GE looks to 3D printing to build next generation of taller, less costly wind turbines

December 31, 2020 0 Comments

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Verge:GE announced today that it’s developing skyscraper-sized wind turbines with massive 3D-printed bases. The conglomerate plans to work with partners in the construction industry to produce both a printer and materials that could eventually be deployed around the world.Taller turbines can capitalize on stronger winds at higher altitudes, and the structures support larger blades that generate more power. But building bigger turbines makes transporting the pieces needed to put it together a logistical nightmare. GE hopes to 3D print the base of a turbine wherever they want to place it, so that they won’t need to haul around such a gigantic hunk of concrete or steel. The company says its onshore turbines could reach up to 200 meters tall, which is taller than the Seattle Space Needle and more than double the average height for wind turbines in the U.S. today.Onshore wind turbines have had a massive growth spurt since the 1980s, when they averaged a height of about 20 meters in the US — not counting the blades. Under ideal conditions, those earlier turbines had a maximum output of about 100kW per turbine. By 2017, those numbers grew to 84 meters tall with an output of more than 2MW (2000kW). Turbines in parts of Europe, where there aren’t as strong winds closer to the ground, can reach greater heights. One of the tallest onshore turbines, in Gaildorf, Germany, towers 178 meters tall. GE wants to go even bigger.Since it’s one of the world’s largest manufacturers of wind turbines, GE could usher in a whole new era for wind turbines design and construction. But it won’t be the first company to look into 3D-printing for wind energy. Startup RCAM Technologies, with $1.25 million in funding from the California Energy Commission, set out in 2017 to build two turbine towers in a similar fashion — their research is still ongoing. That means GE could be the first to make wind turbines with a 3D-printed base commercially available. The company completed its first prototype in October 2019, and it plans to begin production in 2023.“What you’re looking at is a technology that enables the industry to go to a new level,” says Paul Veers, chief engineer at the National Wind Technology Center and a senior research fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, of 3D printing. The new technology could potentially reduce the amount of time and labor needed to install turbines, especially onshore, where turbines tend to be smaller than their offshore counterparts (it’s easier to transport materials by sea). “It’s a stepping stone into the next generation of wind plants,” says Veers.GE believes it can build a 160-meter tall, 5MW turbine that generates 33 percent more power yearly than a turbine half the size — at a “significant” cost savings. And since it’s usually easier to transport a 3D-printer than a 100 to 200 meter tower, it will be able to bring renewable wind energy to new markets, the company tells The Verge. It would cut down the greenhouse gas emissions coming from transporting giant structures too.[Justine Calma]More: GE will make taller wind turbines using 3D-printing GE looks to 3D printing to build next generation of taller, less costly wind turbineslast_img read more

Students more political through dialogue than protests

September 17, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgOccupy Wall Street, a protest that began in New York in September, has ignited protests across the United States. Students in cities like Boston, Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles have joined the cause, yet the USC campus appears to be missing the excitement.Two USC students, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests, staged a sleep-in in front of Tommy Trojan on Monday, but their fellow Trojans were nowhere in sight.Speaking up · Last semester students on campus protested the content of a controversial email that had circulated within the Greek community. – Matthew Wunderlich | Daily TrojanThis trend is not unique to the USC community, according to Daniel Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute. Though young people are often the force behind political change abroad, as demonstrated by the Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan revolutions, in the United States, older people have taken the reins.“Unlike the anti-war protests about Vietnam, which elicited a broad base of college student support, today’s wave of protests are focused towards an older generation,” Schnur said.Schnur suggested most protests seen in this country, such as the Tea Party demonstrations, pertain to an older demographic and therefore have little impact on the USC campus.“This is not to say that USC students won’t be involved in the future, but right now the issues seem to be targeting other people” Schnur said.Schnur suggested USC students find other ways to become involved in political and social movements.“Since I’ve been at USC, I’ve seen students volunteer in community-based activity, which is just as accurate an indicator in political involvement as voter registration and protests,” Schnur said.USC and its affiliated institutions administer 260 community service programs. These programs serve more than 600,000 people and provide volunteer opportunities for more than 22,000 USC students, faculty, staff and alumni each year. Volunteers contribute more than 900,000 community service hours annually, according to the USC Volunteer Center.Bertrand Perdomo, a senior majoring in public policy, management and planning, has protested against issues such as the passage of Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, which requires immigrants residing in Arizona to carry proper documentation. Perdomo, however, does not consider himself to be politically active in a traditional sense.“[Protesting] is not our style, as a school and sometimes it’s looked down upon,” Perdomo said. “USC has a great culture of having discussions and panels and I think their approach is discussion-based.”Perdomo said there are ways to get USC students more involved through open dialogue.“We need to encourage a dialogue,” Perdomo said. “People need to have an OK environment to say, ‘Hey, look, this is how I view the world.’ I know it’s not that popular among the people here, but this is how I view it and this is why.’”Perdomo said being on campus can make it seem like national issues don’t affect students.“USC can sometimes feel cut-off from the outside world,” said Tanja Venstad, a junior majoring in international relations and psychology. “The university is so invested in its own backyard that it is easy to get wrapped up in the USC community and forget about what happens beyond it .”last_img read more

4 Oil Blocks ‘Lease’ Postpones Capitol Recess

January 18, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgThe Liberian Legislature has extended its Special Session by one week, upon a request from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the pending submission of four undrilled offshore petroleum exploration Blocks— LB-6, LB-7, LB-16 and LB-17 – the leases of which she wants to conclude before the lawmakers depart for their annual break.Members of the Liberian Senate and the House of Representatives, unanimously and separately, agreed with the extension yesterday, which political pundits have described as a ‘mutual agreement’ because there wasn’t a Certificate of Extension for the extra one week.The Liberian Legislature was expected to end its 3rd working Session today, December 12, and proceed on Annual or Constituency Break, previously known as Agriculture Break, according to an earlier Certificate of Extension which took effect November 12.However, the Liberian leader, in her communication to the two Houses, informed the Legislature that for the past two months, the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has been concluding negotiations for the exploration of the final oil blocks that were initiated under the 2002 petroleum law with “certain international oil companies.”“We are nearing completion of the process, but need more time in order to make a full submission to you,” the President wrote. “I therefore request your consideration of a delay in the closure of your honorable body.”It can be recalled that the Bid Round for the leasing of the Oil Blocks, was slated for August 5 to November 14, 2014.“The Government of Liberia in association with the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) is pleased to announce the opening of a Liberia Basin Bid Round, scheduled for August 5, 2014. Four undrilled offshore petroleum exploration Blocks (LB-6, LB-7, LB-16 and LB-17), which were the subject of earlier Bid Rounds have again become available,” the notice on the NOCAL’s website said. “Our goal is to lease Liberian oil blocks only to those companies best suited to both explore for and produce our country’s petroleum resources. All companies seeking to explore in Liberia, including our offshore territories, should expect to meet our high standards for corporate responsibility.”However, nine of Liberia’s off-shore blocks have already been leased. Block 8, located off the coast of Sinoe County, and Block 9, off the coast of Sinoe and Rivercess Counties, have been leased to European Hydrocarbons Limited.Block 10, off the coast of Rivercess County, were contracted to Anadarko of the USA (80%), Mitsubishi of Japan (10%) and Repsol of Spain (10%), while Blocks 11 and 12, off the coast of Grand Bassa County, were leased to Chevron (45%), Oranto (30%) and ENI (25%).Block 13, off the coasts of Montserrado and Margibi Counties, were contracted to ExxonMobil (80%) and COPL (20%), while Block 14 located in the same areas, were leased to Chevron (45%), Oranto (30%) and ENI (25%).The last of these, Block 15, off the coast of Montserrado and Bomi counties, were leased to Anadarko (47.5%), Repsol (27.5%) and Tullow (25%).Most of the oil blocks are still undergoing explorations.Besides the anticipated contracts of the four oil blocks, the Liberian legislature is expected to pass the recently validated draft oil & gas laws, referred to as the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) and the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) Acts of 2013.At least 150 stakeholders from over 30 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) across the country successfully validated two ‘Oil and Gas Laws’, but recommended limitations on the power of the Head of State, in order to promote sustained transparency, accountability and good governance.The validation was sponsored by the House of Representatives in partnership with NOCAL.The passage of the two oil laws will bring about a Conference Committee from both Houses, as described by the Legislature’s rule, to derive a full-passage, when one of the Houses effect a change to the passed bill.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more