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Energy efficiency and energy-saving

The Institute of Thermal Physics at the Siberian division of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ITP SD RAS) is specializing in fundamentals of energy and energy-saving technologies. Its applied activity is connected to these same directions as well. The Institute is the head organization under the Energy Saving Program, which is financed by the Presidium of the Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Within the framework of this program practically all organizations of SD RAS are provided with digital systems to register energy resources. Some energy-efficient measures were taken bringing about a real economic effect. But the most important result: this program allows to use the enormous scientific potential of institutes of SD RAS for developing an innovation product of energy-saving technologies and measures. They are tested directly at institutes, the society's social and cultural facilities as well as communal services and power-engineering enterprises of SD RAS.

Another most important component of the program is the establishment of the Novosibirsk Demonstration or Demo Zone with ITP SD RAS and the Energy-Saving Foundation of the Novosibirsk region being the front organizations.

It should be particularly noted that by many parameters demo zones are regarded as a prototype of technological development zones of the technopolis type.

As far as the international aspect of the matter is concerned, the most successful is the International Energy Efficiency Project-21 (ЕЕ-21), which is being implemented by the U. N. European Economic Commission in countries of the CIS and Eastern Europe. All energy-efficient projects are divided into four categories: heat generation and distribution; street lighting, buildings, industry.

The Institute of Thermal Physics is quite successfully working under these projects as much as in other new directions related to creating efficient energy sources. It is worth mentioning some of them in particular.
The latest coal power engineering method is to use coal of super fine milling (10 to 30 microns) for lighting pulverized-coal fired boilers and also as their principle fuel in the future. The plasmatic lighting based on using generators of low-temperature plasma has already been perfected. In order to improve modes of lighting and analysis of harmful discharges, an optical absorbing gas-analyzer has been developed and is now being mass-produced. It is designed for measuring oxides of carbon, sulfur and nitrogen.

The extensive complex of research works is being carried out in the field of hydrogen power engineering and fuel cells under the programs of the Russian Academy of Sciences as well as under contracts with the companies Air Products (the U.S.), Norilsk Nickel, Мore Energy (Israel). New methods of obtaining hydrogen and gas synthesis have been suggested. Various types of fuel cells are being developed (some of them are already being tested). They include cells based on carbonate melt, aluminum, liquid inorganic fuel as well those with solid-polymer membranes.

Russia's fundamentally new problem is the municipal waste processing. Together with design organizations the country's first major project of complex heat plant has been worked out. It is to use combustible municipal waste as its fuel. The plant's chief component is a rotating drum furnace; its products are heat and electric power. Production and use of heat pumps are the basis of the energy-saving policy all over the world since it lets save up to 50% of fuel for heat generation. ITP SD RAS is Russia's leader in developing absorbing bromide-lithium heat pumps and refrigerating machines with the capacity of up to 5 MW.

Lighting consumes from 10% to 20% of the world's electric power. The Institute has developed new types of energy-saving sources of light based on induction discharges of the transforming kind. Such lamps do not have electrodes because their endurance reaches 10 years! Development types of neon and mercury lamps have been created. The latter is recommended for use in installations of ultraviolet disinfection of water and air. Works are underway to develop natrium lamps for street lighting.

It is worth mentioning in particular the jet plasma-chemical method, which allows to obtain films of the amorphous hydrogenesised and polycrystalline silicone that have record rates of concretion. At present, this method is considered the most promising for mass production of thin-film solar cells and that is extremely important for developing unconventional power engineering. It is also possible to apply solid heat-saving and decorative coatings to window glass. Another application: obtaining hydrogen from natural gas with high conversion ratio.

This rather incomplete list of developments proves the high potential of scientific institutes in the energy field and energy-saving technologies.

Sergey Alexeenko, Director, Institute of Thermal Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Division


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