Ensuring the Cybersecurity of Plant Industrial Control Systems
Industrial control systems (ICSs) manage global industrial infrastructures, including electric power systems, by measuring, controlling, and providing a view of control processes that once were visible to the operator but now are not. Frequently, ICSs are not viewed as computers that must operate in a secure environment, nor are they often considered susceptible to cybersecurity threats. However, recent cybersecurity failures have proven these assumptions wrong.
Guidance on Cybersecurity for the Electricity Sector
The cybersecurity needs of the electric power industry are unique, due to the critical nature of the product and the wide range of technologies that must be considered—from complex, modern industrial control systems to aging infrastructure elements.
Boosting CSP Production with Thermal Energy Storage
Combining concentrating solar power (CSP) with thermal energy storage shows promise for increasing grid flexibility by providing firm system capacity with a high ramp rate and acceptable part-load operation. When backed by energy storage capability, CSP can supplement photovoltaics by adding generation from solar resources during periods of low solar insolation.
Going the Distance: Online Courses for Power Industry Professionals
Online learning is opening up new opportunities for those unable to attend classes on campuses. Bismarck State College and the University of North Dakota, for example, offer innovative online courses and degree programs to students who want successful careers in the electric power industry.
Improve Condenser Performance Through Better Instrumentation
Most power plants use some form of condenser performance-monitoring protocol. Some of those protocols are deficient because the proper instrumentation is not installed to collect the necessary data. Three case studies illustrate how collecting good condenser performance data enabled plant staff to troubleshoot problems and make good plant performance improvement decisions.
Japan Scrambles to Revamp Its Electricity Sector
The March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami that destroyed a number of Japanese power plants—most notably, four nuclear units—hit quickly. Almost as speedy were calls to take all other nuclear units out of service for safety reviews. What will take much longer is developing a new, sustainable energy plan to fill the generation gap left by a potential total lack of nuclear power.
Japan’s Nuclear InfrastructureThis overview of Japan’s nuclear fleet is a web supplement to the June 2012 feature “Japan Scrambles to Revamp Its Electricity Sector.” For a list of major Japanese generating companies, see Figure 1 in that article.
Particulate Matter Air Quality Standards Continue to Evolve
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has regulated particulate matter as an air pollutant for more than 40 years. Over time, PM regulations and testing methodologies have become more complex, with the focus shifting to smaller particle size fractions and the inclusion of the condensable form of PM. New developments make navigating the permitting and compliance process efficiently more important than ever.
Startup Purge Credit Benefits Combined Cycle Operations
Combined cycle power plants use fuels and other materials that can cause fires or explosions in the combustion turbine, ducting, or heat recovery steam generator. Purging that equipment with ambient air to displace residual combustible gases before starting is a normal safety practice. But when plants are cycled, the disadvantages of purging often outweigh the advantages.
Too Dumb to Meter, Part 2
As the book title Too Dumb to Meter: Follies, Fiascoes, Dead Ends, and Duds on the U.S. Road to Atomic Energy implies, nuclear power has traveled a rough road. In this POWER exclusive, we present the second chapter, “Manhattan Transfer,” which covers the open fight for control of the development of nuclear power between the newly created Atomic Energy Commission and the military services, with the politicians playing both sides against each other.
Unconventional Gas: The Great Game-Changer
Dr. Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, is a Pulitzer Prize–winning author; leading authority on energy, international politics, and economics; and a recipient of the United States Energy Award for “lifelong achievements in energy and the promotion of international understanding.” He recently spoke with POWER about his latest book—and more.