emergency power – vehicle batteries may be used to provide emergency power to homes during electricity outages. At present PEV sales are still under 1 percent of all vehicles and lower gasoline prices may lessen the incentive for consumers to purchase electric vehicles.[8] Despite this, sales of PEVs have grown steadily over the last few years as improvements have been made and consumers became more familiar with the technology. The number of models of PEV available on the commercial market has also grown rapidly, with at least 19 options for PEV on the US market in January 2015 and more expected. Purchase prices for PEVs are reduced by Federal tax credits of $2,500 to $7,500[14], which can be calculated as $2,500 for an EV with a battery up to 5 kWh, plus $417 per kWh of extra battery capacity, up to a total of $7,500. The time required to charge PEV batteries depends on the power source used to charge it, the size of the battery, the type of on-board charger in the vehicle, and even the temperature.
Level 1 charging uses a standard 110 volt household outlet (AC—alternating current) for about 11-20 hours to fully recharge a depleted battery, depending upon battery size. Level 2 charging requires a 220 volt AC outlet, as commonly used in homes to plug-in washing machines or a 208 volt commercial outlet. DC Fast Charging stations are able to charge batteries much faster by using high voltage (480 volt) direct current (DC). Plug in connectors for DC Fast Charging were developed with differing designs and are used by different vehicle manufacturers.
Safety does not appear to be a more significant concern with PEVs than with standard automobiles. Most existing battery electric vehicles (BEVs) travel about 60 to 80 miles on a single charge; although a few exceed 100 miles, and Teslas are able to travel more than 250 miles, demonstrating the feasibility of longer distances. About 20 times as many employees of participating companies drive a PEV as in the general public, and 95 percent of employees driving PEVs are satisfied with workplace charging. It is possible to charge PEVs with photovoltaic solar panels or other renewable sources (Figure 3).
Solar electricity connected to the electrical grid can be produced during the daylight hours and effectively used during the day or night.
Concerns that continued growth of electric vehicles could negatively impact the electric grid have been expressed. A 2014 study simulated the effects of integrating large numbers of PEVs and solar photovoltaic electricity and found that uncontrolled recharging could create higher peak demand in the early evening than would have occurred otherwise, but when smart grid capabilities were included to control the timing of PEV charging, the demand was managed without need for increased generation capacity.[30] Workplace recharging and timers to delay the beginning of home recharging are other options to avoid increasing peak evening demand until smart grids can be extended more broadly. In the foreseeable future, new smart grid technologies incorporated with renewable electricity and PEV batteries show promise to actually decrease peak power loads by smoothing out the peaks and valleys of both electricity supply and demand. There are clearly economic and environmental benefits from adopting PEVs as they exist today. However, full public acceptance of PEVs will require greater consumer familiarity and further expansion of the charging station network. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Calculate monthly fuel cost and CO2 emissions based on customizable gas and electric vehicles and driving needs.
As you may have read, SP Ausnet have had a number of technical and commercial difficulties with their Smart Meters, and for the moment no Accredited Persons under VEET (including ourselves) have access to their Grid-Net (Wimax based) Smart Meters. The web portal is a good start, it graphs historical data over 12 months up to the past four hours. You can’t currently connect an In-Home Display, however it seems that will be possible in the future. To provide the information in myHomeEnergy to you, we need your Smart Meter to be communicating back to our offices with your energy information each day. The nature of the rollout of Smart Meter technology is complex and sometimes meters are installed before our communications systems are in place to read your energy information from them.
All SP AusNet households are to have Smart Meters remotely read by the end of 2013, so you won’t have to wait too long We will keep your application on file and  advise when your daily energy information is available. If your email, phone or residential details change, please contact our Customer Service team.
If you’ve lived in Florida for any length of time during the summer, you’ve either told someone to “close the door…you’re letting the cool air out” or you’ve been at the receiving end of the same message.
For infiltration to occur there has to be a source, a hole, and a driving force (like the wind or an interface between high and low temperature or humidity, etc.). Building contractors install certain features to intentionally ventilate and exhaust unwanted odors or combustion byproducts from your home—such as exhaust fans in your bathroom and above the stove.
It would of course be almost impossible to identify and measure all of the cracks and holes present in any given building’s shell.
Results of the blower door test provide a standard measure of the leakage of a home, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow. The blower door test is often required to determine if a home meets part of the criteria for energy efficiency or “green status” of many building certification programs. While there are many well-known sources of air leakage – the “usual suspects” – almost all buildings have unexpected air leakage sites called bypasses.
In addition, the blower door test uses a pressure gauge (manometer) that measures the fan pressure relative to the location from which air is entering the fan (Figure 2). Generally, for “green” certifications requiring a blower door test, a RESNET Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater must conduct the test.
Some Florida utilities offer incentive programs that do not require a RESNET HERS Rater but instead have energy conservation services staff that are qualified to conduct the test while also providing an energy audit. In Florida, it is very common during a blower door test to operate the fan in the depressurizing mode, meaning that air is drawn, pulled or exhausted out of the house. One measure of a building’s air leakage rate is air changes per hour (ACH), which estimates how many times in one hour the entire volume of air inside the building is exchanged with outside air. The leakier the house, the higher the number of air changes per hour, the higher the heating and cooling costs, and the greater the potential for moisture, comfort, and health problems. To determine the ACH50, we first determine the amount of air flow, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), exhausted out of the home with the home at a pressure of 50 Pa with respect to the outside. Given ACH50, a natural infiltration rate (resulting from wind and temperature effects) can be estimated for your home. In the example home above, with an ACH50 of 5, the expected natural infiltration rate would be 5 divided by 40, or 0.12 ach. Now that you know the CFM50, which is the air flow through the building’s leak sites at a 50 Pa house pressure differential, we can determine the approximate cumulative size of the holes. As helpful as the blower door test is in measuring and helping to identify areas of air leakage, it’s important to understand that the blower door test does have limitations with respect to locating all sources of leaks.
There are a number of tests that can be performed to determine if duct systems in a home are working efficiently. Auditors and energy raters often use a tool referred to as a duct airtightness tester that can depressurize or pressurize the duct systems and determine the amount of air leakage (Figure 3).
Remember the example given at the beginning of this fact sheet about letting hot air enter an air-conditioned home?
Methods to make homes more energy efficient yet still provide adequate ventilation may originate or be refined from research currently being conducted by faculty affiliated with the Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC).

Note: this tax credit expired at the end of 2014 the consolidated appropriations act, signed in december 2015, retroactively renewed this tax credit effective.
Note: this credit expired at the end of 2014 the consolidated appropriations act, signed in december 2015, retroactively renewed this tax credit effective january 1.
Tax credits available for certain energyefficient home improvements irs tax tip 201245, march 7, 2012 (corrected march 12, 2012) item #2, residential energy. You may be entitled to a tax credit of up to $500*** if you installed energyefficient windows skylights doors or other qualifying items in 2015 and 2016**..
Get home energy tax credits for home improvements including windows insulation heating systems water heaters central air conditioners and biomass stoves..
Financing an energy efficient home is made easier through available personal tax credits and energy mortgages..
Above you can read our explanation about Tax Credit For Energy Efficient Home Improvements For 2016.
Copyright © 2015 World Economic News, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. The idea that it may be possible to “grow” our way out of a future energy crisis with renewable, recyclable, plant-based fuels is an attractive one. Algae can be grown on land that is unsuitable for agriculture, with water that’s otherwise unusable—wastewater, brackish water, or salt water—using underutilized nutrients from sewage and agricultural runoff…and producing biodiesel, gasoline, ethanol, methane, and other biofuels.
But given the volatility of the energy market and the concerns about using fossil fuels, it seems only prudent to explore the possibilities of such renewable biofuels.
They produce the essentials of life, such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, using energy from light (photosynthesis) or chemical reactions (chemosynthesis).
Many microscopic species do not simply drift through the water but are actually mobile, moving about like amoebas or with the aid of whip-like tails called flagella. Algae thrive literally everywhere on Earth: in forests and deserts, in fresh water, in salt water, in snow and ice, in hot springs and in oceanic thermal vents—in stifling heat, freezing cold, intense sunlight, and utter darkness. Any fan of sushi consumes algae in the form of nori, a species of the genus Porphyra, used as a wrapping around the rice and other ingredients. Agar, a gelatinous substance prepared from several species of algae, is used both directly as a food and as a thickener in a variety of products; it’s also used as a culture medium in microbiology. And, on top of that, they are renewable, unlike commercial fertilizers that are produced from fossil fuels. The resulting water may be clean enough for release into rivers and streams, and the enriched algae can be harvested and used as organic fertilizer.
Those biological sources can include a whole range of materials that—currently—are considered disposal problems: used vegetable oil, food waste, sewage sludge, wood waste, and livestock manure. Domestic fuel production also supports local jobs and tax revenues, which are good for the economy. However, substances needed to produce biofuels are commonly present in algae: lipids which can be processed, and carbohydrates which can be fermented, into fuels such as ethanol, gasoline, diesel or biodiesel. Not only does this mean more frequent and larger harvests of biomass, it also means that if algae growth is affected by contamination or poor weather, a pond or containment vessel can be readily “re-seeded” in a few days, rather than having to wait weeks or months until the next growing season. In fact, eutrophic water—water with excess nutrients, such as fertilizer run-off from agricultural operations—can be used as a nutrient source for algae. In fact, it would be economically attractive to “farm” algae in the vicinity of industrial plants, using exhaust emissions as a source of carbon dioxide; there are projects underway to determine if this is practical. Commercial airlines and the military are testing algal jet fuel as a way to combat volatile fuel prices and to decrease the industry’s carbon footprint. The biomass “cake” remaining after oil has been extracted is by no means a waste product just to be tossed away—it can be further processed into other fuels. For example, it can be anaerobically digested (that is, without oxygen) to produce methane-rich biogas, an alternative to natural gas, which could be used to produce electricity for algal production or processing facilities—and burning methane produces carbon dioxide, which can be recycled back into growing algae. In theory, algae requirements are simple: water, sunlight, carbon dioxide, various nutrients.
The twin requirements of providing circulation and light are being solved in a variety of ingenious ways, but can be classified into two basic approaches: open systems and closed systems. While natural bodies of water—ponds, lakes, and lagoons—have been used to grow algae, there are a number of problems: loss of water to evaporation, limited diffusion of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and problems with circulating water and nutrients. This may consist of rotating arms in a circular pond, or inclined ponds, which use gravity and pumps for circulation. But both natural and artificial ponds are at the mercy of the weather: temperature fluctuations or cloudy days can seriously interfere with algal growth. This solves the problems of contamination by undesirable species, reduces evaporative losses, and provides some protection from temperature fluctuations, although weather can still be a problem.
Photobioreactors are completely closed systems, so evaporation and contamination are not a concern. Because the system is closed, oxygen generated by the photosynthetic process—which in open systems dissipates to the atmosphere—can build up and poison the culture. For instance, the whole question of potential production volumes and pricing is currently pretty fuzzy. The current petrochemical industry didn’t spring up overnight—it took billions of dollars to build the required industrial infrastructure and many decades of research and development to reach the point where gasoline is now produced efficiently and economically.
Consider the development of corn: due to human intervention over thousands of years, the species has been altered enormously from the original wild grass to today’s multitude of corn varieties. In September 2014, it announced a $25 million funding opportunity called Targeted Algal Biofuels and Bioproducts (TABB)[6]. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association of the world’s airlines, is particularly interested in alternative aviation fuels. The goal of the consortium is to become a world leader in energy research, education, technology, and energy systems analysis. Typically, the vehicle’s batteries are charged by electricity from the electric grid; however, electricity can also be generated wherever the vehicle is being charged from many sources, including from renewable energy, such as wind or solar energy.
The term ‘plug-in electric vehicle’ (PEV) applies to all vehicles that are powered either completely or partially from the electric grid. Overall efficiency is improved and petroleum use can be expected to be reduced by about 40%–60%[1]. Because of this difference, EREVs are considered electric vehicles by the IRS and may have a higher federal tax credit for consumers than PHEVs. Their electric batteries are charged by energy captured when the vehicle’s breaks are applied or generated by the electric motor while traveling on gasoline power, not from the electric grid.
Ideally batteries should be charged at a time of low demand and excess capacity, and some utilities offer variable rates, so consumers can benefit by charging in the middle of the night when rates are low.
Utilities must have integrated certain ‘smart grid’ components to allow them to schedule recharging at the most optimal time.
No additional incentives are currently offered by the State of Florida; but a few utilities offer rebates to their customers for PEV purchases.
Therefore, even though buyers may pay a premium to purchase a PEV, savings on fuel (and maintenance) can be expected over the lifetime of the vehicle. With electric vehicles the major concerns for the public are: the higher purchase price compared to an equivalent conventional vehicle, limited range, development of sufficient charging infrastructure, the length of time needed to recharge batteries, and battery reliability. It is used for quick charges at public or commercial locations to allow PEVs to travel extended distances, but is not suitable for regular home use. Level 2, no-cost, public charging in Gainesville, [Click to view full size image.] Florida.
The same National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards for conventional cars also apply to PEVs. Swapping vehicles or renting a car on the rare days when extended travel is needed are reasonable options for persons who only make occasional long trips—until the network of charging stations is sufficiently developed to serve their needs.
Department of Energy introduced the Workplace Charging Challenge in 2013, intended to increase the numbers of employers who offer their employees the option to recharge at work, with a goal of 500 employers by 2018.
Florida requires all utilities to “net meter” solar electricity, which means that customers are allowed to send excess power they generate from renewable sources back into the grid. For charging stations not connected to the grid, solar power is appropriate for workplace charging during daylight hours, but not overnight charging. Specifically, concerns are that utilities may have to increase generation capacity if large numbers of drivers arrive home and plug in their vehicles. Some vehicles already have onboard controls that allow the user to set desired charging times. This involves vehicle-to-grid (V2G) strategies which allow utilities to withdraw power stored in vehicle batteries to meet electric demand on the grid. When power outages occur on the electric grid, emergency power can be provided to homes by PEV batteries. We don’t have to wait for future battery improvements or economies of scale in production of PEVs to see life-time cost reductions from driving PEVs. And further development of smart grid and V2G integration technologies is needed to fully realize their potential cost savings and environmental benefits. Department of Energy, The eGallon: How Much Cheaper Is It to Drive on Electricity?, accessed 16 March 2015.
Department of Energy, EV Everywhere, Battery Status and Cost Reduction Prospects, 26 July 2012. Cugnet, presentation at the American Chemical Society National Meeting, Understanding the life of lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles, April 10, 2013. Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels Data Center, Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles, accessed June 8, 2015.
Department of Energy, Workplace Charging Challenge Progress Update 2014: Employers Take Charge, November 2014. Energy Information Administration, How much electricity does an American home use?, February 20, 2015.
So if you air condition a building, which also helps reduce indoor humidity, the high-humidity outdoor air can still enter your home through large openings like open doors and windows and small openings like cracks and crevices in the building shell, thereby leading to possible air quality problems. Yet these leak sites can be measured indirectly with a “blower door test.” The blower door test measures the airtightness of a building by changing the building’s static pressure with respect to the outdoors and recording the amount of air flow required for that change. This number is then converted to air changes per hour so you can compare your home’s leakage to standard recommendations for healthy and energy-efficient homes. If a home is reasonably air tight, the heating and cooling systems do not have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable indoor air temperature, and the utility bill will generally be lower than it would be if the home were “leaky”. These sources of leakage can be difficult to locate and correct without the use of the blower door test.
A view from the inside of the home showing the blower door test equipment: a temporary door (frame), blower (fan), and manometer (pressure gauge) along with helpful tools including a laptop computer, clipboard and blueprints of the home. ENERGY STAR Home program testing can only be conducted by RESNET HERS Raters who have taken and passed an ENERGY STAR certification class. Per Chapter 2 of the same code, an approved third party means one who is approved by the code official.
When the fan operates in this way, it is easy for someone walking around inside the home to feel air entering the building through cracks in its exterior envelope (shell). To determine a building’s ACH, the blower door performs an airtightness test with the house depressurized (or pressurized) to 50 Pascals.
Builders of energy-efficient homes generally strive for less than 5 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals pressure (ACH50).
To calculate this, air flow readings are taken at several house pressure differences, generally between 15 and 60 Pa.
In Florida’s climate, ACH50 measures can be divided by 40 to yield an expected natural infiltration rate, measured as “ACH” (Cummings, Moyer, and Tooley, 1990). For instance, sometimes indirect leaks or a combination of very small leaks can exist that cannot be easily identified with a blower door test. The use of a pressure pan in conjunction with the blower door can isolate where ducts are “leaky”. Anything that emits heat also gives off infrared radiation—the greater the heat, the more infrared radiation. From technical research to policy evaluation to behavioral campaigns and community outreach, FESC is helping Floridians reduce energy consumption and demand while creating a healthier environment. I hope Tax season is going to be here before you know it therefore, now is the time to make sure that you have made all of the energy efficient upgrades to your home by. You’ve probably already heard about ethanol produced from corn and sugar cane, or biodiesel from recycled cooking oil. Although carbon dioxide is released when these fuels are combusted, algal biofuels have the potential to be carbon neutral since carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere by the growing algae. It’s not only eaten in Japan; various species of Porphyra are eaten in Korea (where it is called gim), and in Wales (where it is called laver). Carrageenan, a thickener prepared from the seaweed known as Irish moss, is used as an emulsifier in foods and cosmetic products. Because algae can be grown using land and water unsuitable for terrestrial crop production, this would free up water and acreage currently used to produce animal feed. Sources can also include crops produced for fuel production, such as corn and sugarcane (processed for ethanol), and soybean, peanut, sunflower and other vegetable-based oils (processed for biodiesel).

Surprisingly, it’s generally the single-celled species—microalgae—that are cultivated as biomass for fuel production rather than the macroalgae (seaweeds). They can also be harvested continuously, even daily, as long as growing conditions are kept at optimum levels. Depending on the species, they can be grown in brackish water, salt water, or wastewater from sewage treatment plants (where they will not only be producing biofuel but also performing the valuable function of removing excessive nutrients).
As mentioned earlier, the military is also interested in the energy security provided by a domestically-produced renewable fuel supply. The most common design is the raceway pond (Figure 3), which cleverly maximizes the surface-to-volume ratio of the pond, and turns it into an endless stream.
They can also be contaminated by “wild” algae species that can overgrow the cultivated species, or predators that graze on algae. The algae are grown in tubes or bags made of transparent glass or plastic; this format can greatly increase the surface-to-volume ratio and allows maximum light penetration.
So the system must include a degassing area, where air is bubbled through the water to remove the excess oxygen.
To choose one example, estimates of algae oil yield range so widely, depending on the species and the conditions under which it is cultivated and harvested, that it’s difficult to say just how many “barrels per acre” can be produced. Many species produce high-quality proteins, essential fatty acids, or vitamins that can supplement local dietary needs, or be used in aquaculture or animal feed products.[3] Microalgae are currently cultivated for compounds such as astaxanthin, beta-carotene, lutein, etc. It’s unreasonable to expect that the infant biofuel industry will be similarly viable within just a few years.
There are corn varieties suitable for every need, from tasty table versions to varieties suited for animal feed and industrial applications, including a variety intended specifically for ethanol production. You can also ?solve PDF issues by reconfiguring your browser to work with Acrobat or Reader plug-in. These can be subdivided into battery [only] electric vehicles (BEV), or vehicles with batteries plus a second power system to extend the vehicle’s driving range after the batteries have discharged. For most consumers, this difference is a technicality and these types of vehicles can be compared based on both the all-electric range and by the mpg after the battery is depleted. Consumers can already delay charging till nighttime, even though they may plug in when they arrive home. There are variations on the way this can work, but participation is always optional, and consumers are compensated for their availability to help supply the grid.
Although buyers can spend more than $80,000 for a new PEV, overall prices have reduced and now almost all models fall in the price range of $25,000 to $40,000[12], a range accessible for a significant number of buyers.
A second type of plug, the SAE Fast Charger (or SAE J1772), is compatible with most American and German designed cars. Battery packs in PEVs are expected to retain at least 80 percent of their charge capacity for 5 to 20 years, depending on conditions including the ambient temperature and various charging practices[21]. Safety ratings for electric vehicles from NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have equaled or improved on those for gasoline engines.[23] In addition, electric systems must meet specific safety standards developed by several organizations. Energy from the electric grid can typically meet most daily travel, while switching to gasoline allows travel up to 500 miles without re-fueling.
The excess is credited against their power usage, and they are paid for the difference if they generate more than they use (but at a lesser rate than retail cost). Overnight charging can also take advantage of power generated at night from wind, biomass or the utility’s lowest cost, base load power sources.
The impact to the power grid depends on when PEV batteries are charged and what fuel sources are used to generate the electricity. This balancing of supply and demand could more efficiently incorporate renewable energy sources into the electric grid and reduce peak demands—by 35 percent in one analysis that simulated one-half of gasoline vehicles replaced by PEVs charged by solar power.[31] V2G systems offer utilities the potential to use less expensive and less polluting methods to generate electricity while reducing transportation emissions and costs.
Vehicle batteries can store a surprising amount of power; a Volt with effective storage of 20KW-hours could run an average household for about 18 hours without any conservation efforts[32] and significantly longer if, for example, power usage were limited to a refrigerator, lights and cell phones. Similarly, a more efficient electric grid and “greener” power from renewable energy sources are not required to see environmental benefits. As these improvements continue and a larger base of satisfied PEV drivers is created, it seems likely that many consumers will decide that PEV benefits outweigh their disincentives. As homes age and settle, air sealants may fail, which can also contribute to unintentional air leakage. The greater the air flow required to change this static pressure relationship, the greater the total size of the cracks and holes in the building envelope.
For example, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) requires a blower door test to assess where air leakage is occurring before approving any upgrades to the home. If you’re thinking about purchasing a home, whether new or pre-owned, you may want to consider having a home energy rating done before you buy. This frame is generally covered with a piece of vinyl or canvas specifically made for blower door testing. To find a RESNET HERS Rater who can conduct a blower door test for “green certification” purposes, search this website.
Requirements for air leakage testing in the Florida Building Code have been delayed for up to a year from the date of this publication (June 22, 2015).
This infiltration commonly occurs around windows, recessed lights, electrical sockets, air handlers, or any feature that penetrates the exterior walls or roof. A Pascal (Pa) is a small unit of pressure about equal to the pressure that a pat of butter exerts on a piece of toast. Table 1 summarizes the ranges of air changes per hour for typical homes of different levels of air leakage and energy efficiency. These measurements are then entered in a software program to determine the air flow rate at 50 Pa (referred to as CFM50). In other words, you are trying to determine the approximate size of all the air leakage sites added together.
In such situations, other tools such as infrared thermometers or cameras (discussed later in this fact sheet) can be used to detect changes in temperature that are indicative of air leakage.
For example, if ducts are located outside the conditioned area of the home, such as in the attic, and they are leaking, the homeowner may not realize they are paying to heat or cool the air outside their living environment.
Infrared thermometers and cameras can be used to detect air leakage sites as air leakage heats or cools surfaces. It sounds too good to be true—and in truth, making algae-based fuel a reality remains a major challenge. Other types of algae are consumed in countries as widespread as Chile, Ireland, Scotland, Greenland, Iceland, New Zealand, and along both the Pacific and Atlantic seaboards of Canada and the United States.
Navy is especially interested in the energy security aspect of biofuels and has been testing aviation and marine biofuels for several years. And since they don’t grow in soil, they don’t take up valuable arable land; production facilities can be located on lands unsuitable for agriculture or on water bodies not suited for human use. Test flights of jets powered by blends of conventional jet fuel and biofuel have shown that the latter is indeed a viable option for powering airplanes. It consists of a series of long, shallow troughs, a paddlewheel to gently circulate the water, and baffles to guide the water flow around the bends. Finally, although they can be constructed on any type of land, they do require a sizeable area for large-scale production. In one commonly-used design, the bags are arranged in vertical arrays so that as much of the surface area as possible is exposed to sunlight.
Until more rigorous studies are done at commercial scale—not just bench-top prototypes in a laboratory—we won’t really know what the economics of algal biofuel production will actually be.
And that is just from a single species: there are tens of thousands of algal species, many of them currently unknown to science.
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These dual system PEVs are either plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) or extended range electric vehicles (EREVs). By running only on electricity, BEVs must recharge when their batteries are depleted, but they offer the greatest savings on fuel costs, produce fewer emissions than either of the other types, and are eligible for Federal tax credits based on their battery capacities.
It provides general information, but in this fast developing field, discuss vehicle capabilities and individual needs with a sales representatives for any PEV you are considering for purchase. However, the ability for utilities to manage charging schedules, allows them to better predict and even out the demand for electricity.
This adds up to a savings of $3,500 to $5,250 in fuel costs over 5 years, as compared to the average 2015 vehicle with fuel efficiency of 24 miles per gallon.[16] Fewer moving parts in electric engines generally mean they also require less maintenance. Base load power is generated by reliable, continually operating sources that meet the system’s lowest power needs, as opposed to intermittent and peaking power plants that operate at times of higher power demands.
Even remodelers or repair professionals can unintentionally cause or exacerbate air leakage problems in your home. The home energy rating will include a blower door test to identify building leakage problems.
Consult your local Building Department for the status of the building air leakage testing requirements.
Fifty Pascals is approximately equivalent to a 20 mile-per-hour wind blowing against all surface of the building.
Multiplying the resulting CFM50 value by 60 (minutes) and dividing by the conditioned volume of the house (in cubic feet) gives the ACH50. This means that under normal wind and temperature conditions, we would expect about 25% of the house air to be replaced with outdoor air each hour with no mechanical equipment running.
Algae, on the other hand, grow in suspension—floating in the water column, bathed in nutrients and carbon dioxide while exposed to sunlight. Nutrients, carbon dioxide, and water are piped into the pond just in front of the paddlewheel, and, because it is shallow, sunlight is available to the whole algae population.
The search for suitable algal species—what one researcher terms “phycoprospecting”[4]—is just beginning. By viewing this site, you expressly agree that use of any information available through this web site or other internet resource accessible through this web site, is for personal use and utilized at your own risk.
A flatter, more predictable load allows the utility to operate more efficiently, from which all their customers can benefit.
Think of the remodeler changing out your kitchen cabinets and leaving an opening to the attic above the cabinets, or the cable technician drilling a hole in the side of your home to place a cable line and failing to seal the hole properly after the cable is installed. There has been a voluntary statewide energy-efficiency rating system for Florida homes since 1994 and unplanned air leakage is a major factor determining the overall home energy rating.
For example, a home that has 2,000 square feet of living area and 8-foot ceilings has a volume of 16,000 cubic feet (2,000 square feet multiplied times 8 feet). In our example above, where CFM50 was 1,333, what the approximate cumulative hole size would be 1,333 times 0.13, or 173 square inches.
Although primarily written for North Dakota conditions, the publication Determining Insulation and Air Infiltration Levels Using an Infrared Thermometer provides useful information on the process of evaluating your home for air leaks using an infrared thermometer. In fact, some algae are cultivated commercially as nutritional supplements, such as Spirulina and Chlorella. This suspension allows them to absorb what they need more efficiently than terrestrial plants, but also brings a unique set of problems. Harvesting is simple: algae-laden water is piped out just behind the paddlewheel for further processing. Pumps or natural wave action keep the water circulating to prevent the algae from settling on the surfaces and blocking sunlight. And when suitable species are found (or developed), precautions will have to be taken so that once they are removed from their natural environment and exploited in commercial operations, they don’t accidentally become invasive pests. Building contractors, who have blower door tests performed on homes they build, learn to expect where and how air leakage problems are likely to occur, and they have adopted construction techniques to avoid such problems. If the blower door measures a CFM50 leakage of 1,333 then the equation would be 1,333 cubic feet per minute times 60 minutes divided by the volume of 16,000 cubic feet to equal 5 air changes per hour. Actual infiltration will vary considerably based on time of day and changes in wind, temperature, and humidity over the course of the day. This means that if you added all the air leak sites together in the example home you would find 173 square inches (1.18 square feet) of potential areas that need sealing, caulking, fixing, or some other sort of repair to reduce leakage. There are a wide variety of infrared cameras, but with all models it is critical that the user know how to correctly operate the camera and interpret the visual images. Future options may include inductive or Wireless Power Transfer charging that would only require the driver to pull into special parking places to recharge their batteries. The home therefore has an infiltration rate of 5 ACH50 (5 air changes per hour at 50 Pa test pressure). And second, they have to stay close enough to the surface so that sunlight can reach them; sunlight can’t penetrate water very deeply.

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