Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2013
Nutritive values of the branches of Medicago arborea cut at 25 or 50 cm distance from the tip (cutting length) and at five different growth stages (vegetative, early flowering, fruiting, dormant and vegetative re-growth) were evaluated by determination of the in vitro digestible organic matter (IVDOM), metabolizable energy (ME) and net energy lactation (NEL) and presence of nutritional and anti-nutritional components. The sampling or harvest stages was conducted at mid winter, early spring, late spring, late summer and mid autumn for each of the five growth stages, respectively. The values of nitrogen forms, ash, IVDOM and ME declined and concentrations of neutral-detergent fiber and acid-detergent fiber increased in the fruiting and dormant stages compared with other growth stages and between cutting length at 25 cm and 50 cm (P < 0.05). Increasing the cutting length from 25 to 50 cm negatively affected all the studied nutritive parameters. In autumn, winter and early spring, branches of M. arborea showed higher contents of crude protein (158 g/kg DM), IVDOM (677 g/kg DM) and ME (9.25 MJ/kg DM) than other seasons. The evaluated samples had low concentrations of hydrolysable and condensed tannins. There were no differences in the values of IVDOM, ME and NEL due to addition of polyethylene glycol to the plant samples incubated with rumen fluid. IVDOM, ME and NEL values were negatively correlated with cell wall constituents but positively correlated with nitrogen forms. Results revealed that, the harvested branches of M. arborea at the vegetative, early flowering and vegetative re-growth stages were better in terms of nutritional value than those harvested at dormant and fruiting stages. Source
« Renault-Nissan to launch more than 10 vehicles with autonomous drive technology over the next four years | Main | Microsoft Azure to power Nissan Telematics System for LEAF and Infiniti models in Europe » AT CES 2016, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) introduced an automotive-grade Ethernet bridge solution for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and other automotive applications. The TC9560XBG supports standards such as IEEE 802.1AS and IEEE 802.1Qav, generally referred to as Ethernet-AVB (Audio Video Bridging). The Ethernet-AVB standard enables stable, reliable multimedia transmissions, making it suitable for IVI and telematics. (Earlier post.) TAEC also announced it is working with Qualcomm Technologies to bring to the automotive market advanced connected car platforms powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A and Snapdragon 602A processors, and telematics solutions powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 LTE modem. (Earlier post.) Strategy Analytics forecasts that demand for automotive Ethernet will exceed 120 million nodes by 2020, driven by increased in- and on-vehicle electronic content, including cameras, sensors, displays, safety systems and convenience solutions. In particular, for emerging autonomous vehicle systems, a reliable, high-speed communications network is an essential requirement. Connected to an application processor or other system-on-chip (SoC) host, the TC9560XBG allows the host device to deliver audio, video, and data information through the 10/100/1000 Ethernet network in an automotive environment. Connection to the host is achieved via PCI Express (PCIe), HSIC or Time Division Multiplex (TDM)/I2S for audio traffic. The IC’s RGMII/RMII3 interface connects to the Ethernet switch or PHY device, and both AVB and legacy traffic are supported. An on-chip ARM Cortex-M3 processor can perform system control and management. The chipset is housed in a 10x10mm LFBGA package. Toshiba’s TC9560XBG Ethernet bridge is designed to simplify wiring throughout the vehicle, optimizing in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems and other automotive applications, including telematics/LTE modem modules using Ethernet/Ethernet-AVB, while providing connectivity to CAN and CAN-FD engine control units simultaneously. The device will be AEC-Q1001 qualified to ensure performance in rigorous automotive environments. Connecting complex automotive electronics with an industry-standard Ethernet protocol also contributes to cost savings, reduced harness weight and improved mileage. In addition, the TC9560XBG will be AEC-Q100 qualified to enable enhanced performance in physically demanding automotive environments. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A processor with X12 LTE Modem was developed to support the advanced connectivity, graphics, video, power, and battery efficiency needed for automotive solutions. The processor integrates a new custom 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Kryo CPU, the Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU, as well as the Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtensions. Qualcomm Technologies’ first generation automotive-grade infotainment processor, the Snapdragon 602A, was designed specifically to meet automotive industry standards and features the quad-core Qualcomm Krait CPU, Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU, Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, integrated GNSS baseband processing and additional high-performance audio, video and communication cores. The Snapdragon X12 LTE Modem, Qualcomm Technologies’ premier modem within the Snapdragon family, supports next-generation features such as LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation, LTE in unlicensed spectrum (LTE-U), and LTE + Wi-Fi Link Aggregation, representing the ultimate in connectivity. The new Toshiba TC9560XBG Ethernet bridge solution and TC9560AXBG, with CAN-FD features, are available now, with volume production slated to begin in October 2016. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A processor utilizing Toshiba’s TC9560XBG IC is scheduled to go into production in the 2018 timeframe, with automotive samples available in Q1 2016. The Snapdragon 602A processor and X12 LTE modem are commercially available now.
News Article | September 13, 2016
Today we offer the second of two expert perspectives on subsidizing nuclear power. Here’s the argument against providing economic support by Peter Bradford, Adjunct Professor Vermont Law School. Courtesy The Conversation. The previous, opposing view can be found here. Since the 1950s, U.S. nuclear power has commanded immense taxpayer and customer subsidy based on promises of economic and environmental benefits. Many of these promises are unfulfilled, but new ones take their place. More subsidies follow. Today the nuclear industry claims that keeping all operating reactors running for many years, no matter how uneconomic they become, is essential in order to reach U.S. climate change targets. Economics have always challenged U.S. reactors. After more than 100 construction cancellations and cost overruns costing up to US$5 billion apiece, Forbes Magazine in 1985 called nuclear power “the greatest managerial disaster in business history…only the blind, or the biased, can now think that most of the money [$265 billion by 1990] has been well spent.” U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chair Lewis Strauss’ 1954 promise that electric power would be “too cheap to meter” is today used to mock nuclear economics, not commend them. As late as 1972 the AEC forecast that the United States would have 1,000 power reactors by the year 2000. Today we have 100 operating power reactors, down from a peak of 112 in 1990. Since 2012 U.S. power plant owners have retired five units and announced plans to close nine more. Four new reactors are likely to come on line. Without strenuous government intervention, almost all of the rest will close by midcentury. Because these recent closures have been abrupt and unplanned, the replacement power has come in substantial part from natural gas, causing a dismaying uptick in greenhouse gas emissions. The nuclear industry, led by the forlornly named lobbying group Nuclear Matters, still obtains large subsidies for new reactor designs that cannot possibly compete at today’s prices. But its main function now is to save operating reactors from closure brought on by their own rising costs, by the absence of a U.S. policy on greenhouse gas emissions and by competition from less expensive natural gas, carbon-free renewables and more efficient energy use. Only billions more dollars in subsidies and the retarding of rapid deployment of cheaper technologies can save these reactors. Only fresh claims of unique social benefit can justify such steps. When I served on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from 1977 through 1982, the NRC issued more licenses than in any comparable period since. Arguments that the U.S. couldn’t avoid dependence on Middle Eastern oil and keep the lights on without a vast increase in nuclear power were standard fare then and throughout my 20 years chairing the New York and Maine utility regulatory commissions. In fact, we attained these goals without the additional reactors, a lesson to remember in the face of claims that all of today’s nuclear plants are needed to ward off climate change. During nuclear power’s growth years in the 1960s and 1970s, almost all electric utility rate regulation was based on recovering the money necessary to build and run power plants and the accompanying infrastructure. But in the 1990s many states broke up the electric utility monopoly model. Now a majority of U.S. power generation is sold in competitive markets. Companies profit by producing the cheapest electricity or providing services that avoid the need for electricity. To justify their current subsidy demands, nuclear advocates assert three propositions. First, they contend that power markets undervalue nuclear plants because they do not compensate reactors for avoiding carbon emissions, or for other attributes such as diversifying the fuel supply or running more than 90 percent of the time. Second, they assert that other low-carbon sources cannot fill the gapbecause the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. So power grids will use fossil-fired generators for more hours if nuclear plants close. Finally, nuclear power supporters argue that these intermittent sources receive substantial subsidies while nuclear energy does not, thereby enabling renewables to underbid nuclear even if their costs are higher. Nuclear power producers want government-mandated long-term contracts or other mechanisms that require customers to buy power from their troubled units at prices far higher than they would pay otherwise. Providing such open-ended support will negate several major energy trends that currently benefit customers and the environment. First, power markets have been working reliably and effectively. A large variety of cheaper, more efficient technologies for producing and saving energy, as well as managing the grid more cheaply and cleanly, have been developed. Energy storage, which can enhance the round-the-clock capability of some renewables is progressing faster than had been expected, and is now being bid into several power markets – notably the market serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Long-term subsidies for uneconomic nuclear plants also will crowd out penetration of these markets by energy efficiency and renewables. This is the path New York state has taken by committing at least $7.6 billion in above-market payments to three of its six plants to assure that they operate through 2029. While power markets do indeed undervalue low-carbon fuels, all of the other premises underlying the nuclear industry approach are flawed. In California and in Nebraska, utilities plan to replace nuclear plants that are closing early for economic reasons almost entirely with electricity from carbon-free sources. Such transitions are achievable in most systems as long as the shutdowns are planned in advance to be carbon-free. In California these replacement resources, which include renewables, storage, transmission enhancements and energy efficiency measures, will for the most part be procured through competitive processes. Indeed, any state where a utility threatens to close a plant can run an auction to ascertain whether there are sufficient low-carbon resources available to replace the unit within a particular time frame. Only then will regulators know whether, how much and for how long they should support the nuclear units. If New York had taken this approach, each of the struggling nuclear units could have bid to provide power in such an auction. They might well have succeeded for the immediate future, but some or all would probably not have won after that. Closing the noncompetitive plants would be a clear benefit to the New York economy. This is why a large coalition of big customers, alternative energy providers and environmental groups opposed the long-term subsidy plan. The industry’s final argument – that renewables are subsidized and nuclear is not – ignores overwhelming history. All carbon-free energy sources together have not received remotely as much government support as has flowed to nuclear power. Nuclear energy’s essential components – reactors and enriched uranium fuel – were developed at taxpayer expense. Private utilities were paid to build nuclear reactors in the 1950s and early ‘60’s, and received subsidized fuel. According to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, total subsidies paid and offered to nuclear plants between 1960 and 2024 generally exceed the value of the power that they produced. The U.S. government has also pledged to dispose of nuclear power’s most hazardous wastes – a promise that has never been made to any other industry. By 2020 taxpayers will have paid some $21 billion to store those wastes at power plant sites. Furthermore, under the 1957 Price-Anderson Act, each plant owner’s accident liability is limited to some $300 million per year, even though the Fukushima disaster showed that nuclear accident costs can exceed $100 billion. If private companies that own U.S. nuclear power plants had been responsible for accident liability, they would not have built reactors. The same is almost certainly true of responsibility for spent fuel disposal. Finally, as part of the transition to competition in the 1990s, state governments were persuaded to make customers pay off some $70 billion in excessive nuclear costs. Today the same nuclear power providers are asking to be rescued from the same market forces for a second time. Christopher Crane, the president and CEO of Exelon, which owns the nation’s largest nuclear fleet, preaches temperance from a bar stool when he disparages renewable energy subsidies by asserting, “I’ve talked for years about the unintended consequences of policies that incentivize technologies versus outcomes.“ However, he’s right about unintended and unfortunate consequences. We should not rely further on the unfulfilled prophesies that nuclear lobbyists have deployed so expensively for so long. It’s time to take Crane at his word by using our power markets, adjusted to price greenhouse gas emissions, to prioritize our low carbon outcome over his technology. Republished with permission from The Conversation, a great source of highly readable viewpoints from academics on a wide range of topics. Recommended.
News Article | August 30, 2016
Working in the advanced energy field, we all know about the law of conservation of energy, which states that total energy remains constant but can be converted into new forms. Advanced energy takes advantage of that in a big way: turning sunlight, wind, tides, waste, and more into energy that is secure, clean, and affordable. There is a small but growing trend suggesting a new corollary. Call it “the law of conservation of energy sites.” Aging or outmoded power plants are being turned into advanced energy outposts, from energy storage taking over old coal and gas plants to a solar farm proposed for one of the most notorious abandoned power plants in the world. This week Advanced Energy Perspectives gets metaphorical as we apply the first law of thermodynamics to old power plants sites. In California, some utility companies are seeking to replace old power plants with higher performing natural gas units paired with integrated storage capacity. The most recent is a partnership between AltaGas and Southern California Edison, which announced a 20 MW storage project at the utility’s existing natural gas Pomona Facility. The 20 MW of capacity would have a four-hour duration, which makes for 80 MWh of discharging capacity. AltaGas will also update the Pomona Facility, having applied to the California Energy Commission to repower it into a fast ramping, flexible peaking facility. The future facility would have 100MW of generating capacity (up from 44.5MW), along with the storage capacity. “Adding battery storage to our California power portfolio proves the versatility of our asset base and greatly enhances the value of what we can offer the California and Desert Southwest markets through integrated energy centers providing clean reliable electricity,” David Harris, president and chief executive at AltaGas, said. As we have noted before, elsewhere in California, AES Storage is adding 200 MW of storage to 100 MW already in place as part of an the overhaul of an old natural gas power plant in Long Beach. AES is replacing the old plant with a smaller, more efficient, faster starting gas generator and tripling the storage capacity, making it the largest storage site in the world, according to AES. The Alamitos Energy Center and Alamitos Battery Energy Storage System are expected to be online by 2021. “Our new AEC will help prevent blackouts and fill the energy gap created by the closure of older, less efficient plants in southern California,” AES said. “It will be half the size of the existing one, will use more efficient technology, start and stop more quickly, and will help the state meet its energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction goals.” It’s not just natural gas plants, and it’s not just California, where the conversion of old energy sites to advanced energy is taking place. Last year, Duke Energy began work to install 4 MW of battery storage at a retired coal power plant in Ohio. The facility, the W.C. Beckjord Station in New Richmond, Ohio, began producing power southeast of Cincinnati in 1952. The coal plant was retired in 2014, but became a valuable energy storage asset almost immediately, with the first 2 MW of battery storage coming online in January. “Delivering that power in seconds, as opposed to a power plant that could take 10 minutes or more to ramp up, is the unique value the battery system provides to grid operators,” Phil Grigsby, Duke Energy’s vice president of commercial transmission, said in a statement last year. Duke is also working to replace another retired coal plant in North Carolina with advanced energy. The 376 MW coal-fired Asheville Plant came online in 1964. As the needs of the region grew and changed (“in the past four decades, our customers’ electricity use in the Asheville area has more than doubled,” the Duke Energy facility website reads) however, the company decided to modernize. The $1 billion plan involves building a 650 MW combined-cycle natural gas plant, along with a solar farm. The company expects the gas-plus-solar combo to come online in 2019. “We’ve developed an innovative plan that’s a ‘win-win-win’ for consumers, the environment and the economy,” Lloyd Yates, Duke Energy executive vice president of market solutions and president of the Carolinas region, said in a statement. Then, just this month, both the trade press and general news outlets have gotten excited about a Ukrainian government proposal to build a massive solar farm inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone. The land is still unsafe to live on and unsafe to grow food, but the facility still has functional electrical hookups, and is located near Kiev. Biggest challenges: The people who install the solar facility would be putting themselves at risk of radiation poisoning from the still-toxic atmosphere. Plus, the government needs to raise the $1.1 billion from investors before it can move forward. But the prospect of greater energy independence, and a future where Chernobyl is once again producing energy, is pretty neat. Building advanced energy on top of extant electricity generation sites makes a lot of sense. The facilities are located in places that made sense to generate electricity, often near population centers, and transmission hookups are already in place. Plus, there’s a simple poetry to it: putting in advanced energy to replace legacy forms of electricity generation that got us to this point. After all, as we know from physics, energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another. Bring it on. Subscribe to AEE Weekly for all the week’s top advanced energy news. 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« Continental introducing innovative annular catalytic converter for near-complete NOx reduction to meet RDE and SULEV 30 standards | Main | ContiTech advanced engine mounting system reduces weight by ~20%; used in the Malibu » SII Semiconductor Corporation, a subsidiary of Seiko Instruments Inc. will launch the S-19244 / S-19243 Series low-dropout (LDO) Regulators in May, 2016. The S-19244 / S-19243 Series offers multiple options including soft-start function as well as high temperature operation of 125 °C. This new LDO series has a 10V input as well as options for 1A and 0.5A output current capability. The target applications includes engine ECUs, body ECUs, meters, automotive use cameras, car navigation, car audio, and automotive infotainment systems. In recent years, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) require multiple cameras which need a power supply of under 10V. The S-19244 / S-19243 Series is suited for this type of application. The soft-start function allows for a stable input voltage prior to device startup which improves the reliability of the device by suppressing the potential for excess inrush current and subsequent output voltage overshoot. In addition a high accuracy ±2.3% output voltage is guaranteed over temperature. AEC-Q100 is in process and PPAP is available upon request. The S-19244 / S-19243 Series allows the design engineer to make optimal design choices from eight product types and five packages available as standard products. The product combinations and options include soft-start (fixed/adjustable time); discharge shunt (with/without); pull-down resistor (with/without); and output voltage either fixed or externally set. The series is available in a wide range of packages including high dissipation package options and super small package options: TO-252-5S, HSOP-8A, HSOP-6, SOT-89-5, HSNT-8(2030).