By John Lusty – Digitalization is transforming the global Energy & Utilities (E&U) industry, and the most exciting part is that it’s happening so differently in each industry sector depending on their unique plans and priorities. That’s because each organization has a slightly different digital legacy and is executing a different business model that is making them a leader in their respective sectors of the market. It’s also because E&U businesses are inherently non-uniform due to mergers and acquisitions, project mindsets, boom and bust business cycles, breakthroughs in technology, and sudden societal or geopolitical shifts that ripple through the global energy economy at the speed of light.
This blog is the first in a new series from Siemens Digital Industries Software, where we’ll discuss trends in digitalization that relate to the Energy & Utilities industry. At Siemens, we have the privilege of working closely with industry leaders and people from an extensive range of manufacturing sectors with different degrees of digital maturity. That lets us see what’s working great as well as some things that didn’t go quite as planned.
We’re also the software business unit within Siemens AG, a mega-enterprise of close to 400,000 colleagues that acts as a massive internal customer for our solutions. People usually look at us a little differently, knowing that as a global engineering and manufacturing organization that relies extensively on our software solutions, we truly have “skin in the game” as our supplier.
Much work has been done across the E&U industry to assemble and apply the “digital twin” of assets, projects and facilities to be more efficient, profitable, and operationally excellent. In this blog, we’ll review examples of excellence in these areas and speak with some of the people who made them happen. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, How to, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, Digital transformation, Energy, Siemens, Skills
Transforming the Capital Asset Lifecycle – Part 1
By John Lusty – “Innovate or die”. Three years ago, in the global oil & gas industry, this was the dire message communicated from the boardroom to the operating plant as falling commodity prices were hollowing out corporate income statements. The same story echoed through the supply chain as engineering contractors and equipment manufacturers fought for survival – trying to win enough work to remain healthy within a shrinking capital project market while creating greater value from the existing capital asset lifecycle.
The cost-cutting that ensued was ugly, and the job losses were substantial. In parallel, the appetite for innovative ideas sky-rocketed as producers worked to wring out costs and remain profitable at any price. This triggered a new behavior within the traditionally siloed energy industry, for the first-time visionaries started to look to other manufacturing industries for capabilities that could be adapted to their own companies.
What they saw was a shock. Despite years of investing in software and technology, capital asset owners in the energy and process industries still had a long way to go to get full value from their technical information compared to other, more mature, industries. Unlike their business information which, to a greater degree, had been consolidated following two decades of ERP implementations, the technical information supporting their plant assets was still scattered across different locations and incompatible file formats.
To make matters worse, data from multiple projects and facilities used software from a variety of vendors along with their own standards and specifications. Plants that came in through acquisitions and mergers were even more unique. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, How to, Nature, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, Energy, Internet, PLM, Product lifecycle management, Siemens
Siemens – Deliver greater innovation in equipment design at higher quality and lower cost with comprehensive 3D product design capabilities for all Energy & Utility industry verticals. Our 3D CAD solutions provide a fully integrated and intuitive solution suite of broad and deep, best-in-class capabilities.
We enable your design teams to explore multiple design approaches so you can stay ahead of customer demands in rapidly changing industries like shale oil and renewable power generation. Quickly arrive at the most cost-effective, innovative and functional products that today’s Energy & Utility Owner-Operators demand to keep their operations both competitive and compliant.
The Energy & Utilities industry is accustomed to technical innovation and change. However, global megatrends such as the rise of alternative energy and prolonged low commodity prices are having a disruptive effect on the entire industry.
For energy equipment OEMs, changes in the competitive landscape and more demanding customer requirements are forcing improvements in functionality and performance while driving down the total cost of ownership. Equipment designs must be smarter, more responsive, and economical, in addition to exceeding durability requirements under more demanding conditions and operating environments. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Nature, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Business improvement, Energy, Industrial economy, PLM, Siemens, Technology
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>
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>
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
Posted in Broadband, Business, Construction, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Leadership, Net, Product, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged CEO transition, connected machines, Energy, GE, optimization, Productivity
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
Posted in Banking, Business, Economy, Energy & emissions, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, Energy, GE, Industrial economy, Productivity, Technology
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
Posted in Economic development, Energy & emissions, Product, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, Energy, Energy storage, GE, Industrial economy, Turbine
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
Posted in Construction, Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, Energy, GE, Hinkley Point