Articles About alternative energy
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While gear and bearing manufacturers engage in a wind energy arms race, the robotic automation industry has its sights set directly on the sun. Solar power—wind energy’s somewhat neglected step brother—has been gaining ground in alternative energy since 2001.
Wind is the talk of the town. It has become especially relevant to the power transmission community where bearings, gears, couplings, motors and gearboxes are providing the equipment for this thriving alternative energy industry. It comes as no surprise that the Windpower 2009 Conference and Exhibition, arriving in Chicago from May 4–7, will be the largest gathering of wind energy professionals and technologies to date.
A wide variety of companies displayed mechanical power transmission and motion control technologies at Pack Expo, held in November in Chicago. The event, which is the largest packaging and processing trade show in North America, attracted more than 48,000 attendees, according to show owner and producer PMMI. The four-day event included 2,352 exhibiting companies, an increase of more than 19 percent from the previous show in 2012.
The growth of worldwide energy consumption and emerging industrial markets demands an increase of renewable energy shares. The price pressure coming from coal, oil, nuclear and natural gas energy - combined with enormous worldwide production capacities for components of wind turbines - make wind energy a highly competitive market. The testing and validation of gearboxes within the test rig and the turbine environment attract a strong focus to the needs of the industry. The following contribution sums up the typical process requirements and provides examples for successful system and component verifications based on field measurements.
According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), photovoltaic (PV) installations increased 41 percent from 2012 to 2013. Additionally, 410 MW of concentrated solar power came online in 2013. Solar was the second-largest source of new electricity generating capacity in the United States.
The Department of Energy estimates that 4 million megawatts of potential power—four times the amount all U.S. power plants combined currently produce—exists in offshore wind energy. Construction of America’s first offshore wind turbines began in July. The wind farm, which is being constructed off the coast of Block Island, RI, will consist of five turbines. Together, they will produce 30 MW.
Columnist Brian Langenberg provides a current outlook update, key findings from a recent energy sector conference, and takes another look at education and employment.
This three-part series on motor management best practices focuses on the importance of instituting a motor management plan as a necessity in effectively administering the electric motors in a facility. The goal of a motor management plan is to take advantage of opportunities for energy savings and increased productivity using energy efficient, reliable motors such as NEMA Premium efficiency motors, herein referred to as “premium efficiency” motors.
Increasing pressure on many fronts is compelling mine operators to thoroughly examine every phase of their operations. Fluctuating demand that whipsaws mineral prices, government-imposed environmental regulations and rising operating costs related to maintenance downtime all pose serious challenges for the mining sector. Add pressure from customers and stakeholders for more sustainable operations as well as union demands for higher wages, and you have a scenario that requires mine operators to exercise every possible option to achieve more efficient operations.
A look at recent installations, plus interviews with some wind industry insiders.
Wind is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind Turbines convert the kinetic energy in wind into mechanical power.
Energy is the worldwide addiction of the human race. We can’t live without it, and no matter how much we try to conserve it, our appetite is insatiable.
It’s as true in pulp and paper as it is in many other industries: the continued rise in energy prices has put a squeeze on margin and profits. Papermakers know that to maintain margin, they must effectively manage their energy costs.
Energy costs and downtime can be greatly reduced by instituting a motor management plan. Part II of this three-part series specifically addresses the establishment of a motor failure policy and the development of purchasing specifications. Part I addressed the general aspects of a motor management plan, including the first steps of creating a motor inventory and guidelines for motor repair and replacement. Part III will examine motor repair specifications as well as preventive and predictive maintenance.
Next time you are strolling across a manufacturing plant, check out the hardware on the ground. Shop floors are nothing but cables plugged into machines, cables plugged into computers, cables plugged into other cables...
While it is valid to state that energy efficiency is defined as the same level of production being achieved at an overall lower energy cost, it is equally important for today’s machine builders and automation engineers alike to remember that an energy-efficient system can actually translate into higher productivity. This is achievable through a comprehensive approach to energy management.
How to optimize performance and sustainable production through strategic planning, informed analysis and automation and control technology.
Our politicians in Washington continue dithering over the Obama administration energy bill aimed at developing alternative, green sources of energy production. As a result, when this country will have a viable energy program in place is anyone’s guess, given the usual D.C. gridlock. And yet, Americans can take more than cold comfort in the fact that at least some government agencies—U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)—and the private sector—some major manufacturers—are doing more than their share of work in trying to harness our existing, fossil-based energy sources in such a way that they are used to their best efficiencies.
The Bearing Specialists Association explains the role of bearings in ensuring the efficient operation of machinery.
Perhaps you don’t need convincing that sustainability is the wave of the future. But where to start? Resources of all types—from websites to trade shows to white papers—are waiting to help green your operation. Most areas are home to regional business alliances devoted to helping local manufacturing outlets contribute in an environmentally sound manner. Here are a few go-to resources for going green.
Options abound for increased efficiency in lubrication.
Based on simulation methods and calculation tools developed by the Schaeffler Group and presented in the first part of this paper, three approaches regarding increased efficiency based on rolling bearings are presented.
It is a simple fact: better lubrication can lead to dramatic energy savings and an improved bottom line. This ought to interest any plant manager who is looking for ways to reduce operating costs, and it is especially significant at a time when stricter government regulations are in direct contradiction to reducing costs. Lubrication reliability is the solution; this article will describe how manufacturing plants can use “lubrication reliability best-practices” to reduce their energy consumption, emissions and operating costs—all at the same time.
Managing Editor Randy Stott takes a look at what is really stopping us from pursuing energy efficiency in engineering.
Synchronous motors controlled by variable speed drives are bringing higher efficiencies to industrial applications.
Despite posting its slowest quarter since early 2007, AWEA remains optimistic that the wind industry can and will work successfully with the revolving doors in Washington.
Motion systems bring award-winning and energy-optimizing “Smart House” to life.
In looking for potential opportunities to reduce energy consumption via the drive system, a number of areas should be considered.