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Archive for the ‘Patents’ Category

MATTHEW MCDERMOTT, Treehuger.com, February 10, 2009

3268992893_da741f3657Based off the Aberdeen, Scotland-based company’s Ocean Treader, the Wave Treader is designed to mount onto the tower of an offshore wind turbine.

The Wave Treader concept utilizes the arms and sponsons from Ocean Treader and instead of reacting against a floating spar buoy, will react through an interface structure onto the foundation of an offshore wind turbine. Between the arms and the interface structure hydraulic cylinders are mounted and as the wave passes the machine first the forward sponson will lift and fall and then the aft sponson will lift and fall each stroking their hydraulic cylinder in turn. This pressurizes hydraulic fluid which is then smoothed by hydraulic accumulators before driving a hydraulic motor which in turn drives an electricity generator. The electricity is then exported through the cable shared with the wind turbine.

Each Wave Treader is rated at 500kW and can turn to face into the waves to ensure optimal power generation. The first full-size prototype is expected to be built later this year, with commercial versions being made available in 2011.

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MendoCoastCurrent, January 17, 2009

Here’s the post from MendoCoastCurrent in the Citizen’s Briefing Book at President-elect Barack Obama’s change.gov site:

Renewable Energy Development (RED) federal task force

Immediately establish and staff a Renewable Energy Development (RED) federal task force chartered with exploring and fast-tracking the development, exploration and commercialization of environmentally-sensitive renewable energy solutions in solar, wind, wave, green-ag, et al.

At this ‘world-class incubator,’ federal energy policy development is created as cutting-edge technologies and science move swiftly from white boards and white papers to testing to refinement and implementation.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

If you wish to support this, please vote up this post at :

Renewable Energy Development (RED) federal task force.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Mendocino Energy:

Renewable energy incubator and campus on the Mendocino coast exploring nascent and organic technology solutions in wind, wave, solar, green-ag, bioremediation and coastal energy, located on the 400+ acre waterfront G-P Mill site.

Mendocino Energy may be a Campus in Obama’s Renewable Energy Development (RED) federal task force.

Vision:

Mendocino Energy is located on the Mendocino coast, three plus hours north of San Francisco/Silicon Valley.  On the waterfront of Fort Bragg, a portion of the now-defunct Georgia-Pacific Mill Site shall be used for exploring best practices, cost-efficient, environmentally-sensitive renewable and sustainable energy development – wind, wave, solar, bioremediation, green-ag, among many others. The end goal is to identify and engineer optimum, commercial-scale, sustainable, renewable energy solutions.

Start-ups, universities (e.g., Stanford’s newly-funded energy institute), the federal government (RED) and the world’s greatest minds working together to create, collaborate, compete and participate in this fast-tracked exploration.

The campus is quickly constructed of green, temp-portable structures (also a green technology) on the healthiest areas of the Mill Site as in the past, this waterfront, 400+ acre created contaminated areas where mushroom bioremediation is currently being tested (one more sustainable technology requiring exploration). So, readying the site and determining best sites for solar thermal, wind turbines and mills, wave energy, etc.

To learn more about these technologies, especially wave energy, RSS MendoCoastCurrent.

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MendoCoastCurrent, September 18, 2008

EnviroMission’s Solar Tower technology is focused on large-scale, clean, green renewable energy generation from the world’s first 200MW solar thermal power station.

One 200MW power station will provide enough electricity to around 200,000 typical Australian households and abates over 900,000 tonnes of greenhouse producing gases from entering the environment annually.

The monolithic scale of the project may also add value to the construction of the power station through tourism and associated economic benefits.

The prototype Solar Tower has been tested and proven with a small-scale pilot project in Manzanares, Spain, as a result of collaboration between the Spanish government and German designers, Schlaich Bergermann and Partner.

It even operated for seven years between 1982 and 1989, and consistently generated 50kW output of green energy, proving the concepts works as well as providing data for design modifications to achieve greater commercial and economic benefits associated with an increased scale of economy.

Where Next?

After an extensive search, EnviroMission selected the site for the world’s first Solar Tower power station to be built in the Buronga district of the Wentworth Shire in NSW and 25km NE of Mildura in Victoria, Australia.  The proposed site shows EnviroMission’s commitment to the Australia’s Sunraysia Region of NSW and Victoria. The project still requires planning approval codes, regulations and legislation from Australia’s State and Local Governments.

Background on the Solar Tower and the Market in Australia

Formerly referred to as Solar Chimney technology in academic literature – the Solar Tower is now marketed without the reference to chimney (to avoid confusion with the pollution associated with chimneys – this technology is emission free) – the Solar Tower has had in excess of A$35 million and 20 years of research and development invested in it.  EnviroMission believe that now, more than ever before, the time is ideal to apply this technology.

For more than 100 years it has been relatively cheap, environmentally unaccountable and simple to dig up coal as a fuel source to produce electricity. With concerns over climate change and increasing need for clean, renewable energy solutions account for still less than 10% of all electricity generated in Australia.

Community concern about Australia’s over reliance on coal-based ‘black’ and ‘brown’ energy and the negative impact on the environment has helped to drive political change. There is now a legislated market for clean, green renewable energy, legislated as a Mandated Renewable Energy Target (9500 gWh annual renewable energy target by 2010) has opened the way for investment in new approaches to renewable energy generation.  This recent incentive is important to the growth of renewable energy development including Solar Tower technology.

A further political incentive in the form of the Renewable Energy Credit (REC) developed by the Australian Government in 2001 has encouraged new investment in renewable energy development, with the purpose of reducing greenhouse gases and increasing the amount of renewable energy output.

As new materials, construction methods and government policy are now available to the extent that there is environmental, social and commercial advantage in the development of Solar Tower technology.

EnviroMission claims that each 200MW solar thermal power station will abate over 900,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the environment annually. The Solar Tower technology will help Australia meet its Kyoto obligations, provide a bonus to the environment, and will be a major producer of scaleable renewable energy with flow on benefits to the community and our investors.

Terms of Recent Deal with SMT

Following the mutual termination of the 2007 merger proposal between EnviroMission Limited with SolarMission Technologies, Inc (SMT), EnviroMission and SMT have continued to explore alternative corporate actions and structures to facilitate the shared ambition and vision for the long-term Solar Tower development.

As a result, EnviroMission implemented an acquisition model to leverage off the advantage of its public listing, providing the inducement of listing liquidity to SMT common share and warrant holders under the terms of a Stock Exchange Offer, with the aim of securing at least majority control of SMT.

In the weeks leading up to the close of the Stock Exchange Offer (August 1, 2008), EnviroMission negotiated a license agreement with SMT to confirm the strategic intent of the acquisition and ensure the licence also contained sufficient commercial terms to provide equity to all SMT security holders, including security holders that may decline the EnviroMission Stock Exchange Offer. EnviroMission’s license agreement with SMT takes effect from July 31, 2008 to secure the global SolarTower development license in all markets, excluding China.

EnviroMission will issue 5,000,000 (five million) ordinary free trading shares to SMT as an equity consideration for the global Solar Tower license (excluding China), with additional ‘commercial in confidence’ provisions to satisfy the immediate and equitable assignment of the Solar Tower license to EnviroMission; subject also to EnviroMission shareholder approval of the Stock Exchange Offer to SMT.

Commercial terms are based on development milestones to provide an ongoing equity opportunity to SMT (EnviroMission anticipates owning 58.92% of SMT subject to shareholder approval). On this basis, EnviroMission has negotiated an agreement assigning the global Solar Tower license to EnviroMission.

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MendoCoastCurrent, July 27, 2008

Finavera Renewables CEO Jason Bak provides this overview of 2008 activities to date and an outlook for the remainder of the year.

“The first half of 2008 has been an exciting period for Finavera Renewables,” commented CEO Jason Bak. “Our strategy [in] wind projects is to develop an approximate one gigawatt pipeline with partners that can provide balance sheet strength. Our plan is to maintain majority ownership interests that will provide us with revenues. We have seen significant interest in our British Columbia and Ireland wind projects and we are confident we’ll be able to enter into development agreements with partners that will not result in undue shareholder dilution. We will be focusing our efforts and resources on our most valuable assets in order to demonstrate their value to the market and move them towards production.”

Finavera Renewables’ wind projects have been the focus of much activity in the first half of 2008. Aggressively pursuing partners for projects in British Columbia, Canada and in Ireland. After assessing a number of various partners, a proposal letter has been executed from a potential investor for the equity financing of four projects in British Columbia to be bid into the upcoming BC Hydro Clean Power Call. In addition, in Ireland, preliminary discussions have identified a potential project partner following a detailed review of groups expressing an interest in the project pipeline. The strategy for all of these projects is to maintain a significant ownership interest in the projects in order to provide a revenue stream.

Progress is also being made in the ocean energy division. The planned development of the next generation of its wave energy converter, the AquaBuOY 3.0, is continuing in order to improve the power output and economics of the device. This includes an analysis of advanced composite materials in the manufacturing of the device and discussions with potential technology development partners in an effort to enhance the core hose pump technology. This continued technology development builds on significant progress in wave energy projects including the signing of North America’s first commercial power purchase agreement for a 2 MW wave energy project in California with Pacific Gas & Electric.

Highlights of selected Finavera projects and milestones for 2008:

Wind Project Updates

British Columbia, Canada

Discussions with a potential corporate investor, receiving non-binding indicative financing proposal, in connection with four wind projects currently being developed in the Peace Region of British Columbia, Canada. The proposal contemplates the investor would invest 100% of the equity requirements for each of the four projects awarded an electricity purchase agreement by BC Hydro pursuant to the BC Hydro Clean Power Call. Specific details of the proposal, including the name of the proponent, will be released on signing of a definitive agreement, yet expects to the agreement in place well in advance of the Clean Power Call bid submission deadline November 2008. Finavera is working to prepare bids for the call, and is confident in its ability to secure a contract from the call. Also continuing is the greenfield development of its other permitted areas in the Cascade Mountains area of south central British Columbia, and soon expects to install meteorological monitoring towers on those sites.

Alberta, Canada

Continuing to evaluate development options in order to extract the maximum value from the 75MW Ghost Pine wind project. All of the significant environmental field work has been completed on the project which is located approximately 150km northeast of Calgary. The field work included wildlife, vegetation and land use studies, historical resource investigations and approvals, avian and raptor surveys, and preliminary geotechnical surveys. The project’s final detailed design is close to conclusion. Permitting and interconnection provisions are in place to allow for construction and wind turbine erection would take place in 2009 with a targeted in-service date of December 2009. Wind resource assessment is underway for the nearby 75MW Lone Pine wind project, intending to make an interconnection application for this second Alberta project soon.

Cloosh Valley, Ireland

Discussions are ongoing with a potential partner in order to development prospects for the 105 MW Cloosh Valley wind project. The project has received planning permission for meteorological tower installation for wind data collection from Galway County Council. As well, an application for interconnection has been submitted to Eirgrid, the independent electricity transmission system operator in Ireland, and grid queue position has been established. The next stages of development include the submission of an application for planning permission to An Bord Pleanala, the Irish federal planning authority, under newly established streamlined guidelines for strategic infrastructure projects.

Ocean Energy Updates

Development continues on the next generation AquaBuOY 3.0 design in order to reduce the levelized cost of electricity production and move the technology towards commercialization. Now undertaking an advanced composite materials analysis to lower the construction cost of the device and provide a stronger, lighter housing for the core hose pump technology. Finavera is also in discussion with potential technology development partners in an effort to enhance the hose pump technology and acquire or develop additional IP related to the hose pump technology. The next state of the AquaBuOY design phase will build on the information gathered from the deployment of the prototype AquaBuOY 2.0 technology off the coast of Oregon in 2007. The mathematical and power output modeling was verified during the test phase. The exact timing of future deployments and specific development milestones will be released as research and development objectives are met.

Narrowing its project development focus to the West Coast of North America and South Africa to direct resources to the most valuable project assets. This enhanced focus will help provide clean, renewable and cost effective electricity by 2012 from the project in Humboldt County, California. A long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) has been signed with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for 2 MW wave energy project off the coast of California. This is the first commercial PPA for a wave energy project in North America.

“The second half of 2008 presents a tremendous opportunity for Finavera Renewables as we are poised to complete a number initiatives undertaken during the first half of the year. Our plan is to focus our efforts and resources on our highest value assets while investigating additional partnerships and joint ventures in the renewable energy sector,” said Jason Bak, CEO.

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EHUD ZION WALDOKS, The Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2008

A search through the Israel Patent Office library computer revealed recently that wind and wave energy patent requests are on the rise.

While it’s not a big market, requests have jumped in the last few years. There have been 38 patent requests relating to wind turbines in the last decade, half since 2005. Regarding wave energy, there have been 34 requests since 1998, and 17 since 2005. The earliest patent requests in those fields, according to computer records, were from 1969 and 1970.

Additionally pumps and turbines and environment technologies worldwide experienced an approximately 13% growth in applications from 2006 to 2007, according to statistics provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a division of the UN working to create a balanced international intellectual property system.

Patent requests are confidential, so little can be gleaned until a patent has been granted. The numbers could also be somewhat misleading as to the actual impact on the Israeli market, because overseas inventors sometimes file patent requests in Israel to protect their ideas here.

One such overseas businessman, Aloys Wobben, CEO of wind turbine company Enercon, has received patent protection in Israel for an unusual application for his product. In 2002, he filed a request to patent an idea that emerged out of the tragedy of September 11, 2001: to protect nuclear power plants from suicide airliners by erecting wind turbines all around the plant. According to Wobben, any plane targeting a nuclear power plant would either blow itself up when a wind turbine sheared into it, or the plane would be unable to change course fast enough to hit the nuclear power plant after lifting up over the wind turbines.

According to WIPO, Israel is among the top 15 countries in patent requests. Requests from Israel have also been on the rise since 2000, according to a statistical analysis of the first quarter of 2008.

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