Flue gas heat recovery and air pollution control

Simple in concept, FLU-ACE has accomplished something that many others have tried unsuccessfully to do for a long time, and they have plants that have been operating for over 10 years. Their condensing heat exchanger system replaces the stack in combustion systems, recovering almost all of the waste heat, and removing most of the emissions. With modifications, it even can remove up to 50% of the CO2.

It can be thought of as pollution control that pays for itself in fuel savings–or visa versa. Water is sprayed into the hot flue gas, both cooling and cleaning it. The water is then collected, passed through a heat exchanger to recover the heat, and treated to neutralize the acidity and remove contaminants.

Condensing heat exchangers aren’t new, but they normally can be used only when the hot gas is reasonably clean. FLU-ACE can handle any kind of gas, even if it contains particulates, acids and unburned hydrocarbons. Conventional wisdom holds that corrosion, plugging and clogging should defeat this approach, but FLU-ACE has overcome problems with its patented design. Systems show no degradation after years of operation. It has even been qualified for use with biomedical incinerator exhaust.

Industrial boilers and cogeneration plants are ideal applications. The installed base includes district heating systems, sewage treatment plants, hospitals, pulp and paper mills, and university campuses. Heat recovery is even greater when the exhaust gas is high in moisture content, e.g. in paper mills and sewage treatment. The largest system to date is 15 MW thermal, but there is no limit on the size.

A fossil power plant could use about 15% of the recovered heat for makeup water heating, so the economics are better when there are nearby uses for the heat. The company really wants to do a coal burning power plant–a slipstream demo could be the first step.

The company is a small publicly traded Canadian firm (symbol TMG – Alberta Stock Exchange). They have a dormant U.S. subsidiary, and are seeking U.S. partners, joint ventures and alliances for market expansion.

For further information:
Gustav Pliva, Exec. Vice President
Thermal Energy International Inc.
Neapean (Ottawa), Ontario, Canada
613-723-6776 Fax: 613-723-7286 E-mail: thermal@istar.ca
Web Site – http://www.thermalenergy.com/

(UFTO first reported on FLU ACE in October ’95)
The following materials are excerpted from the company’s website:

The unique FLU-ACE technology is a combined heat recovery and air pollution control system, which recovers up to 90% of the heat normally wasted in hot chimney flue gases. FLU-ACE substantially reduces the emission of “Greenhouse Gases” (including C02), “Acid Gases” (including SOx), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), unburned hydrocarbons (such as THC and VOCs), and particulates (such as soot and fly ash). It eliminates the need for a conventional tall smoke stack or chimney.

Thermal Energy International Inc. has built eleven FLU-ACE Air Pollution Control and Heat Recovery Systems in Canada. All of Thermal’s FLU-ACE installations in Ontario have been approved by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy. The life expectancy of the FLU-ACE system is at least thirty-five to forty years. In December 1997, the company received patent protection in 42 countries; the US patent is expected early in 1998.

Low NOx FLU-ACE provides a payback on investment and is self financing from the savings that it generates for the industry user. The company is able to provide “Off-Balance” Sheet financing or 3rd party financing options for acquisition of its FLU-ACE technology by industrial and institutional buyers.

Using a direct-contact gas-to-liquid mass transfer and heat exchange concept, the system is designed to process flue gas from combustion of fossil fuels, waste derived fuels, waste, biomass, etc. The FLU-ACE System is configured as a corrosion resistant alloy steel tower at a fraction of the size of any conventional stack. All of the hot flue gas from one source or multiple sources (including co-gen and boilers) are redirected into the FLU-ACE tower, where it is cooled to within one to two degrees of the primary water return temperature, which enters the tower typically at between 16°C (60°F) and 32°C (90°F) depending on the season and outside air temperature. The heat (both latent and sensible) from the flue gas is transferred to the primary water which then reaches up to 63°C (145°F) and with special design up to 85°C (185°F), and circulated to various heat users.

FLU-ACE most sophisticated version (HP) reduces air pollutant emissions by over 99% including particulate down to 0.3 micrometers in size, and simultaneously recovers 80-90% of the heat in the flue gas normally exhausted into the atmosphere. This results in a reduction of fuel consumption by the facility up to 50%.

NERC Reliability Workshops

Announcement of Public Workshops on the NERC Electric Reliability Panel Report

The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) is sponsoring two public workshops on the report of the Electric Reliability Panel – RELIABLE POWER: Renewing the North American Electric Reliability Oversight System. These one-day facilitated workshops are designed to explain the panel’s report and solicit comments to help NERC develop specific policy recommendations and implementation plans for redesigning NERC.

Workshop Dates and Locations:
February 17, 1998 – 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
South San Francisco Conference Center
255 South Airport Boulevard South San Francisco, California 94080
Tel: 650-877-8787

February 19, 1998 – 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-789-1600

In August 1997, NERC assembled the Electric Reliability Panel to recommend the best ways to establish, oversee, and implement policies and standards to ensure the continued reliability of North America’s interconnected bulk electric systems in a competitive and restructured electric industry. NERC imposed no limits on the panel’s advice about what kind of reliability organization will be needed for the future. The panel submitted its report to NERC on December 22, 1997.

Workshop Objectives
NERC is holding these workshops to help its Future of NERC Review Team develop specific policy recommendations and implementation plans. The objectives of the workshops are: * Explain the panel’s report and answer questions. * Hear arguments for or against particular recommendations in the report. * Receive suggestions for implementing the report’s recommendations.

Public Comment Process
NERC has posted the final report of the panel on the Internet (http://www.nerc.com/ ~blue/index.html) and is providing 60 days for comments (through March 10, 1998). The questions the review team would like parties to address in their responses are attached to the Notice of Public Comment, which is also posted on the web. All comments will be accepted but must be supplied electronically. NERC will then post all comments it receives on its web site.

What’s Next
Based on comments from these workshops and comments posted on the NERC web site, the review team, assisted by several task groups that it creates, will draft policy recommendations for the NERC Board of Trustees. These recommendations will form the basis for a detailed implementation plan. The draft policy recommendations will be the subject of two additional one-day workshops, tentatively scheduled for March 30 (Dallas) and April 2 (Toronto). The review team will submit final policy recommendations to the Board for review and approval at the Board’s May 4-5, 1998 meeting.

Who Should Attend
Senior management personnel from all segments of the electric industry in North America plus federal, state, and provincial regulators and policy makers are encouraged to attend one of the workshops.

The workshops are open to the public. Dress code is CASUAL.

Preliminary Workshop Agenda 8 a.m. Registration and Coffee

9 a.m. Workshop Convenes Plenary Session * Introductions * Workshop objectives and process * NERC action plan and timetable to address the panel’s report * Background of Electric Reliability Panel study * Panel report and recommendations* Q&A

Breakout Sessions (working lunch included) * Discuss the panel’s recommendations in small, facilitated breakout groups * Develop consensus opinions and suggestions to present to the plenary session

Plenary Session * Reports from breakout groups * Q&A* Summary of agreements and actions

4 p.m. Adjourn

North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC)
116-390 Village Blvd. Princeton , NJ 08540 USA
Main Phone: 609 452 8060 Main Fax: 609 452 9550

Regional reliability councils composed of electric utility systems concerned with the reliability of bulk electric power supply in North America. Organizations comprising the council include in their membership utility systems operating virtually all of the generating and transmitting facilities in 48 American states, the seven bordering provinces of Canada, and a portion of the Mexican power system which is interconnected with that of California. NERC periodically reviews regional and inter-regional reliability and acts as a means for exchange of information on planning and operating matters relating to reliability and adequacy of bulk power supply. Maintains numerous technical subcommittees.

Resonant Shock Compaction Solidifies Coal Ash

Resonant Shock Compaction, LLC (RSCL), has a new way to solidify coal ash and other waste into high value building materials. The patented process has already been in commercial use for over 10 years, producing special large refractory components from a variety of materials.

Basically, the material is placed between two “shake” tables, and resonant vibrations are applied, setting up a shock wave. The material flows and intermixes to become very uniform and very hard, compacted by 40-60%. The resulting block or panel contains 80-90% ash material, and is impermeable, nonleaching, and has very high strength, meeting ASTM standards for many construction applications. It also can be sawed and nailed.

The process features low capital costs, high process throughput, and large size shapes, suitable for many types of building products, and enabling new more economical building practices.

Besides turning coal ash into building products, the technology can also immobilize radioactive and hazardous material. A remediation service based on RSC is under discussion.

The technology has also been tested in combination with Argonne’s Ceramicrete binder (see UFTO Note October 23, 1997), and substantially enhances the performance of that process.

The company will grant site licenses, and is seeking equity investment for working capital and to support business development. Discussions and negotiations are already underway with a number of utilities. A revised business plan will be ready shortly, and technical and economic information is available from the company.

Contact: RSC,LLC, Denver CO
Keith Weir or Robert Pressey, 303-316-4080

Company News Release January 14, 1998

Resonant Shock Compaction, LLC (RSCL), a Colorado corporation, exclusively licenses the patented and proven resonant shock compaction (RSC) technology. The RSC technology converts coal combustion byproducts or mine tailings into value-added building materials. The process is also used to compact and stabilize hazardous and radioactive contaminated soil and debris for storage and disposal.

RSC applies rapid periodic impacts to granular material (e.g., coal ash, mine tailings, and soil) placed in a mold, to reduce volume and porosity. When combined with inexpensive proprietary binders, resonant shock compaction produces construction blocks, pavers and panels, or compacts and stabilizes waste for storage and disposal. The throughput is nominally 100 tons per day. Capital and operating costs are low.

RSCL has completed a series of developmental programs this past year to qualify resonant shock compaction for (1) converting coal combustion byproducts (CCB’s) into building materials and (2) treating radioactive and heavy metal contaminated soils for storage and disposal. Public Service Company of Colorado has supported a development program to convert Class F fly ash, Class C fly ash, and bottom ash into concrete-like blocks, pavers, and panels. Argonne National Laboratories (DOE) and the University of Denver supported the soil remediation program.

At the 1997 DOE Low Level Mixed Waste Conference it was reported that resonant shock compacted samples of cadmium and chromium contaminated soils passed TCLP leach test, were volume reduce by 50%, and greatly strengthened using cementaceous fly ash, and proprietary phosphates. Argonne National Laboratories conducted a comparison of resonant shock compaction, hydraulic pressing, and block compaction of contaminated soils and ashes incorporating their proprietary Ceramacrete binder. Results have shown the strength of resonant shock compaction parts to be far superior to block compaction, and with porosity and volume reduction superior to pressing.

ASTM certified laboratory tests reported that resonant shock compaction CCB ash- based products met ASTM compressive strength and durability (low porosity or freeze- thaw resistance) standards for aggregate, construction brick, facing brick, pedestrian light pavers, traffic interlocking pavers, concrete grids, and concrete blocks.

These products have the strength and durability of concrete or brick masonry products yet are as easily sawed, nailed, screwed, or bolted with conventional construction tools as wood, and less expensive than either. Tilt-up panels, for industrial or residential buildings, can be fabricated with built-in nailing studs and utility channels, which are immediately ready for finishes such as insulation, painting. stucco, plaster, or dry wall.

RSCL is developing a transportable resonant shock compaction unit for on-site processing of CCB’s or contaminated soil. This unit will validate capital, operating costs, manufacturing costs, and production capacity. It will also measure flexibility to produce durable (low porosity, freeze-thaw resistant) ash-based construction materials and stabilized waste. RSCL is seeking partners to develop a 50-100 tons per day commercial plant estimated to cost $500,000 to $1,000,000. Products can be manufactured as blocks or panels (up to one ton), or waste compacted into 55 gallon barrels.

For additional information or arranging tests of your materials please contact:

Robert Pressey, Managing Director, 303-316-4080 fax 303-316-8490

Ergenics Hy-Stor Battery Energy Storage

I’ve been staying in close contact with this company for a long time, and reported about them to UFTO the first time in Dec 95 and again in Oct 96, describing their Hy-Stor battery technology. They haven’t received a lot of attention in the storage/battery industry over the years, but my personal view is that they could be a major dark horse in the business.

In addition to the utility scale device, they’ve also built a “D” cell. Inherently, the technology features very high cycle life, high power and energy density, and suffers no ill effects from over charging or discharging.

They’re continuing to make major progress, and are looking for investment capital and partners.


Dave DaCosta, President
or Phil Burghart, Sr. VP

Ergenics, Inc.
247 Margaret King Ave.
Ringwood NJ 07456
973-962-4480 http://www.ergenics.com

(Disclosure: I do some consulting for the company,
and have a finders fee agreement with them.)

The company issued this press release this morning:
Thursday January 15, 9:30 am ET
Company Press Release SOURCE: Ergenics, Inc.

New Energy Storage Technology Leads Way to Low Cost Electric Power Supply

RINGWOOD, N.J., Jan. 15 — Ergenics announced today that it has initiated the second phase of its electric utility battery energy storage program. The program is directed at producing a long life (10 years), 25 kilowatt, 100 kWh battery module capable of daily deep discharge cycles for a variety of electric utility applications.

The initial product will be a simple peak shaving system which will be charged with low cost, “base load,” power at night and discharged during the afternoon peak load in order to reduce incremental generating capacity and its associated higher costs. This system is being developed for utility testing overseas where the differential cost between base load and peak load power is 3-5 times higher than in the U.S. The potential overseas market for the company’s battery energy storage system exceeds $30 billion. Ergenics is currently funded to build the first full scale submodule for testing based on a design previously approved by its foreign partner. The battery’s modular design allows construction of battery energy storage systems ranging in size from 100 kWh to 4,000 kWh.

Beyond the offshore project, Ergenics is exploring electric energy supply applications in the United States where electric utility deregulation is expected to create enormous opportunities for energy storage systems distributed across the power grid. Ergenics ultimately envisions household units which will provide reliable energy during power outages. These units will also store power purchased at low off-peak rates for later use in periods when energy would be more expensive.

Ergenics’ Hy-Stor(R) battery system is well suited for utility batteries. It couples the established know-how of the high energy storage density of metal hydrides with the extraordinary cycle life capabilities of nickel-hydrogen electrochemical cells which have been used in orbiting satellites for over twenty years. Half fuel cell and half battery, the only chemical reaction in the nickel-hydrogen battery is the simple oxidation and reduction of the nickel hydroxide electrode. This makes possible attainment of 10 years of life and tens of thousands of deep and shallow discharge cycles. In addition, and unlike any other battery, nickel-hydrogen batteries are tolerant of overcharge and overdischarge operation. This is especially important for higher voltage batteries where a large number of cells are connected in series. Complicated and costly electronics to balance the state-of-charge of the cells are not required.

Ergenics is a world leader in the development and commercialization of metal hydride technology. In addition to utility battery energy storage systems, Ergenics is developing hybrid electric vehicle batteries under a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract, high energy, long life battery packs for electric bicycles, and hydrogen storage units for fuel cells. Privately owned, Ergenics, Inc. has its headquarters and principal manufacturing operation in northern New Jersey.

Resonant Shock

See UFTO Note Jan 15, 1998 for background on this remarkable development–turns ash of any kind, tailings, and dirt, into excellent building materials–cheaply and easily–using shock compaction.

The company, Resonant Shock Compaction, is making excellent progress. Here are two items they’ve just sent me (I’ve made no changes):

1. Large Block Testing Program — invitation to participate.
2. Abstract of their paper at recent DOE FETC 3rd annual Conference on Unburned Carbon on Utility Fly Ash.

Proposed Large Block Testing
RSC Compaction Technology
University of Denver


Public Service Company of Colorado and others are interested in testing the RSC technology beyond tests conducted in 1997 using coal combustion by-product (CCB) mixes to make parts for potential construction applications. This testing will test the RSC technology and its ability to fabricate large block parts.

Test Program Participants:

The following are defined as “test program participants,” Boral Material Technologies, Cat Construction Inc., McDonald Farms Enterprises, Public Service Company of Colorado, RSC LLC, Tri-State Generation & Transmission, UtiliCorp United, University of Denver, VFL Technologies, Wallace Industries; and Nuclear Fuel Industries/Stoller Corp. These parties are willing to fund this test program in which large parts will be fabricated for laboratory and field testing. All program participants will share equally in test data without regard to their monetary contribution toward the test program.

Test Objective:

The test objective is to measure strength and durability of large blocks fabricated from CCB mixes compacted by the RSC technology. These large blocks will be approximately 36″ by 48″ by up to 10″ thick. The test program will compare properties of the large blocks with smaller test blocks fabricated and tested in 1997 and 1998.

It is proposed that the following number of quality blocks be fabricated from the following mixes:

(4 Blocks) Cherokee bottom ash and Cherokee No. 4 silo ash
(1 Block) Cameo combination silo/bottom ash
(1 Block ) FGD material from Craig and bottom ash from Hayden
(1 Block) Bottom ash from Nucla and other materials
(1 Block) Bottom ash from Clark Station and Class C ash from Comanche
(1 Block) Mojave bottom ash and fly ash
(1 Block) Japanese bottom ash and fly ash (NFI/Stoller)


The existing RSC machine at the University of Denver will be used. Four more air cushions and associated pneumatics will be installed to fabricate large blocks. A vacuum lifting device will be installed to safely move the large blocks. The vacuum lifting device will enable the same mold to be used repeatedly with minimum cycle time. A low cost curing chamber will be constructed to accelerate block curing to approximately 24 hours. Cement mixers and batch scales will be rented to prepare mixes and core drilling services will be hired to produce cores for laboratory testing.

A single mold that can fabricate the blocks will be provided and upon completion of the program, the mold will become property of RSC LLC.

Mold Design:

A single mold, designed to produce parts approximately 36″ by 48″ by up to 10″ thick will be designed by RSC LLC. Cost of the mold will be paid by test program participants. The mold will be designed for manual disassembly or ejection removal of parts. Testing will also address handling techniques (pins, bolts, lifting holes, etc.) for these test parts. The use of a vacuum lifting device will enable parts to be removed from the mold upon ejection for separate movement to the curing chamber.

Mix Design:

Each test participant will provide sufficient quantities of CCBs at no cost to the program. All costs of raw materials provided to RSC LLC will be borne by test program participants. Disposal of excess material will be arranged by PSCo. Each participant will work with RSC LLC to determine the appropriate mix design. New materials and/or mix designs will first be tested in the small mold to develop mix design for the large blocks.

Machine Operations:

Machine power settings, vibration, shock, acceleration, and period will be set to achieve large block strength and durability characteristics similar to previously fabricated small test blocks.


Block strength and durability will be determined by measurement of compressive strength, porosity, freeze-thaw cycling, and resonant frequency. These tests will be performed on core samples cut from the blocks. Test criteria are based upon the 1997 and 1998 testing of small test block fabricated from similar mixes. Machine parameters and mix composition will be optimized to achieve strong and durable blocks.

Upon completion of curing the blocks will be transported to the PSCo Arapahoe Plant where the test cores will be cut from the blocks for testing at the University of Denver and at Commercial Testing Laboratories (CTL). Participants will determine block performance by placing the blocks in field test conditions at their respective locations. Upon completion of the test program, sample cores or whole parts may be retained by RSC LLC, the University of Denver and/or program participants.

Additional test capabilities available through the University of Denver Environmental Materials Laboratory include acoustic pulse velocity and absorption, acoustic emission, surface porosity, SEM analysis, thermal properties, and TCLP.

Test Results:

Test data obtained from this program will be available to program participants. It is anticipated that test data will be used by program participants and others to identify potential market applications of the RSC technology for large blocks. If a participant requires test data for a specific mix to be treated with confidentiality, that data will be provided only to that participant. However, it is anticipated that the physical characteristics of the large blocks will be reported generically without regard to specific mix designs.

Material Handling Issues:

Material handling techniques used at the University of Denver will not represent anticipated production techniques. Raw materials will be delivered in drums and mixing performed by manually placing mix components into a cement mixer and manually placing the mix into the mold. Equipment for weighing, measuring and blending raw materials may be rented. A forklift and vacuum hoist will be used to move the block. Because of space limitations at the University, different mix designs will be scheduled to reduce on property storage of raw materials and facilitate movement of completed blocks.


The test program schedule will be mutually determined by test program participants. A draft schedule is attached.

Test Program Costs:

The test program participants have agreed to fund this test program for an amount not to exceed $50,000. A test agreement will be prepared in which each participant will indicate their participation and/or level of funding. Participants will additionally bear all costs associated with providing their mix materials to the program, and transportation of mix material and test blocks. PSCo will assist in the coordination of transportation of finished blocks to Arapahoe Station and in the disposal of excess materials.

Other Parties and Potential Recovering of Test Program Costs:

To reduce the test program costs for all participants and to encourage development of the RSC technology with other entities, if test data from this program attract other partners, then the test program participants will be reimbursed a prorated portion of their costs from future agreements in which the large block testing served as the catalyst. For example, each participant’s share will be calculated as a percent of the total program. If a future agreement is signed between RSC LLC and other entities in which the large block test program results enable the agreement to be executed, then each test program participant will receive a fractional share of the agreement value to reimburse them for their participation, up to the full value only of their actual costs. This repayment will be made within three years of the completion of the test program. If no large block agreement with an entity is executed by that time, the test program costs will be forgiven.

Proposed Estimated Budget $45,000 – $50,000.

Presentation at the DOE FETC 3rd Annual Conference
on Unburned Carbon on Utility Fly ASh.


⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭⎭University of Denver

Robert E. Pressey, Keith Wier, and David Frey, RSC LLC.


The RSC technology is a high-g particle packing and forming process that has been licensed for ten years to commercially manufacture refractories weighing up to 5000 pounds. The Public Service Company of Colorado has funded a program at the University of Denver to develop applications of RSC to forming high-carbon Class F fly ash and bottom ash into value-added blocks and panels to construct sound barriers, retaining walls, pond liners, and tilt-up building panels. The Environmental Materials Laboratory is providing test facilities to study RSC process dynamics and product characteristics.

Typically, high-carbon test specimens formed by the RSC process have a compressive strength of 2000 to 5000 psi. Even specimens made from stoker fired ash containing 30% LOI measured 2500 psi. RSC is a robust technology that is tolerant of a wide range of carbon, calcium oxide, and calcium sulfate.

The RSC machine at the Environmental Materials Laboratory is a commercial sized unit capable of compacting 2000 pound parts. Laboratory test specimens are nominally 10 pounds but a mold to make 500 to 1000 pound panels has been designed. Large ash-based blocks and panels will be made for field testing.

Based upon Resonant Shock Compaction of Public Service Company of Colorado Cherokee Plant Class F fly ash and bottom ash this past year, it appears that the RSC technology can compact high-carbon ash into construction blocks, panels, or aggregate that pass many ASTM concrete and masonry strength and durability standards. These standards include compressive strength of 3000 to 5000 psi, sodium sulfate aggregate durability, face fired masonry water absorption, and freeze-thaw 300 cycle tests. These tests were performed by an ASTM certified commercial laboratory.

Papers at the last three DOE FETC Conferences on Unburned Carbonaceous Material on Utility Fly Ash reported that the highest valued ash utilization (cement admixture) is “at risk” because low NOx combustion technology often increases ash carbon content above the ASTM 618 limit of 6%, and the industry preference for 3% or lower. There is considerable effort underway to modify combustion processes to reduce ash carbon content and other efforts to increase alternative high-volume use options for high-carbon ash such as structural fill, agricultural soil amendments, and mine stabilization. Ash use is also limited by transportation cost to market and seasonal demand by the construction industry. Reduced ash use in concrete results in increased cement consumption and an associated one ton of CO2 for each ton of cement clinker produced.

Current research and development is focused on PSCo Cherokee Class F fly ash containing sodium carbonate flue gas conditioning agents and bottom ash, Valmont Class F fly ash and bottom ash, Comanche Class C fly ash, and Hayden bottom ash mixed with fly ash which has been conditioned with limestone ( flue gas desulfurization conditioned fly ash). Other tests include similar ashes, high carbon stoker ash (30% LOI), and circulating fluid bed ash containing highly reactive residual calcined calcium oxide with calcium sulfate.

The RSC market goal is to provide an alternative high-volume, high-valued product utilization of coal combustion products in partnership with electric utilities, ash brokers, construction companies, and manufacturers of concrete blocks, panels, and bricks. Acceptance of RSC ash-based construction materials is predicated upon successfully demonstrating the strength and durability of these products and obtaining the construction industry certifications from the International Conference of Building Officials, National Evaluation Service (ICBO NES).

Large blocks and panels will be made at the Environmental Materials Laboratory for testing in real applications. A transportable commercial plant will be built. Marketing studies have been performed by MBA students at the University of Denver Daniels School of Business. A preliminary conceptual design including capital and operating costs has been completed. Projected capital and operating costs are quite low.

Several electric utilities, environmental contractors, construction companies, and block manufacturers are participating in evaluation of the RSC technology to convert ash into construction blocks and panels. Waste clay and mine tailings are also being tested independently and in combination with ash. Specific products of interest to these parties are low cost highway sound barriers, retaining walls. pond liners, and tilt-up building walls. Test specimens containing greater than 50% bottom ash can be sawed, screwed, and nailed like wood.
⎭The University of Denver, Environmental Materials Laboratory, RSC LLC, and several electric utilities, are continuing studies to understand the unique properties of the RSC formed ash-based products. High-carbon ash formed into high strength products by the RSC process appear to be stronger than conventionally formed high-carbon ash products. RSC particle packing and high-g compaction of fly ash, bottom ash, and binder only requires about 10% water. This bonding process is being studied.

Acoustic velocity absorption and scanning electron microscopy have been used to measure ash and RSC product characteristics. A scanning optical microscopy densitometer system has been developed to measure product porosity. Acoustic velocity will be measured to correlate with product integrity. Differential scanning calorimetry and wide line proton nuclear magnetic resonance can provide information on ash-cement hydration.

The US Department of Energy has funded similar studies of the RSC technology at the University of Denver, Environmental Materials Laboratory to compact and stabilize radioactive and heavy metal contaminated soils. These studies have been conducted in cooperation with the DOE Rocky Flats Environmental Test Site, the DOE Argonne National Laboratories, and the DOE Mixed Waste Focus Area. Preliminary results have shown that RSC compacted soils have lower toxicity leach rates than other methods.

Energy Storage Assoc. Meeting

Energy Storage Association (ESA) Fall Meeting
“The Value of Energy Storage in a Restructured Utility Market”
Sacramento, CA
November 18 -19, 1997

((An UFTO Note on Nov 10 gave the original agenda for this meeting.))

*** –> SPECIAL OFFER <– ***

This one time, the ESA is offering to send a free copy of the full proceedings to prospective members, together with their membership solicitation package. Membership in ESA is a good way to stay in touch with developments in utility storage, and a year’s company membership is only $1500.

To request the package and proceedings of the November meeting, contact (please tell them UFTO sent you):

TEL: (301) 951-3223
FAX: (301) 951-3235

E-MAIL: John Hurwitch, Executive Director, jwitch@switch.smart.net


(more details on request–and in the Proceedings)

–> Overview of the Market:
The goal of ESA and the DOE Utility Storage program is to build market volume for storage systems. Utilities are proving to be a very tough market for battery storage, despite a strong benefit/cost story. One hypothesis is that the benefits are scattered among different stakeholders (even within a utility), with no single part being big enough by itself. Nobody is in a position to put it together, and restructuring is making the situation even worse, as the walls go up inside utilities. Also, utilities say they have no money, and want the first cost to be very low, regardless of life-cycle considerations. Meanwhile, big needs are looming, especially on transmission systems, but nobody seems to own the problem or is in a position to make the investment.

Vendors are offering turnkey systems for various applications and markets, but there are very few orders, and those are mostly for very special situations, e.g. in Alaska (remarkable success stories). Vendors are getting very discouraged, and may be close to throwing in the towel.

Is the problem with the Technology? Marketing? Or do utilities “just not get it?” Or, are the proponents wrong in their view that storage is an idea whose time is overdue, and that it’s largely a matter of “education”? In 1996, DOE and Sandia visited with over two dozen utilities to try to understand the industry’s views on storage. Results were recently published: “Report on the Energy Storage Systems Program Executive Meetings Project” SAND 97-2700, November 97. However, more dialogue with the utility industry is still needed, to get to the bottom of these questions.

The ESA has proposed a flagship project called “Storage 2000,” as a joint program with DOE to stimulate and accelerate development, with a goal of 200 MW of project commitments by the year 2000. Applications are to include renewable, distributed, generation/transmission (ancillary services), and customer systems.

–> Energy Storage in the UK
The closer storage is to the customer, the better. Anthony Price, of National Power, UK, compared batteries to warehouses for “just in time” distribution, where it’s well known that you put storage only in one place in the system, close to the customer. He showed an analysis of the bulk market hourly price over time. Even with big differences between on and off peak wholesale prices, you can’t win by buying off-peak and selling on-peak. Not only are there roundtrip (storage) losses, but you’re also fighting the spread (sell at the bid price, buy at ask). What you’d be selling is capacity, and there’s currently an excess.

The farther down the distribution chain you are, more distribution costs are built into the price of goods, so storage has more value. However, whoever owns the storage controls that value. “If the customer owns the storage, then the rates are wrong”.

–> Uninterruptible Power and Power Quality
While utility storage isn’t moving, UPS and P/Q applications are a very strong market (a lesson there somewhere?). There are still issues, however. Though vendors have products, there’s often insufficient understanding of what a “disturbance” really is. For example, they may design for a 3 phase symmetrical fault, which rarely occurs. Phase shifts and waveforms need particular attention. Too often, products need to be redesigned in the field.

There are several interesting systems using steel flywheels: – International Computer Power — steel flywheel in a 100 kVA motor genset to provide ridethrough, successfully demonstrated for two years at a Hewlett Packard site, dramatically reducing diesel backup starts. – Holic Power Protection — 100’s installed worldwide. Diesel generator and flywheel combination where the flywheel dynamically adjusts itself to maintain constant generator speed. 1250 kVA unit runs about $1.1 million. Without the diesel, it can provide short term ride through. – Active Power, Austin TX, has been issuing press releases lately. Modular pancake unit provides 400kW for 5 sec, for short discharge P/Q applications.

In “new” technology (composite) flywheels, Beacon Power presented their plug-replacement for batteries in UPS systems. The 1 kW, 2kWh unit goes directly on the DC bus. Beacon is a joint venture between SatCon and Duquesne. They expect to be in production by the end of ’98, with beta tests in mid year.
–> Renewables and Storage
Solar and Wind energy systems need storage, particularly in remote/village power applications. The opportunities are huge, particularly to supply the 2 billion people in the world with no electricity, and to displace diesel fuel consumption. A number of programs are trying to come up with reliable modular integrated systems (hybrids with diesel, solar or wind, and batteries). Batteries are often blamed as the weak link in renewable energy systems (right along with inverters), but the blame may be misplaced–often the wrong type of battery is installed by local people.

The President’s “Million Solar Roof” initiative is beginning to be felt, though this may not necessarily imply much use of storage. SMUD has a huge commitment to renewables, and are just now beginning to consider the potential benefits of storage in that context.

The first major project under Storage 2000 is to be the “Renewable Generation and Storage ” (RGS) project. Partners will be selected by formal solicitation process in 1998 for design, development and testing of a prototype integrated system with a PV array, inverter and storage, ready for customer use. International opportunities exist for “Remote Area Power Systems” or mini-grid systems. Funding is available, and local governments are motivated, e.g. in Latin America. The Solar Energy Industry Association has information. ( http://www.seia.org ).

–> Texas Energy Storage Technology Institute (ESTI)
This is a coordinated research program involving all the universities in Texas, funded in part by the Texas Energy Coordinating Council, a state agency. ESTI is doing work in capacitors, batteries, and particularly high performance flywheel systems for railroad applications. DOT and DARPA funding support the Advanced Locomotive Propulsion System, which includes a 3 MW Allied Signal gas turbo-alternator, and the University-developed 167 kwh flywheel for braking and acceleration. The idea is to provide an alternative to electrification of railroad right of way. ESTI wants to encourage synergies between stationary and mobile storage systems. Contact John Price, 512-471-4496, 512-232-1888 (direct), j.price@mail.utexas.edu, http:/www.utexas.edu/research/cem

–> Key Note Speaker

Separately, Pramod Kulkarni of the CEC outlined the priorities for storage in California, seen as a “strategic” area under the public benefit R&D program.

DOE Reliability TF- Meeting announcement and minutes

Subject: UFTO Note – DOE Reliability TF- Meeting announcement and minutes
Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 13:29:04 -0800

Below is the announcement of the next (7th) meeting of the DOE/SEAB Task Force meeting, which also can be found on line at: http://www.hr.doe.gov/seab

The minutes of the 6th meeting (November 6th) will also be available on line in a day or two. I have a copy if you’d like it now.

DOE Secretary of Energy Advisory Board
Notice of Open Meeting —
Seventh Meeting of the Electric System Reliability Task Force

Tuesday, January 13, 1998, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM.
Madison Hotel, Dolley Madison Ballroom,
15th & M Streets, NW, Washington, D.C.

(202) 586-1709 or (202) 586-6279 (fax).

The meeting will build on the task force’s Interim Report and SRRO Letter Report, and will include discussions of the following items:

— Draft Position Paper on Technological Issues in Transmission System Reliability
— Draft Position Paper on the Role and Shape of the Independent System Operator
— Presentation on the Provision of Ancillary Services

Tentative Agenda
8:30 – 8:45 AM Opening Remarks & Objectives — Philip Sharp,
ESR Task Force Chairman
8:45 – 10:15 AM Working Session: Discussion of Draft Position
Paper on Technical Issues in Transmission System
Reliability — Facilitated by Philip Sharp
10:15 – 10:30 AM Break
10:30 – 11:30 AM Working Session: Discussion of a Draft Position
Paper on The Role and Shape of the Independent
System Operator — Facilitated by Jose Delgado
11:30 – 12:00 PM Public Comment Period
12:00 – 1:15 PM Lunch
1:15 – 2:30 PM Working Session: Presentation & Discussion on
The Provision of Ancillary Services — Eric Hirst
(ORNL) & Facilitated by Philip Sharp
2:30 – 3:45 PM Working Session: Presentation & Discussion on
Transmission Pricing Issues — Susan Tierney &
Facilitated by Philip Sharp
3:45 – 4:00 PM Public Comment Period
4:00 PM Adjourn

Information on the Electric System Reliability Task Force and the Task Force’s interim report may be found at the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board’s web site, located at http://www.hr.doe.gov/seab.

Wireless Laser Data Link

Subject: UFTO Note – Wireless Laser Data Link
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998

fSONA Wireless Laser Data Link

(The founder of this company is a personal friend. Though it’s not directly related to utilities, I pass this summary along to you in the chance that it may mesh with your company’s strategic directions. This is a rare instance where the market need was identified first, and the technology identified later. A complete business plan is available. Feel free to contact the company directly, or call me first. For your information, I have a finders fee agreement with the company.)


fSONA Corporation, Vancouver, B.C., has a unique laser communications technology developed by the British Telecom (BT) Laboratories in the UK. fSONA has licensed from BT the exclusive, world-wide rights to line of sight transmission technology that provides optical wireless links at speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) for distances up to 4 kilometers. The Company’s goal is to market high speed data transmission or bandwidth products for use in the Telecommunications and Internet services industry.

The data rates attainable with lasercom make it arguably the most cost-effective solution for today’s short haul high speed telecommunications market. Laser links are ideally suited for campus environments and metropolitan locations where interactive, multimedia-based applications, such as video conferencing and telemedicine require significant bandwidth.

Using a combination of optics and photonics technology, fSONA’s laser or optical wireless communications products offer the following advantages over radio-based (RF) products in the access and Local Area Network (LAN) interconnect marketplace:

– Fiber-optic speed.
– Deployable in 24 hours.
– No requirement for radio licensing.
– Secure point to point link between networks.
– Freedom from electro-magnetic (EM) interference

fSONA’s advantage over other laser communication products include:

– Eye safety,
– Lower cost for similar bandwidth and distance capacity,
– Automatic beam alignment to compensate for movement and
building sway,
– Proprietary BT receiver technology that provides vastly improved
performance during periods of atmospheric turbulence.

fSONA’s first commercially available system, the SONAbeam™155, is scheduled for launch in 1998. The SONAbeam™ units consist of off-the-shelf, readily available components from a wide variety of optical and electronics manufacturers in the US and Canada. This system will be capable of transmitting and receiving data at speeds up to 155 megabits per second (Mbps) allowing compatibility with SONET OC-3 format and ATM. fSONA products allow fiber optic network developers the ability to offer fiber optic speed to existing customers and to extend their networks to “off-fiber” high bandwidth customers.

Manufacturing of the first 50 units with product specifications, sourced components, resources and facilities are all ready to commence as soon as financing is in place. Manufacturing of >50 units will be outsourced to one of a short list of suitable manufacturers identified by fSONA.

Sales and Marketing
fSONA is pursuing a two pronged marketing strategy. One, direct sales to Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and large Corporate networks. Two, establishing distribution agreements with Network Equipment Manufacturers (NEMs), System Integrators, and Access Providers. Plans to install the SONAbeam™155 optical wireless transmission products are currently underway at two customer sites in downtown Vancouver. One of these customers has been using laser links successfully for the past year, and is keen to trial the longer distance SONAbeam™ units.

In addition to its two trial customers in Vancouver, fSONA has initiated discussions with a number of potential customers in the Vancouver/Seattle area, who are interested in the results from the trial. Ascend Communications Corp has given fSONA an expression of interest in the trial; one of the benefits that a network OEM would achieve with a product like the SONAbeam155 is the ability to offer customers up to 4km LAN or WAN extensions from their existing equipment and by-pass leased lines for inter LAN connectivity.

fSONA will introduce the SONAbeam™622 and the SONAbeam™1G in its second and third year of operations. These products offer higher bandwidth at the OC-12 (622Mbps) and OC-24 (1.2Gbps) network standards which are currently used only by major trunk carriers such as AT&T and MCI. The introduction of these products will coincide with expanded bandwidth demand anticipated by corporate clients.

Theresa Carbonneau, CEO
fSONA Corporation Tel 604 531 2735
13086 Summerhill Crescent, Fax 604 531 2742
White Rock e-mail fsona@syntagma.com
BC V4A 7Y1