Considering the national economic importance of resource access and clean energy for all countries, and the delivery of secure low cost energy, we base our approach upon the minimization of irreversible entropy losses as a sound scientific approach to resource efficiency and emisisons reduction in any particular process. Entropy losses or disorder of systems – thermodynamic and other – thus forms the basis for a robust science based approach to the challenge of sustainability.
This is our starting point and provides the fundamental basis of our activities for creating a more resource efficient and environmentally responsible economy.
How does this work in practice? Compare a classic Power Supply system, and a possible new Power Supply system:
SOURCE: Prof W Winkler
The main energy source in contemporary industrial processes is heat generated in a heat engine (HE) from fossil or nuclear fuels. Traditionally the best possibility of minimizing the losses involved in any such process, is a combination of heat use for producing electricity and heat supply for process purposes as shown on the left side of the figure. An example is district heating using combined heat and power (CHP) plants. The optimization of heat generation and its use within industrial processes is the key to efficient engineering processes. Heat supply and material/substance production are clearly linked.
Resource Efficiency change of power supply
Regenerative (renewable) energy supply is shown on the right side of the figure. Regenerative energy supply as for example wind or solar delivers mostly direct electric power through a power machine (PM). However such a PM is typically intermittent or fluctuating in its output and generally not sufficiently reliable in delivery for wholesale electricity demand. Consequently storage of electric work is an essential need. Furthermore another important change in the energy supply is the availability of heat.
The entire system efficiency depends on minimizing heat losses in order to avoid the additional need for electric power. In other words heat recovery and heat management improve the efficiency of the current combined heat and power technology. Finally the output production is now linked to electric power instead of heat supply, with a further replacement of heat by electricity as process energy e.g. thermal chemical processes have to be replaced by electrochemical processes. Minimizing irreversible entropy production delivers the key design specification for this.