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The ZigBee Alliance, has ratified the ZigBee Remote Control 2.0 standard. The standard is now available for product development and can be downloaded for free from the Alliance website. ZigBee Remote Control is the industry-leading standard for smart home remote control technology and ZigBee Remote Control 2.0 continues to use the faster, more reliable radio frequency technology that allows operation from greater distances than infrared. This new standard includes a Find My Remote feature, the ability to connect to other devices in the smart home, as well as complete control of the set-top box or TV set. With this release, which includes a range of necessary enhancements, ZigBee is now the most comprehensive standard for an optimal control experience, Arsham Hatambeiki, vice president of corporate product strategy at Universal Electronics said. The native support for an application capable of automatic discovery and configuration of an entertainment system, finally allows for a hassle-free control experience and addresses the most essential needs of the consumer. The new ZigBee Remote Control 2.0 standard provides consumers with the capability to directly control all devices in a home with one remote control. All parts of a ZigBee smart home network including lights, heating, air conditioning, security and home monitoring can be operated with the same remote control. It also enables telecom companies and cable operators to seamlessly integrate their smart home offerings with set-top boxes. These newest updates will allow companies to deliver innovative new products and services using ZigBee to improve comfort, security and convenience in the smart home.
PW Power Systems, ~ a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries ~ has announced a contract with Generacion Frias S.A., a subsidiary company of Albanesi S.A., to provide an FT4000 Swiftpac unit for its location in Frias, Santiago del Estero, Argentina. This will be the first FT4000 in Latin America. The gas turbine generator package engine is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PW4000 derivative gas generator, offers a 60 to 120MW package of peaking and base-load power in a compact footprint. The engine is designed for simple-cycle, combined-cycle, or cogeneration applications. The free-turbine design of the system allows for flexible power plant operation down to 25% of full load, synchronous condensing operation without a clutch, and spinning reserve capacity.
The New York State Public Service Commission is trying to flatten those peaks in the electricity grid.
To do it, it’s proposing an ambitious re-engineering of the energy grid.
The proposal, if implemented, would enable energy to be managed and stored differently — making the grid more efficient and resilient in the face of severe weather.
It would also upend the way the utility business has operated for more than a century.
What they’re looking to do is to really change [the existing model] into more of a network model, says Cameron Brooks, head of Tolerable Planet Enterprises, a regulatory consultancy.
Brooks explains instead of just transmitting power one way ~ from generator to substation to home ~ the new proposed grid would transmit in multiple directions, including from the home, much like the Internet.
This new distributed electric system, as it’s known, would be able to harness, store and resell energy, among other things.
Some utilities are already doing some limited versions of the model, like reselling power, but under New York’s plan, the utility market would become a much more open place, with services that don’t exist today.
Customers would be able to sell their power for more at peak times, for example.
Electric cars might get charged every time the sun shines on a solar panel or when the wind blows through a turbine.
New companies might sell services to customers that optimise electricity use to all key appliances.
All of this helps to even out those peaks in energy use.
Part of the state’s move is motivated by climate change.
Brooks says a new power grid of the sort New York is considering would be able to route around outages caused by events like Superstorm Sandy.
The Department of the Interior is proposing a large expansion of US efforts to make energy from offshore winds, with a plan centered off the Massachusetts coast.
If one part of the system goes down, the entire region doesn’t suddenly have a blackout, Brooks says.
Facebook is working with MidAmerican to build a wind farm near Wellsburg, Iowa, where it will help power Facebook’s planned data center.
But a switch would require massive re-engineering, as well as a new kind of customer relationship.
And this is still an unproven model.
A power outage in August 2003 darkened New York City.
A report warns that the national power grid could be knocked out if just a handful of key power stations were sabotaged.
Adrian Tuck, CEO of Tendril, a software firm that analyses power use, says simplicity will be key.
Consumers, whilst they’re not [averse] to doing these things, by and large aren’t going to spend a huge amount of time thinking about them, he says.
Some consumer groups, like AARP, worry that older and low-income residents might end up with hard-to-use technology or extra costs for new services.
Utilities, for that matter, also worry about their bottom line.
A prime concern that utilities have is the recovery of their fixed cost, says Richard Sedano, director of the Regulatory Assistance Project, a nonprofit adviser to energy regulators.
It’s difficult for utilities to raise rates. About the only way they can is by making investments in new plant.
New York is hoping to design a business model that compensates utilities for making systems more efficient and for managing their systems better.
But Sedano says making such a radical transition smoothly will be hard.
Audrey Zibelman, chairwoman of New York’s Public Service Commission, says while the specifics aren’t laid out, she expects that the new grid will bring new business opportunities with it.
What we’re looking at is actually a model that gives the utilities incentives to create greater system efficiencies so that, if they actually reduce demand or promote energy efficiency, they can make money, essentially, she says.
For example, Zibelman says, utilities might make money by selling a monthly service to reduce electricity usage when residents are at work.
Either way, she says, business as usual will not be a sustainable business model for utilities.
Unless they’re part of the game, they're going to be left behind.
Some utilities, like Con Edison, which supplies power to the New York City area, aren’t resisting the moves.
This really sets the platform for how the future of the electric system can work with more resources and more options for our customers, says Stuart Nachmias, the utility’s vice president of energy policy.
Con Edison is building a distributed energy system in parts of Brooklyn and Queens. It hopes the efficiencies will put off a need for more plant for several years. — npr
As part of as push for indepenmdence, the Scotish Government's energy minister Fergus Ewing (pictured), compares Scotland and Norway’s experience since the discovery of North Sea Oil, highlighting the mismanagement of the resource in the UK and the opportunities with indep
The World Bank Group has committed $5bln in new technical and financial support for energy projects in six African countries — Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania—which have partnered with President Obama’s Power Africa initiative.
Britain should stop building expensive offshore wind farms, energy giant Centrica has said. Reported in the UK Daily Telegraph the company claims billpayers could be saved £96bln by 2030 if ministers pursued a cheaper g
July issue now available. Read BACK ISSUES along with today's clippings:
Stories . . .
☯ New Aussie rules for 5MW generation.
☯ US renewables shakeup.
☯ Contact opens new geothermal plant.
The nuclear industry is undergoing a major shift — from one where projects were almost exclusively government owned and sponsored to one where private finance is being sought, George Borovas, partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP, said today (September 12). Borovas spoke at the World Nuclear Association's 2014 Symposium in London. Shearman & Sterling’s nuclear projects group is intertwined with its finance group. Among the projects it is involved with, the firm is advising on the world's largest nuclear arbitration dispute — concerning Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj over construction delays and budget overruns at the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant in Finland.
Today, and what we looking at in the future, are privately owned and sponsored projects, but, in our opinion, they will still require strong government support, Borovas said. Obviously, we are in a post-Fukushima environment where the risk profile of new nuclear has been elevated. And everything that is being built now really is first-of-a-kind technology, with a few exceptions. Once you have a few of these projects online then it’s going to be much different because we'll have some proven development and construction projects, he said. Increasingly, another trend that we're seeing is toward international joint ventures to create these projects and we are looking at a global human resources requirement for the ‘turn-key’ approach, ‘build-own-operate’ models and significant operational support — which is particularly significant for emerging nuclear countries because they don't have the resources. New sources of finance are being sought and right now the leadership on that is coming from the export credit agencies. The challenge for nuclear finance today is that there is no precedent or standard commercial financing model.
The largest merchant solar cell producer, Neo Solar Power Corporation (NSP) experienced its third consecutive decline in monthly sales due to the impact of the US anti-dumping case. NSP reported sales of $US62.3m, a decline of 8.83%. Sales reach a record peak of $US87.5m in May, 2014. However, the company noted the subsequent lowering of US duties and NSP's tax rate was expected to limit further sales declines, coupled to the expected seasonal increase in sales to Europe and Japan in the second half of the year. Tempering thoughts of a rebound in sales, NSP noted that the US anti-dumping ruling had impacted solar cell ASPs and cautioned that prices were not expected to rebound immediately. NSP reported solar cell shipments were expected to increase gradually and reiterated that it would endeavour to further diversify its customer and geographical mix, while still evaluating the feasibility of establishing overseas manufacturing operations to circumvent US and any potential duties from other key regions.
The largest merchant solar cell producer, Neo Solar Power Corporation (NSP) experienced its third consecutive decline in monthly sales due to the impact of the US anti-dumping case. NSP reported sales of $US62.3m, a decline of 8.83%. Sales reach a record peak of $US87.5m in May, 2014. However, the company noted the subsequent lowering of US duties and NSP’s tax rate was expected to limit further sales declines, coupled to the expected seasonal increase in sales to Europe and Japan in the second half of the year. Tempering thoughts of a rebound in sales, NSP noted that the US anti-dumping ruling had impacted solar cell ASPs and cautioned that prices were not expected to “rebound immediately.” NSP reported solar cell shipments were expected to increase gradually and reiterated that it would endeavour to further diversify its customer and geographical mix, while still evaluating the feasibility of establishing overseas manufacturing operations to circumvent US and any potential duties from other key regions.