Tag Archive | engine speed fuel cutoff

Germany Opens Another Hybrid Wind Power Plant

From this tweet by the always excellent Energiewende Germany I learned about an article titled “Hydrogen plant starts storing wind energy in Germany“.

As is clear from the title, this is another project to use wind energy in times where demand can’t keep up with supply to make some hydrogen from water. That is the future for storage of surplus renewable energy, since the existing infrastructure can store massive amounts of hydrogen gas.

The German existing gas infrastructure could handle storage of up to 200 TWh, which is much more than the about 30 TWh an electricity system of 100% renewable would need. But to get that capacity, people need to start building these kind of plants that store electricity from wind or solar as hydrogen. We still have a decade or two to go until renewable gets to 100%, but it is still a good idea to start early.

Enertrag has opened the first plant like this in 2011. At the time with a capacity of only 500 kW. The new plant reported on in that article has 2 MW. And it is operated by E.ON, one of the “big four” German utilities that used to show no interest in renewable energy and leave the investment in the sector to citizen projects.

As the article notes, only about 50% of the energy from the surplus electricity can be stored in hydrogen.

But that is of course not a problem. In the many time slots where demand can’t keep up even now, the electricity would be wasted anyway. And in the few time slots without wind and solar available (the occasional cold November night) that stored energy will have a very high value on the market.

Over this weekend, many countries in Europe saw negative electricity prices, with France and its inflexible nuclear plants reaching minus 4 cent per kWh. People were paid good money if they used electricity, helping to reduce the supply overload. In such a time slot it doesn’t matter that only 50% of the energy will be stored. There is too much available in the first place.

And while the technology for making hydrogen may still be somewhat expensive (that 2 MW plant cost around $2 million), there is only a need to store around 5% of yearly demand. Spread that cost over all electricity over a feed-in tariff or some such policy, and it won’t matter much. Let’s also note that gas plant capacity is by far the cheapest to build of all power plants at only about EUR400 a kW, which helps save money on the cost of the whole system as well.

The idea involves flying a turbine in circles 800-1,950 feet up in the air, where winds are steadier and stronger than on the ground. Because most of the power in a traditional turbine is generated at the tips, these new generators would consist of a pair of such tips mounted to a wing. The wing flies in vertical circles, attached to the ground by a tether, which both carries the traction force of the wing, and transmits the electricity generated to the ground. A computer uses the flaps on the wing to control the flight.

It will also be possible to use similar wings in offshore areas, where the wing would be stowed atop a buoy until wind conditions are favorable. Then, the wing would take off like a helicopter, fly up to 1,300 feet high, generate electricity and then land once more on the buoy. Click on their website http://www.scfwindturbine.com for more information.

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Bullington Cross wind farm

Plans to build a gigantic wind farm on Hampshire farmland have been submitted – much to the anger of local residents.

EDF Energy Renewables has put forward an application to Winchester City, Basingstoke and Deane and Test Valley councils for 14 turbines near Bullington Cross, north of Winchester.

The original proposal for 17 turbines – towering 126m over the countryside – has been reduced by three, but residents remain angry.

Douglas Paterson, chairman of Keep Hampshire Green campaign group, said: “It’s an appalling prospect for the beautiful Hampshire countryside.” We think this is an appalling thing to do to your landscape and to your neighbours.

This is all about money and people are becoming increasingly aware that this is a subsidy scam. This isn’t about energy or serving the land, it’s about harvesting subsidies and getting the snout in the trough.

These turbines will be the height of Salisbury cathedral. So 14 of them with moving parts means the visual impact will be for a radius of about 20 miles.

Everyone needs to hold fire until the application is officially registered, then we need as many objections as possible. “I think we have a fair chance of winning this thing. We hope we can get it thrown out at the first planning committee.”

The plans have been submitted after the completion of onsite surveys and consultation with residents and stakeholders. The scheme has been strongly opposed by people in the Sutton Scotney and Micheldever areas.

Under the proposals, seven of the turbines are within the Winchester City Council area, four in Basingstoke and Deane and three in Test Valley.

The proposed wind farm would be capable of producing up to 28MW of low carbon energy.

Darren Cuming, onshore wind development manager at EDF Energy Renewables, said: “Following consultation with local residents and the completion of detailed environmental studies, we submitted our planning application to the councils concerned.

EDF Energy Renewables is committed to developing new low carbon electricity generating capacity to maintain energy supply, tackle climate change, and maintain affordable energy prices.

“We believe that the site identified at Bullington Cross is an excellent opportunity to establish a wind farm that can contribute towards these requirements.”

EDF Energy Renewables already has over 500MW of onshore and offshore wind farm projects in operation or currently in construction across the country.

Landscape contractors target higher-quality kit

Municipal contractors aim to boost productivity by buying machinery on invest-to-save principle. Local authority teams and grounds care contractors are spending more on larger and higher-quality machinery despite ongoing pressure on their budgets.

Ransomes Jacobsen said its UK sales were up 15 per cent on last year, with increases especially marked in the municipal sector, an overall market that had been shrinking for the past three years to a third of its former size.

Sales director Rupert Price said: “We are finding that many of our customers are buying more expensive kit and looking after it better to make it last. Contractors are buying quality instead of kit built to a price.”

Big sellers included the Ransomes HR300 out-front rotary mower with three cutting decks, which is more pricy than rival kit, he added. Ransomes Meteor ride-on triple flail mower is another high-end machine but saves cutting time.

Price said: “Maintenance teams appreciate they can get a high-quality cylinder-type finish but in 30 per cent less time. When you’re making savings across all areas, this is a boon. This kit isn’t for everyone but it is more flexible.”

The company is investing in new products, distribution and more sales staff because “you can’t shrink when you want to grow”. A recent new launch, the Cushman utility vehicle, is for rugged terrain but also road use.

“We will focus more this year on environmental aspects. Contractors do not want to fire up diesel engines all of the time, especially when working in urban areas, so we are investigating electric-powered vehicles.”

Parks consultant Sid Sullivan said: “I’m not surprised to hear sales of big equipment and equipment generally are rising. Many authorities and contractors have been nursing old kit beyond its effective use date.

“Also, many councils and contractors are responding to cuts and bigger-scale contracts by buying larger, more productive equipment on an invest-to-save principle.”

But he added: “Bigger is not always best. Most parks are small to medium-sized and larger kit does not necessarily fit the land or make a good job on small-scale parks. It can also interfere with public use and generate considerable noise as well as create greater pollution.” The exhibits on Bosch’s booth include a bar cutting unit as well as vertical and horizontal flow wrapping solutions.

The WRL 0600 longitudinal cutting machine, a fanning system, and the WRQ 1000 cross cutting unit will all be highlighted. Developed for industrial bar production, the machines are easy to operate and do not require tools for changeovers. They combine high performance with robustness to ensure efficient production. The company’s bar production lines also include equipment covering each step of the process, from the dosing of ingredients through to palletising of shipping cases.

Also on display is the Pack 201 horizontal flow wrapper, a mid-speed machine, which is easy to maintain and designed to handle more delicate products. It is ideal for individual or multiple wrapping of bakery goods, candy bars, wafers and biscuits. Rapid packaging format changes for various sized products are made possible through the adjustable folding box, allowing for maximum machine efficiency and improved package quality.

The Starpac 600 HL wrapping machine will be exhibited. This wrapping machine closes packages with hermetic sealing, providing maximum protection of products in single-wrap die-fold packages. Chocolate manufacturers can differentiate their products with the premium look of die-fold packages while guaranteeing quality and safety. The machine wraps small to medium sized chocolates with an output of up to 600 pieces per minute.

Next-Gen LT1 6.2-Liter V-8 for 2014 Corvette Revealed with 450 HP, New Tech

For years, car enthusiasts have debated what would come of Chevrolet’s iconic small block V-8. Would there be a next-generation engine? Would it get smaller? Would it still have pushrods? Would it have direct injection? Today, all of those questions have been answered.

Billed as the biggest change to the venerable small block V-8 engine in its 57-year history, the Gen-5 edition retains the trademark bore spacing, overhead-valve/cam-in-block valvetrain, and a few other key details, but the engine bristles with high-tech features. Direct fuel injection? Check.

Variable valve timing? Got-it. The above was widely leaked common knowledge, but now we can tell you the rest of the story. Some 99.9 percent of the engine is new, with  the engine’s carryover parts fitting in a Ziploc bag. Two starter bolts, a piston pin and a retainer bolt or two are all that remain of the LS3. Zero-to-60 mph performance for the new base Corvette is expected to be under 4 seconds. Efficiency is increased, making this one of the most fuel efficient 450-hp vehicles available. That’s right, an estimated 450 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 450 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm.

Displacement is indeed 6.2 liters, not 5.5 liters as rumored, and the RPO number is LT1, a designation well-known to the Corvette faithful. The key enabling feature of the new small block is cylinder deactivation. The Corvette was to be first with that technology, but the layout of the car was unsuited because of the rear transmission and various mounting solutions, it was an NVH nightmare in 4-cylinder mode.

Those problems have been overcome now, and the system has been optimized to allow a wide operating range in the 3.1-liter V-4 mode. As it turns out, fuel economy is BETTER with a 6.2-liter engine, because smaller displacements reduce the amount of time the engine can operate in 4-cylinder mode, so bigger displacement saves more fuel. Counterintuitive, but true. Active Fuel Management applied to a performance valvetrain is unique, Chevy says. With its 6600-rpm engine speed fuel cutoff, this is the highest-speed valvetrain with cylinder deactivation. Cylinders 1, 7, 6, and 4 get deactivated.

Next-gen technologies have been key to improving performance and efficiency, while maintaining the compact size and high power density while preserving oiling under very high g loads. Direct injection, Active Fuel Management (GM-speak for cylinder deactivation), and continuously variable valve timing are the key enablers. Also on that list, according to Jordan Lee, the chief engineer and program manager for small block engines, is a “radically new combustion system with 11.5:1 compression ratio.” That compression ratio improves both power and efficiency. In addition to the estimated 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, Chevy is also predicting 26 mpg.

According to Lee, direct fuel injection and the extensive air-fuel mixing dynamics in the cylinder combine to provide maximum in-cylinder cooling, so that the engine can tolerate a higher compression ratio. The advanced combustion system he spoke of is meant to burn every molecule of fuel, extracting all the energy possible. Millions of hours of computer processing time was spent developing the top surface of the piston to optimize air-fuel mixture flow and combustion dynamics.

Hundreds of combustion systems were analyzed. Over 6 million hours of computer processing time was dedicated to combustion system optimization while reducing knock sensitivity even under extreme climatic conditions.