Providing Reliable Power for Syracuse University’s Green Data Center

| Microgrids encompass a wide range of technologies and applications. However, one common thread is the objective to maintain reliable power using multiple power sources. One example of this is an application that Capstone Turbine Corporation developed for a new green data center at Syracuse University in New York State. An objective for the Green Data ... READ MORE

Use and Chemical Composition of Turbine Lubricants

| Lubricants are materials that reduce friction by increasing the smoothness of moving surfaces in contact. All solids have surfaces with imperfections and roughness. These irregularities lead to increased friction and associated heat generation. By covering these imperfections in a viscous material or slippery liquid, friction is reduced and the moving system’s components are kept cool. The lubricant itself acts as a transmitter of friction-induced heat, carrying it away from the machinery as it circulates and minimizing the threat of overheating. Lubricants can be liquids, solids, or gases—or a combination of these. The amount and type of lubricant applied to working joints, spinning axles, or supporting ball bearings depend on the level of friction reduction required. In addition to aiding movement, lubricants can act as a seal and protective coating to prevent corrosion and rust. ... READ MORE

Smart Grid Technology

| Since the electric grid was built in the 1890s, technology has changed just as significantly and almost as rapidly as demand has increased. According to the Department of Energy, our current grid consists of more than 9,200 electric generating units, with more than 1 million megawatts of generating capacity connected to more than 600,000 miles of transmission lines. Despite those impressive numbers, the grid is running out of capacity because it’s being asked to do more than it was designed for…and its infrastructure is aging. ... READ MORE

Silent But Deadly

| Electricity generation supplied by natural gas-fired power plants has increased from 30% of US electricity generation in the summer of 2014 to a forecasted 37% this summer, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The amount of electricity generation coming from coal, on the other hand, will fall to an expected 30% this year. Several ... READ MORE

Powering Ports

| Ports are high-traffic, energy-intensive transportation hubs and critical national entry points. In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and augment energy resiliency, the Port of San Diego is planning to install a solar-powered microgrid—a project that could serve as a landmark for other harbors. The Port of San Diego is one of America’s top ... READ MORE

CHP and Microgrids—A Profitable Pair

| Often, two technologies emerge more or less simultaneously, and then reinforce each other as mutually compatible technologies. In doing so, they can create a kind of synergy together and make one another more efficient, more cost-effective, more profitable, and more useful—like a pair of horses working together to pull a load. Two such energy delivery technologies are microgrids and combined heat and power (CHP). ... READ MORE

Energy’s Evolution

| What does the future hold for microgrids? According to Peter Asmus, Research Director for microgrids at Navigant Research, as inertia carries the market forward in the coming decade, microgrids will present opportunities for new business models and technologies as well as an energy landscape transformed by distributed generation sources. Peter’s research at Navigant focuses on ... READ MORE

Benefits of Community Microgrids

| However they are defined, everyone agrees community microgrids provide benefits. Centralized utility systems and aboveground distribution lines expose customers to regional and local outages, “and while they are highly reliable, centralized utility grids can’t ensure local resilience,” notes Peter Douglass, project manager for the Microgrid Institute, a collaborative organization supporting global development of microgrids and distributed energy assets through market development and analysis, ... READ MORE

“Policies Will Be the Game-Changers”

| At this year’s HOMER International Microgrid Conference, industry leaders and policy makers will gather to develop goals, financial models, and policy objectives that help drive the industry forward. Distributed Energy magazine is proud to co-present this enriching event. Jon Wellinghoff, CEO and founder of GridPolicy Inc., is one of the conference’s highly anticipated keynote speakers. ... READ MORE

Electrifying an Island

| On the morning of April 17, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) announced that less than 3% of its customers were without power—a small victory in the wake of Hurricane Maria. It seemed as if the island had entered the final restoration phase following the largest power failure in US history. And then the ... READ MORE