ITRI has been developing multiple low carbon circular technologies based on four aspects: Supply, Consumption, Manufacturing, and Environment. These include using innovative technologies to recover waste and by-products to add new value or redesigning modular materials for ease of disassembly, incorporating the principles of circular economy into the production process. ITRI assists companies in integrated planning services to find their niche within the net zero economy, and actively deploys energy saving technologies on campus while changing its users’ habits to maximize the use of resources through a sharing platform, bringing the benefits of energy saving, carbon reduction and sharing economy into play.
For the goal of achieving net zero and a sustainable environment, join us in looking at some of the achievements from ITRI’s current research.
ITRI’s TOPCon Solar Cell features high optoelectronic conversion efficiency, high ROI, and short energy payback time (EPBT), and has successfully concluded pilot production. With a 23.5% battery conversion efficiency and a module power up to 360W through 120 half-cut G1 cells, this world-leading technology has completed verification at the Shalun Green Energy Technology Demonstration Site. This is an effective renewable energy solution for cutting down carbon emissions, as it does not require intricate and complex manufacturing processes, saves over 10% of building land required for the solar power plant, and increases the ROI by 3%.
ITRI has been developing virtual power plant (VPP) technology, which integrates distributed resources to facilitate the power grid's balance between supply and demand. With the monitoring, forecasting, modelling, and decision making of facility operations, the VPP platform can agilely regulate a customer's overall power demand or generation to meet market needs of a certain time. Currently, ITRI has set up a VPP demonstration platform, with the dispatching center located at ITRI headquarters. The platform links multiple resources including air conditioning of buildings, solar PV systems, and energy storage systems at various ITRI campuses to demonstrate dispatchable customer resources on a MW scale, which will benefit the integration of renewable energy.
Leveraging an innovative silage processing technology, ITRI has explored the new use of eco-materials and turned lemon peels to a low-cost feed for ruminants. This feed increases the intake of cows and improves their health. It is estimated that with this technology, ITRI has helped manufacturers recycle and process over 6,000 tons of waste lemon peels a year. Since the silage feed can be stored at room temperature, the manufacturing process requires less energy and reduces transportation costs, consequently cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions in livestock farming.
Taiwan produces approximately 400,000 tons of bean dregs every year. To deal with this sizable problem, ITRI has assisted tofu manufacturers in developing technologies to reuse bean dregs, effectively processing them into cat litter. Through integrated planning involving careful formula design and performance testing, bean dregs can be transformed into value-added products, which also saves the significant cost originally needed for waste disposal.
ITRI’s easy-dismantled PV module utilizes a patented encapsulation film ingeniously composed of the innovative thermoset and thermoplastic bi-layered material. Using the combination of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) with high adhesion strength and TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) with excellent PID resistance and easy dismantling, the PV module has the dual characteristics of operational durability and recycling efficiency. Compared with existing PV modules, which can only be recycled into broken glass granules and low purity silicon scrap, a retired easy-dismantled module can separate and restore entire glass sheets and all cells for further reuse and regeneration. Moreover, the environmental impact due to waste from the original mining production process will decrease by 50-60%, in addition to the carbon reduction for glass and silver metal exploitation.
ITRI has integrated transfer printing equipment and machine tooling with ultrafast laser and metallization equipment to develop electrical circuits with 3 µm-wide wires. This green manufacturing process saves 87.7% of energy and 92.2% of water as well as reduces 87.2% waste, which allows manufacturers to reach a new level in refining circuits and achieving green manufacturing. With ITRI’s assistance, PCB manufacturers have completed the world’s first roll-to-roll SAP microelectronic FPC softboard production line.
ITRI has been developing CO2 capture technology which uses high performance absorbent, with a capture system for field verification currently established in a power plant and chemical plant. ITRI has optimized operation parameters through field verification: The purity of the captured CO2 can reach 99.9%, and the absorbent regeneration heat can be less than 3 GJ/tCO2 during the process. The purified CO2 can be converted into valuable hydrocarbons, such as natural gas, methanol, and a variety of petrochemicals, which can later be used to produce clothing, shoes, and camping sleeping pads. This technology can be applied to the petrochemical, steel, electricity, and other industries to reduce carbon emissions, and will help facilitate a circular economy and environmental sustainability.
ITRI has developed optimized processing units and procedures for wastewater reclamation. Key technologies include porous bio-carrier BioNET, fluidized bed crystallization (FBC), anaerobic fluidized bed (AFB), and electrodialysis (ED) to meet the water demands of traditional industries and high-tech factories. The service has been adopted by hundreds of businesses in Taiwan to handle both domestic and industrial wastewater processing to produce high-quality reclaimed water resources.