Tag Archives: Energy

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

Team developing new monitoring tools for hydropower generation

Queens Museum of Art | The Relief Map of the N...

Queens Museum of Art | The Relief Map of the New York City Water Supply System
(Photo credit: Chris Devers)

R&D – Instead of creating large amounts of power in one place—from large dams or even small turbines in water treatment plants—there’s value now in making tiny amounts of electricity anywhere there is a water source, from streams to water faucets.

Carnegie Mellon Univ.’s Diana Marculescu is leading a multidisciplinary team of industry and academic researchers to develop novel monitoring tools for placement and control of hydrokinetic generators throughout river systems nationwide. more> http://tinyurl.com/oc53cry

Can Hydraulic Hybrids Compete With Electric Hybrids?

By Charles Murray – Hydraulic hybrid technology is, in broad theory, similar to electric hybrid technology. Instead of storing energy in a big lithium-ion battery, however, it uses a hydraulic pump-motor, reservoir, and accumulator in combination with an internal combustion engine. Energy is stored in the accumulator by using hydraulic fluid to compress a gas, usually nitrogen. During acceleration, the stored energy from the accumulator helps launch the vehicle. The big advantages are that a hydraulic hybrid is far more efficient than an electric hybrid at capturing braking energy, and that it eliminates the need for a costly lithium-ion battery. more> http://tinyurl.com/l9x7nbt


The chemistry of color

R&D – “If you have blue anything€”blue plastic, a blue car, blue clothes€”it comes from copper phthalocyanine,” says asst. chemistry prof. Trisha Andrew, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison).

“The cool thing about organic solar cells is that you can make very thin films out of them because they’re brightly colored, due to the fact that the dye absorbs a lot of light. In fact, organic dyes absorb the most light out of any material out there.” more> http://tinyurl.com/lo4rzhl

Can Climate Skeptics Save the Planet?

By Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger – Twenty-five years of efforts to cap and reduce global emissions have utterly failed. Two decades of heavy subsidies for renewable energy have not had any measurable success moving the needle on emissions or clean energy. We will, in the decades to come, be living on a hotter planet. How much hotter will depend on what we do now.

The only countries in the world that have moved to zero-carbon energy at the rapid pace that would be required to keep emissions close to 450 ppm are France and Sweden. Both did so by moving to nuclear, and to a lesser extent hydro-electric, energy. more> http://tinyurl.com/ke2g43t