Afghan Energy, Chemical & Mining Industries
resource for Renewable Energies, Irrigation & Sustainable Industries.

Energy Power Plants

Predominantly, natural resources are used to produce energy. The safest and cleanest energy source to use is Electricity from Solar heat and radiation (sun energy). However, the methods to produce electricity have traditionally not been so "clean", such as, the burning of fossil fuels using generators or turbines.
The burning of non-clean methods during the course of the last 2 centuries has caused the CO2 levels on earth to increase from 250 ppm to now 380 ppm. The effect of this is simply that CO2 and other "greenhouse" gases ie. methane (natural gas) have the effect of retaining heat that would otherwise be radiated out to space. The level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is directly associated with the changes in sea temperatures and therefore changes in weather and the ecosystem.

There are presently the following methods to produce this energy with non-clean methodologies:
  • Burning of Oil (crude oil or light & Heavy fuel oils with engines or turbines at efficiencies between 25%-55% using heat recovery
  • Burning of Natural gas with engines or turbines at efficiencies between 35%-65% using heat recovery
  • Burning of carbonised fossils (COAL) using steam turbines at efficiencies between 35%-65% using heat recovery
  • Burning of Bio fuels ie. alcohols etc with engines or turbines at efficiencies between 40%-75% using heat recovery
  • Nuclear - Electricity from Steam turbines generated from the heat dissipation of Radioactive decay of materials, fission (breaking of heavy nucleus into two nuclei ), fusion (two atomic nuclei fuse together to form a heavier nucleus )

However other methodologies exist that will not pollute as in the above examples and these are:
  • Solar Energy using PV (Poly Voltaic) solar panels made from a variety of materials, predominantly silicon based with efficienies of 18%
  • Geothermal heat recovery from underground basins of hot gases or liquids used to turn Kalina turbines to produce electricity at various efficiencies
  • Wind blowing to turn wind propellers attached to electric motors on wind turbines to generate electricity, efficiencies dependent on wind,weather and Location
  • Hydro electricity produced by using the potential energy of water to turn turbines, and is reliant on the flow and availability of water and weather and location
  • Using the pepetual movement of waves to generate electricity in the sea which is dependent on weather and location

When Generators are turned by the forces of potential energy, wind or by the burning of fossil fuels through the expansion of oxidised gases, the mechanical efficiencies (losses due to friction) of pistons and other moving parts reduce the full potential of total energy recovery from the fuel source. Also as in the burning of fossil fuels, the heat dissipated as a consequence of combustion (oxidation) is not fully recoverable and in most cases wasted, through the lack of planning or economic factors. Although heat recovery is a basis of increasing efficiencies in order to conserve or decrease costs, it generally has not been considered economical for small systems. Example of heat recovery are found here >>>>>

As a consequence, the "Solar PV" method of producing clean elctricity has been deemed as the "Rolls Royce" method of producing clean energy, as it requires no moving parts (except when tracker are used). However this technology presently accounts for less than 1% of the total energy currently produced, mainly due to costs associated with the production. Even though the lowest cost per Wp (Watt peak) is US$4.25 ( for multicrysaline and $3.69/Wp for thin film presently (November 2007), it still is an expensive way to produce electricity as compared to the ever increasing price of fossil fuels and other methodologies as menioned above for various reasons.

Afghanistan has a few Dams that produces power and a few large generators that currently are idle. There are also other methods such as solar power and chemical and nuclear power methodologies, which are presently not feasible for one reason or another. Solar panels are too expensive even though Afghanistan has an abundance of sunlight during the year. The expense is due because most production facilities have been bought out by large mutinational oil companies such as BP, Sheel etc. Nuclear Power is not a feasible alternative as the country does not have the money nor the expertise to erect such a complicated tecnology. It is also a dangerous technology as Afghanistan suffers from many earthquakes.

real example of different methods for a 7MW power plant
Power Plants and energy plant and other reports Afghanistan

The gas consumption rate of 0.34 normal cubic meter (Nm3)/kWh is based upon actual data from the Uran gas turbines. The economic cost of gas, Rs 2,300/1000 Nm3 (1992 Rs33=$1) $69/1000m3, is essentially based on the concept of parity to fuel oil, with the border price of fuel oil at $14/bbl. The resultant estimate of busbar avoided energy cost on-peak is Rs 0.81/kWh

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