Saturday, December 29, 2012

New policies to PV industry focus on the market mechanism

China enacted policies to promote the development of the photovoltaic (PV) industry, which recently, calls for reigning in and organizing production.

Five policies were confirmed in the meeting, deciding to focus on market mechanisms. The first policy is to use market mechanisms to accelerate the improvement of industry structure and technology.

The second policy is to regulate the order of industry development, to coordinate the PV industry and power network design.

The third policy is to speed the development of the domestic PV market.

The fourth policy is a provision to support industry development. For example, to provide subsidies for PV power consumption.

The fifth policy is to strengthen the influence of market mechanisms and forbidding protectionism in local governments.

Han Qiming, an analyst with the PV industry, says that in the detailed policies, the state initiated differentiation in price-setting for different places, and the policy, may result in higher grid prices since the demand, thermal electricity prices and fiscal revenues are all higher than those in the West. While the West has more abundant thermal power and fewer power demands, the demand for PV electricity may be much lower.

According to the state's suggestion, the polisilicon, cell and module projects will be restricted. Equipment firms may focus more on the downstream section, for example, the construction of power stations. This may be good news for some major companies, for example YingliGreen Energy Co., JinkoSolar Holding Co., JA Solar Co., and HareonSolar Co., as they have entered into this phase.

The industry is paying close attention to the subsidies for distributed solar system and for renewable energy. And the profits for downstream power station construction are also promising, said Han. He added that installed capacity in Twelfth Five-Year plan may reach 30 GW, much higher than the previous planned goal 21 GW.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

ODU engineers helping to design future of solar power

A solar tracking system is installed on the roof of Kaufman Hall, Old Dominion University's engineering building, on Dec. 20, 2012. Energy-producing solar panels will be bolted onto the frame, and the motorized system will tilt the panels to track the sun for maximum efficiency.

In a lab at Old Dominion University, students and professors are helping design the future of electric power.

As the world burns the fossil fuels that produce most of today's electricity, there is a growing movement toward renewable energy sources such as the sun - clean, widely accessible and inexhaustible.

The week before Christmas, Marsillac, an associate professor of engineering at ODU, watched with barely contained excitement as a crane picked up a large stainless steel assembly and placed it gingerly onto the roof of Kaufman Hall, ODU's engineering building.

It's a solar tracking system. Over the next few weeks, 24 energy-producing photovoltaic solar panels will be bolted onto the frame. The motorized system is capable of tilting the panels to any angle, allowing them to follow the sun over the course of the day for maximum efficiency.

The solar array will include three types of panels. Inside the building, Marsillac's research team will test each type to determine which produces the most electricity.

In addition, the researchers are testing new materials to develop the next generation of cheaper, more efficient panels.

It's all made possible by more than $2 million in federal grants from the Department of Energy and the Defense Department.

Dominion Virginia Power, the state's largest electric utility, has kicked in $50,000.

Down the road, ODU hopes to be one of as many as 50 sites around the state in a pilot solar-generation program planned by Dominion. Given the OK by state regulators in November, Dominion plans to erect solar arrays capable of generating 30 megawatts of electricity - enough to power 6,000 homes.

Marsillac said he's convinced that as the solar industry grows, it will become economically competitive with traditional sources of electricity.

"The price goes down as you scale up," he said. "The price of panels has gone down by a factor of three in the past 10 years. That's huge.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wind power industry in West pushes to extend expiring federal tax credit

As Congress struggles to avert the year-end “fiscal cliff” of tax-and-budget policy, there’s one expiring tax law that isn’t getting much press: The federal tax credit that subsidizes wind power production.

Wind power advocates and leading politicians in the West say this credit, which expires in a week, should be extended to preserve thousands of jobs and a growing, clean-energy industry.

But others say it’s time to let this subsidy die, for it’s skewing electricity markets, hurting other power producers, and not delivering on its promise of jobs.

“They go build a wind farm, they’re there for three to six months,” says Bob Winger, a union boilermaker from Billings and vocal critic of wind power subsidies. “Coal mines and coal-fired power plants are jobs day-in, day-out. … Who are all of these people (in wind) that they say are employed?”

According to figures compiled by the state and the wind power industry, wind projects in Montana have created about 1,300 construction jobs the past seven years — but only 86 permanent jobs.

Montana coal mines, whose product is burned to produce power, employ about 1,100 people, and coal-fired power plants here employ at least another 400.

The wind power production tax credit pays project owners $22 for every megawatt hour (mwh) of electricity they produce.

In the Pacific Northwest right now, spot-market prices for electricity are averaging $25 per mwh. So, while sellers of other types of power get $25 per mwh, a wind-power plant will get $47 per mwh, with the subsidy.

On rare occasions this year, during “off-peak” hours of low consumption, wholesale electricity prices have actually fallen below zero on the spot market, with wind-power producers paying suppliers to buy their power so projects can continue to collect the subsidy.

They might pay the “buyer” $5 per mwh to accept the power, but they still make $17 per mwh because of the subsidy.

Wind power advocates say this “negative pricing” is a rarity, and that the subsidy is justified because it levels the playing field for wind, in the face of long-standing tax breaks and favorable public policy for the production of oil, gas and coal.

“Everybody gets energy subsidies,” says Van Jamison, a vice president of Gaelectric, an Irish firm developing wind farms in central Montana. “We have a long history of government choosing winners and losers over a long period of time.”

Jamison and others note that hydraulic fracturing techniques and horizontal drilling that have led to a boom in oil and natural gas production are beneficiaries of generous tax breaks.

Wind industry officials say the $22-per-mwh production-tax credit is vital for the industry, and without it, scores of projects will founder and thousands of jobs will be lost.

Winger doesn’t doubt the wind industry needs the tax credit to flourish. He just questions whether it’s worth it, and says the money is not going into the pockets of very many workers, because wind plants produce few long-term, steady jobs.

The wind power industry says it has invested nearly $1.4 billion in Montana the past decade. It acknowledges that much of that money buys wind turbine and tower components, some of which are manufactured overseas.

In addition to spending on turbines and labor, wind projects also make land-lease payments to landowners and pay property taxes. Together, those total about $7 million a year in Montana, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Coal mines in Montana paid about $60 million in severance taxes, gross proceeds taxes and property taxes last year, and another $90 million in royalties to government and private parties. Coal-fired power plants also paid millions of dollars in property taxes.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Way clear for surge in wind power Save

THE battle over large-scale wind farms might switch from the national level to the states, particularly NSW, after a federal authority recommended leaving the overall industry target unchanged.

The Climate Change Authority on Wednesday called for the mandatory renewable energy target to be left at 41,000 gigawatt-hours a year by 2020, prompting advocates to predict a surge in clean energy investments.

Victoria earlier this year prompted the wind industry to all but stall in that state after it barred wind turbines from being built within two kilometres of a house without written consent.

Now that the authority had given approval for these settings, as much as $18 billion of investment in the industry was up for grabs between now and the end of the decade, the Clean Energy Council predicted.

"Victoria has tightened up very greatly the opportunities for wind farm development," the Infigen Energy managing director, Miles George, said.

To meet the renewable energy target, the industry would need to build 1000 megawatts of wind capacity each year until 2020, or about half of the present installed capacity.

Data from energy services provider ROAM Consulting suggested the combination of proximity to markets and promising wind resources could see NSW's wind generating capacity soar 15-fold by 2020, leap-frogging South Australia and Victoria to be easily the biggest supplier.

The O'Farrell government was due to finalise guidelines on wind farms early next year, which might determine how much of the investment headed to NSW.

It was understood the government had been considering rule changes with the results of independent noise audits on two Infigen wind farms - Woodlawn and Capital - and one owned by Origin Energy that gave the suppliers a tick of approval.

"To have the audits done and have them confirm that we comply was obviously pleasing … and completely as expected," Mr George said.

While the wind energy industry celebrated the authority's recommendations, the solar sector was disappointed.

The authority called for the size of solar photovoltaic panels deemed to be "small-scale" cut from 100 kilowatt capacity to as low as 10 kilowatts to prevent a blowout in costs for the scheme.

Small-scale generators were paid their renewable certificates up-front while large-scale generators were paid over five years.

Solar panel installer Mark Group chief executive, Rob Grant, said the industry would lobby to have the government reject the change, which hammered the cash-flow benefit for the owners of small buildings and other potential installers.
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''This effectively strikes out more than 90 per cent of the available commercial market,'' Mr Grant said. "The sweet spot for commercial installations is 50-70 kilowatts."

Mark Group had planned to triple its staff of 150 in 2013, based on the potential demand spurt from commercial users. "If this [revision] happens, there's very little chance we'll expand."

The shift was the result of fierce lobbying by fossil-fuel generators and the coal industry, he said.

''They know [the commercial sector] is the next significant growth area for solar,'' he said. ''It's also some of their most prized customers because they use large amounts of power.''

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wind Farm Impact on Jurassic Coast to be Examined, Firm Pledges

The developer behind a planned offshore wind farm on the south coast of England says it will look to see how it can "mitigate" the concerns of campaigners.
Questions have been raised about the impact on the view and cultural significance of its location.
It will be off a stretch of coastline known as the Jurassic Coast.
Navitus Bay Development has revised its plans - the farm will be smaller and further out - but local MP Richard Drax said they were still not sufficient.
The coastline is one of just eight in the world to be awarded World Heritage Site (WHS) status by Unesco, and concerns have been raised over whether the title would be revoked if the wind farm goes ahead.
The site currently attracts 16m tourists a year to the area, according to its official website.
The 95 mile (152km) long Jurassic Coast gets its name because some 175 million years of geology are visible in its rocks.
218 turbines
In an interview with the BBC, Navitus Bay Development director Mike Unsworth said "regular discussions" had taken place with the local WHS steering group about maintaining the coastline's status.
"The feedback we've had is that the designation is for its natural geology," he said.
"They've said it's unlikely that [the WHS] designation will be impacted by the development. But what they have also said is the setting of the WHS - in terms of how you view it or what you view from - is a concern to them. We continue to look at how we can mitigate that."
Following various criticisms, the developers now propose that the wind farm, known as Navitus Bay, should only have 218 turbines no more than 200m (600ft) high.
The firm's original plans were for 335 turbines up to 210m high.
Mr Unsworth said the site would now also be 3km (1.8 miles) further away from Bournemouth than previously planned, in order to minimise its visual impact.
The new proposals will be put back out to public consultation in 2013.
'Too close'
Mr Drax, Conservative MP for south Dorset, said there were still problems with the revised plans.
"The key problem, I think... is the fact it's so close to the coastline," he said.
"The recommendation from the EU is about 23km (14 miles). This will now be about 14km (9 miles) - it's just too close. Despite the fact there will be less of them we are still going to see these vast structures off one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world."
But Mr Unsworth said: "What I said to Richard [Drax] was, come to the next round of consultations, have a look at the new photo montages, take a view at that point and then provide us with fresh feedback."
Meanwhile, the Corporation of Trinity House, which looks after sea farers, had advised that the farm could affect a popular navigational channel.
The navigational channel is by a lighthouse called Hurst Point which is used by local boats and fishermen, said Trinity House.
In response, Mr Unsworth said: "We have moved the northern boundary further south which provided greater navigational safety for recreational sea users."
The Navitus Bay project is a partnership between energy firms Eneco Wind (UK) and EDF.
The construction of the wind farm could create 1,000 jobs and bring £100m to the local economy, the developers claim.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nuclear Power on Top of European Energy Agenda

“It is difficult to envisage Europe phasing out nuclear power from its energy mix, despite the antagonistic stance of countries like Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Belgium where there are likely to be embargoes on further nuclear power development,” noted Frost & Sullivan Energy & Power Supplies Research Analyst, Neha Vikash. “Nuclear power will play an active role in Europe’s energy generation and in meeting the region’s environmental goals.”

The number of nuclear new build projects, despite Fukushima, is still higher now than across the last two decades – although Asia is leading in numbers, the US has approved its first new build since 1970. France, Finland, the United Kingdom and Sweden have all reaffirmed their commitment to nuclear power. In Central and Eastern Europe, Poland, Romania, and the Czech Republic are also planning to push ahead with new units, following increased safety assessments.

“While there will be shutdowns, member states like the United Kingdom and Finland will push through better safety standards and support new nuclear build over the next four to five years,” remarked Vikash. “Apart from new builds, these states will also concentrate on increasing the share of electricity generation from renewables and decreasing their dependence on fossil fuels.”

Nuclear energy will remain a prime candidate as Europe mulls its decarbonising options. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) could potentially reduce the dependence on coal and gas. However, this technology is still at a nascent stage with few demonstration projects having been implemented.

Renewables represent the best foreseeable option, but are cost-intensive. Moreover, it is not possible for renewables to compensate for the large-scale energy production currently supported by nuclear sources, until the next decade.

“Dependence on foreign imports, especially gas from Russia, is politically fraught,” concluded Vikash. “Therefore, nuclear energy will be among the few alternatives Europe is left with to meet its energy needs while staying on course to meet its climate change goals.”

If you are interested in receiving a complimentary brochure of this study, please send an e-mail with your contact details to Chiara Carella, Corporate Communications, at

European Nuclear Power Sector is part of the Energy & Power Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: European Wind Energy Markets, Global Prospects for Coal-Fired Power Generation and European Solar Power Markets. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Test turbine at UMaine could be a glimpse

Test turbine at UMaine could be a glimpse into Maine’s offshore wind energy future

The man at the helm of Maine’s push to put 170 floating wind turbines in the Gulf of Maine by 2030 likens that effort to NASA’s space program.

Using that analogy, the wind turbine standing behind the University of Maine’s Offshore Wind Laboratory at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center’s could be compared to Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite launched into space.

That turbine, a one-eighth scale version of the turbines that would be used in the future offshore wind farm, will be floating in the Gulf of Maine next year, likely between April and August.

“We’re here at the beginning of an exciting era that could create a whole new industry in our state,” center Director Habib Dagher said Friday, standing under a 112-foot turbine blade that has been undergoing stress testing at the Offshore Wind Lab in recent months.

The turbine going into the water off Monhegan Island next year will be used to test control systems and sensors that would be used on the full-scale version.

“It basically will be able to sense the environment around it,” Dagher said.

Based on wind speed and direction, the turbine automatically turns and adjusts the angle of its blades to attain the most efficient use of the wind or avoid its full force if it grows too strong. The full-scale versions would be able to do the same thing.

A floating base for the turbine is in the works. Next year, the turbine parts will be taken to Cianbro in Brewer, where the pieces will be assembled and the floating turbine will be towed upright down the Penobscot River to its test site in the Gulf of Maine. Once in place, it will be hooked up to the power grid with an undersea cable, becoming the first grid-connected offshore turbine in the country.

The turbine design is called VolturnUS, a combination of the words volt, turn and U.S., a name that happens to be shared by Volturnus, the Roman god of the east wind.

After testing with the prototype is completed, a pair of 6-megawatt turbines will be installed by 2017 at a site called Aqua Ventus I. By 2020, that would grow to a larger-scale commercial wind farm with 80 turbines in a 4- by 8-mile space 20 miles offshore, over the horizon and neither visible nor audible from shore. By 2030, the goal is to have a full-scale wind farm of around 170 turbines operational and bringing 5 gigawatts of wind energy to Maine’s shore.

“It’s a crawl before you walk, walk before you run approach,” Dagher said.

Some offshore wind energy efforts in Europe, which has been involved in offshore wind since 1991, have struggled, resulting in lofty price tags and high energy costs. Turbines at other offshore wind farms need to have their bases driven into the seafloor, an expensive process. If a turbine needs work, it can be towed back to shore, where repairs will be less costly.

The more cost-effective floating wind farm approach should help keep electricity prices down to about 10 cents per kilowatt hour by 2020, which is competitive with other means of electricity production, Dagher said. Prior to that, the energy will be expensive by comparison.

To put the size of the turbine in perspective: The world’s largest commercial airliner, the Airbus A380 with its 260-foot wingspan, could rest on one blade of the turbine. The diameter of the blades’ rotation will be 500 feet and the distance from water level to the hub at the top of the tower will be about 300, Dagher said.

The Gulf of Maine has some of the strongest, most persistent winds on the East Coast. Every second, 600,000 pounds of wind will travel through the turbine — the equivalent of 264 Toyota Camrys driving through per second — according to Dagher.

Monday, December 3, 2012

C'tee moves renewable energy from wind to solar

Not only will this decision facilitate the state's achievements of its renewable energy production targets for 2015 and 2020, it will also provide room for development of solar facilities in Judea and Samaria, according to Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau.

The decision to shift the 300 megawatts was one portion of a proposal issued by Landau in early November regarding the country’s 2015 renewable energy targets. Originally planning to hold the meeting on November 13, the ministers postponed the session due to a request from the Finance Ministry, which went on to file an appeal on the committee’s decision on Sunday.

“The resolution approved today is an important step for the supporters of renewable energy in the state,” Landau said. “The drastic decline in solar tariffs will enable Israeli citizens to enjoy cleaner and cheaper electricity and come closer to meeting the 10 percent production target for electricity from renewable energy by 2020.”

In addition to approving the 300- megawatt move, the committee also authorized Landau’s proposal to promote the installation of solar facilities in West Bank settlements, according to the Energy and Water Ministry.

“This is a reasonable and balanced decision that will advance the adherence to government targets for the years 2015 and 2020, and will do justice for the entrepreneurs in Judea and Samaria who suffer from a continuing injustice and damage to a basic human right,” Landau said.

According to the ministry’s estimates, the country is now set to meet 92% of its original renewable energy targets for 2015, which the government formulated in a 2009 decision.

By adding more solar to the energy mix, the ministry expressed hopes that Israel will have a realistic chance of achieving the 10% renewable goal for the year 2020.

The committee on Sunday also authorized a number of other measures, such as a the advancement of Israel’s biogas facilities and the transfer of Environmental Protection Ministry funds for that purpose. The committee likewise approved plans to push the Defense Ministry to approve more wind energy turbines, as the office’s refusal to do so has thus far impeded much of the industry’s development. A third issue agreed upon at the meeting was the need to establish power facilities that can enable people to monitor power in the homes, through a “net meter,” by the year 2013, according to the Energy and Water Ministry.

“This is a historic decision that will change the face of the modern energy sector in Israel and will replace polluting electricity production with green energy,” Eitan Parnass, head of the Renewable Energy Association of Israel said.

In response, the Finance Ministry said that the transfer of 300 megawatts from wind to solar would cost the economy an additional NIS 130 million. Because the resolution was approved by the committee, Steinitz intends to appeal the decision, in order prevent an increase in electricity rates to the consumer, according to the ministry.

While praising the decisions of the committee, Parnass slammed Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz for continually attempting to “block the [renewable] industry” in Israel in favor of natural gas production. He called for an official parliamentary inquiry into the subject during the beginning of the next Knesset.

Not everyone in the renewable energy field is happy with Landau’s move to shuffle the wind and solar energy quotas. In particular, wind energy professionals have expressed deep dissatisfaction in the decision, accusing the government of burying the wind industry in favor of the sun.

The 300 megawatts eliminated constitute more than a third of the quota currently allocated to wind energy development, and many entrepreneurs have signed binding financial agreements in the field, wrote Gadi Hareli, CEO of the Israeli Wind Energy Association, in a letter to the committee prior to the decision.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

World's largest wind turbine installed in Denmark

The first commercial offshore wind turbine that Siemens created 30 years ago had 5-meter long blades and produced a paltry 30kW. A lot can change over three decades.The company's newest offshore model isn't just the biggest in the sea; it's the biggest anywhere.

Known by an alphanumeric jumble (STW-6.0-154), the turbine produces a whopping 6MW of power—nearly 25,000 times as much as Siemen's original mode—and utilizes a trio of 75-meter turbine blades—the world's largest—for a rotor diameter of 154 meters—equal to the wingspan of an Airbus 380 and a humongous 18600 meter-square sweep area. In all, each turbine can produce 25 million kilowatt hours of energy. That's enough to power 6,000 homes.

Siemens developed the 6 MW turbine exclusively for use at sea, which presents an entirely different set of problems and opportunities than on land. Offshore turbines need to be lighter, more robust, and more reliable given their distance from nearby mechanics. That's why Siemens replaced two-thirds of the traditional drive train—the main shaft, gearbox and high-speed generator—with its proprietary Direct Drive system that instead uses a low speed generator connected directly to the low-speed shaft. If the part isn't there to break, you won't need to send someone out to fix it.

What's more, the Direct Drive system also frees up a significant amount of space in the turbine's nacelle (the main body housing), enough to fit a small crane for lifting heavy generator components and a coffee machine for lifting servicemen. This system also makes the STW-6.0-154 the lightest turbine in its class, with a 200 ton nacelle and a 350 ton total masthead weight. "At the same time, the turbine delivers an increased energy yield and offers greater profitability over its life cycle," Henrik Stiesdal, CTO of the Wind Power Division within the Siemens Energy Sector, said in a press release.

Part of this weight savings comes from the turbine's IntegralBlade technology which generates a 20-percent savings over conventional production methods. The 6 MW turbine is capable of using either a specially built 154 meter rotor for maximum power generation or a slightly shorter 120 meter long blade, the same that the 3.6 MW model uses, for areas near airports and flight paths that have a 150 meter tip-height restriction.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nanotube Hybrid Makes Single-Surface Material for Energy Storage

A seamless graphene/nanotube hybrid created at Rice University may be the best electrode interface material possible for many energy storage and electronics applications.

Led by Rice chemist James Tour, researchers have successfully grown forests of carbon nanotubes that rise quickly from sheets of graphene to astounding lengths of up to 120 microns, according to a paper published November 27 by Nature Communications. A house on an average plot with the same aspect ratio would rise into space.

That translates into a massive amount of surface area, the key factor in making things like energy-storing supercapacitors.

The Rice hybrid combines two-dimensional graphene, which is a sheet of carbon one atom thick, and nanotubes into a seamless three-dimensional structure. The bonds between them are covalent, which means adjacent carbon atoms share electrons in a highly stable configuration. The nanotubes aren't merely sitting on the graphene sheet; they become a part of it.

"Many people have tried to attach nanotubes to a metal electrode and it's never gone very well because they get a little electronic barrier right at the interface," Tour said. "By growing graphene on metal (in this case copper) and then growing nanotubes from the graphene, the electrical contact between the nanotubes and the metal electrode is ohmic. That means electrons see no difference, because it's all one seamless material.

"This gives us, effectively, a very high surface area of more than 2,000 square meters per gram of material. It's a huge number," said Tour, Rice's T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science and a co-author with former postdoctoral researcher and lead author Yu Zhu, now an assistant professor at the University of Akron.

Tour said proof of the material's hybrid nature lies in the seven-membered rings at the transition from graphene to nanotube, a structure predicted by theory for such a material and now confirmed through electron microscope images with subnanometer resolution.

Carbon has no peer as a conductive material in such a thin and robust form, especially in the form of graphene or certain types of nanotubes. Combining the two appears to offer great potential for electronic components like fast supercapacitors that, because of the massive surface area, may hold a great deal of energy in a tiny package.

Rice chemist Robert Hauge and his team made the first steps toward such a hybrid over the past decade. Hauge, a distinguished faculty fellow in chemistry at Rice and co-author of the new work, discovered a way to make densely packed carpets of nanotubes on a carbon substrate by suspending catalyst-laced flakes in a furnace. When heated, the catalyst built carbon nanotubes like skyscrapers, starting at the substrate and working their way up. In the process, they lifted the aluminum oxide buffer into the air. The whole thing looked like a kite with many strings and was dubbed an odako, like the giant Japanese kites.

In the new work, the team grew a specialized odako that retained the iron catalyst and aluminum oxide buffer but put them on top of a layer of graphene grown separately on a copper substrate. The copper stayed to serve as an excellent current collector for the three-dimensional hybrids that were grown within minutes to controllable lengths of up to 120 microns.

Electron microscope images showed the one-, two- and three-walled nanotubes firmly embedded in the graphene, and electrical testing showed no resistance to the flow of current at the junction.

"The performance we see in this study is as good as the best carbon-based supercapacitors that have ever been made," Tour said. "We're not really a supercapacitor lab, and still we were able to match the performance because of the quality of the electrode. It's really remarkable, and it all harkens back to that unique interface."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tools of the trade: waxy carbon tracing paper

Waxy carbon transfer paper is a fantastic tool that’s really difficult to find. I’ve wanted to be able to offer this tool to you for a couple of years now, and I’m so pleased that I was finally able to track down a source for it. (Believe me, it took some significant sleuthing to locate a supply!) We now have it available by the sheet in both blue and yellow colors.

It’s a shame that it’s so hard to find because it’s very useful. Waxy carbon paper is great for two purposes: tracing patterns and transferring markings onto fabric. It can be used on paper and on fabric. I like the blue and yellow carbon paper for almost everything, and these two colors serve different purposes. I’ll explain how and when I use them.

I use this carbon paper for making muslins so I can see the seam lines, dart markings, and notches as I’m making adjustments to a fit muslin. I talked about this in the muslin tutorial, if you’re interested in learning more. I mostly use blue carbon for muslins because the carbon lines are extremely visible on the fabric, but if I’m making a correction and want to distinguish my new markings from the original (blue) markings, I’ll switch to the yellow so I don’t confuse them.

Waxy carbon can also be useful for transferring markings to your fabric when you’re sewing. The lines it makes are very accurate and quick to transfer with the carbon and tracing wheel, so they’re great for transferring darts and other markings.

There are two things to keep in mind if you use waxy carbon on fashion fabric. First, waxy carbon markings are often permanent (they can sometimes be removed by a dry cleaner, but don’t count on it!), so use the lightest color that will show on the wrong side of your fabric and mark only the wrong side of your fabric. You don’t want those markings to show when you’re finished! I almost always use the yellow carbon on fabrics other than a fit muslin because the yellow is less messy and less likely to show from the right side of the finished garment.

The other thing to keep in mind is the thickness of the fabric itself. Again, because the markings are permanent there is always a possibility that they will be visible from the right side of the fabric if your fabric is thin or sheer. So test the carbon on a scrap of fabric if you’re not sure whether it’s safe for the fabric you’ve chosen. For many fabrics it will be fine, but it’s always a good idea to check first, just to be sure.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Solar Jobs Figures Show Smart Policy Works

The Solar Energy Industries Association, or SEIA, today responded to the full results from The Solar Foundation’s (TSF) third annual National Solar Jobs Census, which details subsector job figures for the U.S. solar energy industry. The report shows the continued growth in U.S. solar jobs is led by system installers, sales and distribution, and other support services.

Top line results released Nov. 2, 2012 found that the industry has grown to support 119,016 U.S. jobs across all 50 states. TSF’s 2012 census shows 13.2% growth over 2011. Companies that install solar now employ 57,177 Americans, a 17.5% increase over 2011 figures. Sales and distribution jobs experienced a 23.1% increase, now employing 16,005 Americans.

“These results are clear – the U.S. solar industry is strong and growing, and we are putting Americans back to work,” says Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “As the cost of solar continues to come down, more companies and homeowners are turning to solar for their electricity and hot water. This increase in demand for solar energy is creating economic opportunities throughout the U.S. Going forward, we expect a record year for new solar projects and corresponding job growth in 2013. This should serve as a signal to policymakers that clean energy policies are doing what they were intended to do – grow our economy.”

“The National Solar Jobs Census 2012 illustrates that the solar industry, as a whole, is a dependable job creator and that solar employers are confident about growth in 2013,” says Andrea Luecke, executive director of TSF. “The growth by installers, especially at larger firms, signals that this subsector is heading toward a period of consolidation and maturation on par with other successful industries at this stage of the growth curve.”

Still, not every subsector exhibited strong job growth. Manufacturing jobs decreased from 37,941 jobs in 2011 to 29,742 jobs today.

“While manufacturer jobs losses are unfortunate, this is a sign of a maturing and highly-competitive global industry. We’ve seen this consolidation trend in other industries, and we’ll see it again. Still, more than 1,000 solar manufacturers operate in the U.S., and with strong demand expected in 2013, they are positioned to make a rebound. This makes it all the more important to continue smart federal and state solar policies that drive private sector investment,” Resch says

Solar employers in all subsectors expressed optimism in their census responses about future job growth. They expect to grow by 17.2% over the next 12 months, representing an addition of 20,000 new jobs for Americans.

The Solar Foundation and BW Research used an improved version of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s National Solar Database to reach more employers. As a result, the solar employment figure for 2011 was revised upwards from 100,237 to 105,145. As in previous years, the survey examined employment throughout the solar value chain, including installation, sales and distribution, manufacturing, and other relevant subsectors and includes job numbers and growth rates. The census counts only direct jobs. The figures in the report were derived from data collected from more than 1,000 solar company survey respondents, yielding a low overall margin of error of +/-1.5%. The National Solar Jobs Census 2012 was conducted by The Solar Foundation and BW Research with technical assistance from Cornell University.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Inhabitat's Week in Green: Dyson Spheres, bladeless wind turbines and airless bike tires

Over at Inhabitat, the election hangover is finally starting to wear off, and we've been looking forward to see what President Obama's re-election could mean for clean tech and renewable energy. The first bit of good news came on election night, when Obama called for action on climate change. That's all well and good, but what does it actually mean? For starters, it could mean the EPA enforcing stricter regulations. But the thing that most people in the renewable energy sector will be watching is whether the wind energy tax credit is renewed before it expires at the end of the year.

Even if the federal tax credit for wind energy isn't renewed, there's still hope for renewable energy. Scientists at Penn State just kicked off a two-year search for massive alien solar power stations known as Dyson Spheres. If they find one, maybe extraterrestrials could give us some tips on intergalactic solar technology. Here on Earth, Natcore Technology has created the world's first commercially viable absolute black silicon cell, which can make virtually 100 percent of received sunlight available for conversion into electricity. Speaking of solar efficiency, this week solar manufacturer Amonix announced that its concentrated photovoltaic technology has set a new efficiency record with a conversion rate of 33.5 percent. In other solar news, the Westmill Solar Cooperative launched the world's largest community-owned solar project in the UK, a group of African teenagers developed a pee-powered energy generator and Tunisian company Saphon Energy unveiled a new bladeless, bird-friendly wind turbine.

From bionic limbs to airless bike tires, we've been tracking some pretty incredible new technological innovations. RSL Steeper unveiled the bebionic 3, an amazing new prosthetic hand that is strong enough to hold 99 pounds and sensitive enough to write with a pen. In an unrelated story, 31-year-old Zac Vawter, who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident, climbed 103 floors of Chicago's Willis Tower wearing a bionic leg. BriTek recently unveiled its amazing new Energy Return Wheel, which is an airless bike tire that can never go flat. We also showcased several innovations from the intersection of fashion and technology -- a light-up Twitter dress, a pair of "Social Denim" jeans that let you update your Facebook status on the fly and a brilliant "Rocking Knit" chair that uses kinetic energy generated from the chair's gliding motion to knit a winter hat while you sit.

In the week since Hurricane Sandy crashed into the East Coast, Inhabitat has been continuing its coverage of the recovery effort. Greenpeace's Rolling Sunlight mobile solar power array has been touring the streets of the Rockaways this week, enabling residents to charge their phones and other devices. We also covered several off-grid devices that we'd like to have in the event of another storm of Sandy's magnitude -- Nokero's compact SunRay Pro solar charger, Berkey's super-versatile and effective water filter and Eton's hand-crank cellphone charger. And this week we caught up with photographer Iwan Baan, who took the iconic photo of a darkened lower Manhattan that graced the cover of New York magazine.

With the winter bearing down, we've put together a series of guides explaining how to winter-proof your home and how to save money with a programmable thermostat. And looking forward to the holidays (sorry, but yes, they're coming up), we've put together a comprehensive guide to greening your holiday decor.
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wind Power's Operating and Maintenance Costs Plunge

If this keeps up, the wind power industry might not need the embattled production tax credit for very much longer. Which, come to think of it, is the stated point of the subsidy: to provide support for the industry while it evolves to a lower cost structure and ultimately becomes self-sufficient.

The new evidence that this hoped-for storyline is unfolding comes from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which reports that operation and maintenance costs for the wind energy sector worldwide fell 38 percent from 2008 to 2011, or about 11 percent per year.

Wind power has done much to improve its competitiveness against gas-fired and coal-fired generation in recent years, via lower-cost, more technically advanced turbines, and more sophisticated siting and management of wind farms,” BNEF’s Michael Liebreich said in a statement. “This new O&M Price Index shows that servicing wind farms at the operating stage is also becoming much more cost-efficient.”

These cost figures aren’t based on some kind of theoretical estimate -- BNEF used actual contractual data submitted to it by 38 wind power companies around the world. “The data have covered 104 confidential and undisclosed O&M contracts, totaling 5.3 gigawatts of contracted capacity, in more than 24 markets,” BNEF said. “In all cases, the service providers are the turbine manufacturers, with a main focus in Europe and the Americas.”

Bloomberg listed six main points from its O&M research (quoting here):

    Average prices for full-service O&M contracts fell to EUR 19,200 ($24,700) per megawatt per year in 2012 -- a 38 percent decrease since 2008. The decline in O&M prices was driven by increased competition, as turbine manufacturers vie for service contracts, as well as by improved service performance of the underlying turbines.
    Average contract duration has risen from 4.5 years in 2008 to 6.9 years in 2012, as manufacturers attempt to lock in longer-term agreements.
    Average availability guarantees in the contract sample reached 96.9 percent, with any upside beyond that generally shared between the developer and service provider. Guarantees on actual energy production are also becoming more commonplace.
    Markets in Eastern Europe and the U.K. had the highest pricing for full-service offerings. This may be due to higher labor costs and/or a limited local supply chain. The U.S. displayed the most competitive pricing of all markets.
    Pricing between manufacturers has been fairly similar in 2008-2012, with the exception of one manufacturer, German company Enercon. Its prices for full-service contracts were nearly 20 percent lower than the market average throughout the whole period.
    Index participants expect O&M pricing be fairly stable at least until 2015. They regard Enercon, Siemens and Vestas as the best service providers in the industry in terms of promptness and quality of service for scheduled and unscheduled works.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nebraska What is Happening To Wind Energy Projects

According to Thursdays’ report, Nebraska is missing a great opportunity for job creation to the state economy. This followed equally with cleaner form of energy, and is thereby trailing its neighbours in wind-energy development, like Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas.

Nebraska is in a good position to use wind as a renewable-energy resource, claimed a group of lawmakers and environmental advocates as they revealed the report.

According to the report which was commissioned on behalf of the Nebraska Sierra Club, ranking as the fourth-best wind-producing state in the nation, yet Nebraska is 25th in the amount it could produce with the equipment currently installed.

Lawmakers and environmental advocates said they planned to pitch wind-energy to local public power districts that regulate energy usage throughout the state. Ken Winston, the group’s policy advocate says that during University of Nebraska football games, the Nebraska Sierra Club is preparing to air a series of clean-energy radio ads.

State Sen. Ken Haar, of Malcolm says that in spite of having enormous potential, they were not using that potential and that by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency will ultimately lower costs for Nebraskans.

Due to Nebraska’s reliance on coal, money is being pumped into Wyoming through an excise tax that helps offset the cost of property taxes in that state.

Two days after the dedication of a new wind farm near Broken Bow, the report was released. Over its 25-year lifespan, the $145 million project is anticipated to produce $540,000 a year in lease royalties for landowners.

Next week in Lincoln, renewable-energy advocates are scheduled to gather for the state’s fifth annual wind-energy conference.

Over the next two decades, expanding wind energy could save Nebraska consumers a combined $3.8 billion, says an Arizona-based energy economist, Skip Laitner, who authored the report. Nearly 14,000 new jobs in Nebraska could be created with wind energy expansion over the next two decades, he adds.

Consumption of energy will pour 44,000 tons of nitrogen dioxide and 71,000 tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, and Nebraskans will spend as estimated $2.7 billion this year to meet energy needs. Laitner also says that about $700 million is added to the nation’s annual health care costs caused by these emissions which create “profound health problems.”

Laitner says that when we stack up that kind of perspective and then step back and ask a question which is, could we do it better. The numbers clearly indicate that they can.

Just like ethanol, wind power has the same economic-growth potential for the state, says Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen. Having the nation’s second-largest ethanol production capacity, Nebraska falls behind Iowa.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Right Renewable Energy Policies

The Right Renewable Energy Policies – Would Make The Sun The Prime Source of Energy

Concerning public policy, solar power is becoming more and more attractive (in the economics perspective), and currently it can be considered the most promising development to be initiated. For example, in about one year and half, the prices of PV (photovoltaic) modules dropped 40 percent and the good news: the price tends to keep dropping in the middle term.

Using the correct policy vision it would be possible to influence the path-breaking related to improvements in tapping the solar power in order to massively increase the public finances. This would reduce smoke emission and even a reduction on domestic pollution would be possible.

Currently, experts say that the costs associated with solar power are dropping gradually, fast and significantly. Now, the solar power is almost compared to the power provided by fossil fuels. However, fossil fuels produce great amounts of pollution, a disadvantage solar power does not possess.

In a close future, energy from the regular electric grid will not be much cheaper than the solar energy that is currently installed. The actual policy process needs to be one step ahead from this kind of grid parity on the cars and develop new and innovative ways capable of stopping this quest for subsidies on oil-related products like kerosene and diesel.

To better understand this, imagine diesel, currently it is the most commonly used petrol-product and the process responsible for setting its price, remains very unclear and the price of imported oil keeps increasing without fixed rules and limits.

However, policy indecision about revising the current prices leads us to incorrect administered prices, not to mention an incredible misuse of resources (not only budgetary resources.)

Nowadays, one of the most important reasons for such populism on diesel is that it makes pumps for agriculture work, and it would be politically unacceptable to raise its prices. Since it would have a tremendous negative impact on the primary sector. That is why a new national program must be developed in order to promote solar-energy usage by the primary sector and by doing this. The primary sector would overpower its dependency on diesel. Anyway, there is a strong and important need to provide the farm sector with a reliable source of energy (to be used by factories, pumps, lights, etc.) this would be done by providing rural power from the grid and using parallel phasing in order to meet the farm sector’s energy requirements.

Due to the initial high costs that would be required for this impressive paradigmatic change involving solar-power pumps it would be highly recommended to put into practice an effective finance scheme consisting on multilateral funding and targeted subventions if it is needed. The main objective is to move forward with solar pumps and in the process, diesel prices would be decreased.

We don’t need multiple oil products subsides. For example, surveys indicate that kerosene is mostly used for lightening purposes; however, it is diverted to modify automotive fuel.

What it is really needed is an expansion of solar-powered lanterns instead of subsided kerosene lightening. Those solar pumps and lanterns could result in 1% saving on the budget for subsides, or even ten percent of the total spending of the budgetary center.

On the other side, we can see some other measures that could result in a great amount of energy and money saving: bicycles and rickshaws moved by solar energy would make mobility easier in a hot country like ours. In the urban areas, these rickshaws would be powered by solar energy, and they could be used as live screens for products and service’s advertisement.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Solar Industry's First Comprehensive Solar PV Module Rating Standards System

PSI PV Module Ratings were designed so that solar customers could easily make informed and fact-based decisions between different PV modules.

“Until now, there was no accepted standard for comparing the critical characteristics of PV modules between different manufacturers, or even across a single product line,” says Matthew A. Thompson, Ph.D., executive director of the Principal Solar Institute. “The PSI Ratings elevate the solar industry in a rigorous approach similar to the financial sector, which turns to Standard and Poor’s Ratings for investments, and the air conditioning industry, which relies upon SEER Ratings. We are closing the gap in the solar power industry’s urgent need for a method to uniformly evaluate PV modules in order to make technologically and financially optimal decisions.”

Photovoltaic modules are able to create electrical power while under a very wide variety of environmental conditions. These conditions, such as: irradiance, nominal operating cell temperature, and other ambient conditions exert considerable influence over how much electrical power is generated. Even if two different modules have the same nameplate wattage, they may react to different conditions very differently. “The PSI PV Module Rating is a comparative number that can be used with pricing information, providing power plant designers and buyers with a consistent basis for choosing a particular PV module.”

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Energy Debate You Didn’t Hear

Since Tuesday’s presidential debate, many have weighed in on significant energy policy questions posed by the audience, the moderator, and the candidates themselves. Has the current administration done enough to encourage energy production? What should be our nation’s policy on sources of power such as wind and solar? How is the U.S. moving toward the goal of energy independence?

But what about the energy debate America didn’t hear? On October 5th at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, surrogates for President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney weighed in on major energy topics and provided a more detailed glimpse into the vision of the two major presidential candidates. Representing Mr. Obama was Joseph Aldy, former special assistant to the President for energy and environment, while Mr. Romney was represented by Oren Cass, his campaign’s domestic policy advisor.

“When I think about what the American public wants, it’s to look for the kind of balanced approach the president is pursuing,” Aldy, Mr. Obama’s surrogate explained, adding, “We’re going to use every tool we have available. Let’s not just focus on fossil fuels. We can do a lot in renewables, whether it’s for biofuels, wind or solar.”

“Ultimately the biggest source of difference [between the campaigns]…is the question of what is the right way to promote innovation,” Cass, Mr. Romney’s surrogate, said, adding that the Republican challenger believes in “government support in the very early stages of research, and reliance on the private sector to commercialize technologies to bring down their costs and to hopefully succeed in the market.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

JEC Europe 2012: Exhibition previews : Composites World

The JEC Europe 2012 composites trade show will be held March 27-29 in Paris. this is the composites industry’s largest trade show and typically features introduction of a variety of new products and technologies. following is a preview of JEC product announcements CompositesWorld has received.

3A Composites (Sins, Switzerland) is introducing AIREX SealX, a new sealing technology that is said to offer a significant reduction in resin uptake in the infused core material. While this reduction is more than 50 percent for 3A’s AIREX T90 and T92 cores, it is reported to be more than 80 percent for its BALTEK SB and SBC balsa cores. Depending on sandwich design, resin uptake can constitute around 15 percent up to 40 percent of the infused core materials’ total costs. 3A says PET-cored sandwiches can now become lighter than PVC solutions. 3A Composites is also launching AIREX T92.80, a new low-density PET core material targeted at weight- and cost-sensitive applications in wind energy, architecture and automotive. It is ideally suited for marine applications as it meets the DNV requirements for boat decks and superstructures.

3B-the fiberglass company (Battice, Belgium) will spotlight an eco-responsible powder grade of Advantex milled fibers. The new grade, MF 01 ER (Eco-Responsible), was developed in full alignment with 3B’s strategic vision for sustainability and displays good dry flow characteristics and dispersion. Advantex MF 01 ER grade is designed to reinforce engineering thermoplastics and also thermosets, providing high modulus, good dimensional stability and shrinkage control. It can be used in a variety of applications in the automotive, electrical and electronic and consumer goods markets. for the wind energy sector, 3B will introduce HiPer-tex W3030 glass fiber, specifically engineered for polyester and vinylester resin systems for infusion processes. At JEC’s Innovation Showcase, 3B will spotlight a new zero-permeation lightweight composite compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinder developed by GASTANK AB Sweden and manufactured using HiPer-tex glass fiber enclosing and protecting a novel thermoplastic inner liner.

AXSON Technologies (Eaton Rapids, Mich.) is exhibiting what it says is the only independent heating tool regulated for prepregs outside the autoclave. this tooling, created in cooperation with ENSAM from Lille, produces a vacuum and creates parts as prepregs to be heated outside the autoclave. The heating tool consists of a rigid molded part in 2092 Axson Technologies epoxy-infused carbon or in metal, which provides the part with its geometry, and a flexible heating counter-mold projected in the shape of the part in Axson Technologies SVB20 Silicone. The principle of heating the two parts of the mold enables sandwich parts to be created (thermal insulation). The fact that this tooling can operate independently encourages the creation of large moulds, while economising on large dimension autoclaves. Axson Technologies also is launching a new range of polyurethane adhesives specially designed for gluing composites and plastics intended for industrial use. this new range can be used on automobile assembly lines, in the wind turbine field for assembling structural parts and in the assembly of pleasure boats (gluing deck to hull).

Century Design inc. (CDI, San Diego, Calif.), a supplier of prepreg machines and specialist composite processing equipment, will introduce a small production prepreg machine, targeted at small to medium composite parts producers who want better of controlof  materials and processes and reduce material costs. Features and benefits include: Intuitive, fully automated controls that incorporate processing "recipes" to make the machine easy to operate while maintaining strict process control; plug and play design that requires no facility changes to install or operate; optional ply consolidator that enables the production of prepreg widths up to 1000 mm; ability to improve schedule, inventory control, customize resin systems, reduce operating and facility costs and reduce material costs up to 40 percent. also new from CDI is TIPTM (Total Integration Program), a program that delivers the design, technology, processes and implementation for advanced composite material manufacturing facilities. Primarily focused around prepreg manufacturing operations and related downstream activities, TIP ensures that users of CDI prepreg technologies are fully capable and self-sufficient in the implementation of new machinery.

Chomarat (Le Cheylard, France) is featuring C-PLY Bi-Angle, a nonwoven carbon reinforcement (non-crimp fabric) that was launched in 2011 by Chomarat in partnership with a research group of manufacturers and academics working under Professor Tsai from Stanford University. At JEC Europe, Chomarat will present the latest advances and the first industrial parts produced using C-PLY Bi-Angle. It is now possible to produce C-PLY Bi-Angle from glass or glass/carbon hybrid, and to alternate thin and thick plies at angles as small as 20°. To meet demand from aerospace builders and equipment manufacturers, the C-PLY Bi-Angle range is expanding to include constructions that will allow optimizing of composite aerospace parts. The thin plies (50-75 g/m2) in C-PLY Bi-Angle are a key element in the performance of the composite used for the fuselage. Other parts, like beams, can also benefit from this multiaxial assembly at shallow 20° or 30° angles, which allows weight savings of up to 30 percent compared to a standard carbon construction. The material is also being tested to open up possibilities for a new wind turbine blade design. Hybrid shapes are used to increase the material’s bend- twist coupling effect. Chomarat is working on the weights of material used for individual directions, and on the use of different types of fiber, e.g. carbon or glass.

To increase productivity and accuracy for high-speed machining of large pieces, Le Créneau Industriel (Annecy-Le-Vieux, France) has extended its line of CRENO UGV 5 AXES with an overhead moving gantry in the CRENO LINEAR 5 AXES, fitted with linear motors, allowing X and Y feed rate up to 60 m/min. Features include: long and accurate Z travel (over 2,200 mm); standard travels X, 4,000 mm to 16,000 mm (or more); standard travels Y, 2,000 mm to 5,800 mm. The two movements of the five-axis head are driven by brushless motors with heavy-duty epicycloidal reducers. available options include T slot tables, flat steel tables with tapped holes, locatings and vacuum system. The CRENO centers are said to be well suited for high-speed machining of composite materials, aluminium, sandwich panels, plastic materials and electrical insulating materials. The numerical control, which is located in a closed and air-conditioned booth, is a NUM AXIUM POWER or a SIEMENS 840D.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Low carbon economy on monofilament filter fabric the significance of polyester manufacturing

In actively explore "a low carbon economy" today, with monofilament filtration of polyester filter cloth will have new development opportunities. The low carbon and economic put together, means that the carbon emissions and itself consumption, trade has close relationship, and the current European and American countries in trade policies, has "a low carbon economy" in related field. But as the future of a kind of trend of development, developing countries will put the environmental protection question as enterprise event to grasp. In the pollution the most outstanding dyeing and printing industry, our country has been in force for related access system, countries in the development of the textile industry adjust and revitalization plan "of time, will the environmental protection question as a key planning. The single polyester filtering cloth is made is of certain significance, the development of environmental protection industry, can help these Monofilament polyester filter fabric development.

With textile monofilament filtration about polyester filter cloth, in Japan to have such a farce: drop in the river Monofilament polyester filter fabric in bonded contaminants and purifying water quality on the unexpected effect. Scientists after after test is surprised to discover that, not only in the filter cloth single polyester welcomed the obvious effects, and the water and other biological like fish in and near the carbon fiber laying eggs, the survival rate also greatly improved.

In fact, in the application of performance is only Monofilament polyester filter fabric many application fields of a small piece, in steel, coal, mining, cement and even car, food and other industries need applied to all kinds of filter materials. And a lot of the filter cloth single polyester application and promotion, not only and environment, resources and sustainable development are closely related, more likely to become move "a low carbon economy" lever.

Environmental problems is ultimately enterprise behavior, this is the responsibility of the enterprise, is not only the need of transformation and upgrading of need, but also reduce the cost, improve the need of added value. The financial crisis is not the past, but the enterprise vision should not be limited to the current crisis, but want to consider in the crisis, the environmental problems will become enterprise development, and cooperation, the competition of the key. In this work, Monofilament polyester filter fabric will run.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wind energy has great benefits

Wind energy has great benefits and potential for supplying part of the nations power supply, but many places have days where they have little to no breeze at all which as you can imagine makes it very difficult to produce energy.  Another issue in my opinion is the turbines are to large supplying large amounts of power which is understandable for mass power generation, but the amount of land needed can seem overwhelming.  It is amazing to drive down the highway and see hundreds of giant wind turbines spinning in the wind, but why don’t look at scaling those giant turbines down or even modify them to make them not only look a little better but even perform better in areas with less wind?  Well, some people have done all of this for us to enjoy more wind energy.

They have created some vertical turbines, turbines with multiple blades, and many other designs just homes and small or large businesses to lower the building energy consumption or even in some cases for homes they can eliminate consumption of energy from the power company.  Yes, we been hearing much about the infamous Solyndra and their failed attempt to mass production of large wind turbines, but there are still many companies building and supplying smaller wind turbines.  If we can help bring down the cost of buying and installing to where almost everyone can get some for their homes and businesses then we could begin to lower the demand on power from other sources.

This of course would have to be on a large scale as far as installation goes, but would not require so many giant wind turbines so fast.  The smaller ones could be in place with out giant cranes and months of building to begin helping everyone.  We could still build the larger wind turbines across the country to help assist our country to become more energy independent, but we could begin helping out right now not years from now.  Wind is not the end all of our countries energy demands but doing things on a smaller scale to start would help get jobs going in every state and all across each state, while also beginning to lower our dependency on foreign oil, nuclear power, and coal.  We definitely could still use those energy supplies, but maybe, just maybe we wouldn’t need to build any more plants to supply power.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Offshore Wind Turbines Could Meet Power Demands of Entire East Coast

A quantitative analysis of offshore wind energy on the U.S. East Coast finds that, in theory anyway, the strong winds there could potentially meet one third of the entire country's electrical demands.

The study, "East coast U.S. offshore and near shore wind energy potential" concluded that the offshore wind energy available in the Atlantic Ocean off of the east coast is sufficient for powering much of that region:

    "A major finding is that the strong winds off the USEC alone can theoretically power all of the annual coastal electricity demand from Florida to Maine (FL-to-ME) or about one-third of US electric power demand. With the exception of summer, all peak-time electricity demand could be satisfied in the states of Virginia through Maine (VA-to-ME) with OWE in those states’ waters."

The team used weather modeling to generate five years worth of hourly wind speed data for locations at 90 meters above the surface (the height that an offshore turbine would reach) and then added turbines into the model. The 140,000 5 MW wind turbines were "installed" at varying distances and depths, covering the area from Maine to Florida.

For their analysis, the team found that after figuring in the standard losses in turbine inefficiencies and transmission, offshore winds on the east coast could produce up to 1,372 TWh of electricity annually, and that even more importantly, it could produce it at the best time - during peak demand.

While we're a long time away from installing 140,000 offshore wind turbines, the data shows the potential is there, and could be used to help guide wind farm placement by locating areas with high wind energy potential near high population areas.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Pros And Cons Of Using An Electric Vehicle

A lot of people are very interested in living a more green life, but are unaware of how to begin. While there are alternative energy sources, like solar and wind, there are also green habits that can be started today. This article will show you how to incorporate green energy into your life.

You can buy rechargeable batteries for simple household items, this can help you save money and uses less resources in the end. Traditional batteries get thrown into the trash, and that is very bad for the environment. By utilizing rechargeable batteries, you can help keep the environment safe, while saving some extra cash. Recharging and reusing your batteries can end up saving you hundreds in the long run.

It’s a great idea to seal the freezer and fridge so you don’t waste energy. Broken seals let the cold or hot air escape from your oven and fridge, wasting that energy and costing you money. Test how well your seal works by placing a piece of paper in the door, shutting it, and seeing if the paper slides out easily.

Install solar panels and reap the benefits easily. There are a few things to consider before installing them. How much sun is your house getting on average? If you home is shaded, the amount of energy collected from solar panels will be greatly reduced.

Use lids on pans and pots to save energy if you cook a lot. This helps keep the heat inside the pots, instead of escaping into your kitchen, which allows you to use lower heat settings on the stove.

Find a professional who is qualified to do the work. Gain as much knowledge about these systems before you decide to buy them. Avoid shady salesmen who will use unscrupulous tactics to sell systems they can’t prove are efficient.

If you are unable to completely power your home using solar power, consider installing solar panels to power at least the lighting in your home. A good place to start would be by replacing your hot water heater. Replacing this one appliance can save you a lot of money.

Use automatic motion detection sensors for lighting in your rooms. If nobody is using the room, the sensors will turn the lights off; this saves energy and money. Also remember to do this outside for your garage’s lighting, too.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Alternative sources of energy to preserve the environment

Alternative sources of energy to preserve the environment is something new, but very important. The world is moving in the direction of clean and renewable sources of energy and the wind comes as a great option.

Wind power has been increasing its participation in global energy context. Studies of the World Wind Energy Association shows that 86 countries already use this renewable source to produce electricity.

The energy generated by wind has conquered countries to be absolutely clean, safe, renewable and doesn’t cause environmental problems. It interferes very little in agricultural production, allowing the towers to be installed inside private properties, causing no damage to the activities. The construction of a wind farm is much faster, taking about a year and a half to be complete.

The largest producers of wind power are China, United States, Germany, Spain, India, France, Italy, UK, Canada and Portugal.

Today, alternative sources are complementary to the existing systems, but it’s important to find the best ways to use them, because soon these will be the major  type of energy sources.

This way our society can evolve, working in harmony with the environment and enjoying what it has to offer. In this case, the wind!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Strengthen the life of the crushing plate to improve jaw crusher production efficiency

The jaw crusher is mainly used for preliminary crushing the ore material, it works relatively harsh environment, optimize and strengthen their constituent bodies need to master the necessary maintenance of the stability of the knowledge in order to improve efficiency in the production of equipment sex.

Jaw the broken broken plate life proceed from the design selection, assembly, use process improvement to strengthen strengthen cracker broken plate life, thereby enhancing the a jaw broken stone machine production efficiency, reduce production costs.

1, jaw crusher normal operation only after the feed production.

2, to be broken materials should be evenly added crusher cavity should be avoided the lateral feeding or filled feeding, in order to avoid unilateral overload or withstand overload.

Normal working hours, the bearing temperature rise should not exceed 30 ℃, the maximum temperature should not exceed 70 ° C. Jaw crusher over the temperature, should be immediately stopped, and to identify the reasons and to be eliminated.

4, parking, first stop feeding be broken cavity material completely discharged only after the power is turned off.

5, when broken, as a result of the crushing cavity material obstruction caused by parking, should immediately turn off the power to stop the run, jaw crusher crushing cavity materials to clean up before re starting.

SBM jaw crusher design in order to strengthen and extend the life of the jaw crusher jaw jaw designed to be the symmetric two paragraphs on the line, the moment worn can turn around and use the; large jaw crusher jaw a few pieces designed to be symmetrical with each other in order to wear the jaw transpose.

The materials and the direct effect of the jaw, crushing force crushing hard materials, leading to the installation jaw bolts vibrating loose nut, the increased wear and tear of the jaw and generate a great deal of noise, severe jaw off or broken equipment downtime, affecting the normal production. Can use the process to find ways for specific situations to solve specific problems, prevent wear increased jaw loose, broken, thus extending the life of the jaw, lower costs, and improve work efficiency.

The jaw crusher is characterized by the principle is simple, convenient and outstanding value for money, in practice, the mineral processing equipment in rough break model of choice. The jaw crusher uses a unique jaw head structure, sealing guarantee, effectively extending bearing life. The whole cast and the bearing housing, with a new assembly process, so in conjunction with the rack to perfect, and strive forward automation of mining machinery, equipment performance more prominent.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tig Welding Certification - Tips For Passing Aerospace Welding Tests

Some of you reading this are about to take your first TIG welding certification test in the aerospace industry. Maybe you are transitioning from another industry like pipe welding where you welded stainless and carbon steel pipe, or food service where you welded stainless steel sheet metal. Either way, let me tell you a few tips that might help you get ready:

Everything is thinner and smaller. The tig torch, electrode, filler wire, and possibly even the tig welding machine will be smaller than you are accustomed to. In pipe welding for example, a 1/8 inch rod is considered the big tig welding rod. In Aerospace tig welding, a 1/16 inch rod is big.

Everything needs to be cleaned better. All joints are normally x-rayed in an aerospace tig welding certification test. Metals like titanium, aluminum, and magnesium are prone to porosity. Remember the 3 C's ...clean, clean, clean. Especially important is filing the sheared edge of metal that will be welded. That sheared edge looks pretty clean but it is a trap for oil and corrosion products. File it and when you think you have filed it enough, file some more. 

Everything makes a difference. Little things like the size of your tack welds, how you position the test plates in the fixture, how much flow rate is used on the purge gas, angle of torch, angle of filler metal rod, what kind of abrasive you use to clean the metal, how pure the argon or other shielding gas get the picture.  Like my old coach used to tell me...nothing is fair, but everything  matters. 

Everything needs to be shielded better. The hot tip of the filler rod will put oxides in your puddle. You can get away with a little of that in pipe welding stainless and mild steel, but it will kill you when welding something like .020" 15-7 precipitation hardening stainless or .032" inconel 718. To keep the end of the rod perfectly shielded , use a tig cup that is at least 3/4 inch id. With a diffuser that provides a nice soft blanket of argon shielding to the puddle. ..and you need to test it on a scrap piece of titanium to make sure it is working before lighting up on your tig welding certification plates. 

About 1 amp per 1 thousands of thickness welded will get you in the ball park. Set the tig welding machine amperage accordingly plus about 10 more amps just in case and use the foot pedal to adjust. This will keep you out of trouble by limiting your amperage. usually a bead width of 4 times the thickness welded will get the penetration needed for butt welds. Use the smallest electrode that will get the job done.  And sharpen it really good with scratches running lengthwise. long tapered works better for really thin (.020") and less of a taper is better for thicker welds Use the smallest filler wire that will work with having to feed too much. Too big a tig welding rod will draw too much heat out of the puddle and will cause you to use more amperage than is required . Too small a filler wire will cause you to feed too much and you cant keep up.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Polyurethane matrix resin for automotive composites

With lightweighting in mind, automotive manufacturers are using more and more parts made from carbon fiber or glass fiber composites. Henkel has developed a polyurethane-based composite matrix resin that cures faster than the traditional epoxy resins.

Composites based on carbon fiber or glass fiber are gaining momentum in various application areas due to the opportunity for enormous weight savings over traditional part construction, with no loss in mechanical performance. Starting in aerospace where pre-impregnated fibers (prepregs) are manually laid up and then baked into composites, many different applications are now penetrating into the automotive industry. New manufacturing methods like resin transfer molding enable economic processes that are suited for high volume automotive production.

For the resin transfer molding process, Henkel has developed a new composite matrix resin based on polyurethane which enables improved economics and throughput in processing. Compared to standard epoxy matrix resins, the new Loctite MAX2 cures significantly faster. During injection, it also enables more efficient impregnation without stressing the fibers due to the lower viscosity of the resin.

The composite properties of Loctite MAX2 were specially developed to provide more flexibility as well as much higher impact resistance than traditional epoxy resins. Henkel is confident that this new generation of polyurethane matrix resins deliver significant benefits for fast and efficient manufacturing.

Friday, September 7, 2012

JinkoSolar to supply solar panels for PV system in South Africa

JinkoSolar will supply 4,Use of solar energy is one of the best alternative and people are looking for solar supplies at affordable prices. By looking out for the best Best Custom Solar Chargers, you will be able to provide your clients with quality products at very reasonable prices.The solar cells which are used to make the solar panels are of superior quality, and there would not be any chance of getting a complaint.You don't must mild up your property or organization just like an army installation in order to attain the very security China Power Bank Exporters look for. Motion sensor lighting that only light up the area through which movement is detected can show fundamental adequate defense in many circumstances without inviting the neighbors to complain about the never-ending daylight you manage to create.170 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to power an off-grid 1MW utility scale photovoltaic system at a chrome mine located in South Africa's Limpopo province.Solea Renewables will be design, engineer and construct the PV project which will produce around 1.8 gigawatt hours of electricity annually.The electricity generated from the plant is expected to decrease the mine dependence on diesel during the day time for the next 20 to 30 years.Solea Renewables director VusiMhlanzi said the electricity generated from the PV plants, developed by the company will not only help the end-users and but will also reduce the growing demand the public utility Eskom faces.
"Wechose JinkoSolar panelsfor its superior performance and reliability, as seen in utility-scale installations across Asia, Europe, and Americas," Mhlanzi said."As the plant is expected to be completed by late October, 2012, the electricity generated by JinkoSolar quality solar panels will definitely reduce the mine's daytime diesel consumption while securing our client's with a natural long-term hedge against all rising costs of power."JinkoSolar chief executive officer Kangping Chen said, "We have great expectations for South Africa.Motion sensor lights on the outside of your home offer many benefits. Best Custom Solar bag enjoy the additional security these items provide both by lighting a path and by discouraging intruders from coming into a home. They also save electricity when compared to standard outdoor light which are left on all night or for long periods of time. The region's booming population, strong economic growth and abundant sunlight represent an exciting opportunity for solar and for JinkoSolar we look forward to working with Solea Renewables, an experienced EPC partner on this momentous project."
The initial 30megawatt solar energy generation signed between Kaduna State and a German company can be built and increased to 120mw over a period of time depending on the success of the first phase, the commissioner for rural and community development, Architect Isah Idris Umaru has said.Speaking in an interview with Sunday Trust, he said, "The initial megawatts we expect is 30 but that can be built and increased to 120mw over a period of time depending on the success of the first phase. So we want large site that accommodates the expansion needed to continue to increase the power.""The situation also brings to light the power that the city Metro network will consume once more networks become operational by 2015-16. The question that needs to be asked is whether the power utilities are in a position to supply the required power for smoothing running of services," a source said.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Carbon cilia is actual accomplished strands

Carbon cilia is actual accomplished strands of Carbon that can be askance calm and again woven. alike admitting anniversary cilia of Carbon laid cilia is thinner than a animal hair, it is acutely strong. It is bristles times as Able as animate but alone about one-third as heavy. It additionally has accomplished compactness strength. This agency that Carbon cilia can 'give' or amplitude absolutely a bit afore it comes apart. All of these appearance announce that cilia helmets are bigger Able to blot added of the force of an appulse than best added helmet materials. It is additionally far beneath acceptable that aciculate altar can access a Carbon cilia helmet shell.

Carbon cilia helmets are usually fabricated by agreement layers of cilia in a helmet carapace cast and again blanket the fibers with an Acrylic adhesive or some added blazon of plastic. In some cases, this action is done beneath aerial burden to accomplish an alike stronger laminate. The consistent articles are helmets that are lightweight, acutely Able barriers amid active and adamantine surfaces.

States with helmet laws on the books crave motorcyclists to abrasion helmets that accommodated assurance standards accustomed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). These standards accommodate things like minimum visibility, appulse force absorption, and bulk of face/head covered. afore the appearance of Carbon cilia helmets, helmets that met all the accustomed DOT belief could be absolutely beefy and heavy. The use of Carbon cilia has accustomed added breadth amid helmet designers to actualize some smaller, added automated styles that are adequate for the addition but still accommodate the assurance the DOT requires.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This last image shows the fin sanded down significantly.

This last image shows the fin sanded down significantly.  These are extremely thick fins, nearly half and inch at the base.  I have little doubt that they are strong enough, but how about adhesion to the rocket?  The OP suggests he may just do a surface mount with epoxy!  That worries me, no matter how thick that root edge.  However, he makes a valid point - tip to tip lamination will only interfere with the precision built into these fins, and has not always worked in the past on mach 3+ rockets.

"As I mentioned in a few other threads, I am currently building a 98mm MD rocket for BALLS, so I decided I'd make a build thread. I'm not going to post my full design yet, since it's still somewhat fluid as I'm building - especially with regards to the recovery system. However, I will post some pictures as I go. This design is expected to weigh in at less than 10 pounds with everything but motor (I'm actually shooting for 7, China Composite Resin - Structural Adhesive for Carbon/ Glass Fiber Fabrics Manufacturersbut I'm not convinced that will happen), has an overall length of 76.6 inches from the tip of the nose to the back of the nozzle. Unlike several of the N5800 designs proposed and under construction, I'm going for a metal-free build, in the hopes that I can make this work with all composite structures (just for a bit of added challenge). Depending on the sim you believe, as well as a few parameters that aren't quite nailed down yet, it's expected to go anywhere from 90,000 to upwards of 130,000 feet if it boosts straight and holds together, with a top speed of mach 4.2, so it should soundly take the N record if it actually holds together, as well as having a shot at the Carmack prize if it is still unclaimed as of BALLS this year.

First off, the fins. These are relatively simple shapes,China Prepreg 75g/㎡, T700 12K, Unidirectional Manufacturers not swept terribly far back (sweeping back beyond the mach angle is impractical at this speed, so I'm instead going for a mild sweep with a razor sharp leading edge). I started with 0.44 inch thick high grade CF stock, which was custom made for me (and cut to the basic fin outline) by ACP composites. It was made in an autoclave using prepreg, and it was cured at 350F, with an anticipated Tg of around 400F, so it should be substantially more heat resistant than ordinary CF plate would be. It is also incredibly strong, incredibly heavy, and incredibly high drag, due to the 0.44 inch thickness."

At a conservative 10 lbs for the airframe without motor, or 7 with some luck, this rocket will be a great test of the proposed N5800 to N5800 space shot, where the upper stage needs to be around 7 or 8 lbs to have a good shot at making 100 km.  China Composite Resin - Structural Epoxy Paste Adhesive ManufacturersGranted this time, it will take on far more heat and stress than any upper stage would see.  While the upper stage would hit mach 5+ in a two stage configuration, it would do so at 30, 40, or 50,000 feet where things are nice and chilly and the air is thin.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Brief tips to extend bearing life

    The mobile bearing use in harsh environments, the bearing ring and the sealing cover is essential, because they prevent dirt intrusion, extending bearing life. Roll in the mill usually consists of four sealed tapered roller bearings support. Required to withstand a strong impact load, water and debris intrusion.angular bearing
    Japan, NSK has developed ultra-easy to seal a clean roll neck bearings. These bearings under severe lubrication conditions, the load capacity increased by 34%, and high reliability, long life, easy to maintain. This performance improvement is to optimize the mechanical design, using the results of new materials and patented sealing technology. Compared with the traditional roll neck bearings, the seal roll neck bearings not only basic dynamic load rating improved 34 percent, and life expectancy by 2.7 times.

    The second factor is the performance of ultra-capacity sealed clean roll neck bearings NSK has developed the Super-TF bearing steel. This material to solve the bearing life under contaminated or insufficient lubrication conditions. Experience has shown that, in the pollution of operating conditions, bearings vulnerable to debris intrusion and pollution. NSK s research shows that the pollution or marginal lubrication conditions, the bearing life can improve through the improvement of bearing steel microstructure. The new seal structure of the main seal and the hole sealed.

    The negative pressure generated in the bearing can be caused by water intrusion from the main sealing hole sealing structure has a great influence on the negative pressure. Therefore, to reduce the negative pressure in the bearing is to prevent water from entering the basic requirements. The most effective way is to make the hole to seal does not directly in contact with water, while retaining hole sealed original function – to prevent the intrusion of water and dirt from the side of the roll neck. Sealing method using surface contact instead of line contact, whether it is running the process, or static process, the surface of contact hole sealed-tight and good. Therefore, the new super-capacity sealed clean roll neck bearings with higher reliability than traditional sealed roll neck bearings.

    In addition, SKF Italy seal recently developed a new generation of oil and grease seals MudBlock. Optimize the design of the seal structure can effectively prevent the intrusion of dirt. Sealing structure for a radial sealing lip, outer diameter and seat between a clamping spring and fixed ring. The new structure there is a push baffle between the bushings and seals, and seals the outer surface of the bushing inner diameter rubber inner lip with a waterproof grease pre-lubrication. According to operating conditions and application requirements, MudBlock available a variety of flexible material. These materials include: nitrile, polyacrylic acid resin, fluorinated synthetic rubber.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Designing and Preparing the Car for Wrapping

Understanding the shape and size of the car and all its nuances is a crucial element in the design procedure; as a result, taking measurements just before you do any design perform can be a must. You really have to have an excellent handle on templates, templates are so key because positioning is crucial. In the event you must do a lot of reprints, then that could break your company. Authorities also suggest an auto library that contains vector pictures of vehicles, trucks and buses plus a digital camera with which to take photographs. The aim will be to know each and every inch from the car. If you don’t take time to complete this up front, then you can finish up with text more than a door manage. Although you are wrapping a 2003 Dodge Caravan, for instance, measurements are still critical since you’ll find slight differences that could cause main difficulties for the duration of installation. You can get this library in the finish of this short article.

Designing for wraps is totally diverse than other kinds of design operate, It’s like any new media, you need to find out the media and you need to learn what’s going to capture the consideration in the people. It’s far more than just putting graphics on an auto. Steer clear of using too a lot text or colours. Several individuals are utilizing rainbows on cars and that causes the intended viewer to miss the message. Actually, generating a bold statement is amongst the biggest challenges in designing for wraps. You have to hold it simple. You’ll need a robust message. You only have a handful of seconds to get the message across as the car passes by, It’s a branding media; it’s not a message media. You just show the brand for recognition more than to run a brochure.

Among the most significant errors with wrap styles is going overboard with flashy graphics or wanting to put an one-dimensional design on a three-dimensional vehicle. Commonly where your hood as well as your front bumper transition towards the side from the auto is difficult. You’re generally laying down a flat design on the hood along with a flat design on the side with the vehicles and should you possess a wacky design, then they don’t transition nicely on either side in the hood and on either side of the trunk on the back. 1 key to good results boils down to widespread sense: function closely together with the client throughout the style procedure. In fact, you can even outsource the design function, the printing and also the installation and essentially act as a sales rep. When the buyer wants to cope with you and also the price tag is fine, then go for it.

After the style perform is complete, the next step is preparing the car for installation. Suitable cleaning and preparation in the substrate prior to application is critical to the success of the wrap, due to the fact if the vehicle just isn’t thoroughly cleaned immediately prior to application, then the result could be adhesion loss. You want to ensure to get all of the dirt out of any contours and grooves, any dirt can impact how any from the film adheres to the substrate. Most vinyl manufacturers recommend cleaning the vehicle having a commercial detergent and water. If grease, oil, wax or any other grime is present, then the substrate need to be scrubbed with a solvent and wiped with a soft, lint-free cloth ahead of it dries. Isophoryl alcohol is sturdy sufficient to clean away any left more than impurities that could hinder the adhesive, but not so sturdy that it’ll harm the paint. Nonetheless, authorities recommend testing the cleaning solvent on an inconspicuous region of the application surface first to check for possible damage.

Specialists say a frequent mistake through the preparation method is just not allowing the vehicle to dry completely. It may take as much as 24 hours to get an automobile to dry entirely, specially in humid or cold atmospheres. Emphasize on the significance of surface preparation, a single widespread mistake that is effortless to know but frequently overlooked is getting the car in the proper temperature for installation. Sign shops in the north are at somewhat of a disadvantage because vinyl films are generally much more susceptible to failure in cold environments. Even if the car seems like it’s dry, if it’s cold and there’s moisture within the air, then it sticks to the surface with the car and creates barriers for the overall performance in the film.

In the event you are applying film to a newly painted surface, Avery recommends following all drying and curing directions supplied by the paint manufacturer prior to surface preparation and film application. Avery also recommends the use of top quality exterior grade paints and OEM systems. You also should prepare the glass should you are going to apply perforated vinyl to these places. Like the vehicle itself, the glass should be perfectly clean. Avery recommends removing any stickers, paint or over-spray making use of a single razor blade scraper. Then spray the glass with cleaning resolution, squeegee it dry using a soft rubber window squeegee and wipe the edges utilizing lint-free paper towels.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Advantages of Carbon Fibre Composites

Carbon fibre can be explained as very thin strong fibres and is generally used to reinforce composite materials, particularly the category of materials known as carbon fibre or graphite reinforced polymers. It's also known as the reinforced plastic or carbon fibre composites. As a compound it's admired for being more strong and lighter than fiberglass. It is of much importance to engineers due to its sturdiness. It's a kind of material that is lighter than aluminum and stronger than steel. It's amazing.

Although, it's an expensive compound, but has an amazing weight-to-strength ratio and is a structure of graphite in which the sheets are long and thin. Carbon fibre composites are generally made from a polymer, known as polyacrylonitrile, by a compound heating process. It is regularly used because it has frequent qualities that make it an ideal compound for the construction of objects and items required to be light in weight but extremely high on strengthness.

Carbon fibre composites are extensively used in manufacturing components of aircraft and automotive products. It is a compound typically used in aerospace and automotive fields, as well as in sailboats and modern bicyclers, where the material's strength-to-weight ratio is beneficial.

Some extra properties that make it perfect are its tremendously low flex fatigue over time, it's not flammable and it's stable in the environment.

Nowadays, carbon fibre composites mainly found in racing cars, although like all latest technologies it's rapidly finding its way into more and more vehicles. These carbon fibre composites can be manufactured in huge quantities so manufactures combine it into sheets, bars, tubes and other shapes.
It can be used in numerous layers for improved strength.

The major benefit of carbon fibre composites is that its weight is just one-fifth of steel and its potency is more than of steel. These composites are widely used in manufacturing components that require durable strength and low weight.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wind Turbine Blades: Carbon Fiber vs Glass

From its inception, the wind energy industry has had to fight to compete with other forms of electric power generation. Wind energy producers not only face that battle, but also wage war against each other for a competitive share in the wind market. Both battles boil down to a need to improve the economics of wind energy through increased energy capture. This has prompted a well-documented growth spurt in the size of turbines and rotor blades for land-based and offshore systems (see “Wind turbine blades: Big and getting bigger,” under “Editor’s Picks,” at top right). Offshore turbines are moving quickly from 3 MW to next-generation turbines rated at 5 MW and larger, on which blade lengths for both on- and offshore systems regularly exceed 45m/148 ft. As blades grow longer, the idea of converting structural areas of the blade from E-glass to significantly stiffer and lighter carbon fiber begins to make sense, despite the latter’s greater upfront cost.

Carbon fiber already has proven to be an enabling technology for turbine manufacturers Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Aarhus, Denmark) and Gamesa Technology Corp. (Zamudio, Vizcaya, Spain). Both companies embraced carbon fiber years ago, using it in select structural parts of their blades and taking advantage of the lighter weight blades throughout the turbine system. Lighter blades require less robust turbine and tower components, so the cascading cost savings justify the additional cost of carbon. “Vestas and Gamesa designed their turbines around the use of carbon fiber and, by virtue of that, the whole system cost is less than a system with an all glass-fiber blade,” confirms Dr. Philip L. Schell, executive VP of wind energy at carbon fiber manufacturer Zoltek Corp. (St. Louis, Mo.).

And that is before the increase in turbine efficiency that additional length enables. For example, the switch to carbon fiber enabled Vestas, initially, to add 5m/16 ft in blade length without any additional weight gain. The Vestas V112-3MW turbine is designed for low- and medium-wind areas and sports three 54.6m/179-ft blades. These blades have the same width as the company’s 44m/144-ft blades, but they sweep an area that is 55 percent larger. The result is considerably higher energy output.

More recently, GE Energy (Greenville, S.C.) joined the fray, specifying carbon fiber in its next-generation wind blades, including the 48.7m/160-ft blades for its 1.6-100 turbine. Yet, speaking at CompositeWorld’s 2011 Carbon Fiber conference in Washington D.C., Nirav Patel, senior lead engineer of GE Energy-Manufacturing Technology, issued a warning that carbon fiber cost and supply concerns could be showstoppers to further use of carbon fiber in GE applications. Patel also called for increased automation and improvements in manufacturing processes (see “What is carbon fiber’s place in wind energy systems?” under “Editor’s Picks”).

Notably, it may be GE’s use of carbon fiber to increase blade length on its 1.6-MW system that will ultimately push more wind energy companies to embrace carbon fiber. “GE’s decision to put a 100m [328-ft] diameter rotor on a 1.6-MW turbine has captured the attention of a lot of companies in the industry,” says Dr. Kyle Wetzel, president, Wetzel Engineering (Lawrence, Kan.), which designs wind turbines and rotors. “As a result, we are being approached by a number of companies that want to similarly upsize their machines.”
A carbon backbone

Retrofitting existing turbine designs with longer blades that incorporate carbon has become a shortcut to marketability. “It’s always best to do a system-level design — treating the rotor, the turbine, and the tower as one system — but the reality is that the energy market is so competitive and everyone is so worried about what their competitors are doing, that they often don’t have time to do a system-level design,” explains Wetzel. “So, if a company decides to go to an extremely large blade on an existing system, then carbon fiber becomes an enabling technology by allowing for increased blade length without increased weight.”

Currently, carbon fiber is used primarily in the spar, or structural element, of wind blades longer than 45m/148 ft, both for land-based and offshore systems. The higher stiffness and lower density of CF allows a thinner blade profile while producing stiffer, lighter blades. The rough rule of thumb for weight reduction, offers Schell, is at least 20 percent weight savings when moving from an all-glass blade to one with a carbon fiber-reinforced spar cap. Offshore wind systems — where the smallest turbines are rated at 3 MW — will especially benefit from the characteristics of carbon.

“Assuming that offshore continues in its positive direction and costs remain under control, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 8-MW to 10-MW turbines with 80m to 100m [263-ft to 328-ft] long blades in the next three to five years,” says Schell.

“A 100m blade made entirely out of glass fiber could weigh up to 50 metric tonnes [110,231 lb],” he notes. “When you consider achieving a 20 to 30 percent weight savings by incorporating carbon fiber, that’s a weight savings of 15 metric tonnes [33,069 lb]. Multiply that by three and it can make a significant difference,” Schell stresses.

“In a 100m blade, the weights get so high that we are starting to investigate using carbon in the skins of the blade for added weight reduction,” says Wetzel. In a conventional, land-based blade design, however, the spar cap is the only area where Wetzel would recommend CF, but Schell notes that one company is using a hybrid glass/carbon reinforcement in the root section of the blade.

“In some very specialized blades, we’ve incorporated carbon in the trailing edge in an effort to tune some of the natural frequencies of the blade,” says Wetzel. “And carbon could come into play in aeroelastic tailoring,” he adds, noting that the idea is to build a small amount of twistability into the load response of a blade with asymmetric fiber layup in the blade skin to shape the power curve and reduce loads. “It’s a concept that’s been around for about 10 years, but I think it’s going to soon find its way into some commercial wind blades — very large blades.”