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New GM at Perkins

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 12:07 -- Ruth Williams
Bill Giunta joins the Perkins team from Caterpillar

Perkins has appointed Bill Giunta as the general manager of global sales and marketing. He will be responsible for marketing, branding, sales and product support for the engine manufacturing brand.

Giunta joins Perkins from parent company Caterpillar’s electric power division in Georgia, US.

Michael Wright, who had interim responsibility for the sales and marketing operation, pending Bill’s appointment, has taken up a position as Perkins’ business development director.

UK, Korea sign fuel cell technology agreement

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 11:26 -- Ruth Williams
The Memorandum of Understanding signed at Imperial College London

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by Imperial College London and the University of Science and Technology in Korea to develop fuel cell technology.

The MoU is intended to advance the involvement in hydrogen and fuel cell research between UK and Korea.

A Professor from each establishment signed the MoU at Imperial College London’s Energy Future Lab, which will be the focal point of the research and is the UK’s hub for hydrogen and fuel cell technology research.

Professor Nigel Brandon, director of the EFL said: “Korea is investing heavily in a range of energy technologies including fuel cells, reflecting the country’s relative lack of natural resources. As fuel cells are the most efficient form of electricity generation for a range of fuels, including natural gas and hydrogen, this is of significant interest for Korean industry to develop for both its home and international markets.”

Tool from EnerSys gives insight into battery performance history

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 11:54 -- Ruth Williams

Battery giant EnerSys has introduced a service-reporting tool called the Service Activity Report Management (SARM) system, which allows the company to maintain a full service profile and audit trail for its complete range of Hawker batteries and chargers for motive power applications.

Information logged on to the system during installation and service visits can be analysed to prepare detailed reports and identify maintenance trends. The SARM system gives EnerSys insight into the maintenance of its Hawker batteries and chargers in the material handling and motive power markets. It collects and records service-related information that can be made available to customers who require verification of compliance with procedures and maintenance for key performance indicator reports.

Data relating to a battery or charger is entered into SARM at commissioning and at maintenance or service sessions using unique product details to provide a complete profile of the product’s service history. The system can be accessed online to allow field engineers to update information form any location. 

UK’s largest grid-connected battery switched on in Orkney

Thu, 08/22/2013 - 16:20 -- Ruth Williams
Kirkwall Power Station

The UK’s first large-scale lithium-ion battery has been connected to the electrical grid on the island of Orkney – in the Scottish Isles in the UK – as part of a trial by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD).

The installation of the 2MW battery at Kirkwall Power Station on the island is to store excess energy produced from renewable sources. The island group has more producing ability than capacity for storage in the grid, resulting in wasted energy.

Mark Rough, Head of commercial activity for SHEPD said the installation will not provide an immediate solution to the current constraints of the Orkney distribution network, however he hopes the study will show batteries to be a cost-effective way of freeing up capacity on the network to help facilitate new connections of low carbon generation.

The battery, made by Mitsubishi, has been part of a two-year test in Nagasaki, Japan. The Low Carbon Networks Fund is funding the project. 

BASF 2012 figures show growth in all sectors

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

German chemical giant BASF has released its sales figures for 2012 showing growth across the company. The chemical segment overall sales figures grew 7% on 2011, the 2012 sales increased to €13.8billion. There was however a decline in EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) due to plant shut downs and lower margins.


The tables below show the full figures for 2012 compared to the previous year across the range of the company (bottom) as well as the fourth quarter sales figures (top).

Smart heating system could cut bills and increase use of renewables

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

An energy efficient heating system offering efficiency savings of up to 20% could be key in the transition to low-carbon energy systems in Europe. This is according to a report commissioned by SSE (UK energy generators and distributors) and Dimplex (a global heating solutions firm).

The smart electric thermal storage (SETS) system works by storing up renewably produced energy when production is high but demand is low. The report indicated SETS could provide up to 54GW of additional flexible storage capacity across Europe by 2050, enabling renewable electricity to be stored when demand is low and used to heat homes when needed.

The system, first brought to the market by SEE and Dimplex in a product called Quantum, is intended to replace out-dated night storage heaters with something more efficient and with better room temperature control as well as being designed for smart grid integration.

The report found that if all 27 EU countries replaced storage heaters with SETS, savings of 7.4TWh of electricity and three mega-tons of CO2 could be made each year. If used in all electrically heated homes as much as 148GW could be provided by 2050.

Stuart Mackenzie, Managing Director of Dimplex, added: “Quantum offers consumers with electric storage heaters the opportunity to reduce their running costs by up to 27%. It’s also a Green Deal approved measure, so the capital cost outlay can be substantially reduced.”

Advances in charging for smart devices mean longer run times

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Chinese portable power company Powerocks has an ever growing range of mobile phone power boosting accessories. The high capacity portable batteries provide additional power for mobile and tablet devices that are compatible with USB ports.

The lithium-ion batteries can be charged form a mains power supply and then provide several re-charges for smart phones and tablet devices. The slim-line design of iPhones and the like mean the battery cannot be swapped with a spare, it must be recharged, resulting in companies coming up with novel ways to help users re-charge when travelling or away from mains charging.

The range includes the Stone series of portable batteries that offer between 5800mAh and 7800mAh capacity, which provide an additional three times power for devices; The Magicstick is the size of an AA cell and offers 2600mAH power on the go for phone devices. 

The MagicstickThe ultimate in portable battery is built into the phone cover. The interestingly named Cheese Crystal is a protective case for the iPhone4 that has an 1800mAH lithium-ion battery incorporated in it to double potential battery life.

When charged, Powerocks range can power up to two devices, dependant on model, two or three times. The designs are complimentary to Apple style and show these chargers can be sleek and elegant but still pack a lot of power.

Supply deal worth $2.4 million for military experts

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

Arotech Corporation is to supply the US Army with over 1500 Soldier Wearable Integrated Power Equipment System, or SWIPES, from its battery and power systems division.

SWIPES integrates force protection electronics and communication equipment, with a zinc-air battery into an army issue load-carrying vest. The system uses a modular power distribution system powered by BA-8180/U, BA-8140/U zinc-air batteries or LI-145, BB2590 rechargeable batteries for providing direct power to equipment.

The high energy density means soldiers can work for longer in the field without recharging or swapping battery packs. This enables longer missions as well as reducing the pack weight by 30%. The batteries continuously charge the secondary batteries inside various devices, such as two-way radios, GPS units and shot detection systems. SWIPES can be adapted to individual’s needs, to allow soldiers to accept new applications when they become available.

"Reducing the load on a soldier and simplifying the supply logistics promoted SWIPES to be awarded the accolade of a Top-Ten Best Army Inventions in 2011," declared Arotech's Chairman and CEO, Robert Ehrlich. "This follow-on order from the US army is testament to the effectiveness of our product and reflects its increasing acceptance among US Ground Forces."

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.

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.”

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