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2016

  • AHERC
  • Hydrokinetic Energy
  • Yakutat Area Wave Resource Assessment
  • Tschetter, T., J. Kasper, and P. Duvoy
  • Publisher: Alaska Center for Energy and Power, Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center
  • Funding: Alaska Energy Authority, City and Borough of Yakutat

Yakutat is a community along the northeast coast of the Gulf of Alaska that is currently considering utilizing renewable, wave based electricity generation in order to lessen their reliance on diesel fuel for electricity generation. As part of this effort the University of Alaska Fairbanks carried out a study to assess the wave energy resource off of Yakutat’s Cannon Beach. Funding for the assessment was provided by the Alaska Energy Authority and the City and Borough of Yakutat. The study described herein utilized a combination of in situ observations and numerical modeling. The mean annual available wave energy at the mooring site is approximately 19.2 kW/m. While on an annual basis, this is less than sites off of Oregon or Hawaii (e.g. Kilcher, 2015), there is a large interannual variability in the Yakutat resource due to the frequent passage of storms over the Northern Gulf of Alaska. Winter values of the monthly mean available wave kinetic energy exceed 35 kW/m. Thus the resource is more than enough to satisfy Yakutat’s relatively modest electrical demand (e.g. Previsic and Bedard, 2009).

2015

  • AHERC
  • Hydrokinetic Energy
  • Debris Detection Methods
  • J.L. Kasper, J.B. Johnson, P.X. Duvoy, N. Konefal, J. Schmid
  • Funding: Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center

Debris in rivers and along coastlines occurs frequently. However very little quantitative information is available on the size, location, dynamics and most importantly the risk debris poses to river and marine energy converters. This report reviews techniques and instruments for quantifying debris, its potential for damaging marine hydrokinetic infrastructure and technologies that may be suitable for quantifying debris at prospective hydrokinetic energy sites. The different detection options discussed include mechanical, video and sonar technologies.

  • AHERC
  • Hydrokinetic Energy

Installation of hydrokinetic power-generating devices is currently being considered for the Yukon and Tanana rivers, two large and glacially turbid rivers in Alaska. We sampled downstream-migrating fish along the margins of both rivers, a middle island in the Yukon River, and mid-channel in the Tanana River in order to assess the temporal and spatial patterns of movement by resident and anadromous fishes and hence the potential for fish interactions with hydrokinetic devices. Results suggest that (1) river margins in the Yukon and Tanana rivers are primarily utilized by resident freshwater species, (2) the mid-channel is utilized by Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. smolts, and (3) only Chum Salmon O. keta smolts utilize both river margin and mid-channel areas. Some species exhibited distinct peaks and trends in downstream migration timing, including Longnose Suckers Catostomus catostomus, whitefishes (Coregoninae), Arctic Grayling Thymallus arcticus, Lake Chub Couesius plumbeus, Chinook Salmon O. tshawytscha, Coho Salmon O. kisutch, and Chum Salmon. Due to their downstream migration behavior, Pacific salmon smolts out-migrating in May–July will have the greatest potential for interactions with hydrokinetic devices installed in mid-channel surface waters of the Yukon and Tanana rivers.

  • PSI
  • Power Systems Integration

Energy storage systems have the capability to provide viable reductions in the fuel consumption of diesel generators in islanded grids with medium to high penetration of renewable energy sources. Kinetic energy storages systems (KESS) can provide spinning reserve capacity (SRC) in such grids. This allows operating with a lower capacity of diesel generators to meet the same demand. This contribution utilizes the Specification, Design and Assessment Methodology (SDA) to develop a KESS and its operational strategy for the islanded grid of Nome, Alaska. The resulting reduction of the diesel consumption is determined through simulations. A possible secondary function of the KESS is to provide load smoothing which relieves the generators from high dynamic load changes.

  • AHERC
  • Hydrokinetic Energy

Installation of hydrokinetic power-generating devices is currently being considered for the Yukon and Tanana rivers, two large and glacially turbid rivers in Alaska. We sampled downstream-migrating fish along the margins of both rivers, a middle island in the Yukon River, and mid-channel in the Tanana River in order to assess the temporal and spatial patterns of movement by resident and anadromous fishes and hence the potential for fish interactions with hydrokinetic devices. Results suggest that (1) river margins in the Yukon and Tanana rivers are primarily utilized by resident freshwater species, (2) the mid-channel is utilized by Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. smolts, and (3) only Chum Salmon O. keta smolts utilize both river margin and mid-channel areas. Some species exhibited distinct peaks and trends in downstream migration timing, including Longnose Suckers Catostomus catostomus, whitefishes (Coregoninae), Arctic Grayling Thymallus arcticus, Lake Chub Couesius plumbeus, Chinook Salmon O. tshawytscha, Coho Salmon O. kisutch, and Chum Salmon. Due to their downstream migration behavior, Pacific salmon smolts out-migrating in May–July will have the greatest potential for interactions with hydrokinetic devices installed in mid-channel surface waters of the Yukon and Tanana rivers.

  • Geothermal Energy

The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, and the Alaska Energy Authority share an interest in geothermal utilization for district heating or other direct use applications to benefit communities. The purpose of this project was to assess opportunities for low-cost, non-power options for the direct use of hot spring geothermal energy, with an emphasis on district heating, to benefit the communities of Adak, Akutan and Atka.

  • AHERC
  • Hydrokinetic Energy

2014

  • PSI
  • Power Systems Integration

This report describes the testing and evaluation of an ElectraTherm 50 kW, model Block 1, Organic Rankine cycle “Green Machine” as completed by the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Green Machine was tested in two phases. Under Phase I (Laboratory Testing), the Green Machine was installed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) power plant and run under controlled conditions to determine power output at different heating and cooling rates. It was also run under full load for reliability testing for a total test time of over 1,000 hours. Following the UAF tests, the unit was deemed suitable for deployment in a village power plant, and under Phase II (Field Testing) the community of Tok was selected to host the demonstration.

  • Wind Energy

Frequency regulation is central to the successful operation of remote wind-diesel powered electrical grids. Use of secondary or “dump” loads are necessary to allow instantaneous wind generation to exceed grid demand. The present study investigates the feasibility of using a network of Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) units without centralized control as an effective secondary load. Individual ETS units respond to changes in grid frequency by activating an appropriate number of heating elements in order to absorb energy surplus during high wind events. It is shown through numerical modelling that there are four major parameters that affect the response of the system: 1) zero-order hold time 2) full response point 3) number of units per phase, and 4) switching method. The effect of these parameters on frequency and voltage regulation is explored. When properly tuned, the ETS network can improve frequency and voltage regulation in wind-diesel mode.

  • Wind Energy

Mini-grids with high wind contribution tend to be relatively more dynamic and less stable than wind integration in large interconnected grids. This instability is primarily due to frequency fluctuations introduced from highly variable wind generation, multiple single-phase distribution branches with highly unbalanced single-phase loads, large pseudo-instantaneous changes in load, over compensation of reactive power, and lower machine inertias providing less damping. The objective of this research is to investigate the use of a genetic algorithm (GA) based proportional integral derivative (PID) diesel speed controller to improve frequency regulation in standalone high contribution wind-diesel mini-grid systems. A dynamic model of a standalone high contribution wind-diesel system was developed to study frequency regulation under variable wind and load conditions. The results using GA-based PID diesel speed control demonstrate improved frequency regulation as compared to standard diesel speed controls.

  • Wind Energy

Isolated hybrid wind microgrids operate within three distinct modes, depending on the wind resources and the consumer grid demand: diesel-only (DO), wind-diesel (WD) and windonly (WO). Few successful systems have been shown to consistently and smoothly transition between wind-diesel and wind-only modes. The University of Alaska – Fairbanks Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) has constructed a full scale test bed of such a system in order to evaluate technologies that facilitate this transition. The test bed is similar in design to the NREL Power Systems Integration Laboratory (PSIL) and sized to represent a typical off-grid community. The objective of the present work is to model the ACEP test bed in DO and WD modes using MATLAB™ SIMULINK© and then validate the model with actual fullscale laboratory measurements. As will be shown, the frequency responses are grouped into three classifications based on their behavior. The model is shown to be successful in describing the frequency response of relatively small (0.15 per unit) steps in load. Modifications to the excitation system model are discussed which could improve the accuracy for larger steps in load. The ACEP test bed and associated SIMULINK© model are to be used in future work to support investigating WO operation.

  • Hydrokinetic Energy

In spring 2010, Alaska Power and Telephone (AP&T) deployed a 25 kW New Energy Corporation EnCurrent hydrokinetic turbine in the Yukon River at Eagle, Alaska, to determine the feasibility of using river in-stream energy conversion (RISEC) devices to supply power to remote communities. The turbine was deployed on a floating platform and operated successfully until problems with surface and submerged debris caused AP&T to end operations. The company found that extensive debris problems on the Yukon at Eagle posed a severe challenge to operating the turbine and created significant safety hazards for their personnel. As a result, plans for deploying the turbine in 2011 were cancelled, and AP&T initiated a project with the Alaska Hydrokinetic Research Center (AHERC) to examine ways to reduce the hazard of surface debris for RISEC devices deployed from floating platforms. The focus of AHERC’s study was on the characteristics of river debris and strategies for reducing the impact of debris on RISEC infrastructure.

  • Solar Energy

Solar PV electricity generation is of interest to the City of Galena to supplement electricity production with diesel electric generators. Several PV installations, totaling approximately 30 kW, are currently distributed throughout locations on the Galena distribution grid. This report explores the potential for adding additional PV arrays on Galena’s grid while considering the current electricity generation infrastructure and making suggestions for future infrastructure upgrades. It is found that the maximum amount of PV capacity that could currently be absorbed by the distribution grid totals 130 kW and that 110 kW would be a prudent maximum target for total capacity installed in the current situation. With proper automation of the powerhouse and central SCADA control over all generation assets (PV and diesel) the PV capacity can potentially be increased to 205 kW. However, additional studies of the grid and supply and demand dynamics are required to ensure that power quality will remain within acceptable bounds with this amount of PV power online. Should the City of Galena decide to pursue the integration of large amounts of PV power in the future, it is recommended that a) data collection efforts regarding electricity and heat usage are brought under way as soon as possible, b) a grid assessment be performed with the goal of identifying needed improvements to accommodate distributed PV arrays, c) the powerhouse replacement be designed with accommodation of significant solar PV generation in mind, and d) that distributed residential solar PV installations be required to grid-tie with inverters that have communications and remote control capabilities.

  • Heat Pumps

This case study investigates the first cold climate use of an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) machine coupled with a diesel generator as integrated by the Cordova Electric Cooperative. The goal was to generate extra electricity from waste heat from a diesel generator in order to increase the fuel efficiency of the generator by generating extra electrical power.

  • Power Systems Integration

This report documents the findings of a laboratory analysis of a novel grid-interactive electric-thermal storage (GETS) controller installed in a Steffes 2102 electric-thermal storage (ETS) unit. The objective of this analysis was to document and describe the frequency response of an isolated grid driven by a rotating prime mover with an ETS unit connected as a selfregulating load. The controller is said to respond to changes in grid frequency by activating and deactivating individual resistive heating elements in order to maintain a balance of real power in the system. Measurements taken on a laboratory setup confirm that the unit is responding to changes in grid frequency. The time series data are presented and discussed, though conclusions about the performance of a network of ETS units in a full-scale grid application are difficult to make without the development of a simulation model and testing in an Alaska village with a hybrid wind-diesel system.

2013

  • AHERC
  • Hydro Energy

This report describes the results of a three-year study to characterize the river environment of the Tanana River at Nenana, Alaska, as it relates to the deployment and operation of hydrokinetic power generating devices (HKDs). Our particular interest was in determining those aspects of the river environment that may affect the infrastructure deployment and operations of HKDs and the effects of HKD operation on the river environment. A goal was to establish the Tanana River Test Site (TRTS) at Nenana to facilitate development and testing of HKD technology in a realistic Alaska river setting and develop methods of evaluating river hydrokinetic conditions, HKD performance parameters, and the economics of HKD power (Figure 7). The study site was initially identified by the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), which subsequently obtained a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) preliminary permit to operate at the site. The ORPC approached the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) about a collaboration to conduct HKD-related studies of the Tanana River at Nenana. This collaboration led to the creation of the Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center (AHERC) and the start of this project, which was supported by the Alaska Energy Authority’s (AEA) Renewable Energy Fund.

  • PSI
  • Power Systems Integration

This case study investigates the first cold climate use of an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) machine coupled with a diesel generator as integrated by the Cordova Electric Cooperative. The goal was to generate extra electricity from waste heat from a diesel generator in order to increase the fuel efficiency of the generator by generating extra electrical power.This case study investigates the first cold climate use of an Organic Rankine Cycle

  • Other
  • Technology and Resource Assessments

Iceland has created a nice market for itself internationally as the engineering and geoscience experts of high-temperature geothermal energy development. This advancement of a knowledge-based economy is facilitated by the United Nations University – Geothermal Training Program (UNU-GTP) in Reykjavik. Since its inception in 1979, the UNU-GTP has acted as a coordination hub for Iceland’s universities and businesses to further connections internationally. Through careful selection of partners and strategic outreach mechanisms, the UNU-GTP has forged alliances that have served to bolster the reputations of its academic institutions as well as opened project opportunities for its geothermal industry abroad. This report will provide a brief history of the UNU-GTP, examine its operation as a training program, and explore how the selection of its participants and continued involvement with graduated Fellows have helped to strengthen these international relationships.

  • Geothermal Energy
  • Updated Heat Flow of Alaska
  • Johseph Batir, David Blackwell, Maria Richards
  • Funding: Alaska Center for Energy and Power and Alaska Energy Authority

The 2013 update to the Heat Flow Map of Alaska (HFMAK) is described, including the methodology for new data collection, processing and gridding of the heat flow, volcanoes, and hot springs data, and conclusions drawn from the expanded dataset. The previous version of the Heat Flow Map of Alaska was published in 2004 with the Geothermal Map of North America by the Southern Methodist University Geothermal Laboratory. This map represents heat flow, which is only one of the three necessary parts of a geothermal system. This map should be considered a reconnaissance study to guide future preliminary research.

  • Geothermal Energy

Pilgrim Hot Springs has a known shallow geothermal reservoir with temperatures approaching 91˚C in the top 100 meters of the system that underlies the main hot springs area of 1.5 km2. The deeper reservoir is less understood with similar temperatures at the basement surface 320 meters directly beneath the hot springs. The aspect of this research is to create a stratigraphic model and delineate potential flow paths for the upflow zone of the geothermal anomaly. Lithology, well logs, temperature data, and magnetotelluric survey maps indicate a shallow outflow aquifer at 50 meters depth, a low permeability clay cap at 200-275 meters depth above the deeper reservoir, and an upflow of 90°C geothermal fluids that correlates to an indurated zone to the basement surface. The geothermal fluids may be flowing from a fault in the bedrock in the center of the hot springs although the deeper source is speculative.

  • Other
  • Geothermal Energy

Presentation on the background of the country and their economics. Information about the energy sector and potential of renewable energies.

  • PSI
  • Power Systems Integration

An inverter-battery system manufactured by Sustainable Automation Inc. (Sec. 3) underwent testing at the Alaska Center for Energy and Power’s Power Systems Integration Laboratory (Sec. 2). The aim of the tests was to demonstrate that inverter-battery systems are a viable strategy for diesel-off mode operation of wind-diesel grids, and to investigate whether this particular inverter-battery system is ready to be deployed in rural Alaska. The system tests showed that diesel-off mode is attainable with the grid-forming inverter tested here (GRIDFORM inverter by Sustainable Automation Inc.). The GRIDFORM inverter provided high quality power and grid stability in diesel-off operation. However, the tests and the design review also revealed several shortcomings of the equipment. It is recommended that these shortcomings be addressed before the GRIDFORM inverter-battery system is deployed to rural Alaska. In addition, the need for extensive operator training with these new technologies is significant and should be factored into a purchase decision.

  • Geothermal Energy

Bringing together geothermal energy, history and Iñupiaq culture to create a sustainable and economically viable eco-tourism destination to the Seward Peninsula, Alaska.

  • Power Systems Integration

The Polarconsult Small-Scale High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) project seeks to design, develop, and demonstrate 1) small-scale HVDC converters and 2) innovative complementary transmission infrastructure with the goal of reducing costs for applications in rural Alaska. The project is funded by the Denali Commission, and is comprised of three phases. This report provides a summary review of Phase II project activities, and focuses on lessons learned and recommendations for appropriate next steps in terms of technology research and application in Alaska. In addition, pertinent context, concepts, and background information are discussed to inform this review.

  • Other
  • Geothermal Energy

In undertaking heat loss studies of geothermal systems, it is important to consider the heat flux associated with the outflow of thermal waters at hot springs, which may account for over 50% of the total natural surface heat loss. Conventional in-situ methods for quantifying hot spring heat flux may not always be feasible if there are low rates of flow or thermal waters are not confined to well-defined drainage channels. This paper describes the use of high spatial resolution airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery for quantifying the heat flux and corresponding outflow rate of hot springs using a case study of the Pilgrim Hot Springs geothermal system in western Alaska. The approach is based upon the use of a simplified, steady-state, heat budget model that describes the heat gains and losses from areas of thermal water to calculate the hot spring heat flux required to maintain the temperature of these waters above ambient conditions. Inputs to the model include calibrated surface temperature maps for areas of thermal water derived from processing of airborne TIR imagery acquired using a broadband forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera as well various atmospheric variables relevant to the thermodynamics of water bodies. The model is applied on a per-pixel basis to provide maps of the hot spring heat flux for the thermal waters. The total hot spring heat flux, representing the sum of the per-pixel heat fluxes, is used to calculate a corresponding hot spring outflow rate assuming a fixed hot spring temperature. This approach has been applied to TIR imagery acquired during two surveys over Pilgrim Hot Springs in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011. Although the heat budget model is particularly sensitive to wind speed, the results provide conservative estimates of the hot spring heat flux and outflow rates (at 81.3 °C) of ~4.7–6.7 MW thermal energy, and ~976–1400 l/min, respectively. These results are 2–3 times higher than field-based estimates of the hot spring heat flux derived using direct measurements of the flow rate in streams draining part of the thermal catchment at the site. This result is consistent with the synoptic capabilities of the airborne TIR data that map all areas of thermal water. This approach has significant potential as a rapid and repeatable method for quantitative investigations of spring-dominated geothermal systems in support of resource assessment, and long-term monitoring.

  • Wind Energy

As the cost of diesel fuel has risen sharply in the past few years, the incentive to replace expensive diesel electric power generation with less costly alternatives has also increased. Many remote Alaska communities have excellent wind resources, but the cost of installing utility-scale wind turbines in these locations is high. Even more challenging is the stochastic (random) nature of wind energy, which makes it difficult to provide utility-grade electricity from this resource.

  • Heat Pumps

This report investigates the demonstration of a seawater heat pump system at the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC); the project was funded by the Denali Commission Emerging Energy Technology Grant (EETG) program. Heat pumps, a technology with limited cold climate applications, have been successfully utilized in countries such as Canada, Norway and Sweden with seawater as a heat source. There is much interest in this technology for Alaska given these relative applications and the opportunity to displace expensive heating fuel in the state’s coastal communities with access to (relatively) inexpensive electricity.” This report includes an overview of the demonstration project, an analysis of performance and economic data, and a summary of the lessons learned, findings and recommendations relevant for potential future applications of heat pumps utilizing seawater in Alaska.

  • Geothermal Energy

  • Geothermal Energy

Numerical modeling has been effectively used in this study to assess the potential and production sustainability of the Pilgrim Hot Springs geothermal system in Alaska. The TOUGH 2 software package was used to generate numerical simulation and stimulation models. The fluid and heat flow in the geothermal system were reconstructed using geological and geophysical constraints with model simulation parameters optimized via a history matching of subsurface temperature profiles. The reservoir simulation model was used to predict the heat loss from the system for both conductive and convective heat fluxes. This served as the basis for the development of reservoir stimulation model encompassing a production scenario with a plausible configuration of production and injection wells. This reservoir stimulation model was used to estimate the thermal energy from the production wells. The estimated energy potential of the Pilgrim Hot Springs geothermal system from the reservoir simulation model is about 28 MWThermal and from the stimulation model is about 50 MWThermal. Assuming that an electrical power generation system similar to Chena Hot Springs is used, the estimated thermal capacity of the shallow Pilgrim Hot Springs system implies a likely generation capacity of 2.8 to 5.0 MWElectric.

  • Geothermal Energy

Hot springs, fumaroles, and geysers are the most recognizable surface manifestations of geothermal systems. These discrete thermal features have potential to be mapped and quantified in support of geothermal exploration [1], resource assessment, and long term monitoring using thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing. Surface temperature data derived from TIR imagery can also be used to estimate the nearsurface heat loss supporting discrete geothermal features that provides a lower bound on the total heat loss from geothermal systems [2]. This measure of heat loss can be used to predict the power potential of undeveloped geothermal systems using existing empirical relationships between surface heat loss and electrical production capacity established from developed resources [3].

  • Biomass Energy

This paper provides a technical summary of benefit-cost ratios and sensitivity analyses of the biomass project given different fuel price projections and estimates of the social costs of carbon. The costs driving the benefit-cost ratios of this 20-year project are calculated by using the data provided by the Sealaska Corporation. In order to conduct these analyses, some economic assumptions were made and are presented below.

  • Heat Pumps

Heat pump project: Reducing carbon emissions and overall heating costs

  • Geothermal Energy

In areas of anomalously high crustal heat flow, geothermal systems transfer heat to the Earth’s surface often forming surface expressions such as hot springs, fumaroles, heated ground and associated mineral deposits. Geothermal systems are increasingly important as sources of renewable energy, natural wonders often afforded protected status, and their study is relevant to monitoring deeper magmatic processes. Thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing provides a unique tool for mapping the surface expressions of geothermal activity as applied to the exploration for new geothermal power resources and long term monitoring studies. In this chapter, we present a review of TIR remote sensing for investigations of geothermal systems. This includes a discussion on the applications of TIR remote sensing to the mapping of surface temperature anomalies associated with geothermal activity, measurement of near-surface heat fluxes associated with these features as input into monitoring and resource assessment, and for mapping of surface mineral indicators of both active and recently active hydrothermal systems.

  • Geothermal Energy

This document is the final report for the Pilgrim Hot Springs (PHS) geothermal exploration project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), The Alaska Energy Authority, the City of Nome, Bering Straits Native Corporation, White Mountain Native Corporation, Sitnasuak Native Corporation, Potelco, Inc., and the Norton Sound Economic Development Corparation. The first round of funding in 2009 was awarded under Alaska Energy Authority RSA R1108 and R1215 and DOE award DE-EE0002846. In 2013, DOE award DE-EE0000263 along with match money from the six other organizations listed above was awarded. This report details the activities that occurred as part of the first and second rounds of funding for geothermal exploration at PHS in 2010 and 2013. The project objectives were to test innovative geothermal exploration techniques for low-to-moderate-temperature geothermal resources and conduct resource evaluations of PHS.

  • Geothermal Energy

This study has developed numerical simulations of the Pilgrim Hot Springs geothermal system, Alaska using the TOUGH2 software package for the purposes of assessing the resource potential for both direct use applications and electrical generation. This work has included the development of two simulation models, describing fluid and heat flow in the geothermal system, that were built using geological and geophysical constraints with model simulation parameters optimized via a history matching of subsurface temperature profiles. The reservoir simulation models were used to predict the heat loss from the system for both conductive and convective heat fluxes. These reservoir simulation models served as the basis for the development of reservoir stimulation models encompassing three production scenarios with various configurations of production and injection wells. These reservoir stimulation models were used to estimate the thermal energy from the production wells. The major significance of these stimulation models is that they help to determine the feasibility of development of the reservoir for production. The reservoir simulation models estimate about 26-28 MWThermal energy and the stimulation models estimate about 46-50 MWThermal energy for the Pilgrim Hot Springs geothermal system. These estimated values indicate a favorable resource when compared to other low temperature systems such as, Chena Hot Springs, Alaska; Wabuska, Nevada; Amedee, California; and Wineagle, California.

2012

  • Biomass Energy

Cordova is located in southcentral part of Alaska, 150 miles southeast of Anchorage, and can be accessed only by boat or plane. The average winter temperature1 varies from 17⁰ F to 28⁰ F (-8⁰ C to -2⁰ C) and the average summer temperature varies from 49⁰ F to 63⁰ F (9⁰ C to 17⁰ C). 2 To support Cordova’s ongoing energy independence efforts , the Denali Commission approved a science project for the Science Club students at Cordova High School using Emerging Energy Technology Funds to develop a bio-digester that uses psychrophiles, a cold climate bacteria, that can reproduce in very cold temperatures, as low as 19⁰ F (-7.5⁰ C). 3 Use of psychrophiles in a bio-digester in Cordova is a new technology that aims to produce low cost biogas for Alaskans who live in extreme cold temperatures. The production of biogas varies significantly depending on ambient temperatures. The cold climate application of this technology is in its research and development (R&D) phase, which makes in-depth economic analysis challenging as there is little cost information and many parts for the application of the technology have to be custom build. This paper describes a preliminary economic analysis of the Cordova project. In order to provide a study at this early stage in technology development, the analysis was prepared using a combined benefit-cost and sensitivity analysis to show the impacts of variations in methane output, and diesel fuel and propane prices. For this preliminary analysis we compared the biodigester technology against diesel and propane fuel alternatives.

  • Power Systems Integration

The cost and efficiency of fossil fuel based electric power and heat production in remote areas is an important topic, such as in Alaska with more than 250 remote villages, and developing countries such as Mexico, with approximately 85,000 villages, each with populations less than 1000 persons. The operating cost of fossil fuel based generators such as diesel electric generators (DEGs) is primarily influenced by the cost associated with the purchase, transportation, and storage of diesel fuel. It is very expensive to transport fuel for DEGs in some villages of Alaska (Denali Commission, 2003) due to the extreme remoteness of the site. Furthermore, there are issues associated with oil spills and storage of fuels (Drouhillet & Shirazi, 1997). As of the year 2010, the average subsidized cost of electricity (COE) for a remote Alaskan community is about 0.53 USD/kWh for the first 500 kWh per residential customer per month. The unsubsidized COEs are as high as 2.00 USD/kWh for some extremely isolated communities (Denali Commission, 2003). An extension of the main grid is not possible for such communities due to high cost and losses for the transmission lines.

  • Power Systems Integration

The genesis of this project was a proposal for the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP), partnering with the UAF Chukchi Campus, to assess small-scale advanced storage systems in support of the Kotzebue Electric Association (KEA) Premium Power Battery Project. Funding was provided through the Denali Commission Emerging Technologies Grant Fund for obtaining and testing the flow battery system. The funding for this project was intended as a sub-award to KEA’s larger grant in recognition of the need to support ACEP’s research program in assessing other battery storage options appropriate for the Alaska market. The research project involved characterization of a 5 kW, 20 kWh vanadium redox flow battery (VRB) system supplied by Prudent Energy Systems. The project has been conducted at the ACEP facilities in collaboration with the UAF Chukchi Campus, who purchased the battery for testing and will use data generated from this work as part of their sustainability curriculum. The project begun in September 2010 and the first phase involved verifying manufacturer specifications.

  • Hydrokinetic Energy

The goal of the Nenana, Alaska, Hydrokinetic RivGen™ Power System Project (Project) was to assess and demonstrate the potential of a hydrokinetic power system in Alaska (Figure 1). The Project proposed to finalize site and technology concerns in preparation for deployment of ORPC’s RivGen™ turbine generator unit (TGU) at Nenana, Alaska (originally proposed for 2012, but now scheduled for 2013 at a “clear” river site, and for 2014 at Nenana). The Project included the design and building of a bottom support frame and debris diversion system as well as pre-deployment fish studies, which were completed by University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries under AHERC’s work at the Nenana site in August 2011.

  • AHERC
  • Hydrokinetic Energy

One of the challenges of generating electrical energy with a hydrokinetic turbine in Alaska rivers is the detrimental effect of woody debris in the water column. In order to mitigate this problem the questions of describing what types of debris might be encountered, the frequency of occurrence, the force of impact, and location in the water column need to be answered. The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center (AHERC) designed, constructed, and tested a mechanical debris detection device (MDDD) for Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC). The MDDD was intended to be deployed in the Tanana River at Nenana, Alaska, to assess the debris conditions at the location and depth at which ORPC was planning to deploy a hydrokinetic turbine demonstration project. The MDD was mounted on ORPC’s anchoring system that was designed to hold their turbine support structure in place during turbine operations. Due to difficulties in trying to deploy the anchoring system the MDDD was not deployed during the project period. This report summarizes the design, testing and operating instructions for the MDDD.

  • Other
  • Hydrokinetic Energy

ORPC Alaska, LLC is developing a site in the Tanana River near Nenana, Alaska for testing their RivGen™ Power System. As part of the permitting requirements, it is necessary to conduct baseline fish distribution studies to assess potential interactions between the fishes and the turbine which may result if down-migrating juvenile fishes move through the deployment site at the bottom of the middle of the river channel. To understand the spatial distribution of fishes in the river channel, fish monitoring at the RivGen™ deployment site and in nearby river margins was attempted from July through late August 2011. River margin sampling was effective for describing the fish community in this habitat, which was dominated by whitefishes, longnose suckers, chum salmon and lake chubs. Sampling fishes at the bottom of the middle of the river channel where the RivGen™ will be deployed was delayed because of logistical issues and limited to only a few days at the end of the study. Sampling in this environment was extremely challenging. Although comprehensive data describing the fish community at the bottom of the middle of the river channel were not obtained, a successful method for sampling fishes in this location was developed. This method of sampling in the middle of the river channel may be used in the future to provide valuable information about species composition, run timing and spatial distribution of the juvenile fishes in river channels, and hence potential interactions between fishes and the RivGen™ turbine.

  • Geothermal Energy

The objective of this project is to use a combination of existing and innovative remote sensing and ground-based exploration techniques to develop a preliminary conceptual model of the Pilgrim Hot Springs geothermal resource, and to test and hopefully confirm the model through the drilling of two confirmation slim holes.

  • Power Systems Integration

This report presents the achievements and findings of Phase II of the “High‐Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Transmission Systems for Rural Alaska” research and development (R&D) program. The goal of this program is to improve the economic viability of Alaska’s rural communities by providing more affordable electricity transmission alternatives. Phase II work was funded by the Denali Commission and completed by Polarconsult Alaska, Inc. (Polarconsult) under contract to the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP).

  • Solar Energy

This project will assess the feasibility of solar hot water heating systems on residential units in the NANA Region of Kotzebue. The Kotzebue Community Energy Task Force (CETF) had identified up to ten (10) Elders homes which are most in need of home heating assistance. System design and budget were considered for each home as well as southern exposure. After detailed review of designs and costs six (6) homes were identified to serve as test sites where solar-thermal systems, some using flat plate and some using evacuated tubes, have been installed (see figure below for manufacturer, installation contractors, collector type and system type). If the technology proves feasible above the Arctic Circle, these systems could be installed in homes throughout the region and serve as a model for alternative methods to heat homes without the use of fossil fuels. The main goal of this project is to reduce residential diesel fuel consumption for hot water and space heating.

  • AHERC
  • Hydrokinetic Energy

One of the challenges of generating electrical energy with a hydrokinetic turbine in Alaska rivers is the detrimental effect of woody debris in the water column. In order to mitigate this problem the questions of describing what types of debris might be encountered, the frequency of occurrence, the force of impact, and location in the water column need to be answered. The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center (AHERC) designed, constructed, and tested a mechanical debris detection device (MDDD) for Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC). The MDDD was intended to be deployed in the Tanana River at Nenana, Alaska, to assess the debris conditions at the location and depth at which ORPC was planning to deploy a hydrokinetic turbine demonstration project. The MDD was mounted on ORPC’s anchoring system that was designed to hold their turbine support structure in place during turbine operations. Due to difficulties in trying to deploy the anchoring system the MDDD was not deployed during the project period. This report summarizes the design, testing and operating instructions for the MDDD.

  • Power Systems Integration

In rural Alaska, approximately 180 villages consumes about 370,000MWh [1] of electrical energy annually, using isolated diesel generator sets. In general, the majority of time the diesel generators are operated in partial load and low load conditions. This makes the electrical power to fuel energy ratio be less than 40% and the rest of the fuel energy become heat dissipating into the environment through engine jacket coolant, exhaust, direct radiation, etc. If part of the waste heat could be used, there would be significant fuel savings. There are many heat recovery applications available for capturing diesel engine waste heat, including applications for general heating (e.g., space heating, city water temperature maintenance), direct thermal to electricity conversion, heat to power conversion using a heat engine, refrigeration, desalination, etc. Among these applications, waste heat for heating is considered the most efficient application; even heating is useful only for cold season. Although, in many cases, waste heat for heating is prohibited due to the village infrastructure and high construction cost, unwillingness of the villages, etc. A detailed report about waste heat for heating for Alaskan village diesel generators has been discussed in details in [2]. Waste heat for power through heat engines is also highly considered due to its acceptable efficiency (i.e., close to 10%), flexibility in electrical power utilization, and expected low maintenance (i.e. similar to steam engine or refrigeration systems). In addition, unlike heating application, power is needed yearly around.

  • Power Systems Integration

This report investigates the demonstration of a 50 kW Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system designed to generate electricity through the utilization of “waste heat” from diesel electric generators (DEGs). Given the prevalence of DEGs and the high cost of fuel in many Alaska communities, a diverse range of groups expressed interest in the applications of this technology for Alaska. While waste heat is currently recovered for space heating applications in many of these communities, there is need to formally assess the comparative opportunities of recovered heat utilized for electricity production. This report includes an overview of the demonstration project, an analysis of performance and economic data, and a summary of findings relevant to future applications of ORC technology in Alaska. This demonstration was funded by the Denali Commission Emerging Energy Technology Grant (EETG) program and implemented by the Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).

2011

  • Geothermal Energy

Small-scale biogas digesters are commonly used throughout regions with tropical and subtropical climates: Southeast Asia, Central and South America, the Middle East, and Africa. Digesters are used to generate biogas, which is a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide, and other trace gases. Biogas can be used as a fuel for a number of different applications including cooking, heating, and running an electric generator. Typically, the methanogens responsible for biogas production are limited in application to warm environments. This project, which was funded by the Denali Commission Emerging Energy Technology Grant (EETG) program, investigated the development of biogas digesters in cold climates using recently discovered psychrophilic (cold loving) methanogens. The following report includes a project summary, a discussion of challenges, and recommendations for future projects and research

  • Geothermal Energy

The primary objective of the Phase I study was to determine the optimal gas production rate at which small-scale psychrophilic digestors could be expected to perform within Alaskan climates and to compare biogas production efficiency under these conditions with that commonly observed in the tropics, where digestors are a mainstream form of energy production. In Phase I, six different digestor vessels (incubated at 15°C and 25°C) were fitted with data logging devices, gas collection systems and were kept within a semi-temperature controlled environment to test the effects of temperature on the various microbial consortia (mesophiles vs. psychrophiles) within the reactors. We monitored the following variables throughout the study: room and digestor temperatures, dissolved oxygen, pH, gas composition, flammability, and gas production rates. Using a feeding or loading rate of 2kg of substrate per day (1:1 food and water), researchers aimed to determine how close cold temperature biogas production by psychrophiles, mesophiles and mixed cultures could come to the efficiency observed with small-scale warm-temperature biogas production in India.

  • Geothermal Energy

In keeping with the initial project proposal, during Phase II the project team will focus on deploying the current digestors to test various applications and generate materials to inform a greater community of Alaskans about the technology. Researchers will provide Cordova High School (CHS) students with support and technical expertise necessary to aid them in exploring both conventional and nonconventional uses for this project’s small-scale biogas reactors. In this effort, the second phase of the project will engage the students much more than during Phase I (in which the student’s main responsibilities were to feed and maintain digestors), while at the same time continuing to analyze the project from a solid scientific framework supported by UAF technical staff. Some of the challenges we face offer a wide array of science and engineering problems and provide an excellent platform for student innovation and learning. Student involvement is likely to continue through the duration of the project when students will be given an opportunity to present their research findings at the Alaska Rural Energy Conference in Juneau Sept. 27th-29th, 2011. Once the research proposal has been approved, the project team will begin pursuing Phase II projects, beginning with gas storage and current system design.

  • Geothermal Energy

Updated schedule and milestone information.

  • AHERC
  • Hydrokinetic Energy

Hydrokinetic devices generate electricity by capturing kinetic energy from flowing water as it moves across or through a rotor, without impounding or diverting the water source. The Tanana River in Alaska, a turbid glacial system, has been selected as a pilot location to evaluate the effects of such a device on fish communities that are highly valued by subsistence, sport, and commercial users. The basic ecology and habitat use of fishes in turbid glacial systems are poorly understood; therefore it is necessary to study the species composition of the fish community and the spatial and temporal patterns of mainstem river use by these fishes to evaluate impacts of a hydrokinetic device. In this document, we provide an overview of existing knowledge of fish ecology in the Tanana River and impacts of hydrokinetic devices on fishes in other river systems. Seventeen fish species are known to inhabit the Tanana River and several may utilize the deepest and fastest section of the channel, the probable deployment location for the hydrokinetic device, as a seasonal migration corridor. Previous studies in clearwater river systems indicate that mortality and injury rates from turbine passage are low. However, the results from these studies may not apply to the Tanana River because of its distinctive physical properties. To rectify this shortcoming, a conceptual framework for a comprehensive fish ecology study is recommended to determine the impacts of hydrokinetic devices on fishes in turbid, glacial rivers.

  • Hydrokinetic Energy

A new tool for hydrokinetic energy potential assessment in rivers—HYDROKAL, which stands for a ‘‘hydrokinetic calculator’’—is presented. This tool was developed in the Fortran 90 programming language as an external module for the CCHE2D application, an existing two-dimensional hydrodynamic numerical model developed at the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering, University of Mississippi. Velocity outputs generated by the CCHE2D model are used by HYDROKAL to compute the instantaneous power density, an essential element in calculating the hydrokinetic power of a river reach. The tool includes a user-defined efficiency factor to account for turbine efficiency, which is fundamental for estimating the energy that could be harvested from the river. For each river cross section along the computational domain, maximum velocity and specific discharge are identified to assist in estimating the stability of the river reach and, thus, the feasibility of installing an in-stream turbine. A Python script was also developed to export the results from HYDROKAL to CCHE2D. HYDROKAL is applied to a reach of the Tanana River at Nenana, Alaska, USA.

  • Biomass Energy

In 2010, the Sealaska Corporation (Sealaska), the regional native corporation for Southeast Alaska, converted the heating system of its headquarters in Juneau from an oil-fired boiler to a wood pellet-fired boiler. Wood pellet-fired boilers have been used effectively for over 30 years in many different countries and environments but have had limited application in Alaska, and no commercial-scale project had been installed yet. Sealaska’s overall project goal was to demonstrate that biomass heat can be feasible and is a cost-effective option for larger commercial, industrial and municipal buildings. This project also has the potential to influence the demand for a densified wood product made of Southeast Alaska’s waste wood fiber. This demonstration was funded by the Denali Commission Emerging Energy Technology Grant (EETG) program and implemented by Sealaska. This report presents lessons learned based on the demonstration experience and presents broader recommendations for other commercial-scale biomass projects in Southeast Alaska as well as general research. This report will cover the following aspects of the Sealaska pellet boiler project: • A technical review of the boiler, including its installation, operation, and performance • A review of the Southeast Alaska pellet market • The relevance of this project to other wood pellet projects and markets in Alaska

  • Power Systems Integration

The results of the Factory Acceptance Test are somewhat mixed, and can be summarized as follows: • The Transflow 2000 unit was assembled, complete, and operating at the FAT on July 18-22, 2001 • Communications with the battery through the internet were possible through a web page interface. • Baseline data on performance was collected. • The battery did not demonstrate the expected energy storage capacity of 2.8 MW-hrs, instead providing only about 1.6 MW-hours of DC power. • In multiple tests, the efficiency of the battery varied considerably, for unknown reasons. If this were a commercial utility purchase of a standard product, the responsible action would be to decline acceptance of the unit based on a failure to perform to expected levels. However, this project at Kotzebue Electric Association is funded largely through funds intended to demonstrate pre-commercial technologies and evaluate their possible use in Alaskan communities. The objective of the project is to test the hardware and assess its level of performance.

  • Hydrokinetic Energy

Perhaps the greatest obstacle that confronts the implementation of commercial-scale hydrokinetic devices in rivers is debris. Until recently, this problem has been largely avoided by installing devices in areas where debris is not a factor. This practice significantly limits the possible locations for deployment, however, so new techniques must be developed. Although there is little precedent for large hydrokinetic devices and the issue of debris, there are examples of efforts to protect other engineered riverine structures. In addition to presenting these examples, we discuss the mechanisms for how debris enters the flow and is transported downstream, as this information can provide important insight in the development of debris mitigation strategies.

  • Hydrokinetic Energy

On August 7 and, again, on October 5, 2010 TerraSond Ltd. (TerraSond) mobilized under contract to Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) with the goal of accomplishing a Site Characterization Geophysical Study of the Hydrokinetic Power Production Project area in the Tanana River at Nenana, AK. The contract specified the recording, processing, analysis, and presentation of remotely sensed data for the purpose of interpreting the physical character of the ORPC Nenana Hydrokinetic Power Project environment. The survey area included 291,200 m2 of the Tanana River. This study was designed to complement previous measurements accomplished for Alaska Center for Energy (a collaborative research organization) adjacent to the Nenana Hydrokinetic Energy Research Site.

  • Power Systems Integration

PolarConsult Alaska, Inc. has contracted Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, a division of Manitoba Hydra Internationsl Ltd. (MHI) in Winnipeg, Canada to provide technical support for an Alaskan HVDC Distribution Initiative and project. MHI has been directly contracted by the State of Alaska, Electrical Inspection Department (the Client) in January 2011 to provide technical background on Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) ststems HVDC systems that utilize ground electrodes and several specific questions. This report is in direct response to those queries.

  • Power Systems Integration

The Denali Commission has funded development of an emerging energy technology that aims to reduce the cost of electrical interties for Alaska’s villages. Large-scale HVDC is a proven technology used around the world to move power, but utility-grade HVDC systems of the very small size needed to connect Alaska’s villages are not yet commercially available. This project is developing a small-scale HVDC power transmission system that will lower the cost of village interties, thereby reducing village energy costs. Work on this project began in 2008 with a feasibility analysis of the technology and concept. Design and testing of the power equipment is currently in progress, and will be completed later this year. By October 2011, all of the critical elements necessary to build a low-cost HVDC intertie will be developed.

  • Data Collections and Analysis

The Alaska Energy Authority commissioned the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) to conduct an independent study, evaluating the processes and impact of the Renewable Energy Fund since its inception with a goal of improving the program into the future. ACEP partnered with VEIC to provide the Alaska renewable energy industry context, coordination with key stakeholders and technical expertise.

  • Hydrokinetic Energy

Perhaps the greatest obstacle that confronts the implementation of commercial‐scale hydrokinetic devices in rivers is debris. Until recently, this problem has been largely avoided by installing devices in areas where debris is not a factor. This practice significantly limits the possible locations for deployment, however, so new techniques must be developed. Although there is little precedent for large hydrokinetic devices and the issue of debris, there are examples of efforts to protect other engineered riverine structures. In addition to presenting these examples, we discuss the mechanisms for how debris enters the flow and is transported downstream, as this information can provide important insight in the development of debris mitigation strategies.

  • Biomass Energy

The purpose of this report is to explore the viability of a new generation of nuclear power plants, small modular reactors (SMR), for meeting Alaska’s energy needs in the near to intermediate future. This study was conducted at the request of the Alaska Legislature, managed through the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA), and prepared by the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (University of Alaska Fairbanks) in partnership with the Institute of Social and Economic Research (University of Alaska Anchorage).

  • Solar Energy

Solar thermal technology, mature and widely used throughout many parts of the world, has had limited application in the Arctic. This report investigates a number of solar thermal systems for use in Alaska and above latitude 60° N, focusing on a recent project in Kotzebue funded by the Denali Commission Emerging Energy Technology Grant (EETG) program. The report includes an analysis of performance data, a summary of the lessons learned from the systems investigated, conclusions, and recommendations for potential future applications of solar thermal systems in the Arctic.

2010

  • Geothermal Energy

In 
the
 spring
 of
 2010, 
WHPacific geologist 
Steve 
Buckley, 
ACEP/UAF
 geology 
student 
Peter 
Illig
 and 
WH
Pacific 
Engineer 
Matt 
Bergan 
conducted 
a 
study 
of 
Division 
hot
 springs 
south 
of
 the 
villages 
of
 Shungnak 
and 
Kobuk 
and 
located 
within 
the
 Division
 National
 Wildlife
 Refuge.
 The 
goal
 was 
to 
gather 
base line
 physical
 data
 on
 the
 Division 
hot springs
and 
determine
 the
 potential 
for
 geothermal 
power
 production 
that
 could
 aid 
the
 rising 
energy 
costs 
of
 the
 surrounding
 communities.


  • Power Systems Integration

This report investigates the installation of a zinc-bromine flow battery system at Kotzebue. There is much interest in this technology for Alaska given the challenges of integrating intermittent energy sources into the many microgrids prevalent throughout rural Alaska. This report identifies the project participants and their roles and documents the development of the project, performance of the battery system factory acceptance test prior to shipment, and the installation and subsequent operational experience in Kotzebue. The report also presents findings based on the experience in the field, makes recommendations for the future direction of the flow battery project at Kotzebue and presents broader recommendations for other, future battery projects in Alaska communities.

  • Wind Energy

This initial report gives a review of technologies that are suitable for communities in Alaska that are operating wind-diesel hybrid systems, including aspects such as power electronics, energy storage, and control strategies. Additionally, key research questions are developed as well as testing protocols and experiment specifics, based on final equipment selection for the test bed.

2009

  • Other
  • Geothermal Energy

Although it is possible that most or all of the known thermal springs in the NANA region might be theoretically capable of supporting direct use or small scale power generation projects like the one installed at Chena Hot Springs in 2006, the Granite Mountain Hot Spring, along with Division Hot Springs were identified in the GAP Report as being the two most attractive hot spring sites for additional geothermal exploration effort.

  • Data Collections and Analysis

The purpose of this project was to assist TDX with obtaining data from existing water wells at Manley Hot Springs. There are numerous water wells that have been drilled over the years at Manley Hot Springs, but only four wells are on file in the State records and few data are available. The goal was to use standard geothermal pressure and temperature logging tools to obtain well data from any accessible water wells in the area. If wells were not accessible, a flowing temperature was obtained if possible.

  • Technology and Resource Assessments

The basic concept examined in this evaluation is to employ heat pumps to “lift” latent heat from raw seawater at temperatures ranging from 35F to 55F, and transfer this heat energy into air handler units and pavement at a temperature of 120F. The air handler units AHU-5 and AHU-6 are roof level units that currently transfer heat from a boiler fired 185F glycol loop in to the supply air stream for the building. Both units are equipped with duct coils through which a mixture of outside air and return air is drawn. The rate of glycol supply to these duct coils is modulated to maintain a temperature of 55F through 70F air leaving the air handler. The total design demand of AHU-5 plus AHU-6 is 3,124 MBH (3,124,000 BTU/hour) which represents approximately 40% of the total facility design heating demand. Accordingly, installation of heat pumps to supplement a majority of the heating demand for AHU-5 and AHU-6 will translate to significant reduction of heating oil usage and monthly operational costs.

  • Wind Energy

Diesel-off hybrid power systems represent the next generation wind diesel systems. In traditional systems, the diesel gen-set regulates both the voltage and frequency of the grid. In order to maximize fuel savings, it is desirable to be able to operate the system with the diesel engines shut off when other renewable power sources, such as wind, are available. However, in order to do so power electronics must be advanced enough to meet the power quality needs for the grid and customers. The Alaska Center for Energy and Power proposes to analyze state of the art power electronics to assess options for operating in a diesel-off mode. The review will be broad to incorporate both a systemic analysis of diesel-off technology as well as a component analysis, which will look in depth at flywheel, energy storage, and inverter dynamics. The project will be completed through the Wind Diesel Application Center (WiDAC), which is managed and operated as a consortium of industry and private sector partners involved in the development of wind-diesel systems in Alaska.

  • Technology and Resource Assessments

This report presents the results of Polarconsult's review and analysis of the technical feasibility, economic feasibility, challenges and advantages of using high-voltage direct current (HVDC) electrical interties to connect remote Alaska communities with each other and with local energy resources.

2008

  • Other
  • Data Collections and Analysis

While this report represents the most comprehensive effort to date to quantify GHG emissions within the FNSB, there are clear limitations involved. Accounting for all the aggregate emissions generated in our daily lives is a nearly impossible task, and there is no current methodology for capturing the emissions associated with all the imported goods coming into a community. As such, the scope of this inventory is limited to the major source categories of transportation, heating, electric energy production, and solid waste, which is consistent with inventories that other ICLEI communities have undertaken.

  • Biomass Energy

One major issue with the use of biodiesel fuels is the propensity of these fuels to oxidize during storage and form lacquers, resulting in failure of fuel handling systems. During one season of testing of a fish oil biodiesel in Alaska, a total of six out of six engines failed, all caused by fuel system seizures from lacquer films from partially oxidized fish oil. In retrospect, the oxidation of the biodiesel was due to the lack of understanding by the test program participants of the need for anti-oxidant additives, and for the proper storage conditions and time. This raises the question of the possibility of rehabilitating fuel that has undergone oxidation sufficient to render the fuel questionable. Preliminary tests at the UAF diesel test bed indicate that oxidized fish oil biodiesel can be rehabilitated and used as a fuel in diesel engines.

  • Power Systems Integration

In recent months, many interested persons have asked a variety of questions about the proposed HVDC system for rural Alaska. To increase understanding of the proposed project, system and technology, we have prepared this compilation of questions and answers about the project. This compilation provides more detail about the information highlighted in our HVDC White Paper. They are written for those that wish to better understand the HVDC technology and its benefits.

2007

  • Data Collections and Analysis

On September 14th, 2007, the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) Assembly passed Resolution 2007-40 (see Appendix C), which committed the Borough to participate in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). To date, more than 200 local governments across the U.S. and 770 local governments worldwide have joined ICLEI under their Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) Campaign in order to proactively address greenhouse gas emissions within their communities. In Alaska, the communities of Anchorage, Homer, Juneau, and Kodiak also participate in the program. As a signatory to ICLEI, the FNSB agreed to participate in a five-milestone process to develop an action plan which includes goals and targets for combating climate change and greenhouse gas emissions in the Borough. These milestones include:

2002

  • Wind Energy

This document represents the first chapter in the Operations and Maintenance Manual for the Wales Wind-Diesel Hybrid Power System. The entire manual is organized into many chapters with multiple appendices, totaling hundreds of pages, most of which are quite specific to the Wales system and not of general interest. The entire manual will therefore be produced in only a limited number of copies for those individuals and organizations with a direct role in operating and maintaining the system. The first chapter of the manual, however, deals with the system theory of operation, which is of more general interest, and is being published as this National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Technical Report. This report will also serve as a record, in summary fashion, of the hardware and software hybrid system controls technology developed by NREL under the Wales project. The authors intend that it be used as a reference not only by those directly involved in the operation of the Wales system, but by anyone with an interest in high-penetration, wind-diesel hybrid technology.

  • Wind Energy

2001

  • Wind Energy

Most of the engineering effort on the Wales project focused on the design and development of the new system components, primarily the main system controller and the energy storage subsystem. Comparatively little attention was paid to the diesel plant itself and to the modifications necessary to successfully integrate it into a fully automated wind-diesel hybrid system. Consequently, many diesel plant shortcomings were overlooked until they manifested themselves in the field during the start-up and commissioning of the wind-diesel hybrid system. The resulting problems revealed that in such a system, the diesel plant must perform to a higher 2 standard of performance than is often expected of the typical village power plant, which is usually designed to be completely manually operated. These higher performance requirements necessitate more rigorously designed diesel plants. Design shortcomings were found in all of the major diesel plant subsystems (engine cooling and fuel systems, generators, controls, switchgear, and distribution system).

2000

  • Wind Energy

Batteries are often used in wind-hybrid systems to store excess wind energy and then provide supplementary energy when the wind cannot generate sufficient power to meet the electric load. A battery monitoring system is therefore needed to track and display battery usage characteristics, and to estimate and detect trends in battery state-of-charge (SOC). From these measurements the state-of-health (SOH) of the battery can be estimated. However most commercial monitoring systems are designed for batteries that are used for other applications, and thus a more suitable battery monitoring system for wind-hybrid systems is needed. Such a system was created, using a Direct Logic 250 Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). The PLC was programmed to log, manipulate and conveniently store the battery bank DC voltage, the DC current of each battery string, and the temperature at up to 4 different locations on the battery bank. When the battery is fully charged, the PLC takes a DC resistance measurement, which is compared with previous measurements to determine the approximate SOH of the battery. A Quickpanel touchscreen was then programmed to display the data from the PLC, as well as to provide an interface for user input to the PLC. The hardware was then tested with simulated inputs to ensure a working battery monitor had been constructed, that can now be fully assembled and tested on an actual battery bank that is subject to charge cycling.