Volume 1, Number 1-3, April - June 2013

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About the Cover

Wind is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth's surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth's terrain, bodies of water, and vegetative cover. This wind flow, or motion energy, when "harvested" by modern wind turbines, can be used to generate electricity. The terms "wind energy" or "wind power" describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity to power homes, businesses, schools etc. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity. Wind energy is a free, renewable resource, so no matter how much is used today, there will still be the same supply in the future. Wind energy is also a source of clean, non-polluting, electricity. wind power plants have relatively little impact on the environment compared to fossil fuel power plants, there is some concern over the noise produced by the rotor blades, aesthetic (visual) impacts, and birds and bats having been killed by flying into the rotors. Most of these problems have been resolved or greatly reduced through technological development or by properly siting wind plants. The Indian wind energy sector has an installed capacity of 14158.00 MW (as on March 31, 2011). Today India is a major player in the global wind energy market and ranked 5th in the World. Indian Wind Energy Association has estimated that with the current level of technology, the ‘on-shore’ potential for utilization of wind energy for electricity generation is of the order of 65,000 MW. The unexploited resource availability has the potential to sustain the growth of wind energy sector in India in the years to come. Wind energy is the fastest growing segment of all renewable energy sources. It can be good alternative to nuclear energy in areas with favorable climate conditions. Wind energy will surely be important energy source in years to come. It is very competitive when compared to some other energy sources. It can be considered as the long-term energy source. The drawbacks are: changeability of wind speed and high construction costs. Wind energy theory was discovered in 1919 by German physicist Albert Betz and published in his book Wind-Energie. Wind energy can provide us with cleaner air and much healthier environment.

ENERGY OF THE MONTH

A Retrospective approach on thermodynamics

BBalasubramanian J, Narayanan N, Azhageshraj K, Pragadeesh K

Thermodynamics is the branch of natural science concerned with heat and its relation to other forms of energy and work. It defines macroscopic variables (such as temperature, internal energy, entropy, and pressure) that describe average properties of material bodies and radiation, and explains how they are related and by what laws they change with time. Thermodynamics does not describe the microscopic constituents of matter, and its laws can be derived from statistical mechanics.

Discovery Energy, 2013, 1(1), 3-8

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RESEARCH

Performance Evaluation of a Biogas Stove

MuhammaduMasin Muhammadu, BongdapNanbol Keza

This paper dwells on the design, fabrication and testing of a biogas stove from the locally available materials and fed with easily available cow dung as a seeder and kitchen wastes as continuous feed stock which yields much gas within 24 hours of charge resulting in a burning biogas stove for household usage. The methane gas from anaerobic digestion of kitchen waste was obtained and the effect of temperature and temperature change on the activities of the mesophilic and thermophilic bacteria on the slurry in the digester was also determined. It was found out that the observation and experimental test that the rate of gas produced and retention time was greatly dependent on the ambient temperature of the surrounding environment.

Discovery Energy, 2013, 1(1), 9-18

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RESEARCH

Biodiesel production: a preliminary study from Jatropha Curcas

Ponnuthurai Tary Amal Raajan

The world is getting modernized and industrialized day by day. As a result vehicles and engines are increasing. But energy sources used in these engines are limited and decreasing gradually. This situation leads to seek an alternative fuel for diesel engine. Biodiesel is an alternative fuel for diesel engine. In this study, crude Jatropha curcas oil was used as feedstock for biodiesel production by alkali-catalyzed methanolysis. The utilization of liquid fuels such as biodiesel produced from Jatropha oil by transesterification process represents one of the most promising options for the use of conventional fossil fuels. This paper investigates the prospect of making of biodiesel from jatropha oil. Jatropha curcas is a renewable non-edible plant. Jatropha is a wildly growing hardy plant in arid and semi-arid regions of the country on degraded soils having low fertility and moisture. The seeds of Jatropha contain 50-60% oil. Biodiesel, a promising substitute as an alternative fuel has gained significant attention due to the predicted shortness of conventional fuels and environmental concern. In this study the oil has been converted to biodiesel by the well-known transesterification process and used it to diesel engine for performance evaluation.

Discovery Energy, 2013, 1(1), 19-23

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REVIEWS

Algal Biofuel – an overview

Simadri Das, Gayathri J, Saddam Hussain M, Dhivakaran J

Algae fuel or Algal biofuel is an alternative to fossil fuel that uses algae as its source of natural deposits. Several companies and government agencies are funding efforts to reduce capital and operating costs and make algae fuel production commercially viable. Harvested algae, like fossil fuel, release CO2 when burnt but unlike fossil fuel the CO2 is taken out of the atmosphere by the growing of algae and other biofuel sources, and the world food crisis, have ignited interest in algaculture (farming algae) for making vegetable oil, biodiesel, bioethanol, biogasoline, biomethanol, biobutanol and other biofuels, using land that is not suitable for agriculture.

Discovery Energy, 2013, 1(1), 24-31

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ENERGY OF THE MONTH

Black Solar Cells are efficient source for electricity

Balasubramanian J

Researchers at Aalto University, Finland and Fraunhofer ISE, Germany account a performance of 18.7% for black silicon solar panels, the uppermost performance reported up to now for a black silicon solar cell.

Discovery Energy, 2013, 1(2), 34

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ENERGY OF THE MONTH

Power storage unit on the seabed

Balasubramanian J

Norwegian research scientists contribute the concept of storing electricity at the bottom of the sea. The energy will be stored with the help of high water pressure. Rainer Schramm, inventor and founder of the company Subhydro AS to Gemini.no explains, many people have launched the idea of storing energy by exploiting the pressure at the seabed, but we are the first in the world to apply a specific patent-pending technology to make this possible.

Discovery Energy, 2013, 1(3), 37

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