Friday, August 29, 2008

Lithium-ion Batteries Set For PV System Trials

A new Franco-German project is dedicated to the development of a new concept in energy conversion and storage for grid connected photovoltaic systems. Saft, Conergy and Tenesol have announced the launch of Solion, a Franco-German project dedicated to the development of a new concept in energy conversion and storage for grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems. The objective of the Solion partnership is to develop an integrated energy kit able to be produced on an industrial scale for decentralised on-grid, residential PV systems.

This project will introduce large lithium-ion batteries into PV systems on the largest scale ever tested in Europe. Lithium-ion technology is required in order to meet the need for 20 years' battery life in demanding environmental conditions. The 75 systems will be deployed in Germany and France. These trials will validate the performance of the system, its economic viability, the added value of energy storage in an on-grid PV system and the benefits for stakeholders.

Storage will enable solar energy to be "time shifted" to periods of peak demand or when there is no sun in order to allow self consumption or grid support. Today, grid-connected PV systems, without energy storage, are directly fed in. The project will demonstrate the major benefits of storing energy generated from PV to the environment and to all stakeholders.

Solion has been recognised by the Eureka/Eurogia and Tenerrdis programmes, and is supported by the French Ministry of Economy Finance and Employment (DGE) and the German Ministry of Environment (BMU). A German utility (E-ON), three German research institutes (ISEA, ISET and ZSW) and one French research institute (INES -CEA) are associated with this project.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sensors Measure Up To 30 Positions In One

Multiposition measurement is available for all sensors with a fieldbus interface, and CANbus and Profibus sensors are able to measure up to 30 positions simultaneously. MTS Temposonics noncontact position sensors can now measure up to 30 positions along a common axis using only one sensor Depending on the number of measuring points, an appropriate number of position magnets that all generate an individual signal travel along the sensor housing simultaneously.

Each magnet is firmly assigned to a mobile machine part. Simultaneous detection of several positions permits considerable savings compared with conventional displacement sensors and rotary encoders. Due to a decreased number of position measurement systems and the compact construction of the Temposonics sensor, the costs of displacement measurement and space requirements are reduced. Multiposition measurement is available for all sensors with a fieldbus interface, whereby CANbus and Profibus sensors are able to measure up to 30 positions simultaneously.

The version with EtherCAT output provides measurement of up to 20 positions in one cycle in the asynchronous mode, or five positions and five velocities during the synchronous mode (distributed clock). For high flexibility of operation, the sensors are available as profile or rod-shaped versions, with detached electronics or with flexible sensing element. With a linearity better than +/-0.01% full-scale, and a repeatability of better than +/-0.001% full-scale, measurement lengths up to 20m are available.

The field of application for multiposition measurement includes mainly quick, precise adjustment of the cutting width, eg in the paper, ceramics, metal, textile or wood industry. Each cutting tool has its own position magnet on the sensor that is mounted in parallel to the motion axis and travels independently. The advantages of multiposition measurement are also unbeatable when materials handling, plastics machinery or construction monitoring are concerned.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wire Processing Kit Targets Railway Sector

The new Nova range of wire processing equipment has been designed especially for the manufacture of wire harnesses for the locomotive and rolling stock industry. Wire processing specialist Spectrum Technologies is set to make a major move into the locomotive and rolling stock (LRS) sector. Using the InnoTrans 2008 show in Berlin as a platform the company will be introducing its new Nova range of wire processing equipment designed especially for the manufacture of wire harnesses for the locomotive and rolling stock industry.

Nova is a modular range of wire processing products based on Spectrum's successful new Nova platform recently introduced to the aerospace industry. Nova wire processing systems incorporate ink jet or laser technology, as required, for direct wire marking and identification in place of expensive heat shrink sleeve marking systems. These marking technologies are embodied in a range of wire mark, measure and cut systems that are available configured either with single dereelers for manual wire loading or multistation dereelers with automated wire loading systems.

The automated systems enable up to 32 different wire and cable reels to be held on a multistation dereeler, which is coupled to a high speed wire auto select and load system for rapid wire changes on the Nova wire marker (typically 6s). Using these systems under computer control manufacturing data can be downloaded to the Nova controller so that wire harnesses can be processed automatically with wires generated in order by connector group and collected by various downstream wire handling system options.

After pioneering this technology within the aerospace industry, Spectrum has identified the LRS sector as being well suited to benefit from the use of direct wire identification and modern lean manufacturing techniques in the production of wiring harnesses for locomotives and rolling stock. Research has shown that LRS harnesses are very similar to those used in the aerospace sector: complex, physically large and made up of high performance, specialist wiring.

LRS sector harness requirements are developing in a similar manner to aerospace around 20 years ago with increased complexity, system integration, weight and size concerns leading to issues with wire identification methods, mark durability, lifetime costs and system upgrade and environmental issues etc.

As a result wire processing technologies presently used in the LRS sector are increasingly unable to deliver the required quality or offer the needed cost reductions to cope with current and future demands. With this in mind Spectrum has developed NovaJet. NovaJet offers black and/or white ink marking with UV cure for enhanced permanence; systems are available in manual or automated configurations.

Direct marking onto the wire offers many cost reducing and quality benefits compared with sleeving such as the significant reduction of consumable material and associated labour costs; enhanced flexible marking (bar coding, connector/pin information, traceability); reduction of bulk at wire ends and consequently the overall weight of the harness; improved legibility and permanence of the identification codes. NovaJet systems are also fully upgradeable in the field from manual to automated configurations.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Consultants Model Novel Arresting System

Project is aimed at developing new civil aircraft arresting systems for safely decelerating an aircraft that overruns a runway during landing or take off. Protection Engineering Consultants of Spring Branch, Texas, has chosen to add DEM Solutions' EDEM software to an already impressive arsenal of innovative software solutions used in multi-hazard assessment and protective design consulting work. Protection Engineering Consultants will use the EDEM modelling software in a current project aimed at developing new civil aircraft arresting systems for safely decelerating an aircraft that overruns a runway during landing or take off.

DEM Solutions' EDEM software package will provide a way to model, test, and evaluate promising alternative granular materials and design options for the arresting systems by modelling the action of aircraft tires rolling through simulated aggregate arresting beds. EDEM offers a virtual representation of aggregate dynamics that would be very computationally expensive to achieve with a finite element code. The ability to directly input aggregate material properties into the various model scenarios will also reduce time and costs.

"We have been very impressed with the short model set-up time that EDEM offers", commented Matthew Barsotti, of Protection Engineering Consultants. "The all-in-one interface makes pre- and post-processing a seamless process and allows the flexibility to change parameters in the middle of a simulation".

Protection Engineering Consultants partners with government agencies, architectural and construction firms, and a variety of industrial and commercial clients to provide research, design and consulting services to enhance the physical protection of people, systems and the built environment. EDEM software may eventually be incorporated into a variety of projects involving assessment of, and protective design for, ballistic and vehicular impact attacks and accidents.

Friday, August 15, 2008

SymCom Motor Protection Devices

Motor Protection Relays in SymCom Model 777 Product Family are more than simple overload relays. They are complete motor, pump and system protection devices. These protection relays combine voltage and current monitoring to provide robust motor management.

The Model 777

overload relay can be used to protect any 3-phase motor drawing 2-800 amps (external CTs are required above 90A). It combines overload, underload, and voltage and power monitoring functions in one package and has a 3-digit display for viewing voltage, current, and last fault information to simplify diagnostics. Model 777 products are UL listed, CSA recognized and CE approved. Specialized Model 777 units are available to provide linear trip capability, handle medium voltage applications, provide low power trip functions for special pumping applications and more. See page 4 for descriptions of available specialized Model 777s. Adding an optional Modbus, DeviceNet™ or Profibus communications module enables communications.


• Power factor measurement
• Power measurement
• Run-hour meter
• Programmable automatic, semiautomatic
or manual restart control
• 3 separate restart timers for rapid-cycle protection,
motor cool down and dry-well recovery
• Remote pushbutton reset option
• Built-in 3-digit display for setup and diagnostics
• Last fault indication on display
• Last 4 faults available on network or remote displays
• Optional remote displays (RM-1000 and RM-2000)
• Communication capabilities
• Adjustable underload trip delay
Gearboxes & Couplings For The Big Apple

Major subway car builders like Kawasaki, Alstom and Bombardier have all used Renold couplings in their propulsion systems with proven success. Renold has won a US $14 million contract to supply rail traction gearboxes and couplings to Alstom for trains ordered by the New York City Transit Authority (NYCT). The contract is phase two of a three phase schedule and is expected to be fulfilled over an 18 month period commencing May 2008.

The couplings are being fitted on the new R160 series trains destined for operation on the famous New York Subway. The subway system carried over 1.5 billion passengers in 2007 and the R160 cars will run on the highest traffic areas of the system, so reliability is an essential factor in design and manufacture.

The new gearboxes and couplings are fitted in-between the AC traction motor and the drive axle. They allow the safe transmission of torque while the motor and gearbox shafts are misaligned, vertically and horizontally, by up to 4.5 degrees.

Renold has a long supply history with NYCT and many other US transit authorities dating back over 45 years. Renold's couplings are extremely robust in design, have an excellent service history, and the major subway car builders like Kawasaki, Alstom and Bombardier have all used Renold couplings in their propulsion systems with proven success.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Three Pillars Of Wisdom On Electrical Drives

Strategy provides a holistic approach to saving energy in electrical drive applications. As a responsible solution provider and technology partner Lenze, the drive and automation technology specialist, actively supports the current efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and energy costs. With this in mind, Lenze AG has developed a three pillar strategy which provides a holistic approach regarding electrical drives.

It allows the user to identify the potential for improvements in energy consumption. By increasing energy efficiency, energy requirements can be reduced with no detrimental affects on the process. In this way the strategy contributes directly to the reduction in greenhouse gases. In industry electrical drives are among the biggest consumers of energy. As a result, increasing their efficiency is a key factor for efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and energy costs.

Although product oriented efforts will undoubtedly help reduce energy consumption, only a holistic approach focusing on the use of drives and drive components, can maximise the true savings potential. Therefore Lenze is using its competence in drive solutions to introduce a programme that will increase energy efficiency with three main strategic approaches. The Lenze Rightsising approach aims to specify drive systems in such a way that applications are only supplied with the energy they actually need. Drives should not be oversised because efficiency drops sharply with partial loads, so dimensioning should be based on an accurate assessment of the maximum amount of energy required by the application.

Lenze application knowhow together with powerful software dimensioning tools leads to a Rightsised selection. Taking this approach prevents energy from being wasted when operating in a partial load range and reduces material costs. If the amount of energy required by an application fluctuates, a common case with fluid flow and intermittent processes, the energy provided can be matched to the level required using inverter drives. In practice this means that a high degree of efficiency and thereby energy savings can be achieved at a justifiable cost.

The second pillar of the Lenze strategy is to select high efficiency components for the drive installation. Once the drive is correctly dimensioned and, where necessary, uses an inverter, the energy efficiency can be further increased by employing higher efficiency components. Selecting optimised asynchronous motors, or using synchronous motors that are energy efficient by design, on speed controlled drives allows the total efficiency of the installation to be increased.

Similarly energy efficient gearboxes, typically helical and bevel designs, also increase efficiency. The comprehensive Lenze product programme has the perfect solution for each application case. The third aspect is to make use of the braking energy. When applications feed significant amounts of kinetic or potential energy back to the drive, for example in material transport applications, this energy can be re-used.

Lenze currently offers several concepts for using regenerative energy. Energy can for example be exchanged between several axes using a DC bus connection. There are also options of feeding energy back into the electrical mains supply. The Lenze three pillar strategy highlights numerous possibilities for energy saving in the field of electrical drives and provides support during implementation.

As part of this strategy Lenze supports the customer with energy efficient products, tools for dimensioning and comprehensive application know-how. In addition Lenze has published a new brochure entitled "Energy saving solutions" which analyses the possible measures for increasing the energy efficiency of drives and provides guidelines on how these measures should be implemented.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Accelerometer Gets The Measure Of Shocks

Measurement Specialties has released the Model 3700 accelerometer for impact, structural and transient shock testing. New from Measurement Specialties, the Model 3700 MEMS piezoresistive shock accelerometer was specifically designed for use in impact and shock testing environments and is packaged in a rugged stainless-steel housing. The accelerometer is available in ranges from +/-2000 to +/-6000g and is ideal for long-duration shock transient measurements.

The accelerometer incorporates mechanical overrange stops that offers shock protection greater than 10,000g. A PFA-jacketed cable, with customer selected cable length, provides reliable operation in transient environments.