Low Coal Prices Fuel Demand as Trading Volumes Soar 46%

coal-trains

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Coal leads surge in European energy exchange trading in first half 2016 -study

Wholesale trading of coal on the exchanges soared 46 percent from a year earlier to 3.5 billion tonnes

FRANKFURT: Coal lead a surge in trading volumes on west European energy exchanges in the first half of this year as traders took advantage of low commodity prices, research company Prospex said on Monday.

Wholesale trading of coal on the exchanges soared 46 percent from a year earlier to 3.5 billion tonnes, according to Prospex.

“Low coal prices mean a fixed amount of trading capital will buy higher volumes than it did in the past,” said Prospex Research director Ben Tait.

“In fact, many traders seeking to hit absolute profit targets have indeed ramped up volumes,” he said.

Prospex’s data covers volumes on what traders call the paper market, where two parties agree deals in the over-the-counter (OTC) market and have them cleared by an exchange.

In coal, this type of business accounts for 98 percent of volumes changing hands in Europe.

Prospex said commodity trading houses remain keen on coal, with some holding extensive physical coal interests that play out on the dominant Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region of ports that serve Europe’s power stations and steelmakers with raw material.  Read more:  Full Article

 

Wide Bandgap Semiconductors – LED’s and the Future of Power Electronics

Hidden inside nearly every modern electronic is a technology — called power electronics — that is quietly making our wor…

Source: www.youtube.com

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

 

“Hidden inside nearly every modern electronic is a technology — called power electronics — that is quietly making our world run. Yet, as things like our phones, appliances and cars advance, current power electronics will no longer be able to meet our needs, making it essential that we invest in the future of this technology.

Today [January 15, 2014], President Obama will announce that North Carolina State University will lead the Energy Department’s new manufacturing innovation institute for the next generation of power electronics. The institute will work to drive down the costs of and build America’s manufacturing leadership in wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor-based power electronics — leading to more affordable products for businesses and consumers, billions of dollars in energy savings and high-quality U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Integral to consumer electronics and many clean energy technologies, power electronics can be found in everything from electric vehicles and industrial motors, to laptop power adaptors and inverters that connect solar panels and wind turbines to the electric grid. For nearly 50 years, silicon chips have been the basis of power electronics. However, as clean energy technologies and the electronics industry has advanced, silicon chips are reaching their limits in power conversion — resulting in wasted heat and higher energy consumption.

Power electronics that use WBG semiconductors have the potential to change all this. WBG semiconductors operate at high temperatures, frequencies and voltages — all helping to eliminate up to 90 percent of the power losses in electricity conversion compared to current technology. This in turn means that power electronics can be smaller because they need fewer semiconductor chips, and the technologies that rely on power electronics — like electric vehicle chargers, consumer appliances and LEDs — will perform better, be more efficient and cost less.

One of three new institutes in the President’s National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, the Energy Department’s institute will develop the infrastructure needed to make WBG semiconductor-based power electronics cost competitive with silicon chips in the next five years. Working with more than 25 partners across industry, academia, and state and federal organizations, the institute will provide shared research and development, manufacturing equipment, and product testing to create new semiconductor technology that is up to 10 times more powerful that current chips on the market. Through higher education programs and internships, the institute will ensure that the U.S. has the workforce necessary to be the leader in the next generation of power electronics manufacturing.

Watch our latest video on how wide bandgap semiconductors could impact clean energy technology and our daily lives.”

source:  http://energy.gov/articles/wide-bandgap-semiconductors-essential-our-technology-future

 

US EPA Awards Energy Star to 3 CHP (Cogen) Projects

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognised three combined heat and power projects with ENERGY STAR CHP awards.

Source: www.cospp.com

>”[…] Eastman Chemical Company’s Kingsport, Tennessee, Campus plant (pictured) was recognised for its 200 MW CHP system, which includes 17 GE steam turbine generators. The Kingsport industrial campus, one of the largest chemical manufacturing sites in North America, employs nearly 7000 people […]

Seventeen boilers produce steam to support manufacturing processes, help meet the space heating/cooling needs of 550 buildings, and drive 17 GE and two ABB steam turbine generators with a combined design output of 200 MW. With an operating efficiency of more than 78%, the predominantly coal-fired system requires approximately 14% less fuel than grid-supplied electricity and conventional steam production, saving Eastman Chemical approximately US$45 million per year.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, was granted an award for its 3.8 MW CHP system, powered by a Caterpillar lean-burn low-emissions reciprocating natural gas generator set. The system supplies 60% of the annual power needs for the site and approximately 40% of the thermal energy used to support R&D operations and heat, cool, and dehumidify the facility’s buildings.

With an operating efficiency of more than 62%, the system requires approximately 29% less fuel than grid-supplied electricity and conventional steam production, saving approximately $1.1 million per year.

Merck’s CoGen3 CHP system at its West Point facility was also recognised by the EPA. A pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing, R&D and warehouse and distribution centre, the project is powered by a 38 MW GE 6B heavy-duty gas turbine and recovers heat to produce steam to heat, cool and dehumidify approximately 7 million square feet of manufacturing, laboratory and office space.

The system, designed by Burns & Roe, is the third CHP system that Merck has installed at the 400-acre West Point, Pennsylvania campus. With an operating efficiency of more than 75%, the natural gas-fired system requires approximately 30% less fuel than grid-supplied electricity and conventional steam production.”<

 

 

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Industrial networking expands PLC functionality – Energy Efficiency

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Operations – Systems & Controls, Maintenance & Commissioning

Combining real-time Ethernet with visualization, control, and communication capabilities allows PLCs to open the door to a new level of visibility and control for manufacturers.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The days when workers served as the brain and brawn in manufacturing are long gone, while human-machine interaction has become commonplace on the factory floor. A prime example of this is the PLC, which has been the workhorse in automation and manufacturing industries across the board for many years. By interfacing with everything from sensors and machine guards to motion control and advanced identification devices, PLCs ensure operations run smoothly (see Figure 1). Through the flexibility offered with PLCs, manufacturers can manage multiple machines at once—achieving a higher level of integration and process automation machines and improving production quality and cost of operation.

The benefits of the PLC are well known. Their contributions toward efficiency enhancement and the behind-the-scenes support of industrial Ethernet make this heightened control possible. Together, these technologies make communication between humans and machine a seamless, profitable combination. Consisting of various protocols, industrial Ethernet was developed with deterministic capabilities to provide a cost-effective alternative to legacy automation systems.

With advanced capabilities, sophisticated functionality, and simplified installation, the PLC is a cornerstone of modern manufacturing. However, to effectively use these devices, users must understand the crucial role networking plays and the individual requirements that must be considered for an effective solution.  […]<

See on www.plantengineering.com

Industrial Energy Management – Contolling Demand & Energy Usage

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Demand-control technology supports multiple approaches for taming energy costs without sacrificing production efficiency.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Navigant Research argues that efficient energy management will soon be as important as product quality in determining manufacturers’ competitive position within their respective industries. That importance, according to Navigant, is reflected in the compound annual growth rate for industrial energy management software and services.

At its current growth rate, the global market for industrial energy management solutions will nearly double over the next 7 years, going from $11.3 billion in 2013 to $22.4 billion in 2020… <

See on www.plantengineering.com

Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency Standards Cost Less than Estimated

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Washington, D.C.—A new report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) finds that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been overestimating the impact that energy efficiency standards for appliances and other products have on their price tags.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Today’s study, entitled Appliance Standards: Comparing Predicted and Observed Prices, looks at nine appliance standards that took effect over the 1998-2010 period and found that DOE overestimated price impacts in every case, usually by a wide margin. ACEEE and ASAP found that across the nine rulemakings, DOE estimated an average increase in manufacturer’s selling price of $148. On average the actual change in price was a decrease in manufacturer’s selling price of $12.

Estimates of the overall benefits of energy efficiency standards for consumers will likely have to be revised as well. In 2012, ACEEE and ASAP released a study estimating that standards for appliances and other equipment would save consumers more than $1 trillion cumulatively by 2035, even after subtracting estimated increases in product prices.

“Energy efficiency standards are proving to be an economic powerhouse, driving even more consumer savings than we realized,” said report co-author and ASAP Executive Director Andrew deLaski.<

See on www.aceee.org

Companies Fined for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reporting Errors | The National Law Review

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Nine companies were issued fines by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) for violating the State of California’s Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting rule. The ARB adopted the reporting rule in 2007.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The companies cited for violations were not concentrated in one industry sector.  Sources receiving fines included a refinery, a biomass generating plant, an oil and gas production company, a utility company, a lime manufacturing company, and a cement company, among others. <

See on www.natlawreview.com

Synthesis of Butanol: Towards a Better Biofuel

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Researchers have developed a catalyst to convert ethanol into butanol with high selectivity, potentially allowing butanol to replace ethanol as a biofuel.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>[…] Because manufacturers can prepare ethanol from renewable sources, researchers consider the biofuel a good alternative to standard fossil fuels such as gasoline. Indeed, its production and use have increased remarkably in the last ten years; manufacturers now commonly add ethanol to gasoline fuels.

Despite this increased use, however, ethanol has several disadvantages. It has a lower calorific value than standard gasoline (19.6 vs. 32 MJ/liter); moreover, it is corrosive. For this reason, the maximum amount which can be added to standard gasoline is about 10 %; cars cannot use fuels with higher ethanol amounts without engine modifications.

Butanol: a Better Option

1-Butanol (CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-OH), an alcohol with a longer chain, could be a better alternative to ethanol. Indeed, it has a higher calorific value (29.2 MJ/liter) and it is much less corrosive; because of this, manufacturers can add it to gasoline in higher proportions without engine modifications, and theoretically it could completely replace the gasoline. Moreover, its octane number is very similar to that of gasoline – 96 vs 91-99.

Despite these characteristics, however, we’re not yet using butanol in cars due to the difficulties in producing the alternative biofuel. […]<

See on www.decodedscience.com

More Major Companies Embrace New Recycling Label | Ethical Consumption

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

A dozen major U.S. companies, including General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Kellogg’s (NYSE:K), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and REI, have already joined the labeling scheme. Since launching last January, How2Recycle has established itself as the only labeling system that convey recyclability across all material types and provides explicit directions to consumers to influence their recycling behavior.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

“Consumers are faced with a confusing landscape of material and recycling messages that are often inconsistent or misleading. We believe this label will help consumers and companies more effectively communicate recyclability and contribute to more successful resource recovery,” said Anne Bedarf, who led the development of the label, at a launch ceremony for How2Recycle last year.

“As we enable consumers to recycle correctly, we ensure more quality recycled material is available for us to use, our consumers send less waste to landfill, and we can reduce the energy needed to create new packages,” added Lorio, whose company was recently named one of the “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World” by Corporate Knights.

See on www.justmeans.com