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batteries and energy storage technology

Award for remotely controlled battery device

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The Tethercell battery adaptor was named the overall winner for Breakthrough Prototype in the Bluetooth SIG Breakthrough Awards competition.

With Tethercell any battery operated device can be controlled from a smart device. It is the size of an AA battery and is inserted into an applicance in place of one of the batteries. It is then remotely connected to a smart device such as a phone or tablet via an app, which allows the battery-operated device to be controlled remotely.

Devices continue to function with one AA cell substituted for the AAA Tethercell. The electronics contained in the casing also contain a temperature sensor, channel switcher and a boost for converting 1.5 to 3V.

Operating on a radio frequency, Tethercell has a range of 100feet in open space or 60feet through a wall. It costs from US$35 and lasts six to twelve months dependant on usage.

The Bluetooth SIG Awards celebrate inventions that utilise Bluetooth technology to interact ordinary devices with smart phones and tablets.

AFC Energy ships fuel cell system to ICL

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

AFC Energy has delivered a fuel cell electricity generating system to Industrial Chemicals Limited (ICL), a leading UK commodity chemicals producer.

The shipment is in advance of a 1 MW commercial-scale project to install the world’s largest alkaline fuel cell energy generation system at ICL’s chlor-alkali plant in Essex, UK. The project is being supported with a European Union grant of €6.1m ($8m), from this April.

The first delivery was for a skid-mounted (mobile) Beta fuel cell system which is expected to be installed and to commence supplying small quantities of power to the chemicals works from April 2013. It will use waste hydrogen, produced as a by-product at the chemicals works, as fuel to generate clean energy. 

The system will test and qualify the hydrogen supply and site infrastructure ahead of the installation of the larger system in stages later this year.  By harnessing the waste hydrogen, AFC Energy’s fuel cell system will eventually provide up to 1 MW at point of consumption, reducing reliance on grid-supplied electricity by up to 20%. 

As part of the project AFC Energy is to provide electrical power to ICL under its first ESCO (Energy Supply Company) arrangement whereby ICL will provide its hydrogen and purchase power under long-term contracts. AFC Energy will own, operate and maintain the fuel cell systems.

Aggreko appoints director for Europe, Middle East and Africa

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Aggreko has announced the appointment of David Taylor-Smith as its new director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, with effect from 11 March 2013.

Former British Army officer Taylor-Smith has spent most of his career in the security industry. The 51 year-old worked for G4S between 1998 and 2012, most recently in the role of Chief Operating Officer and Regional Chief Executive of UK, Ireland and Africa.

Taylor-Smith resigned from G4S last September after the company failed to provide an adequate number of security staff for the London Olympic Games, forcing British police and the British Army to intervene. The company eventually booked a loss of $108m on the project.

The appointment follows the management reorganisation announced by Aggreko last September, with the group being split into three regional units for the Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia, Pacific and Australia (APAC), each managed by a main board director.

The Americas and APAC posts were filled by internal candidates - Asterios Satrazemis and Debajit Das, respectively.

Rolls-Royce wins $40m contract to power Turkmenistan-China natural gas pipeline

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Rolls-Royce has bagged a $40m contract to supply equipment and related services to power the flow of natural gas through the Uzbekistan section of the Turkmenistan-China natural gas pipeline.

Rolls-Royce will supply Asia Trans Gas (ATG LLC), a joint venture between Uzbekistan's Uzbekneftegaz and China’s National Petroleum Corporation, with three RB211 gas turbine driven pipeline compressor units for operation at a compressor station on the 530km Uzbekistan section of the 1,830 km Turkmenistan-China natural gas pipeline.

The Uzbekistan section of the Turkmenistan-China natural gas pipeline will transport 25 billion cubic meters per year of gas from Turkmenistan, through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, to China, helping to stabilise China’s consumption of natural gas.

Rolls-Royce will manufacture and package the equipment at its energy facilities in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Mount Vernon, Ohio, USA.

Battery University in Silicon Valley

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

San Jose State University will be offering courses specifically designed for students who want to work with battery technology.

The University is partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CalCharge to offer the professional programme of education at the University’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, which feeds more graduate engineers into the Silicon Valley workforce than any other university.

California has over 40 battery-related companies working on energy storage solutions for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and the renewable energy storage sector.

The courses are offered in response to changing workplace demands in the high tech battery industry.

European Commission takes UK to court over VAT on energy-saving products

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The European Commission is taking the UK to court over its reduced VAT rate on energy-saving products.

The UK charges 5% instead of the standard 20%. Under EU VAT rules, discounts are only allowed for social policy reasons, not environmental reasons.

In a statement, the European Commission said: "Member States themselves unanimously decided on the list of goods and services that could benefit from a reduced VAT rate, and they also insisted that this list be strictly applied, with no room for manoeuvre or interpretation. This is important to prevent competitive distortions in the Single Market and to ensure a fair and level playing field between all Member States."

The Commissions added economic studies showed reduced VAT rates "are often not the best way to achieve policy objectives" and direct subsidies could be more efficient.

Stationary fuel cell developer ACAL Energy appoints new CEO

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

UK hydrogen fuel cell developer ACAL Energy has appointed Greg McCray as CEO, the company said in a statement.

McCray was previously CEO of Antenova Limited, a wireless components company. While at Antenova, Greg transformed the organisation into the world's fastest-growing innovative antenna business, backed by global venture capitalists and major institutional funds.

ACAL Energy claims it has a “revolutionary approach” to hydrogen fuel cell technology buy using 80% less platinum on average. This results in a significant cost and footprint reduction.

After eight years of R&D investment, ACAL Energy is now ready to license its FlowCath fuel cell technology to major automotive manufacturers and companies in the stationary power industry, it said.

Samsung and Xtreme Power team up for smart grid project

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power are installing a 1MW/1MWh lithium-manganese oxide energy storage system for a demonstrative smart grid project in Texas. The system, to be installed at the Reese Technology Centre in Lubbock, is partly funded by the Department of Energy.

The project aims to promote utility scale energy storage with wind energy. The battery system will be utilised to regulate power generated from local wind turbines that suffer from intermittent loss of generation.

Samsung’s lithium-ion battery technology together with Xtreme Power’s Xtreme Active Control Technology (XACT), which gives millisecond response time, will enable the wind generated power to be fed into the national grid.

This is the first project Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power have worked on together to provide energy storage solutions for renewable integration and grid support. The companies have formed the alliance to reach renewable energy goals and promote a cleaner electric grid.

MEMS Power Generation to keep power running at London Uni

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

A major London university contracted MEMS Power Generation to provide temporary power for the continuation of medical research and experiments during maintenance work.

MEMS supplied a total of 4100kVA to six buildings on the university site that house 20 years of experiments that cannot be affected by ongoing site maintenance.

Engineers installed two 800kVA generators, that will work in parallel redundancy, and 2600kg of cabling for total resilience. This was followed by two 1250kVA generators, which will work in parallel to power the site’s main building.

MEMS Power Generation, commented: “The University is renowned for carrying out a vast amount of medical research, so the temporary power we supplied needed to ensure that experiments and testing could carry on as normal during the maintenance period. If power had been lost, potentially 20 yeas of experiments could have been lost.

"Our aim was to ensure that the buildings never lost power for more than 15 minutes on installation of the temporary equipment and on reinstatement of the mains supply.”

Oz energy firm offer $10 000 in grants

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Australia’s biggest energy retailer, Origin, is offering AUS$10 000 in grants to encourage customers to install energy saving devices. The programme is intended to raise awareness of where energy savings can be made at household and business level.

The programme, called Origin Local Savers, is open to households, businesses and community groups in Ballarat, Victoria, with five grants being given out in total.

"We hope that Origin Local Savers will help Ballarat residents become more aware of the simple things that can be done around the office, home or in the community," said Amy Stockfield, Origin Consumer Media and Partnerships Manager.

The grant money can be used to upgrade electrical appliances, install eco-friendly lamps or set up timer switches to reduce the use of standby power.

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