Tag Archives: Energy

Electric Vehicles Could Impact the Grid

By Kenny Walter – Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a new computer simulation to explore the impacts in-home charging could have on the nation’s grid.

“Previous research into the amount of energy required by homes hasn’t taken into account plug-in electric vehicles,” Matteo Muratori, a transportation and energy systems engineer at NREL said in a statement. “Given that more people are choosing to drive these types of vehicles and charging them at home, this additional demand should not be overlooked.”

According to the study, as more PEVs are added, the distribution infrastructure might no longer be able to reliably support the local electricity demand. more>

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

Digiconomist – Ever since its inception Bitcoin’s trust-minimizing consensus has been enabled by its proof-of-work algorithm. The machines performing the “work” are consuming huge amounts of energy while doing so. The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index was created to provide insight into this amount, and raise awareness on the unsustainability of the proof-of-work algorithm.

Note that the Index contains the aggregate of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash (other forks of the Bitcoin network are not included). A separate index was created for Ethereum, which can be found here.

To put the energy consumed by the Bitcoin network into perspective we can compare it to another payment system like VISA for example. According to VISA, the company consumed a total amount of 674,922 Gigajoules of energy (from various sources) globally for all its operations. This means that VISA has an energy need equal to that of around 17,000 U.S. households. We also know VISA processed 111.2 billion transactions in 2017.

With the help of these numbers, it is possible to compare both networks and show that Bitcoin is extremely more energy intensive per transaction than VISA. more>

Updates from GE

CEO Transition: How Jeff Immelt Reinvented GE
By Dorothy Pomerantz & Matthew Van Dusen – It started with a simple conversation in 2009. GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt was at the company’s Global Research headquarters in Niskayuna, New York, chatting with scientists about embedding sensors in jet engines. When jet engines run, they don’t only power planes — they generate trillions of bytes of data that can provide an enormously valuable window into their inner workings. The insights could allow GE to optimize the machines’ operations and even lead to better engines in the future. But what was the company doing with that data?

Soon after that fateful conversation, Immelt set GE on a path to becoming a new kind of enterprise: a digital industrial company that could unlock productivity from connected machines.

The company Immelt is handing over to his successor, John Flannery, is greatly changed from the one he inherited. Immelt transformed the company by spinning off its real estate, financial services and media divisions, including its stake in NBCUniversal, for tens of billions of dollars.

The moves stabilized GE after the 2008 financial crisis. Immelt then strengthened the core of GE by focusing on power infrastructure, buying the energy assets of the leading power company Alstom in 2015 and merging GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes in 2016 to create the world’s largest energy services business. “His enduring legacy is the portfolio transformation,” John Rice says.

Under Immelt, GE also took stands on issues that were important to customers. The company’s Ecomagination initiative helped moved the environment to the top of the corporate agenda. more> https://goo.gl/kdzfHM

Updates from Aalto University

Solar energy to Otaniemi – campus planning invests in energy efficiency
By Satu Kankaala – Right now, the Aalto University main campus is growing and developing rapidly. Campus planning is investing in energy efficiency, which is an important step in the goal towards an energy self-sufficient Otaniemi ‘According to our report, ground heat and solar energy are the most suitable options for Otaniemi, and we are gradually increasing their use’, tells Satu Kankaala, Head of Workplaces and Sustainability at Aalto CRE.

‘The campus is made unique by several culturally significant locations as well as the nearby nature and conservation area. They also impact what kinds of energy technologies can be used in the properties’, she continues.

According to Kankaala, also financial sustainability, the wellbeing of people working in the spaces, and improving the utilization of the spaces are central aspects of responsible campus development.

About 45% of the energy used for heating and 75% of the energy used for cooling the recently repaired Dipoli comes from geothermal energy. Geothermal energy will comprise about 90% of the heating and up to 95% of the cooling of Väre, which will be finished next year. The electricity consumption of campus buildings has considerably been reduced by measures such as shifting to LED lighting and improving the power management of the computer base. With these energy efficiency measures, the carbon footprint of the buildings has been significantly reduced. more> https://goo.gl/crp3uu


Updates from GE

Charged Up: GE Shows Investors Its Energy Playbook
By Tomas Kellner – The acquisition of Alstom’s energy assets delivered $1.5 billion in synergies in 2016, $300 million above GE’s original five-year target for Alstom synergies, GE’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bornstein told investors at a conference in New York held by GE’s Power and Renewable Energy businesses last week. “Alstom makes us more competitive,” Bornstein said. “It broadens the service base and creates long-term incremental value.”

Jobs, cash, costs and software were the key themes at the conference. Bornstein said GE Oil & Gas was now “applying the same methodology” to its planned merger with Baker Hughes. “The businesses are very complementary,” he said. “It’s going to be a merger of equals.” Bornstein said he was “highly confident” the deal would “deliver a lot more value than $1.6 billion” in synergies by 2020, the target the companies released when they announced the deal last October.

Bornstein also talked about the need to speed up the shrinking of GE’s $25 billion in “structural costs,” which are funding support functions, R&D, corporate operations and other expenses. more> https://goo.gl/z07MkD

Updates from GE

By Kristin Kloberdanz – The GE Hybrid EGT is the world’s first gas turbine and battery storage hybrid, coupling a 10-megawatt battery with a 50-megawatt (MW) GE LM6000 Gas Turbine. The whole thing is operated by an integrated digital turbine control system.

Under normal conditions, some gas turbines must run at minimum loads in order to provide reserves to the grid. This maintains the reliability of the grid but forces the turbines to run at inefficient minimum loads and burn gas even when they’re not really needed.

The new hybrid system uses excess power from the turbine to charge the battery. The battery then responds quickly to any changes in power demand and allows the gas turbine to operate at a smoother rate. This increases efficiency and reduces maintenance costs.

A hybrid car is a good analogy for the new system. The engine charges the battery when it’s running, and when the engine isn’t really needed, say at a stoplight, it can turn off and let the battery take over. more> https://goo.gl/T74vMg

Updates from GE

2 Largest Steam Turbines Ever Made Are Heading For The English Countryside. Here’s Why.
By Mark Egan – The machine—the largest steam turbine ever built—is longer than an Airbus 380 and taller than the average man. A pair of them, each capable of producing 1,770 megawatts—is now set to cross the English Channel to provide energy for generations.

The turbines are heading from their birthplace in a GE Power factory in Belfort, France, to Somerset, England, where EDF Energy is building Hinkley Point C, Great Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation. The plant, which is expected to be complete by 2025, will generate enough low-carbon electricity to power around 6 million homes—or about 7 percent of the U.K.’s power needs. It will also and create 25,000 jobs. The U.K. government approved the £18 billion ($23.8 billion) project yesterday (Sep 15).

Designed to last 60 years, the machine boasts reliability of 99.96 percent, according to Frederic Wiscart, GE Power’s general manager for steam power systems. He says that the machines are so large—their blades alone stretch 75 inches—because of the massive volumes of steam nuclear power plants produce: five times as much as gas-fired plants of the same size. Arabelle turbines are now used in one-third of the world’s nuclear power stations. more> https://goo.gl/OQoX5d

Updates from GE

Boston Startup Will Help GE Make Coal-Fired Power Plants Cleaner With Software
By Adam Tucker – You’ve heard the story before. Uber, the world’s most valuable cab company, owns no taxis. Airbnb, the world’s busiest accommodations business, owns no hotels and Facebook, the world’s largest social media company, creates very little content.

GE Power, the GE business unit that makes heat- and electricity-generation equipment but owns very few power plants, is now taking a similar approach to the power industry. It uses software, data analytics and deep industry knowledge to make power plants run better and help utilities generate more power at a lower cost and reduce their emissions.

The unit can do that because GE has its own software and analytics business called GE Digital, and developed Predix, a cloud-based software platform for the Industrial Internet. Today (Apr. 19) GE Power added more muscle when it acquired NeuCo, Inc., a Boston-based software and data analytics startup focused on improving fossil-fuel-fired power plants.

“The problem of generating sufficient power to meet the world’s growing electricity needs is substantially a big data problem,” said Ganesh Bell, chief digital officer for GE Power.

“Only data science can pinpoint the types of 1 and 2 percent productivity gains which, when scaled globally, can dramatically impact productivity and reduce fuel consumption and emissions.”

Why coal? As much as we would like the fuel to stay in the ground, it still supplies nearly 30 percent of global energy consumption — its highest share since 1970 — and provides 40 percent of the world’s electricity. While this number is expected to drop to 30 percent by 2040 (34 percent in America), coal will remain the backbone of the power systems in many countries, despite new capacity coming from natural gas and renewables.

NeuCo’s software, for example, optimizes fuel and air distribution for a coal plant’s boilers. Boilers are essential to the overall efficiency and performance of coal-fired plants. Too much air and the plant generates costly and unnecessary emissions, while too little air leaves unburned coal and wastes fuel. more> http://goo.gl/MzSYEC

The World’s Doomsday Water Cycle

By Carl Pope – California is not unique in experiencing a destructive feedback loop in which declining water resources are devoted to energy production, and energy is required to transport water where it is increasingly scarce.

Throughout much of the U.S. and the world, we manage water and energy as if they were unrelated. In reality, they are Siamese twins. The energy-water feedback loop is even worse in emerging economies, where energy production siphons more water, and water delivery requires more power.

The cycle of waste can be arrested in much of the world, however. Wind and solar energy not only reduce carbon emissions, they reduce the amount of water devoted to energy production. more> http://tinyurl.com/n5lnw24

Updates from GE

Gimme Shelter: This Microgrid Could Fight Massive Winter Storms
GE – Ever since Hurricane Sandy ravaged the area two years ago, engineers and local power authorities have been looking for tools to soften the weather’s blows.

Last December, National Grid, Clarkson University, GE Energy Consulting, and Nova Energy Specialists started working on a functional design of a resilient electrical micro-grid for the Village of Potsdam located in New York State, near the Canadian border.

If built – the funding right now only covers the feasibility study – it would supply key local business and emergency facilities with power during extreme weather, geomagnetic storms and crippling events similar to the 2003 northeast blackout. It will rely on an underground power distribution network sheltered from the elements.

“This could be a blueprint for other towns and cities in New York and the U.S.,” says Beth LaRose, general manager of GE’s Energy Consulting business.

On most days, the microgrid could stay connected to the primary local power grid to help enhance the reliability of the system. It would kick in when bad weather strikes and allow Potsdam to disconnect from the grid during emergency, if necessary. more> http://tinyurl.com/kqq9g8d