Safeguarding Energy and Environmental Sustainability
Global demand for renewable biofuels is booming as our depleting fossil fuels continue to become more expensive. As the authors of The Natural Advantage of Nations expound in their book, sustainability through green technologies is the nexus of improving energy efficiency and energy demand management
The Wind and the Sun:
In two years’ time, the 70-floor Freedom Tower will soar above Lower Manhattan in New York City at the former World Trade Center site. This new centerpiece of the Big Apple will be powered with a 6,000W small wind turbine, which is projected to supply 80% ~ 95% of needed power to the tenants, a measure that will cut back over 6.2 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Wind power is one of the fastest-growing renewable power generation technologies. According to a survey by World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), worldwide installation and capacity between 1997 and 2006 grew by ten-fold. Although wind currently produces just over 1% of worldwide electricity use, it’s estimated by 2010, 160GW of capacity will be installed worldwide, up from 73.9GW at the end of 2006.
Wind-generated electricity is powered by wind turbines, and a reliable computer system is necessary to record, monitor and store data when the wind turbines are in operation. Because the power-generating wind farms are installed in harsh environments where strong sandy winds are constantly present, the monitoring facilities have to be highly reliable, with shock and noise resistance, supporting wide operating temperatures. The deployment of the operating system introduces another key factor: the computer must be fanless. The installation of a fan in the system could compromise its reliability over long-term operation.
A large wind power generator in Germany uses Advantech’s fanless, embedded automation computer, UNO-2160, as its distance monitoring system, which uses an Ethernet Optical Network to connect every individual monitoring node. The system is economically effective, and can operatively control and inspect turbine functions and integrate information for databank storage. Another wind power company in the US followed this template and included an embedded automationcomputer, UNO-2170, to be paired with an Advantech EKI-7000 series Ethernet switch to monitor a 328-foot high, 163.3-ton wind turbine, whose distance between blades measures an astounding 231 feet. The strengths of the UNO series fully satisfied the needs of the wind power generation facilities, providing a fanless, diskless and rugged design.
Solar power is another popular form of alternative energy and estimated to account for 10% of the world’s electricity generation by 2030. A system maker in the US wanted to create a simple status terminal to monitor solar power usage, and they chose Advantech’s ADAM-4019+, Universal Analog Input Module for the SCADA systems. This streamlined the I/Os needed for every system down to two, and lowered the overall manufacturing cost.
Advantech does not stay complacent with its current service applications, but is very active in extending corporate energies into other areas, such as sponsoring the University of Cincinnati to join the prestigious Solar Decathlon, by donating the ADAM-5550KW Programmable Automation Controller for use as the core framework. The team built an 800 square foot residential house that relies solely on solar energy for power.
Integrating Web-based Solutions into Substation Management:
In addition to renewable energy development, one also needs to be judicious with energy consumption, which can be done in two ways: one is to retrench on power, and the second is to improve energy consumption efficiency. One of the most practical approaches to enhancing power performance is to conform allsubstations to the IEC61850 criteria.
As a benchmark for the design of substation automation, IEC61850 is a part of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) Technical Committee 57 (TC57) reference architecture for electric power systems. In addition to implementing automation, the new architecture also settles issues with interoperability of IED devices from different vendors. Through Web-based technologies and secure interconnected web applications, efficient remote management of the substation is possible. Advantech’s UNO-4678 incorporates an EKI-7000 series Ethernet switch, and an ADAM Remote Data Acquisition module to create an ideal solution for power substation applications by providing advanced surge protection and optical isolation technology.
Economical Energy :
Energyefficiency is economically constructive; it can save consumer expenses and industries expenditures. A celebrated chain store in the US recently implemented an Advantech solution to successfully scale back on 8% ~ 15% of power consumption costs by controlling the air conditioning and lighting across 1,400 branches. Furthermore, a number of international metropolises in the Asia Pacific region are decked out in dazzling lighting arrangements, such as in Tokyo, Taipei, and Shanghai; Advantech’s UNO, ADAM and EKI series products are helping create these amazing displays while ensuring that they remain energy efficient.
Hospitals, broadcast media and factories are enormous energy consumers; and in addition to power-saving monitoring systems, these establishments also require considerable Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), yet batteriesintraditional UPS systems are most vulnerableto breakdown. Advantech’s UNO family has been successfully applied in an innovative rotary UPS that is independent of lead-acid batteries, so there’ll be no issues with lead pollution, marking a giant leap from the traditional UPS.
From renewable power generation, power transmissions, and substation management to the energy-sustaining UPS, Advantech is applying environmentally-conscious platforms to every sector possible, securing a creative, sustainable “take nothing, waste nothing” corporate approach, which is blazing a bright green trail in the energy market.
The following is a related Advantech products which used in this project.