All these have been undertaken at my own initiative and expense.
2007, July 3-8. European Sustainable Energy Forum, Lucerne, Switzerland.
2003 I had co-authored a paper
on hydrogen with Dr Ulf Bossel, the organiser of the European Fuel Cell
Forum. This conference series alternated between Low Temperature Fuel
Cells (principally PEM) and High Temperature Fuel Cells (principally
SOFC), and I attended one of each in 2003 and 2004 (see below).
Following the logic of our hydrogen paper, Dr Bossel decided to replace
the conference on Low Temperature Fuel Cells with one on Sustainable
Energy. I was appointed to the Scientific Committee and invited to give
a presentation with the title 'Energy
Criteria for Sustainable Energy Solutions'. More details about the
Forum are on the web site.
In addition to the presentations on the first day, there were a number of really excellent technical visits on the following three days. Photographs
2007, February 28 - March 2. World Sustainable Energy Days Conference and Exhibition, Wels, Austria.
I had heard several presentations by Christiane Egger, Deputy Manager, Oberoesterreichischer Energiesparverband (Upper Austrian Renewable Energy Agency), the organisers of these events. The conference was superbly organised and very well attended, and the exhibition was large and comprehensive and also very well attended - including by the general public.
2006, July 7-8. Association for Environment Conscious Building Conference, Taunton, UK.
I joined the AECB and attended this conference as a result of attending the Passive House Conference earlier this year. I joined a short tour of the Genesis Centre (the Conference venue), which has been designed to demonstrate several different sustainable construction techniques. The conference proper consisted of plenary sessions and several parallel workshops, of which I attended three.
2006, June 27-29. EuroSun 2006, Glasgow, UK. Photographs
I attended the plenaries and the sessions on solar thermal, and asked many questions. I gave an oral presentation based on my energy study 'Energy Solutions for 60% Carbon Reduction'. I also had many interesting discussions during the breaks.
After the Conference, I took the technical tour on wind, visiting Proven Energy, manufacturers of small wind turbines, and a wind farm site developed by Airtricity, where we had a presentation and discussion.
2006, May 30-June 1. World Bioenergy 2006, Jonkoping, Sweden. Photographs
This was of world significance, attended by the Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr Goran Persson. He welcomed a large delegation from China, which was lead by Mr Liu, the President of the State Grid Corporation, the largest electric power utility in the world. Attendance was about 1200, some three times that of 2004, probably because the Swedish Government had meanwhile announced their intention that Sweden would be off (i.e. break it's dependence on) oil (and other fossil fuels) by 2020.
2006, May 19-21. 10th Passive House Conference 2006, Hanover, Germany. Photographs
I arrived early with a friend and we visited the Energy Advice Centre in Hanover.
There were two days of presentations, with up to four parallel sessions – three in German, and one in English. I attended the plenaries, and – since it was my first time - the English sessions. There was also an excellent exhibition of Passive House Components. On the following day, there were several technical tours, and I took that on new and existing buildings.
2006, April 10-11. Discussion Meeting on 'Energy... for the Future', Royal Society, London.
This consisted of a series of presentations on energy supply, including one on carbon sequestration, and just one on energy saving.
2005, September 15. Biomass Day, Resource 05, BRE, Watford, UK.
This included a number of presentations, with one from Sir Ben Gill, leader of the Biomass Task Force. There was also an exhibition of wider scope, covering all the themes of Resource05.
2005, May 22-25. Risoe International Energy Conference, Roskilde, Denmark.
This covered both technology and policy, and consisted of plenaries, and then presentations in parallel sessions.
On the following day, I visited three departments of the Danish Technical University, for discussions on biofuel processing and on appliance standby power.
2005, January 26-29. Central European Biomass Conference, Graz, Austria.
arrived early, and - through a
friend - was able to visit KWB, a major manufacturer of biomass
boilers, and then the TU Graz, where I had a discussion on energy
technology and policy. The excellent conference reported developments
in biomass fuels and boilers in Austria, and was accompanied by an
equally excellent exhibition.
2004, November 22-25. European Wind Energy Conference, Wembley, UK.
28-July 2. European Fuel Cell Forum
2004, Lucerne, Switzerland.
This year had an emphasis on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. Again I followed the Fuel Cell World stream, which addressed products, markets, and policy.
2004, June 20-23. EuroSun 2004, Freiburg, Germany.
I attended most of the plenary sessions, which included presentations by acknowledged experts, and were excellent in scope and depth. I followed the papers on solar heating, biomass, and energy policy. These reported excellent work, mainly carried out in German universities and Institutes. In addition, I reviewed the poster presentations, which were of high quality, and visited the exhibition.
2004, June 2-4. World Bioenergy 2004, Jonkoping, Sweden.
I joined study tours before and after the Conference, visiting a number of sites showing the growing of biomass, conversion to chips, pellets, and ethanol, and use in heat-only boilers and Combined Heat and Power plants. The three days of the Conference comprised presentations in the morning, and local visits in the afternoon. There was also an excellent exhibition of equipment for harvesting, conversion and use of biomass fuels.
2003, June 30-July 4. European Fuel Forum 2003, Lucerne, Switzerland.
This year had an emphasis on Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells. I benefited from the one-day tutorial on fuel cells, and then followed the Fuel Cell World stream, which addressed products, markets and policy.
2003, June 14-19. International Solar Energy Society Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden,
Before the Conference, I took part in a visit to Goteborg Energi – the multi-utility owned by the municipality.
The Conference included many excellent presentations in parallel sessions, notably on solar thermal, PV, and biomass.
After the Conference, I took part in visits to nearby solar installations. I also noted that E85 (85% bioethanol, 15% gasoline) biofuel was on sale in Gothenberg.
2002, March. Short Course on Vehicle Aerodynamics – Thermomanagement, Stuttgart, Germany.
This was held at FKFS Stuttgart. I also co-authored the introductory paper. The presentations described the state of design and testing of power train and brake cooling, and cabin climate control.
2001, September. Bewag Fuel Cell Innovation exhibition, Berlin, Germany.
This featured a Ballard Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell of 250 kWe and 230 kWth, connected to the Bewag electric power and district heating networks. In addition, there were exhibits from several other organizations involved in fuel cell R & D and manufacture.
2000, June. EuroSun 2000, Copenhagen, Denmark
Before the Conference, I took part in an organised visit to the Marstal Solar District Heating plant, which is the largest in the world. It has about 9000 m2 of solar collectors, with an output of up to 7 MW, connected to an existing district heating scheme serving some 1250 dwellings.
In the Conference, I followed the papers on solar heating, including district heating and interseasonal storage. These reported on several recent substantial schemes, notably in Germany and Denmark. I also joined in visits to the Danish Technological Institute and the Danish Technical University, both of whom are doing world-class R & D in solar heating and photovoltaics.
2000, March. Short Course on Vehicle Aerodynamics – Advanced Experimental Techniques, Stuttgart, Germany
This was held at the FKFS, Stuttgart. The presentations described the state of the art of vehicle aerodynamics, wind tunnels, and aerodynamic software. I also toured the world-class facilities of the FKFS, including the low-noise full-scale vehicle wind tunnel.
1996, September. EuroSun 1996, Freiberg, Germany
I met a number of acquaintances in the International Solar Energy Society. Amongst the presentations and papers, I was particularly pleased to hear of the progress with large scale demonstration central solar heating plants, with interseasonal storage - notably in Germany. Large scale demonstrations of photovoltaic electricity generation were also reported. Both represented significant advances since the solar conferences I had attended some 17 to 20 years previously. Following the Conference, I took the opportunity to tour the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy in Freiburg.
1979, June. North America
This trip started with the week-long International Congress of the International Solar Energy Society in Atlanta, Georgia. I then went to Washington, D.C., visiting the InterTechnology Solar Corporation, the National Bureau of Standards - on solar water heater testing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development - on the residential solar demonstration program, and the Department of Energy - on passive solar heating, biomass, photovoltaics and the solar technology transfer program and - in conservation - lighting, total energy, heat pumps and alternative automotive engines. In Ottawa I visited the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources - on energy conservation and solar heating from a policy viewpoint, followed by a day and a half at the National Research Council - discussing these same topics from an R and D programme viewpoint. Returning to the U.S.A., I visited the Thermo-Electron Corporation in Waltham, Massachusetts regarding solar energy in buildings and energy conservation in road transport. The following week I attended the two-day Workshop on Energy Storage for Automobile Propulsion in Alexandria, Virginia. As well as battery-electric systems, mechanical storage and transmissions and chemical and thermal stores with heat engines were considered. Finally I attended the 6th Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Conference in Washington, D.C. Where once this topic had been covered within the International Solar Energy Society meeting, this conference was almost as big as that of I.S.E.S. itself.
1978, August. U.S.A.
I first attended the Annual Meeting of the American Section of the International Solar Energy Society in Denver, Colorado. Then I visited the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, both major centres of research in solar energy utilization. I then visited Sandia, Albequerque to see their work on solar thermal power - including the 5 MWt "power tower" test facility - and to NASA, Huntsville, Alabama to see their work on the solar heating and cooling of buildings - including a large solar simulator, which is used for testing solar collectors indoors. After a short visit to Ford, Dearborn I travelled to Washington, D.C. to visit the Department of Energy to discuss aspects of the R and D programmes and to the National Bureau of Standards to discuss the testing of solar components and systems. Finally I paid a short visit to the Thermo-Electron Corporation in Waltham, Massachusetts to talk about appliance efficiency.
1978, May. Sweden
I visited Granges Aluminium, Finspong to see their new solar collector and then Ostgotabyggen, Linkoping and Sunroc Energy, Sigtuna - who are both carrying out R and D in solar heating systems with interseasonal storage. I then attended the VVS 78 Show in Stockholm, where a wide range of conservation and solar hardware - much of it new - was being exhibited. I also visited the Department of Building Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm and Svenska Flaktfabriken, Stockholm - both of whom are carrying out R and D in energy conservation and solar heating. Finally, I visited the housing estate at Taby where many of these ideas are being tested.
1977, June. North America
I attended the Annual Meeting of the American Section of the International Solar Energy Society in Orlando, Florida, followed by visits to the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta; Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh; Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan; the National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg; the Energy Research and Development Administration, Washington D.C.; the NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio and the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The Orlando conference updated me on the vigorous North American activity on solar energy and most of the visits added considerably more detail.
1977, April. France
I visited the "Journees Solaires" three-day conference and exhibition on solar energy in Nice. This gave an excellent impression of the well-organized national effort in this field. Several major companies and national research laboratories are involved and the R and D programme receives significant government funding.
1977, April. U.K.
I attended the International Solar Energy Society - U.K. Section one-day conference on "The Testing of Solar Collectors and Systems". Afterwards I visited the Solar Energy Group at the Building Research Establishment, Garston; the Solar Energy Unit at University College, Cardiff and the National Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth. I was accompanied by friends from the Swedish Council for Building Research, who had given papers at the conference. The first two visits enabled us to see the hardware mentioned in several papers presented at the conference and to have much more detailed discussions. The N.C.A.T. has several houses incorporating major energy conservation and solar heating measures.
1977, February. Germany
I visited the Deubau Construction Exhibition in Essen including especially the A.S.E. Exhibition and one-day conference on Solar Energy. I then visited the Philips Research Laboratory in Aachen. These visits gave an excellent impression of the well-organized national effort in this field. Most notably, the A.S.E. includes some 16 major companies and the solar energy R and D programme receives significant funding from the Federal Government. The Philips Laboratory includes an Experimental House which serves as a test bed for a wide range of ideas for conserving energy and harnessing solar energy.
1976, Summer. North America
I visited the week-long Joint Conference of the Canadian and American Sections of the International Solar Energy Society in Winnipeg, Canada and afterwards the Honeywell Energy Resources Center, Minneapolis; the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; the University of Wisconsin, Madison; the Energy Research and Development Administration, Washington D.C.; the National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg and the Smithsonian Radiation Biology Laboratory, Rockville, Maryland. The papers presented at the conference covered the same wide area as at Los Angeles the previous year but revealed the very substantial advances that had been made on every front. At Honeywell I saw some of their work on both flat plate and concentrating collectors and their solar simulator, which was used for testing solar collectors indoors. At the University of Minnesota, I visited Professor E.M. Sparrow and discussed convective heat transfer with special reference to my analysis of the Splitter Fin - which he approved. At the University of Wisconsin I spoke briefly with Professor J.A. Duffie and Professor W.A. Beckman and at greater length with several of their graduate students - who were studying the solar heating and cooling of buildings. At E.R.D.A. I spoke with Mr C.J. Swet - Program Manager of the Thermal Energy Storage Branch - and with Dr F.W. Morse - Chief of the Division of Solar Energy - notably about international R and D programs. I also visited the E.R.D.A. Solar Energy Exhibition on the Mall. At the University of Maryland I spoke to Professor Redfield Allen and Dr Dave Annan - both of the Solar Energy Projects Office - about solar air conditioning and again about international R and D programs (which they manage for E.R.D.A.). At the National Bureau of Standards I visited Dr James Hill of the Thermal Engineering Division and saw many of their building thermal - and particularly solar - test facilities and discussed their work. At the Smithsonian Radiation Biology Laboratory I discussed solar spectral measurements with Dr W. Klein and Mr B. Goldberg and solar collector testing with Mr J. Sager.
1975, Summer. U.S.A.
I visited the International Congress of the International Solar Energy Society (I.S.E.S.), Los Angeles and afterwards Stanford University, California; Colorado State University, Fort Collins and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. The week-long congress and exposition reported the rapidly-advancing state of the art in all the applications of solar energy. At Stanford I discussed compact heat exchangers in general and the Splitter Fin in particular with Dean W.M. Kays and Professor A.L. London. I inspected the two completed highly-instrumented solar houses in Fort Collins and discussed Thermic Panels with Mr Shawn Buckley and also math-modelling of internal combustion (Otto cycle) engines at M.I.T.
1975, February. Australia
I visited Smiths, Sydney; Ford, Geelong; Nippon Denso, Melbourne; C.S.I.R.O., Melbourne and the University of Queensland, Brisbane. As well as seeing two heater manufacturing plants - one shrinking, one growing - and Ford Australia Product Engineering, I spent four days at C.S.I.R.O., where they have been working on harnessing solar energy for heating water and heating and cooling buildings for some 20 years. Much of the time was with Mr R.V. (Bob) Dunkle, Chief Radiation Scientist. In Brisbane I talked with Mr S.V. (Steve) Szokolay, who lead the team which designed the solar heating system of the house in Milton Keynes, U.K. (I had visited the house twice).
1974, August. Germany
I made a two-day visit to Volkswagen, Wolfsburg for wide-ranging discussions on vehicle heating, ventilating and engine cooling and aerodynamic testing and a tour of the Golf/Rabbit production plant.
1973, Autumn. U.S.A.
I spent three weeks at the Ford Dearborn Engineering Center, including one week at the E.P.A. Symposium on Advanced Automotive Power Plants. I also made one-day visits to see Mr Gino Sovran at General Motors Research, Warren and to the Chrysler Proving Ground, Chelsea to discuss automotive wind tunnels and their use. I spent one week in Cambridge, Massachusetts, including visits to Scientific Energy Systems, Watertown and Thermo-Electron Corporation, Waltham - both builders of Rankine (steam) engined cars reported on at the E.P.A. Symposium.
1972, Autumn. Japan
I visited Mitsubishi, Kyoto; Honda, Suzaka; the Tokyo Motor Show; the Japan Automobile Research Institute; Nippon Denso, Kariya and Toyota. I was extremely impressed by the dedication and hard work - often aided by impressive new facilities.
1971, Autumn. Europe
I visited Volvo, Gothenburg; AGA, Lidingo; Granges Essem, Vasteras and Finspong in Sweden and Volkswagen, Wolfsburg in Germany. Most notably, I learnt of the Volvo Automotive Wind Tunnel and discussed the design with representatives of D.S.M.A - the design consultants. I also visited the Volkswagen Automotive Wind Tunnel.
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