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Schneider Electric launches smart panels for energy efficiency in India

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 11:04 -- Laura Varriale
Schneider Elcetric smart panel

Schneider Electric’s India branch has introduced low-voltage switchboards for energy efficiency and energy management in buildings in India.

According to Schneider Electric, the smart panels are equipped with metering, control, and communication systems. They are designed to ensure that energy consumption metering at the source is automated and to enable data access locally as well as remotely over cloud.

The panels are featured with the Enerlin’X digital system.

“In recent months, power blackouts have occurred frequently in many parts of India. While the Government devises long-term measures to address the situation, we believe all stakeholders should consider it their individual responsibility to address the situation at the ground level,” said Shrinivas Chebbi vice president at Schneider Electric India.

Beginning with Bangalore, Schneider Electric will launch smart panels in ten other cities across India.

“With buildings accounting for almost 40% of energy use in most countries, there is immense potential for improvement in their energy efficiency. Apart from assisting to meet regulatory compliances, the owners and occupants of buildings will benefit from long-term energy and financial savings through Smart Panels,” added Chebbi.

India has started to focus on “smart cities” in order to accommodate the need to curb energy costs and meet the requirements for green buildings.

Larson Electronics reveals temporary distribution system

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:04 -- Laura Varriale
Larson Electronics temporary distribution system

US-based Larson Electronics has added a mobile distribution system for industrial applications to its range of industrial grade lighting equipment.

The temporary distribution system is designed to utilise power power sources independently for maintenance and cleaning in hazardous work areas. The system operates with 240V 60Hz AC, which is then stepped down to 120V AC.

"These systems are ideal for indoor and outdoor use applications such as construction sites, plant maintenance, plant turnarounds, hazardous location operations, shows, exhibits, and shipyard operations," said Larson Electronics president Rob Bresnahan.

According to the Texas company, the power distribution system makes 120V AC available with eight 20A.

A 100A load centre protects the main load centre with a main breaker for circuit protection. Two run-flat tires and a cart style-mounting platform are aimed to provide easier substation mobility.

The transformer and distribution assembly is mounted to a standard upright steel dolly cart style frame

The distribution solution can be modified to meet the needs of job-site requirements. “As a manufacturer, we can custom build portable transformer systems to customer specifications,” added Bresnahan.

United Rentals expands specialty branch network in US and Canada

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 16:49 -- Laura Varriale
United Rentals expands in North America

US-based rental power company United Rentals has opened seven offices in the US and one in Canada.

Four US branches will provide engineered power, heating, cooling and ventilation solutions for commercial, industrial and governmental customers, and disaster recovery services.

The offices in Brantford, Ontario and Beacon Falls, Connecticut, will offer engineered excavation support and confined space entry systems as well as worker training while two offices will provide temporary and long-term onsite tool management, including inventory tracking, inspections and maintenance.

"We're continuing to implement a major expansion of our specialty lines of business, following significant growth in 2013. These eight openings are part of a broader plan for 2014 that will include additions to all of our specialty lines, including the pump network we acquired in April," said Paul McDonnel, senior vice president specialty operations at United Rentals.

The company now has 883 rental branches in the US and Canada.

Earlier this year, the power provider acquired power and HVAC assets of equipment rental services company Blue-Stream Services, which operates in the Gulf of Mexico region of the USA.

Hipower supplies genset to Ancona Controls for UPS and backup power

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 14:36 -- Laura Varriale
Hipower diesel genset

US backup power provider Ancona Control has selected power-generation and distribution equipment firm Hipower Systems’ generator to ensure uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and backup power for a Michigan-based cable and Internet provider.

Hipower, a Himoinsa Power Systems subsidiary, supplied a 60Hz frequency diesel backup generator to provide power continuity. The company mounted the generator on a 1000-gallon sub-base tank providing more than 60 hours of runtime.

The fuel tank, approved by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, was customised for the harsh conditions and specific codes of Michigan state, with winterisation equipment, external fills, vents and alarms. The generator is part of a complete continuous-power package including DC power through a UPS made by Toshiba.

“In the Midwest, strong storms and power outages are a fact of life nearly year round, and the extreme cold in winter presents a further challenge,” said Hipower systems president Rafael Acosta.

Michigan-based Ancona Controls provides sales and 24/7 service of UPS systems, diesel, natural gas generators and DC power systems for businesses requiring uninterrupted power.

Fuel cell company WATT moves operations to Pennsylvania

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 16:49 -- Laura Varriale
WATT Fuel Cell

New York fuel cell developer WATT Fuel Cell (WATT) is to move its manufacturing operations to Mount Pleasant Township, Pennsylvania, US.

The maker of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) components acquired 39,000 sq. ft. space in April when it bought solid oxide fuel cell developer Pittsburgh Electric Engines. According to WATT, implementing the company’s manufacturing techniques with the Pittsburgh Electric Engines' technology could reduce manufacturing costs by as much as 75%.

The $2.3 million project is expected to add 33 jobs over the next three years.

WATT’s fuel cells operate on natural gas, diesel, propane and renewable fuels. They are designed to provide portable power and can be used as emergency backup power for municipalities, battery charging for recreational vehicles and offshore marine power, and remote sensor power.

WATT recently received a 20-month, $2.1m contract from the US Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center to design and build a commercial-grade additive manufacturing line, an increase the production capacity for tubular cell components for SOFC systems.

“This U.S. Department of Defense program is a significant milestone for WATT and we are excited to see the last four years of advances in our technology come together in a system for the military market. We will be delivering a complete and operable alpha system,” said Paul DeWald, vice president of engineering at WATT.

Solara takes over Centrosolar’s off-grid division

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 16:06 -- Laura Varriale
Centrosolar modules

Solara now owns the stand-alone unit’s customer and supplier structure as well as all international and European rights to the Solara brand, PV-Tech reports.

"Our goal is to develop the areas of mobile and stationary applications nationally and internationally, as well as expand the existing battery and micro systems business for single and multi-family households in the domestic market," said Frank Heise, one of Solara’s founders.

"The acquisition of the Stand Alone System division ensures the survival of the very well-known brand Solara, particularly in the leisure segment, and we can also focus on other business fields in Germany that are independent of subsidies," Heise added.

The modules are mainly used on boats and motorhomes as well as for rural electrification in developing countries.

Centrosolar employees Frank Heise, Walther Grauerholz and Mirko Held founded Solara in August this year and offers mini grid and backup systems for the solar sector.

Centrosolar has initially filed for bankruptcy, but withdrew the proposed insolvency plan on September 14. Due to conflicts of interest among the creditors, the plan cannot be implemented in the short term. The company group also has a US branch that sells solar modules for residential homes and is not affected in the recent troubles.

Himoinsa supplies diesel gensets to biofuel production plant in Angola

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 12:35 -- Laura Varriale
Biocom biofuel plant

Spanish genset OEM Himoinsa has provided 25 diesel gensets and lighting towers to a BIOCOM-managed biofuel production plant in Cacuso, Angola.

The equipment has a capacity from 180 kVA to 400 kVA and is designed to guarantee continuous supply of energy and to prevent any outages. Himoinsa’s products are also aimed to provide power to develop sugar cane production at the plant.

The plant commenced working this month and has started to generate 120MW of electricity with an expected annual output of up to 18,000 tonnes of sugar and 3,000 cubic metres of ethanol.

The biofuel plant currently supplies 220,000 homes in the region of Malanje. From 2019, the Biocom is planned to rise to 235MWh to increase the amount of power travelling through the Capanda/Cacuso high-voltage cable to power 440,000 homes. Biocom has estimated that the annual production will climb to 256,000 tonnes of sugar and 30m litres of ethanol.

"The project is beneficial to the population of Malanje and important for Himoinsa Angola's technical and commercial team,” said Himoinsa Angola's commercial director Osvaldo de Brito Simao.

Himoinsa also provides technical and maintenance services with staff on-site.

Biocom is a temporary consortium comprising of Sonangol, Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis of Angola and the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

Navitas introduces man-transportable off-grid energy system

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 11:28 -- Laura Varriale
Navitas System's Frontierion

US-based Navitas Systems has launched a transportable remote power system with integrated energy storage and power inverter electronics.

According to Navitas Systems, the so-called Frontierion system can be connected to a flexible or rigid solar panel, enabling DC power from the solar panels or the integrated energy storage (lead acid or lithium-ion batteries) to be converted to stable and secure 115/220V AC, 12V DC, and 24V DC power output.

The system is aimed to incorporate multiple layers of protection to include short circuit protection, over-current protection, and externally resettable protection without the need of opening the box.

The Frontierion system is designed to allow users to rapidly deploy and re-deploy mobile power systems that require no fuel for continuous and secure power. The remote power system can come with different sized energy storage modules, ranging from 1.2kWh to 10kWh of total capacity.

“The applications for this new product are numerous, and range from an insurance company's 'Go-Team' responding to a tornado and processing on-site claims while plugged into Frontierion, to a Border agent powering his equipment while the vehicle's engine is off, to a remote construction site needing power for computing and communications,” said Navitas Systems CEO Mil Ovan.

Navitas Systems recently launched a lithium battery family, designed to replace currently used lead-acid batteries in commercial, industrial and military applications.

Caterpillar to power ferries at 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 17:03 -- Laura Varriale
Caterpillar to power ferries at  2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro

Caterpillar (CAT) Marine has secured a deal with Brazilian operator Assessoria Transporte Aquaviaro to power fast ferries for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

CAT Marine will supply 28 generator sets for seven aluminum-hull fast ferries. The 14 Cat 3512 with dynamic gas blending (DGB) and 14 Cat 9 gensets are designed to ensure prime and auxiliary power. Each 3512 generator provides 550eKW at 60Hz of rated power.

The ferries will feature diesel electric propulsion with azimuth thrusters and identical engine rooms. One ferry will be equipped with the Cat Marine dual fuel solution and powered by compressed natural gas. The remaining six ferries will be built with the option to retrofit the engine room to include dynamic gas blending kits.

“We’re pleased to unveil our first Cat Marine 3500 dual fuel solutions with Dynamic Gas Blending for such a significant global event,” said Chris Chenette, CAT Marine product value manager.

According to CAT Marine, the 3512 DGB generator set features a low-pressure gas system with an approximately 70% maximum gas substitution rate across a wide load range.

“The new Cat Marine dual fuel solution leverages the proven durability of the 3500 diesel engine while offering customers enhanced fuel flexibility and power redundancy to run diesel or gas,” said Jason Spear, CAT Marine product definition engineer.

Ideal Power appoints Ryan O’Keefe as senior vice president

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 14:42 -- Laura Varriale
Ryan O'Keefe, new vice president at Ideal Power

US power conversion specialist Ideal Power has hired Ryan O’Keefe to take over the role as senior vice president business development in order to lead the company's sales efforts.

Before joining Ideal Power, O’Keefe served as senior vice president and chief revenue officer at German energy storage firm Younicos. Prior to Younicos, O'Keefe spent eight years with NextEra Energy, where he was vice president of solar development, leading the development of solar projects in California and Spain, worth of $2 billion.

“We believe Ryan's industry experience and relationships will be instrumental as we continue to target new commercialization partners and opportunities for our innovative power conversion products," said Ideal Power chief executive officer Dan Brdar.

O'Keefe holds a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut and a Masters of business administration from Columbia University. He started his career with General Electric and held several leadership roles at General Electric facilities in the US and Mexico.

Ideal Power recently launched a hybrid converter family for off-grid storage systems at Intersolar America.

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