2020 was the year when people all over the world worried about their health and finances, as well as the future of their family and friends. It was also the year when we proved that we can face the future and make it even better.
Environmental design is a method that considers both the natural environment and society in the development of new energy projects. Through the EU project FIThydro, scientists are developing new solutions to improve the conditions for fish in rivers affected by hydropower plants (HPP) without negatively impacting the power production levels. As part of this project, SINTEF Energy's scientists have launched a wiki that lists measures, methods and tools related to fish-friendly hydropower.
Gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) are essential components of the power system. GIS are used at energy hubs, such as electrical substations, and contain switches that control the power in the grid. SF6 is used in GIS as it has excellent electrical insulation properties. Unfortunately, SF6 is also the most potent greenhouse gas that we know about. Finding a suitable alternative to SF6 would significantly reduce the environmental footprint of switchgear in both Norway and the rest of the world.
The OPWIND project develops the knowledge and tools required for optimised operation and control of offshore wind farms, with the goal of making wind power cheaper, and therefore more profitable, by increasing efficiency. OPWIND’s basic premise is that managing the entire wind farm as a one system will yield better results than overseeing each individual turbine.
According to the “Drawdown project”, changing the refrigerant in air conditioning units, heat pumps and cold storage plants around the world is the single, most important climate action. These refrigeration systems use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are greenhouse gases that are used on a large scale globally. Phasing out the use of these HFC refrigerants will contribute to avoiding a 0.5-degree temperature increase. Together with NTNU, SINTEF is investigating the use of CO2 as a natural refrigerant (in this context, CO2 is not a greenhouse gas).
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a technology that captures, transports and stores CO2 safely underground – in other words, the CO2 is sent back to where it came from. If we are to limit the increase of the average global temperature to 1.5°C, we need to do more than just reduce our CO2 emissions; in the future, we must also remove them. CCS is the only technology that can enable industries such as the steel industry, fertiliser production and cement factories to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
New gasses for GIS is an example of a national and international project led by SINTEF Energy Research. The main goal of the project is to contribute to a more sustainable and robust power grid in the future by investigating long-term alternatives for SF6 in distribution and transmission systems.
On 11 December 2020, it was revealed that SINTEF Energy Research will lead NorthWind, the new Centre for Environment- Friendly Research (FME) on wind power. The centre will be headed by Chief Scientist in SINTEF Energy Research, John Olav Tande. NorthWind will contribute to Norway’s profitable export of wind energy, new green jobs, and wind power that respects both nature and people. Over 40 Norwegian businesses have joined this project, in addition to research partners including SINTEF, NTNU, NINA, NGI and UiO.
Magnanelli, Elisa; Tranås, Olaf Lehn; Carlsson, Per; Mosby, Jostein; Becidan, Michael.
Kauko, Hanne; Rohde, Daniel; Knudsen, Brage Rugstad; Sund-Olsen, Terje.
Adnan, Mohammed Mostafa; Tveten, Erlend Grytli; Miranti, Rany; Hvidsten, Sverre; Ese, Marit-Helen Glomm; Glaum, Julia; Einarsrud, Mari-Ann.
Sperstad, Iver Bakken; Kjølle, Gerd Hovin; Gjerde, Oddbjørn.
Munkejord, Svend Tollak; Austegard, Anders; Deng, Han; Hammer, Morten; Stang, Hans Georg Jacob; Løvseth, Sigurd Weidemann.
SINTEF Energy Research's profits are invested in laboratories, scientific equipment, facilities and the development of new knowledge. The accounts show an investment of NOK 234 million over the last ten years.