October 23rd

Field Demonstration on Multiple Power Quality Supply System in Sendai, Japan

We present the progress of a new project, a field demonstration of a multiple power quality supply system. The project is the first trial to take place in Japan in the area of power quality concepts and solutions. For this project, NTT Facilities developed and installed a multiple power quality supply system that has the capability to feed four classes of alternative current (AC) and one of direct current (DC) power while meeting various customer requirements.

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Blue Energy

When a river runs into the ocean and fresh water mixes with saltwater, huge amounts of energy are unleashed. Unlike violent torrents in a waterfall or steaming hot geysers, the energy released cannot easily be seen from the banks of the estuary. Nevertheless, the energy is there, and everyone who has tried to separate salt from seawater knows that large amounts of energy are needed.

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October 22nd

Use electricity wisely

Via The Empire Collective, Eskom's advertisement to reduce unnecessary electricity consumption.

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Nobel Prizes in economics may be useful for sustainability

A necessary, but insufficient, condition is that the findings of the researchers can be transferred to common knowledge. One of the main problems in policy design is that the general perception of how markets and economy work is built on simplifications that we all know are wrong, but still prefer to think of as real and true. Some of them are:

  • That information is perfect for all actors, whereas in reality it is asymmetric. Some know more than others and in some cases we prefer to hide our knowledge or to keep our true valuation of an offer secret in the hope of getting a better deal
  • Another is that we act as if every problem were new to us, whereas in reality we act with a memory of earlier or similar experiences. We learn and draw conclusions from our learning.
  • A third is that we are rational and indifferent between options with similar economic outcome. If we earn by hazard 100€ and lose 100€ on the same day, we just shrug it off as if nothing has happened. We are back on zero. Whereas, in reality, we value gains and losses with different scales. Losses give us more grief than the joy we get from our gains.

There are more everyday problems that most economic reasoning and rhetoric tend to forget, but let us stay with these. The Nobel Prize in economics has in the last decade honoured several findings in the areas mentioned, and that may have a great impact on how we handle economics and policy design related to sustainability issues.

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October 20th

Exhibits at an Eastern European fair (2)

Also this series of installation material, by a supplier from the city of Minsk in Belarus, even though called 'Prestige'...


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October 18th

Near-future cars

How far away is mass marketing of electric vehicles?

Electric vehicles are being taken more seriously than ever before. And not just by environmentalists and electrical engineers. Some of the world’s biggest car companies are finally seeing the writing on the wall.

Is this a positive evolution? In my opinion, it certainly is. Even if the electricity is produced with coal-fired power stations without carbon capture, a plug-in hybrid car will still emit about 25 per cent less CO2 over its life cycle than a standard gasoline car [1]. Moreover, electricity generation is evolving towards an increasing share of carbon free renewables in its energy mix.

Yet in spite of this, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce is considering subsidizing the production of coal-to-liquid transport fuels. One has to wonder why, since that option results in approximately double the CO2 emissions compared to the coal-to-electricity option.

Does the current interest mean that mass production of electrical vehicles is on the horizon? Yes, but it is not likely to be tomorrow. First of all, the current hype is based more on promises and prospects than any hard facts and proven hardware. The inescapable truth is that there are still no true electrically powered standard cars available on the mass market. Secondly, what will be achieved in the market as a whole in the next few years depends largely on progress in battery technology, and more specifically, lithium-ion battery technology [2].Read full article

October 17th

Ocean Energy

I've wondered lately what amount of energy could be produced if the resources expended in the three Gorges Dam could have been used to construct a waterfall the coast of China, or any nation? How much energy would be developed? It may exceed the total amount of energy expected from Three Gorges, and most dams on waterways now constructed in China. What a wonderful way to eliminate the horrors now visiting China as a result of the damming of the Yangtze River.

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October 16th

Energy security and critical infrastructure resilience

Ivan Benes
Post date: 
Tue, 10/16/2007 - 15:33

The Czech Republic has a well developed national transmission grid. Nevertheless, several emergency situations occurred last year (2006). The energy security discussion between public and private sector was accelerated. The Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Regional Development as well as several Regional Governments sponsored several studies and research projects into how to improve population protection as well as critical infrastructure protection.

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October 15th

Propagation of Unbalance in Electric Power Systems

Power quality has become an important issue for electric power engineering. Nowadays, the distribution electric networks have unbalanced operating regimes, mainly produced by the great number of single-phase loads. Unbalanced line currents produce unbalanced voltage drops on the three phases of the supply system. Consequently, the voltage system within the supply network will become unbalanced.

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October 13th

Exhibits at an Eastern European fair (1)

During the past 40 years death victims of electrical accidents have dropped from 300 to 68 per year in a developed industrial country like Germany. This is largely a consequence of meticulous standardisation work and a steady increase in electrical safety requirements along with implementation mechanisms of these standards.

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