Most electric power utilities have a relatively limited budget for infrastructure investments such as installing or replacing equipment. A strong business case is necessary to justify such capital expense and obtain financing from government entities or private investors. The number of rate cases in 2013 reported by EEI was the lowest since 2009. Therefore, optimal allocation of limited investment is required by identifying key investment areas.
There is a variety of smart grid equipment available that helps utilities achieve their goals of generating, transmitting, and distributing electric power to the end-user. It can be difficult to determine the best projects, where they should be applied, and to what scale. Financial and engineering studies are carried out to provide answers to important questions such as: …READ MORE
Were you one of the 43 million people who tuned in to watch the Oscars on Sunday? If so, you may have noticed the fabulous stage lighting. It was truly fabulous. I counted 1,200 lamps in individual rings within the moving walls of the stage. And that’s just one part of the elaborate set.
As a lighting designer, I can appreciate the use of lighting for effect, and this is certainly an application that requires effect. They achieved the glitz and glamour for which the Oscars are known. But as a lighting designer I can also see the benefit of creating theatrical effects in a responsible, energy saving manner. From this perspective, the Oscars missed the mark.
The 1,200 lamps in those rings appeared to be incandescent. If they were incandescent lamps rated at 100 Watts each that would add up to 120,000 Watts used just for the walls. …READ MORE
Offshore wind energy has a great story to tell. We need to make sure it’s told right.
In physics energy is simple. It is the fundamental capacity of a system to do work and, as far as we can know, follows well-defined natural laws. But things get complicated very quickly once human beings are added to the picture. Tapping the myriad energy resources of our planet, converting them into usable forms and transporting them to places where we want them have posed some of the defining engineering challenges of the last 200 years.
Engineering is just one part of an energy system that is becoming ever more complex. Access to some form of energy is a prerequisite for almost all economic activity and has a direct effect on the quality of people’s lives. “Keeping the lights on”—ensuring reliable, affordable supplies of energy—is a policy puzzle that has confounded governments around the world. …READ MORE