Renewable Power Generation Projects
Hawaii Solar Integration Study (2010 - 2012) : The Hawaii Solar Integration Study (HSIS) builds upon the knowledge gained in the Oahu Wind Integration Study (OWIS). The study examines very high penetration scenarios of solar and wind energy – up to 760 MW of distributed and utility scale solar PV and 300 MW of wind resources for Oahu, and up to 45 MW of distributed and utility scale solar PV and 72 MW of wind on Maui. Focusing on the operational impact on the Oahu and Maui bulk power systems, the HSIS evaluates reserve strategies, impacts on thermal unit commitment and dispatch, utilization of energy storage, renewable energy curtailment, and other aspects of grid reliability, operations and costs. Key to the study, high-resolution (2-second) solar power profiles were generated using a new combined Numerical Weather Prediction model / stochastic-kinematic cloud model approach, which represents the “sharp-edge” effects of clouds passing over solar facilities. See both the Maui Solar Integration Study  and the Oahu Solar Integration Study reports.
Solar fuels production: this program aims to produce hydrocarbon fuels at low cost via photo-electro-reduction of carbon dioxide by combining efficient catalysts with cheap thin-film solar cells.
Direct production of hydrogen : this effort focuses on the direct splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen, using photoelectrochemical devices.
Rapidly Deployable Solar Electricity and Fuel Sources: the goal of this research project is to adapt existing deposition processes in order to manufacture solar cells on flexible substrates (such as titanium foils).
Industrialization of CIGSe deposition process: this collaborating effort aims to establish a robust CIGSe deposition process for industrial production.
See also Grid Systems Integration - Analysis and Modeling projects.
Acoustic and EMF Signature of Wave Energy Conversion Devices: Field investigation of the acoustic and electromagnetic field (EMF) signature of devices tested at WETS. This should yield a unique an unprecedented database and methodology to be used by the nascent marine renewable energy community.
Calibration of Shallow Water Wave Hindcast and Forecast Models: Wave records to be obtained with newly deployed HNEI Directional Waverider buoys will be used to calibrate the UH wave models for shallow waters conditions corresponding to depths envisioned for WEC devices (e.g., 30 m to 80 m) and to provide developers with information about the site specific extreme waves that devices must survive during their life cycle.
Wave Energy Converters Performance Models: (i) Develop a computer model to allow for the virtual testing, modification and optimization of single devices prior to in-water testing; and, (ii) Develop a computer model to evaluate the performance of arbitrary arrays of wave energy converters.
Ocean Thermal Resource and Sustainable OTEC Power Assessment: Implement a numerical model with a 1 x 1 (Lat./Long.) horizontal resolution to simulate the large-scale deployment of OTEC plants across tropical oceans to estimate the world-wide power output without modifying the deep ocean circulation of the cold water resource.
Interactive OTEC Power Atlas: Combine ocean thermal data available through the NODC's World Ocean Atlas with the HNEI OTEC thermodynamic model to provide the user an estimate of OTEC power production at any location defined by latitude and longitude.
Aluminum Corrosion and Biocorrosion Testing: In search of cost effective materials for use in marine renewable energy systems, HNEI will continue long-term testing of aluminum alloys exposed to flowing seawater from different depths at the NELHA laboratory. Aluminum was chosen because of the relatively low cost of the material; multiple options for fabrication; and, relatively good corrosion resistance based on prior research.
Crissy Field Project: In collaboration with the Golden Gate Park Conservancy, HNEI has deployed five small scale (1kW) vertical axis wind turbines that are being monitored to evaluate performance for distributed applications. This work, conducted at Crissy Field Center, an environmental education center for youth located in San Francisco includes development of a web-based dashboard that monitors all of the sustainable features of the building: energy flow in and out by end-use, water, comfort and weather.
Geothermal Resource Assessment: To validate a new geophysical inversion and analysis procedure to map the subsurface structure of the geothermal resource and lower exploration costs, with near-term target areas on both the Island of Hawaii and Maui.
Geothermal Strategic Development Study : HNEI has contracted with PICHTR to assess the current environment for geothermal development in the state, and to prepare a strategic development plan that will help agencies be prepared for the complex planning, assessment, regulatory, and permitting activities required.