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Power


Monthly Issue | January 1, 2010

POWER Digest (January 2010)

Fluor Corp. Reaches Safety Milestone at Major Texas Coal Power Project. Fluor Corp. workers at Luminant’s Oak Grove Power Plant project in Franklin, Texas, on Nov. 11 achieved a safety…


Flowmeters for Steam Measurement

Racine Vortex released its RNS Series (Insertion) and RWS Series (Wafer) Vortex Steam Flow Meters to measure noncondensing steam and saturated process steam at pressures up to 150 psi for…


Miniature Stainless Steel Pressure Switch

Ashcroft A-Series pressure switches are designed for tough OEM and industrial applications that require a durable, high-quality miniature switch. Available with explosion-proof and watertight enclosures, the pressure switch features a…


Thin, Flange-Style Magnetic Encoders

Baumer introduced the new MOR 90 and MOR 105 magnetic incremental encoders for improved speed and position control on electric motors, drives, gearboxes, and conveyors. Measuring just 14 mm thick,…


When to Use an Oil Skimmer

Oil skimmers are very effective in removing oil from wastewater before discharge but are also perhaps the most efficient and economical approach. Despite these advantages, oil skimmers are not found…


Sealing Transformer Oil and SF6 Leaks Quickly and Effectively

Transformers, which are prone to leaking, are an excellent example of where using the right materials and techniques can quickly reduce cleanup costs and potential environmental damage from a fluid…


Predicting Hurricane-Related Outages

Researchers from John Hopkins and Texas A&M universities say that they have found a way to accurately predict power outages in advance of a hurricane. Computer models developed using data…


High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Concept Moves Forward

Researchers from the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) say they have developed a new type of nuclear fuel for use in next-generation high-temperature gas reactors that produces less waste — a…


Advanced Refractory Lining Improves Gasifier Reliability

Successful testing of a new refractory lining material developed by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) could lead to higher reliability and improved economics of gasification…


China’s Largest PV Maker to Set Up in Arizona

China’s largest solar panel maker, Suntech Power, in mid-November announced plans to open a photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Ariz., in the third quarter of 2010. Roger Efrid, Suntech’s…


Japan Launches Commercial Operation of MOX-Fueled Reactor

Japan began operating a nuclear power reactor using plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) as fuel for the first time last October. About 16 MOX-containing fuel assemblies were loaded during a scheduled…


Carbon-Cutting Solution: Dynamic Demand Technology

Once upon a time, climate change felt like a distant threat on the horizon. Now it is happening in front of our very eyes. Across the world, global warming is…


Low-Noise Remote Charge Converter

Endevco Corp. launched Model 2771C-XX, an ultra-low-noise remote charge converter (RCC) designed for use with charge output piezoelectric sensors within applications such as nuclear power plant/regenerative energy and environmental testing.…


Tuning Ammonia Flow to Optimize SCR Performance

The selective catalytic reduction system has become ubiquitous throughout the world of power plants. Emission control requirements are ever-more stringent, and the cost of excursions is becoming increasingly high. The…


Brazil: Latin America’s Beacon

With the eighth-largest economy in the world, Brazil has a clear need for power, but balancing supply and demand has proven tricky in recent decades. Even in a country where…


The Smart Grid Has a Growth Spurt

Which country has the smartest grid? Which U.S. state has the most smart meters? What’s Google got to do with the grid? Answers to these questions and more can be…


Dollars and Dirt: Investing in Infrastructure

The familiar saying "as goes California, so goes the nation" seems to apply to the many states that have been unable to invest in infrastructure improvements because they are crushed…


A New Foundation for Future Growth

As the economy begins to grow again, the banking industry continues to stabilize, and lawmakers work on finalizing climate change legislation, the decisions made in 2010 will lay the foundation…


The Impact of Carbon Trading on Performance: What Europe’s Experience Can Teach North American Generators

The European carbon trading system experience suggests that North American generators should expect severely altered coal-fired power plant operating profiles if cap-and-trade legislation becomes law. In a groundbreaking study, Solomon…


A New Regulatory and Environmental Milieu

There will be no shortage of important issues to keep utility executives and their staffs busy throughout 2010. Few of these will be surprises, although a number will emerge quickly…


The U.S. Gas Rebound

"It’s déjà vu all over again," said Yogi Berra. The Hall of Fame catcher could easily have been predicting the coming resurgence of natural gas – fired generation. Yes, a…


GHG Emissions Reporting Begins Jan. 1

Last fall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule creating a mandatory national system for reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The agency requires regulated entities to begin monitoring…


Replacing an HP/IP Rotor

Today’s power plant owners face many challenges, including the aging and degradation of equipment. Steam turbines at times may be condemned due to operating inefficiency or rising vibration levels. In…


The Resurrection of Underground Coal Gasification

News this past November that Australian company Cougar Energy had begun developing a pilot project to generate power from coal still underground has reignited interest in the 100-year-old alternative energy…


My Top 10 Predictions for 2010

David Letterman has entertained us with his "Late Show" Top Ten list since 1985. In keeping with this issue’s theme of forecasting the future of the power industry, I’m going…


Which Country’s Grid Is the Smartest?

As “smart grid” becomes more familiar in the global lexicon, hardware and software vendors, utilities, and nations are all vying for attention. Consider, for example, this small sample of claims…


What Do Customers Expect from the Smart Grid?

To find out what ordinary electricity customers know about and expect from the smart grid—broadly defined as a modernized electricity network integrated with digital communication technologies—I interviewed a variety of…


U.S. Smart Grid Forecast: Flurries of Activity

Why is a power generation industry publication covering the smart grid (SG), which most people tend to equate with managing electricity use (and maybe its transmission)? Of the many reasons,…


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