From Finland

New Machine Increases Utilisation of Wood for Fuel

Wood can be used as an energy source to produce electricity or heat, or both of these simultaneously. Wood is a low-pollution source of energy containing 50.7% carbon, 41.7% oxygen, 6.4% hydrogen, 0.8% ash and 0.4% nitrogen.
 Wood is a regenerating natural resource in the evergreen forest zone. However, currently only about half of each tree is used. This is because a mechanical means of collecting smaller branches and needles has not existed.
 Now, however, such a machine is being developed and patented in Finland. The new machine will allow everything but the tree stump to be used in open logging by chipping the tree top, branches and needles, as well as sawing poles and pulp from the log tree. A hectare of spruce forest logged in this way produces biomass equal to 22 tonnes of oil. For pine forest, the yield is 10 tonnes oil equivalent.
 In addition the machinery is sufficiently manoeuvrable to be used for primary thinning of forest.
 For more information contact the CADDET Finnish National Team in Helsinki.

From Switzerland

New Tool for Engineering PV Systems

A new software tool for designing stand-alone and grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems is now available.
 "PVS for Windows" contains meteorological data for over 2,000 international locations. Each component of a PV system can be defined individually and its parameters stored for future reference. The software then simulates operating conditions during a year to produce an energy balance for the whole system. By changing parameters and re-running the simulation, the engineer can optimise the PV system for each individual user.
 The program was developed by the Fraunhofer institute of Switzerland together with the German company Econzept. It runs under Windows 3.1 (or higher) and requires a coprocessor and 540 kB RAM available in a DOS session. Languages available are German, English, French, Italian and Spanish (Portuguese is available to order). PVS for windows costs CHF 690 excluding postage (where CHF is the Swiss franc).
 For more information or to order the software contact the CADDET Swiss National Team in Aarau.

The CADDET Renewable Energy Newsletter is a quarterly magazine published by the CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy at ETSU, UK.

The articles published in the Newsletter reflect the opinions of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the official view of CADDET.

Enquiries concerning the Newsletter should be addressed to
Pauline Toole, Editor, CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy, ETSU, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0RA, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1235 432968, Fax: +44 1235 433595.