Renewable Energy


The Center for Solar Energy Research and Applications (GÜNAM)

The Center for Solar Energy Research and Applications (GÜNAM) is an interdisciplinary center of excellence in the area of solar energy science and technology. It has received support through Ministry of Development and Minister of Science, Industry and Technology of Turkey. GÜNAM considers itself as the major national center in the development of solar cell technologies including photovoltaic and solar thermal system for energy production and aims to serve all interested institutions and individuals in Turkey.

Primary aims of GÜNAM are:

  • improve the solar energy technologies that convert solar energy to electrical energy at an affordable price;
  • create a technological infrastructure for national industry and eliminate the possible negative effects of the incentive systems;
  • become an institution that guides and creates synergy of innovation at national and international level;
  • increase public awareness and consciousness on the usage of solar energy;
  • and train and educate necessary man power.

 

METU Northern Cyprus Campus Solar Energy Research

METU Northern Cyprus Campus also focuses on education, research and practice studies of Thermal Solar Power Plant technology. In this technique, which is the third important technology in the field of renewable energy systems along with the photovoltaic and wind systems, solar energy is concentrated with corrugated parabolic collectors, converted to thermal energy at high-temperatures, and then to electrical energy in the turbines.

 


Wind Energy Technologies Research and Practice Center (RÜZGEM)

RÜZGEM's primary goals are to engage in R&D activities for achieving Turkey’s national goals put forward in wind energy, to reduce the external dependency on technology, to be a shareholder in the world wind energy market with the original technologies developed and to make a very significant contribution to the national technological and scientific development.

RÜZGEM executes the following activities for the purpose of developing technologies relevant to the generation of renewable and clean electricity by using wind energy, determination of the potential of wind energy, wind turbines and wind farms in Turkey and creating know-how and manpower:

  • Doing basic research,
  • Development of original technology,
  • Providing design, analysis, testing and technological support to the wind energy industry,
  • Organizing workshops and training seminars to share acquired knowledge,
  • Coordinating the national and international collaborations
  • RÜZGEM is integrated to the METU’s existing research infrastructure. The development of wind energy technologies requires many different disciplines to work together from Aerospace, Electrical, Mechanical, Materials and Construction Engineering departments to Architecture and Business Administration.

 

BioHydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Group

Hydrogen is one of the clean, renewable and sustainable energy systems of the future. Hydrogen energy has great potential for preventing air pollution caused by fossil fuels, decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and maintaining the balance in nature.

Within the last 15 years, a research group which is established by researchers from Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, and Chemical Engineering departments of METU, works on bio-hydrogen and fuel cells. The studies are carried out with many units and institutions within and outside the university. A two-stage system has been developed for biological hydrogen production from agricultural wastes in the scope of the European Union 6th Framework Programme project "Hyvolution". BioHydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Group, is conducting studies on two main topics, these topics are as follows:

  • Biological Hydrogen Production Research: The studies, unlike today’s hydrogen production systems, cover the work of hydrogen production via biological methods. Hydrogen production from agricultural wastes is planned by taking the advantage of solar energy using photosynthetic bacteria. A building and its garden, which is devoted to the research group by the university, is converted to 180 m2 modern laboratory with a garden greenhouse where the outdoor activities are carried out.
  • Fuel Cell Research: A fuel cell research laboratory with advanced technical facilities was established. In this laboratory, PEM fuel cells with powers up to 1.5kW can be tested.

 

Biomass Research Group

Today, the ever-increasing population and advancing technology lead to an increase in the need for energy, chemicals and different materials. Since the fossil resources, such as petroleum and natural gas start to run out and have many adverse effects on the environment, alternative ‘renewable’ and ‘sustainable’ sources, such as solar, wind and biomass, have been the focus of attention. In Turkey, every year, millions of tons of agricultural waste with no economic value are produced and this shows that, among the other natural resources, biomass is one of our most valuable assets. The renewable biomass sources, which does not contribute to the economy, such as sunflower, cotton stalks (agricultural waste) and / or sawdust (forest waste), are converted to commercial products, such as chemical, fuel, additives, biomaterials and energy via different technologies in bio-refineries, with adherence to the principles of sustainable economy and sustainable community. All over the world, bio-refinery development and design studies are carried out under the R&D projects with high budgets, which are supported by both state funds and private sector.

The objective of BİYAGEB is to establish a bio-refinery plant, in which energy, chemical and material production can be made at the pilot scale.

BİYAGEB's purposes:

  • Creating high value-added products from vegetable waste that is produced in large quantities in Turkey,
  • Providing additional income to farmers and forest villagers living in rural areas,
  • Providing job opportunities for the people who managed to survive in rural areas, at bio-refinery pre-processing centers established in various regions throughout Turkey and preventing migration to urban areas to some extent
  • Manufacturing the commodity chemicals, fuel and materials, which are produced by using fossil resources now, without polluting the environment and eliminating the accumulated plastics in nature.

 

Energy Efficiency, Enterprise and Economics Research Group

Energy Efficiency, Enterprise and Economics Research Group focuses on economic development, ecosystem significant accumulation of knowledge of critical energy for national energy security. This group is expected to carry out an interdisciplinary study comprising people from variety of engineering and economics areas, as well as representatives of the related business community. In this area, instead of energy, the integration of economic and environmental research methods on exergy is aimed. This research includes the studies at various levels in terms of both supply and demand in the following way:

In terms of supply: All electricity generating technologies are included. The primary emphasis is given to increase the efficiency of exergy, to keep costs down and to reduce the effects of electricity generation technologies on ecosystems.

On the demand side: All end-use energy technologies including building energy systems (lighting, heating, cooling, high-performance buildings, green buildings, zero-energy buildings, etc.) and industrial energy use are covered. In addition, demand management is referred as the critical enabling technology for the renewable energy technologies that cannot be controlled depending on the time, such as wind and solar energy.

Special Energy Conversion Technologies: This research is primarily focused on increasing the efficiency of exergy, management of end-use technologies and developing new technologies that use local renewable energy resources.

National-Level Analysis: Economic development, ecosystem protection and development of new methods and measurements in order to determine the alternatives to the current situation and the future scenarios for Turkey's energy economy is primarily aimed.

 

Energy Storage and Power Supplies

Energy Materials Research Group activities are mainly concentrated on efficient use and storage of Energy. The studies conducted so far in the field of energy storage covered the researches on improving lead-acid batteries. They were carried out with the support of the private sector and mainly dealt with the storage of energy as hydrogen. From the beginning of year 2000, many projects were carried out with the support of BAP and TÜBİTAK. Afterwards, “Hydrogen Gas Production, Storage and Production of Electricity in Fuel Cells” and "Hydrogen Cartridge Development” projects were conducted.

A significant progress on the studies of efficient use of energy is the magnetic cooling. The ongoing study supported by Ministry of Development, is based on a potentially more efficient cycle rather than a compressor-based cooling system. The VSM measurement infrastructure provided by this project is also used by Materials Science and Engineering Department of Anadolu University.

Energy Materials Research Group, especially in terms of energy storage, has the most advanced infrastructure and significant accumulation of knowledge in Turkey.

 


Geothermal Research Group

Turkey is one of the countries with high potential in geothermal energy resources. The spa and thermal bath tradition in many areas of Anatolia is now turning into health practices, the central heating systems with geothermal energy are established in many provinces, and at the same time the production of electrical energy is carried in high enthalpy areas of Western Anatolia. At the end of 2007, after the Geothermal Act adopted by the Parliament and the Renewable Energy Resources Act, the efforts of domestic and foreign investors continue to increase for the geothermal fields waiting to be developed for many years.