New Renewable Energy Ideas

Sep 9, 2017   //   by admin   //   Knowledge Base  //  No Comments

Technological advancements in the field of Renewable Energy gave rise to the development of Non – Conventional Renewable types of energies. These are still under development and research. They may have comparison to other renewable types of energies but is in a need of proper attention, research and funds. Some of the popular new renewable energy ideas are given below:-


Thin Film Solar Cell (TFSC) – TFSC is a solar cell that is made by depositing one or more thin layers (thin film) of PV material on a substrate. They can be installed on to the roofs either finished or integrated roof covering. These have less weighted in comparison to traditional solar panels. It is also called a thin film photovoltaic cell (TFPV). These are usually categorized according to the PV material used:-

  1. Thin Film Silicon
  2. Cadmium telluride (CdTe)
  3. Copper indium gallium selenide (CIS or CIGS)
  4. Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC)


Polymer Solar Cell – It is made up of polymers i.e. large molecules with repeating structural units that produce electricity from sunlight by the PV effect. These include organic solar cells also called plastic solar cells. This technology is comparatively new and is currently being very actively researched by universities, national laboratories, and companies around the world. Compared to silicon-based devices, polymer solar cells are lightweight, disposable and inexpensive to fabricate, flexible, and customizable on the molecular level. They also have lower potential for negative environmental impact. Organic PV’s are made of electron donor and electron acceptor materials instead of semiconductor p-n junctions. The molecules forming the electron donor region of organic PV cells, where excited electron-hole pairs are generated, are conjugated polymers possessed with delocalized π electrons.
Osmotic Power – Osmotic power is the energy generated from exploiting the difference in the salt concentration between ocean water and river water. Methods for osmosis are:-

  • Reverse Electro dialysis
  • Pressure- retarded osmosis

The above two methods are based upon Osmosis with ION specific membranes with Brackish water as waste .The cost of this membrane is an barrier b/w its potential commercial use.

Other two methods are Electric double layer capacitor method and Vapour difference.

In Capacitor method energy is extracted by the mixing of saline water and freshwater by regularly charging up electrodes in contact with saline water, followed by a discharge in freshwater.

Microbial fuel cell (MFC) – It is a bio-electrochemical system that drives a current by impersonating natural bacterial interactions. It cell is a device that converts chemical energy to electrical energy by the catalytic reaction of microorganisms.

A typical microbial fuel cell consists of anode and cathode compartments separated by a cation (positively charged ion) specific membrane.


More broadly, there are two types of microbial fuel cell: mediator and mediator-less microbial fuel cells.


  • Mediator-free microbial fuel cells do not require a mediator but uses electrochemically active bacteria to transfer electrons to the electrode (electrons are carried directly from the bacterial respiratory enzyme to the electrode).


  • Mediator-less microbial fuel cells can, besides running on wastewater, also derive energy directly from certain aquatic plants. These microbial fuel cells are called Plant Microbial Fuel Cells (Plant-MFC).




Cellulosic ethanol –   It is a biofuel produced from plant materials like wood, stem, grasses or the inedible parts of plants. It is mostly derived from sugar cane, beet, wheat, corn, straw, corn stover , wood chips etc. These further need to be hydrolysed or broken down into simple sugars preceeding distillation with the help of enzymes like Novoyme, Codexis, Dyadic & Biomethods.

One advantage of Cellulosic ethanol is that it yields 80% more energy than is required to grow and convert it. When used as a fuel, cellulosic ethanol releases less sulfur, carbon monoxide, particulates, and greenhouse gases.


Methanol: – Methanol is mainly produced from methane as a raw material or may be from fossil fuels and renewable resources. Earlier it was produced from pyrolysis of wood commonly known as “wood alcohol”. Methanol when produced from gasification of organic materials to synthesis gas followed by conventional methanol synthesis. These are mainly used for optimizing engine performance, fuel availability, toxicity Unlikeethanol, methanol will rapidly and non-toxically biodegrade with no long-term harm to the environment as long as it is sufficiently diluted.


Algae Fuels :- These are derived from algae by the process of ‘Algaculture’. These are further used to produce bio-fuels such as – bio ethanol , jet fuels , oils from feedstock via dark fermentation, bio crude , gasoline etc. They can be produced using fresh water, waste water , ocean water or ponds by the the process of photo-bio- reactors ,Closed Loop System. The former produces algae while exposing pumping nutritious water via glass or plastic tubes to sunlight. Later is algae production in a closed system. It is assumed at algae fuel reach price parity with oil in coming years and will be more economically viable.

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