Archive For: Energy
Almost 14 years ago, I converted the controls in my 80KW hydro electric plant, located in the mountains of western North Carolina, from custom micro-controller cards I developed while at Georgia Tech to the DirectLOGIC DL205 PLC with a D2-260 CPU. In 2013, it was time to make some upgrades to the plant by adding ... Read More
When the mechatronics students at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) in Hickory, North Carolina, went looking for a suitable project to challenge their recently acquired PLC and HMI skills, they didn’t have to go far. The college’s Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) in nearby Conover needed a way to monitor the status of a large group ... Read More
A student team, lead by Donald Ruffatto, from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) SAE International chapter contacted AutomationDirect in late 2011, asking detailed questions about our Productivity3000 Programmable Automation Controller (PAC). They were planning to use it to control an electric car that they were building for the Formula Hybrid International Competition, hosted by ... Read More
The Midwest Propulsion Group is a jet engine club dedicated to increasing the engineering knowledge and experience base of students by providing real-world engineering tasks related to gas turbine restoration and performance analysis, as well as finding vehicular applications for such engines.
Automation is a key component when developing strategies to help customers reduce their operating costs. Many times when making buying decisions, people look only at the initial price of an item without considering other factors that contribute to the overall cost of owning that product. For example, a certain laptop may seem like a great ... Read More
Greenspeed is a group of seven students at Boise State University who are on a mission to create the world’s fastest vegetable oil-powered vehicle. Where did they come up with such an idea?
If there’s access to a stream, the only requirements to generate electricity are a 2 ft. drop in water level and two gallons of flow per minute. A hydroelectric system isn’t overly complicated, it isn’t difficult to operate and maintain, it has longevity and it’s often more cost-effective than other forms of renewable power. Some ... Read More
The Industrial Technology students at Pleasantville High School, in Pleasantville, Iowa (southeast of Des Moines), have spent the last three years building a multi-mirror solar array. Students from four different technology classes have contributed to the project over the three year period; the AutoCAD and drafting classes have helped design and document the project, students ... Read More
This is part one of a two-part series on variable frequency drives. VFDs can reduce energy consumption, improve real-time control, and lengthen motor life; selecting the right one for your application requires asking the correct questions. Here are some expert tips to consider. Determine if a VFD is right for your application. The primary function of ... Read More
Sam Flournoy first contacted Automation Direct in February of 2009. As a 14-year old who had just finished building a biodiesel processor in his garage, he now wanted to automate the process. We immediately began looking around for the candid camera! But it turns out he was serious, as he was producing about 180 gallons ... Read More