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Energy 61 (2013) 2e5

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State of the art on renewable and sustainable energy

a b s t r a c t
In the last two decades a great progress has been made in the eld of renewable and sustainable energy,
but more work need to be made to increase the renewable energy share worldwide. It can be pointed out
that only in the last 10 years, the energy demands have been doubled, while the current energy resources
would not meet the market request. This situation put more pressure on scientists and communities to
work harder to increase the use of the renewable energy with the highest efciency from each resource.
In this special issue on renewable and sustainable energy concerns with latest developments related to
sustainable and renewable energy. In this editorial introduction, the editor is highlighting the different
articles presented and discussed in this issue. This issue will introduce the main development in: PV and
Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell, Energy Efciency, ECO Design and Energy and
Environment Planning and Management. The contents of this issue will be discussed in details in the
following sections.
2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

1. Introduction
In the previous conference SEEP 2009, two special issues has
been published [1,2], in the energy journal different papers were
published related to Hydrogen and Fuel Cell [3,4], Electric Vehicles
[5,6], Wind and planning issues [7], Bio-Gas, Alternative Energy and
Environmental Issues [8e13], Pipe Heat Exchanger and related Fuel
Efciency and Environmental Protection [14e16].
Also a special issue on SEEP2010 has been published in Energy
[17]. In that issue 14 articles related to different aspects on sustainable energy and environmental protection have been published.
Those articles have presented many important research developments on the sustainable energy eld, PV and Solar Energy have
been presented in articles [18e22], papers [23,24] have discussed
the latest developments on Wind Energy. Developments on
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell have been presented in articles [25,26].
ECO design and materials and other developments research have
been presented in articles [27e31].
This special issue presents selected and peer reviewed papers
from the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Energy and
Environmental Protection SEEP 2012 which was held at Dublin
City University, Dublin, Ireland, between 5th June and 8th June
2012. After peer review, 15 papers were selected to be published
as a special issue in this journal.
These articles present latest developments on renewable and
sustainable energy. Papers presented in this issue are:
- Comparison of two different bioenergy production options from
late harvested biomass of Estonian semi-natural grasslands [32].
- Biobutanol production from 2-year-old willow biomass by acid
hydrolysis and acetoneebutanoleethanol fermentation [33].
- A novel role for bioenergy: a exible, demand-oriented power
supply [34].
0360-5442/$ e see front matter 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

- Mechanical pretreatment effects on macroalgae-derived biogas

production in co-digestion with sludge in Ireland [35].
- Lipid and carotenoid production by oleaginous red yeast Rhodotorula glutinis cultivated on brewery efuents [36].
- Inuence of 1-butanol addition on diesel combustion with palm
oil methyl ester/gas oil blends [37].
- Determinants of user satisfaction with solar home systems in
rural Bangladesh [38].
- A Novel Solar Trigeneration System Based on Concentrating
Photovoltaic/Thermal Collectors. Part 1: Design and Simulation
model [39].
- Dynamic Simulation of a Novel High-Temperature Solar Trigeneration System Based on Concentrating Photovoltaic/Thermal Collectors [40].
- Thermodynamic Analysis of SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell)-Stirling
Hybrid Plants using Alternative Fuels [41].
- City Blood: A Visionary Infrastructure Solution for Household
Energy Provision through Water Distribution Networks [42].
- Effects of wind intermittency on reduction of CO2 emissions: the
case of the Spanish power system [43].
- A Methodology for Economic and Environmental Analysis of
Electric Vehicles with Different Operational Conditions [44].
- Thermal Performance Characteristics of a WLHP (Wraparound
Loop Heat Pipe) Charged with R134a [45].
- Experimental Investigation of an Inclined-Condenser Wickless
Heat Pipe Charged with Water and an EthanoleWater Azeotropic Mixture [46].

2. Content details
The rst paper [32], authors have carried out a study to assess
the energy potential of herbaceous biomass originating from

Editorial / Energy 61 (2013) 2e5

different semi-natural grassland types with one late harvest,

without seeding and fertilising. They estimated the biomass production of different semi-natural grassland types in Estonia, that
were considered to be the most available (mesic meadows), the
most nutrient-rich (alluvial meadows) or having the largest biodiversity (wooded meadows). In order to evaluate the suitability of
different options for bioenergy production they compared the feedstock specic methane yield with caloric value of the biomass and
analysed the amount of the most crucial elements in biomass. To
enable further estimations of energy input needed for bioenergy
production, we studied also the feedstock-specic methane yield
dynamics during experiment.
In the second paper [33], authors have made a composition of
the acid hydrolysate, by focussing on monosaccharides and possible
fermentation inhibitors, and their acetoneebutanoleethanol
fermentation properties were investigated.
Paper [34], particularly deals with the electricity supply options
and describes the possibilities of different bioenergy pathways and
conversion technologies suitable for exible electricity generation.
The discussion includes analysis of market and legislative conditions, along with some economic aspects.
In the fourth paper [35], a preliminary study on the effects of a
Hollander beater mechanical pretreatment has been conducted in
batch mode focussing on biogas yields from ve different species
of Irish seaweeds in co-digestion with sludge. A second experiment
on Laminaria Digitata species has been carried out using a RSM
(Response Surface Methodology) with treatment times (0e
10 min), mesophilic range of temperatures (35e39  C) and sludge
amounts (100e300 ml). Results from biogas yields of treated macroalgae have been found to be up to 20% higher when compared to
untreated ones. A mathematical model of the biogas volume behaviour has been developed and the ideal conditions identied.
Ref [36], has investigated the production of microbial lipids for
biodiesel production and high-value carotenoids by R. glutinis combined with the use of brewery wastewater as carbon source for
three treatments. Suboptimal culture conditions (pH; aeration)
have been identied as obstacles for higher lipid and carotenoid
yields. Nevertheless, brewery waste- waters can be considered as
carbon source for microbial fermentation, since they can be
assumed to be an adequate source of nitrogen and other nutrients,
whereas the utilization of maltose needs to be increased to achieve
considerable amounts of lipid and carotenoid production.
Paper [37] has investigated the utilization of PME (Palm oil
methyl ester) by improving its low temperature uidity. Three
kinds of blended fuels composed of PME/gas oil/1-butanol to
show the effect of lower pour points. The results also showed
that at the rated output condition the smoke emissions decreased
considerably with increasing 1-butanol addition ratios.
Other investigation [38] has been carried out with the objective
of this research is to analyse the characteristics of households
installing solar photovoltaic SHS (systems or solar home systems)
in Bangladesh where rural electrication, improvement of rural
livelihoods, and sustainable development constitute the primary
development agenda. This article has studied the factors that affect
user satisfaction with SHS, so that improving user satisfaction can
contribute to expanding the coverage of SHS in the long run. The
research evaluates the determinants of user satisfaction and households perceptions of the benets of SHS, including the quality of
SHS equipment and reduction in energy costs. The econometric
analysis reveals that previous poor experience of the frequency of
battery repairs and replacement in SHS negatively inuences the
satisfaction of households with SHS. The research also suggests
user satisfaction improves in the households that achieve lower
dependence on kerosene. Moreover, the users who receive the benets of SHS, especially those resulting from an increase in childrens

study time, show a higher level of satisfaction with SHS. A key message from the ndings is that the benets of a SHS lifestyle as well
as the quality of SHS equipment play a signicant role in improving
user satisfaction with SHS in rural Bangladesh.
Authors [39,40], have presented the thermodynamic performance of high-temperature PVT (PhotoVoltaic/Thermal) solar collectors. The collector is based on a combination of a parabolic
dish concentrating solar thermal collector and a high efciency solar photovoltaic collector. The PVT system under investigation allows one to produce simultaneously electrical energy and hightemperature thermal energy by solar irradiation.
The main aim of this paper was the design and the analysis of a
concentrating PVT which is able to operate at reasonable electric
and thermal efciency up to 180  C. In fact, the PVT was designed
to be integrated in a Solar Heating and Cooling system and it
must drive a two-effect absorption chiller. This capability is quite
new since conventional PVT collectors usually operate below
45  C. Among the possible high temperature PVT systems, this paper was focused on a system consisting in a dish concentrator and
in a triple-junction PV layer.
Results showed that both electrical and thermal efciencies are
very good in a wide range of operating conditions. The study also
has included a comprehensive sensitivity analysis in which the
main design variables were varied in order to evaluate the related
variations of both electrical and thermal efciencies.
Rokni [41], has presented work on a novel hybrid power system
(w10 kW) for an average family home is proposed. The system investigated contains a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) on top of a Stirling engine. The off-gases produced in the SOFC cycle were fed to a
bottoming Stirling engine, at which additional power is generated.
Simulations of the proposed system were conducted using different
fuels, which should facilitate the use of a variety of fuels depending
on availability. Here, the results for NG (natural gas), ammonia,
DME (di-methyl ether), methanol and ethanol are presented and
analysed. The system behaviour is further investigated by comparing
the effects of key factors, such as the utilization factor and the operating conditions under which these fuels are used. Moreover, the effect of using a methanator on the plant efciency was also studied.
The combined system improves the overall electrical efciency relative to that of a stand-alone Stirling engine or SOFC plant. For the
combined SOFC and Stirling conguration, the overall power production was increased by approximately 10% compared to that of a standalone SOFC plant. System efciencies of approximately 60% are
achieved, which is remarkable for such small plant sizes. Additionally, heat is also produced to heat the family home when necessary.
Karaca et al. [42], have presented paper aims to expand current
thinking about the future of energy and water utility provision by
presenting a radical idea: it proposes a combined delivery system
for household energy and water utilities, which is inspired by an
analogy with the human body. It envisions a multi-functional infrastructure for cities of the future, modelled on the human circulatory
Paper [43], has focused in the interactions between wind generation and thermal plants cycling, by establishing the levels of extra
fuel use caused by decreased efciencies of fossil back-up for wind
electricity in Spain. They analysed the production of all thermal
plants in 2011, studying scenarios where wind penetration causes
major deviations in programming and they dened a procedure
for quantifying CO2 reductions using emission factors and efciency
curves from existing installations. The results show that CO2 reductions are still relevant at high wind penetration, they suggested alternatives to improve reliability of the power system.
Zhang et al. [44], have conducted study to investigate the economic and environmental analysis model for EVs operated under
different conditions and test the feasibility of the model using

Editorial / Energy 61 (2013) 2e5

case studies. The feasibility of the proposed methodology has been

proven practically through its application.
In paper [45], has investigated the thermal performance of a single wraparound loop heat pipe WLHP, they have analysed the nature of the involved heat transfer mechanisms, within the heat
pipe. The output of this work will, for the rst time, provide significant information on the thermal characteristics of this type of loop
heat pipes, which will play an important role in optimising fullscale heat energy recovery heat exchangers that utilise this heat
pipe conguration.
Finally, Jouhara et al. [46] have examined the advantages of using the ethanolewater azeotrope as a wickless heat pipe working
uid and the suitability of an inclined condenser structure for a horizontal evaporator operation. Water has, also, been tested as a
working uid for the heat pipe for comparison with the azeotrope
results. The tested wickless heat pipe, or as sometimes is referred to
as TPCT (two-phase closed thermosyphon), is made from copper
with a condenser section that is 12 inclined from the evaporator
Ethanolewater azeotrope is chosen as a TPCT working uid as of
the expected benets and thermal characteristics enhancements of
this azeotropic mixture is thought to bring. A variable output electrical heater was used to heat the evaporator section. The
condenser section was cooled using an enhanced heat exchanger
equipped with a twisted 304 stainless steel tape to cause the cooling water to spiral around the condenser section wall. The effect of
the evaporator inclination angle, the working uid and power
throughputs on the temperature distribution along the heat pipe
and the TPCT overall thermal resistance have investigated. The
TPCT was found to function normally under all the considered
evaporator inclination angles (including the horizontal position).
In addition, many advantages for the use of the ethanolewater
azeotrope have been discovered and reported.
3. Conclusions and remarks
In this special issue of the international conference of sustainable energy and environmental protection SEEP 2012, all the above
topics have been presented and discussed, which cover important
topics on this eld. It can be concluded that a great progress has
been achieved in the last few years but at the same time the energy
consumption has dramatically increased. This would give more
ethical responsibilities on scientists to carry out innovative
research on scientic and social related issues to tackle the energy
problem and to reduce the emission, for the best standard of living
in our world.
The guest editor would like to thank the reviewers who have
made a valuable contribution by reviewing, commenting and
advising the authors. Also, the guest editor would like to thank
all authors for their excellent contribution of high standard articles.
The guest editor would like to thank the Publisher, Sarah Hunt, the
Editor-in-Chief Prof. H. Lund and the editorial assistant Prof. P.S.
Andersen for the valuable support to edit this special issue.
Finally, the guest editor would like to thank all administration
staff in the Energy journal for their excellent support, in particular
to the Journal Manager Ms Linda Shapiro and The Publishing Content Coordinator Ms. Tracy Chen and Yinghong Qiao.
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Editorial / Energy 61 (2013) 2e5

[33] Han S-H, Cho DH, Kim YH, Shin S-J. Biobutanol production from 2-year-old
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A.G. Olabi
University of the West of Scotland, School of Engineering, High Street,
Paisley, PA1 2BE, UK
E-mail address: