Archive: Business

Focus on O&M (January 2007) 

Mandatory standards advance / To drain or not to drain / Practical aspects of burning landfill gas / Time management

Global Monitor (January 2007)

DOE walks the clean coal talk / For Swedish nuke, a case of mistaken identity / Siemens completes big CHP plant / E.ON bets big on coal / BP Solar expands Maryland plant / GE scores big turbine deals / PSNH switches from coal to wood / EPRI tests solid-state current limiter / POWER digest

Put the dynamics of the workforce supply chain to work for you

A healthy and productive workforce is one that has been thoughtfully recruited and properly trained. Understanding the role and relationships of those and other attributes in the overall workforce supply chain is an essential management function. Here’s a roadmap for your consideration.

The five deadly sins of project management

IT project engineering skills aren’t taught in college; they’re developed through on-the-job training with seasoned mentors. Begin honing your project management skills by firmly grasping the fundamentals presented in this article.

Global Monitor (Nov/Dec 2006)

Renewables require rethinking just about everything/Torque-splitting drive train improves wind turbine reliability/Waste gas–burning engines reach milestone/Hybrid power plant targets pipeline losses/Power from paint/Gulf Coast Power Association conference report/Pat Wood talks about the challenges facing ERCOT

Shaving load peaks from the substation

The first megawatt-class sodium sulfur (NaS) battery placed in service in North America was installed this June in Charleston, W.Va. The 1.2-MW system—comprising the battery and a bidirectional inverter—can be discharged during the day to provide 7.2 MWh of on-demand power for shaving peak loads and be recharged at night. It’s no longer true that electricity can’t be stored, except in small quantities.

Meeting utility industry challenges through innovation

In 2005, Xcel Energy fully implemented its unique Utility Innovations initiative to encourage its IT vendors to work together. One pilot project completed under the UI umbrella confirmed that tighter integration of predictive and analytical systems and data can optimize preventive maintenance intervals, reducing costs and downtime while increasing profits and productivity.

Global Monitor (October 2006)

First live superconducting cable / Biggest CO2 storage project / Largest hydrogen-fueled plants / Record run for fuel cell cogen system / Largest PV plant still in Bavaria / Luz returns to U.S. / POWER digest

How accurate are your reported emissions measurements?

Complying with permitted emissions limits may be the most significant operations risk for a power plant. As limits are slowly ratcheted downward, understanding the accuracy and variation of measured pollutant levels becomes even more important. To avoid misunderstandings, regulators and plant owners should factor measurement uncertainty into air quality permit numbers both as the permit is formulated and preceding any subsequent modifications.

How to conduct a plant performance test

Performance testing after initial start-up has value well beyond the short-term goal of validating equipment guarantees—it’s your only opportunity to establish the baseline performance of the overall plant and many of its major systems. Corporate bean counters may be interested in short-term results, but a good plant engineer understands that a thorough performance test will be useful for many years. Here’s your guide to each facet of a performance test—plus pitfalls to avoid.