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Archive For: Energy/Utilities

Gas Turbine Repurposed With PLCs

Gas Turbine Repurposed With PLCs

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.
 
Reducing Total Cost of Ownership

Reducing Total Cost of Ownership

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
 
Bio Diesel Fuel Gets a Boost from Automation

Bio Diesel Fuel Gets a Boost from Automation

Systems produce bio diesel for a total cost as low as 67 cents per gallon, turning waste into profit. Imagine if restaurants and other commercial food enterprises could turn used kitchen oil into fuel instead of simply disposing of it. Then imagine if they could do that in an economic and automated way for a ... Read More
 
Greenspeed Chases Green Fuel Speed Record

Greenspeed Chases Green Fuel Speed Record

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?
 
Small-Scale Hydroelectric Plant Promises Profit

Small-Scale Hydroelectric Plant Promises Profit

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
 
Multi-Mirror Solar Array Pleasantville High School

Multi-Mirror Solar Array Pleasantville High School

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
 
Top 10 Tips: Specifying VFDs (Part One of a Two-Part Series)

Top 10 Tips: Specifying VFDs (Part One of a Two-Part Series)

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 – Biodiesel Entrepreneur

Sam Flournoy – Biodiesel Entrepreneur

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
 
Ohio Energy Group Finds Alternative Control

Ohio Energy Group Finds Alternative Control

The Problem I am a member of a small alternative energy group in Ohio. Many of us generate our own power using wind turbines. These wind turbines vary widely from low power to high power and from homemade to high-tech. Among all of this diversity, we had one common problem – we were looking for ... Read More
 
Natural Gas Reclaimed from Expired Wells

Natural Gas Reclaimed from Expired Wells

Natural gas can come from wells specifically drilled to reach gas trapped in pockets beneath the surface of the Earth. These wells produce huge quantities of gas which can be piped directly to distribution centers and then on to consumers. Some wells produce a lower-quality gas which has to be processed to remove unwanted components ... Read More