Technology Watch

Understanding technology trends, predicting their commercial potential and impact on industries is essential for corporate planning.  Netlab offers "Tech Watch" programs on specific, high priority subjects of our clients, the costs of such studies start with a minimum of 10,000 EURO for a 6 months investigation to 2 or 3 years programs with budgets between 30,000 to  50,000 EURO. Tech Watch programs which were conducted two or several years ago may be purchased at a discount price to be negotiated. 

Updates on terminated "Tech Watch" studies can be made, taking into account specific requests from clients, the price will depend on the scope of work.

Shale gas opportunities in EuropeAccording to International Energy 2010 (IEA) the current know natural gas reserves amount to 177 Tm3 whilst estimates on shale gas oscillate between 200 to 456 Tm3. Gas exists in abundance, can it be recovered economically and in respecting the environment. US companies pioneered in shale gas exploitation technologies within USA, the situation  in Europe will teach us whether environmental damage can be avoided. The common method of breaking up the shale formation is by injecting a brine with chemical admixtures under high pressure. In case the brine gets into aquifers environmental damage may result. Therefore alternative methods are under investigation to EPA and DOE (USA), for instance the use of CO2 loaded with sand.



Shale gas deposits in Europe, presented by B.Horsfield et al from GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences on April 28, 2011 at Juelich Research Center (Germany)






Electric mobility in Europe:  Reducing the fossil fuel consumption is not only a question of countermeasures against rising fuel costs, but also a question of protecting the environment. Electric cars are being tested in major European cities in combination with an infrastructure of electricity charging stations. Getting electricity "on board" is an issue where several solutions are being proposed such as exchanging fully charged batteries against empty ones or rapid charging stations requiring high power cables.
Electro-SMART used by London Police Forces patrolling the traffic congestion zone, right side picture shows the Electro-SMART being tested in Berlin where 500 charging station have been built.


Electric mobility is not only a matter of introducing electric cars, but also combinations of  classical cars, or hybrid cars or public transport plus electric vehicles of all kinds are being investigated. Concept study Opel Flextreme with 2 Segways incorporated in order to "cover the last few km by electric means"

Not only electric cars or combination of electric cars with electric personal transports (PT) are considered for the future electro-mobility especially in and around urban conglomerations but also electro-scooters, -tricycles and electro-bicycles named pedelecs. Netlab investigates applications of electric vehicles, the necessary infrastructure, business models and environmental benefit.

<< Sales of pedelecs double each year in Germany, source ZIV (Industrial Association of Bicycle Manufacturers)

Personal transport >> (PT) from Tuenkers GmbH ideal for rental (shopping or sightseeing)
Biogas soon > 10 % of Renewable Energy in Germany:  By 2020 the EU aims at 20 % of its energy needs being covered by renewable energy sources. Biogas plays an important role in this energy mix as shown in the diagram of electricity generated from renewabel energies in Germany for 2008.

Netlab surveys the evolution of biogas production, biogas upgrading to biomethane and its use as substitute to natural gas being injected in gas distribution and transport pipelines. Biogas and solid residues are also being used as fuel for industrial applications such as tunnel and rotary killns.

Biogas plant Guestrow, largest biogas plant in Germany with a capacity of 5000 m3/h biomethane. The gas is injected into a gas transport pipeline
The picture on the right shows the sludge fermenters at the Bottrop waste treatment plant
Whilst Germany is the leader in using energy crops for biogas production, UK is the leader and pioneer in producing biogas from municipal waste treatment plants.