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Sheffield, United Kingdom

Holden R.,Nikon Metrology Inc. | Lightowler P.,Nikon Metrology Inc. | Kingston R.,Nikon Metrology Inc. | Heley J.,AMRC | Stanyon P.,BAE Systems
SAE Technical Papers | Year: 2010

This paper is a neutral standard for testing robotics for usage in large volume applications. This will be followed by an oral presentation on real test results achieved to-date, given via a PowerPoint presentation at SAE Wichita 2010. The "state-of-the-art" in robot testing includes ISO:9283 "Manipulating industrial robots - Performance criteria and related test methods". Previous practical work from M 3 at Airbus UK is also used. These protocols focus on the performance of a robot fixed to the floor. The objective of this paper is to expand upon that work for robots on external axis to provide much larger working volumes as often required in the aerospace industry. This paper focuses on quasi-static applications only (i.e. drilling) covering the following topics:- Test criteria for the robotLocalisation methods to improve performanceProcess time implications from different localisation methods. Copyright © 2010 SAE International. Source


News Article
Site: http://www.altenergystocks.com/

My Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2016 model portfolio continued to coast upward in August after five months of blistering performance since February, while clean energy sector benchmarks and real managed portfolio, the Green Global Equity Income Portfolio (GGEIP), pulled back slightly.  The following chart shows the performance of the model portfolio and its sub-portfolios against their benchmarks.The portfolio, its growth and income subportfolios, and GGEIP all remain far ahead of their benchmarks.  Second quarter earnings announced this month were neutral or positive for the income stocks, but somewhat disappointing for the growth companies, causing the income group to pull farther ahead of its benchmark, and the growth group to lose a little ground.See the May update for a description of the benchmarks.Last month, I mentioned that I was in advanced talks with a mutual fund company to bring the Green Global Equity Income strategy to the public as a mutual fund. I met with them for the fourth time last month, but they decided to pass, in large part because my emphasis on small and relatively illiquid stocks may put a limit on how large (and hence profitable) such a mutual fund can become.Fortunately, I've been working on alternatives, two of which are now available for small investors.  My friend and colleague Jan Schalkwijk, CFA at investment advisor JPS Global Investments is now offering a version of the GGEIP strategy to his clients (new or existing) clients.  If you are interested, you can contact him here .  There is a also stripped-down but free version of GGEIP I launched on the Motif platform in June.Or you can just continue to follow the income stocks in this annual model portfolio.  Although this group of seven is outperforming most other versions of the strategy this year, I think that difference is mostly luck.  The strategy had an excellent year in 2015 as well:  The six income stocks were up 24% and GGEIP was up 12% even though their income benchmark fell 30% because of the bursting of the Yieldco bubble The chart above gives detailed performance for the individual stocks.  Selected news driving individual stocks is discussed below.Wind Yieldco Pattern Energy's revenues were at the low end of the company's projections due to generally low wind speeds, but earnings and cash available for distribution (CAFD) were strong due to good cost management and performance of the company's wind farms.The company also announced the sale of 10 million shares of stock at $23.90, with an additional 1.5 million share underwriter's option.  It intends to use the cash to fund the purchase of the 180 MW Armow Wind power facility in Ontario from its sponsor.  I expect the acquisition to increase CAFD and dividends per share even after the dilutive effects of the share issue.Wood pellet focused Master Limited Partnership (MLP) and Yieldco Enviva Partners increased its distribution to $0.525, and increased its full  distributable cash flow guidance from $67-$71 million to $70-$72 million.  The company reaffirmed full year distribution guidance of at least $2.10 per unit.  The new guidance increases the likelihood that Enviva will distribute more than that.The market seems to have gotten the message that this wood pellet manufacturer has fuel to burn: The stock was up 19% for the month.Ethanol production Yieldco Green Plains Partners increased its quarterly distribution to $0.41 per unit, and reported $0.43 in per unit income for the quarter.  It's parent company, Green Plains ( GPRE ) produced a record volume of ethanol in the second quarter.  In the first quarter, the partnership relied on minimum volume guarantees from its parent to support revenues.  The recovery in ethanol volumes means that GPRE no longer needs to rely on these guarantees.YieldcoNRG Yield ( NYLD and NYLD/A increased its quarterly dividend to $0.24 and reaffirmed its guidance that the dividend would continue to grow by 15% annually through 2018.The Yieldco entered an agreement to acquire the 51% of the California Valley Solar Ranch Holdco it does not already own from its parent.  The transaction was financed with $200 million of senior secured debt financed with a 4.68% interest rate.Yieldco Terraform Global's delayed financial filings due to the bankruptcy of its former sponsor, SunEdison ( SUNEQ ), put it into technical default with some of its bondholders.  The company successfully negotiated a waiver extending the deadline for filing the delayed reports until December 6th.It was also reported that Indian company Greenko would pay $100 million for SunEdison's Indian assets along with the assumption of outstanding debt, including some nonoperational assets which SunEdison had agreed to transfer to Terraform Global upon completion in exchange for an advance payment prior to its bankruptcy.  It is not clear how the continuing dispute between the Yieldco and SunEdison over the use of the advance payment will affect this deal. 12/31/15 Price: $18.92.  Dec 31st Annual Dividend: $1.20 (6.3%).  Beta: 1.22.  Low Target: $17.  High Target: $27.  8/31/16 Price:  $23.98.  YTD Dividend: $0.60.  Expected 2016 Dividend: $1.25  (5.2%). YTD Total Return: 30.4% Clean energy financier and REIT Hannon Armstrong reported increased second quarter core earnings to $0.32 per share, easily enough to continue to support the current dividend of $0.30 per share and an expected increase to at least $0.34  per share in December. Hannon Armstrong has a target of paying out 100% of core earnings in dividends and a policy of increasing the dividend once per year in the fourth quarter.  Since Core Earnings have historically always increased or held constant from quarter to quarter, they typically lag the dividend in the first two quarters, but exceed them in the second half of the year.  I expect this year to be different.  Results in the first half of the year were boosted by a larger securitizations (selling assets to third parties rather than keeping them on the books.)  While producing strong earnings in the quarter when they happen, securitizations produce no ongoing income.  After raising $91 million in equity in June, the company will again return to placing more transactions on the balance sheet, a change which I expect to reduce core earnings in the third quarter before returning to growth in the fourth quarter.  I expect my anticipated decline in third quarter earnings in early November to catch some investors by surprise.  Investors looking to buy the stock should wait until then.  Investors considering taking some gains may want to sell before the November announcement. Canadian listed Yieldco TransAlta Renewables reported results "tracking toward the upper end of the guidance we provided for 2016."  The company's major South Hedland project continues on budget and on schedule for completion in mid-2017.  The company anticipates a further dividend increase when it is delivered. Renewable Energy Group (NASD:REGI) 12/31/15 Price: $9.29.  Annual Dividend: $0. Beta: 1.01.  Low Target: $7.  High Target: $25.  8/31/16 Price:  $8.97.    YTD Total Return: -3.4% Advanced biofuel producer Renewable Energy Group reported strong market demand for biomass based diesel and increased sales, which were limited only by production capacity.  But per share earnings of $0.16 fell short of analyst's expectations, causing the stock to pull back. Federal and state support remains strong, and analysts have been raising current year earnings estimates.  I believe the current pullback provides an excellent opportunity for short term gains before the end of the year. MiX Telematics Limited (NASD:MIXT; JSE:MIX). 12/31/15 Price: $4.22 / R2.80. Dec 31st Annual Dividend: R0.08 (2.9%).  Beta:  -0.13.  Low Target: $4.  High Target: $15. 8/31/16 Price:  $4.99 / R2.90.  YTD Dividend: R0.06/$0.101  Expected 2016 Dividend: R0.08 (2.8%)  YTD Total Return: 21.0% Software as a service fleet management provider MiX Telematics rose in its native currency, the South African Rand, but these gains were erased by the strong dollar. Ameresco, Inc. (NASD:AMRC). Current Price: $6.25.  Annual Dividend: $0.  Beta: 1.1.  Low Target: $5.  High Target: $15.  8/31/16 Price:  $4.78.  YTD Total Return: -19.2% Energy service contractor Ameresco continued to report strong growth in revenue, earnings, and cash flow.   While the past few years have been disappointing, I believe that the company has returned to sustainable growth and expect the stock to continue to recover. The broad stock market been very strong this year despite continued and increasing global uncertainty.  This is likely because US economy has appeared to be a lone bright spot.  Indications of future growth have been mixed however, and I believe a defensive stance is warranted.  While none of these stocks is the screaming bargain they were in the first quarter, the income stocks remain inexpensive and good defensive plays going forward.While more sensitive to a weakening economy, the three growth stocks remain extremely cheap, especially REGI and MIXT.  These low valuations limit their downside should the broad market fall, while allowing for large gains if they catch investors' attention. DISCLAIMER: Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results.  This article contains the current opinions of the author and such opinions are subject to change without notice.  This article has been distributed for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product.  Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.


News Article
Site: http://www.altenergystocks.com/

My Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2016 model portfolio had yet another strong month, as did my real managed portfolio, the Green Global Equity Income Portfolio (GGEIP.)The shorter-format of last month's update turned out to be popular, so I'm doing it again.See the previous update for a description of the benchmarks.The strong performance of the portfolio continues to be driven by the flight to quality and lower interest rate expectations caused by the Brexit vote, as well as positive news for a couple holdings.I've made some progress finding a socially responsible asset management company to help me turn GGEIP into a mutual fund.  GGEIP's outstanding performance last year and so far this year likely have a lot to do with that.  There are actually two versions of GGEIP, one which can use leverage and the other which can't. While I had never used leverage in GGEIP before the end of last year, long time readers will know that I became extremely bullish about the Yieldco space in late 2015 through February this year.  Because of my bullishness, I added leverage by selling uncovered puts on many Yieldcos, and the move has paid off.  For the year through the end of July, the leveraged version of GGEIP is up 32%, compared to 20% for the unleveraged version.The chart above ( larger version here ) gives detailed performance for the individual stocks.  Selected news driving individual stocks is discussed below.Wind Yieldco Pattern Energy paid its first $0.39 quarterly dividend.  On June 30, it agreed to buy another 324 MW wind farm from its sponsor, an accretive deal which can be financed using available cash and borrowing.  That said, the recent stock price strength makes me believe that at least part of this deal will be financed by selling some stock as well.Wood pellet focused Master Limited Partnership (MLP) and Yieldco Enviva Partners was the only stock in the model portfolio to fall in July.  It dropped 4% because of a rating downgrade to "Outperform" from "Strong Buy" from Raymond James.Ethanol production Yieldco Green Plains Partners will pay a regular $0.41 dividend to holders of record on August 5th.YieldcoNRG Yield ( NYLD and NYLD/A ) did not report significant news, but continued its upward climb along with other Yieldcos.Yieldco Terraform Global released some preliminary financial data for fiscal 2015 and the first two quarters of 2016.  I used the data to perform two valuations of the company, one based on assets and the other on cash flow.  You can find the full valuation here ; overall, I think it is worth $4 and $8.50 a share.  The company also announced that they are in active discussions with the Yieldco's bankrupt parent SunEdison ( SUNEQ ) about a "jointly-supported" sales process for SunEdison's stake in GLBL.Sister Yieldco TerraForm Power (NASD: TERP ) released similar financial information, which I also used for the valuation here 12/31/15 Price: $18.92.  Dec 31st Annual Dividend: $1.20 (6.3%).  Beta: 1.22.  Low Target: $17.  High Target: $27.  7/31/16 Price:  $22.49.  YTD Dividend: $0.30.  Expected 2016 Dividend: $1.25  (5.6%). YTD Total Return: 22.3% Clean energy financier and REIT Hannon Armstrong paid its regular $0.30 quarterly dividend in July. Canadian listed Yieldco TransAlta Renewables did not release any significant news, but continued to hit new highs. Renewable Energy Group (NASD:REGI) 12/31/15 Price: $9.29.  Annual Dividend: $0. Beta: 1.01.  Low Target: $7.  High Target: $25.  7/31/16 Price:  $9.75.    YTD Total Return: 5.0% Advanced biofuel producer Renewable Energy Group finally seems to be getting some stock market traction from the recovering biodiesel market, possibly because of of an article that highlighted it as a possible beneficiary from a Clinton victory in November. MiX Telematics Limited (NASD:MIXT; JSE:MIX). 12/31/15 Price: $4.22 / R2.80. Dec 31st Annual Dividend: R0.08 (2.9%).  Beta:  -0.13.  Low Target: $4.  High Target: $15. 7/31/16 Price:  $5.13 / R2.85.  YTD Dividend: R0.04/$0.076  Expected 2016 Dividend: R0.08 (2.8%)  YTD Total Return: 23.5% Software as a service fleet management provider MiX Telematics will announce fiscal first quarter earnings on August 4th. Ameresco, Inc. (NASD:AMRC). Current Price: $6.25.  Annual Dividend: $0.  Beta: 1.1.  Low Target: $5.  High Target: $15.  7/31/16 Price:  $4.95.  YTD Total Return: -15.7% Energy service contractor Ameresco did not disclose significant news. 2016 continues to be a great year for my stock picks, especially considering that most clean energy stocks have fallen this year.  The gains have made valuations less attractive than I felt they were in February and March.  Then, I wrote , "I can't say this enough: If readers have any cash still on the sidelines in this market, now is the time to buy.  Buy and keep reinvesting the extremely high dividends on offer until prices rise."Today, I still feel that many of these stocks remain below fair value, but the screaming deals are gone.  I also don't trust the broad market rally we have seen in July, and if it reverses, even stocks with good valuations will likely give up some of their gains.  Hence, I've started taking some of my gains so that I will have cash to take advantage of future declines, but will still be able to profit if my picks continue to advance. DISCLAIMER: Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results.  This article contains the current opinions of the author and such opinions are subject to change without notice.  This article has been distributed for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product.  Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.


News Article
Site: http://www.altenergystocks.com/

I’ve been a fan of Tom Konrad’s annual renewable model portfolio for years, so I’m happy to be able to assist Tom with some of his monthly updates.After two chilly months to start off 2016, the outlook turned considerably warmer in March, both for the market and for clean energy stocks. The Russell 2000 (IWM) jumped 8% for the month, as market participants took to the “risk-on trade” following Fed Chairwoman Yellin’s dovish commentary. Clean energy stocks did even better, buoyed by a reversal in the broader energy sector.Tom’s Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2016 model portfolio pared its losses from Jan/Feb, and is now down only 3.9% for the year, almost exactly the same as its benchmark (see below), which is down 3.8%. The seven income stocks were down 2.3% on average, slightly below the income benchmark, the Global X YieldCo ETF (NASDAQ: YLCO .)  The three growth stocks are now down 7.6%, and performed substantially better than their benchmark, the Powershares/WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (NYSEARCA: PBW ),  in March. The overall benchmark mentioned above is a 70/30 blend of the income and growth benchmarks.The Green Global Equity Income Portfolio, a seed account investing in green income stocks which is managed by Tom, was only up 6.7% during March. However, it has still outperformed all of the other model portfolios, climbing a total of 1.7% year to date.The chart above gives detailed performance for the individual stocks.  Significant news driving individual stocks is discussed below.After two surprisingly poor months to start 2016, Pattern Energy's was up 15% in March. The company's strong fourth quarter results and dividend ex-date in late March were certainly catalysts for the ascent. As mentioned by Tom last month, Pattern Energy’s CAFD (Cash Available for Distribution) is expected to increase to about $2.06/share over the next couple years.Assuming a 7% yield puts the price up near $30, which might be a conservative target once MLP (Master Limited Partnership) investors learn about Pattern’s MLP-like yields and better risk profile. Anyone interested in learning more about Pattern Energy should read Kevin Neumaier ’s recent articles on the company and dig into Tom’s article archive.Wood pellet focused MLP and Yieldco Enviva Partners continued its excellent performance in 2016, jumping another 12% during March. Enviva is in an enviable position at the moment, given that it is producing a fuel source that hasn’t been as effected by the general decline in energy prices. As noted last month, the company provided new guidance for total distributions in 2016 of at least $2.10, 19% over its annual distribution rate at the end of 2015.However, there are some concerns that the EU could take a less positive stance towards wood pellets in the future. For more information, I suggest readers review the comments on this recent article Like Enviva, Green Plains is a new MLP and Yieldco.  The company's contracts with its parent, Green Plains ( GPRE ), also insulate it from the general level of economic activity and commodity markets.  However, this insulation is only as good as its parent's solvency.  While GPRE has a strong balance sheet, its ethanol operations are exposed to commodity markets, especially the oil price.As expected, GPP recovered along with the broader energy sector during March, although the move up was weak given the lack of any positive company specific news.There was no significant news at YieldcoNRG Yield ( NYLD and NYLD/A ) during March, although the company did announce that their new 20MW solar power facility was completed in Southern California. The stock was up a solid 9% for the month and expects to increase their annual dividend to $1.00 per share by the end of 2016.Terraform Global's stock had an extremely volatile month due to bankruptcy concerns at its sponsor and controlling shareholder, SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE ). While the company did pay their 4th quarter dividend as expected in mid-March, they were not able to release their financials due to accounting issues at SunEdison.Global also released an 8-K on March 29th confirming that SunEdison is likely to file for bankruptcy protection, a move which would have material negative impacts on Global. SunEdison currently owes Global about 90MW of power plants from their formation agreements, as well as 425MW of Indian solar aseets for which Global pre-paid $231mil in December 2015. The delivery of some or even all of these assets is now uncertain.Global also has change of control  covenants in certain of their bonds and project level debt which could force the company to pre-pay the debts. On the plus side, the company still has an estimated $750mil in unrestricted cash, along with 814MW of operating plants.Both Tom and I believe that the company is largely undervalued at current prices. Tom notes that, “even the current bag of assets should produce the cash flow to support a $0.40 dividend, way more than is needed to justify a $2.50 stock price.” It was also good to see that former CEO Brian Wuebbels resigned this week, and that the board of the directors expressly noted that they take their fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders very seriously and remain committed to acting in their best interests. Clean energy financier and REIT Hannon Armstrong delivered a solid month, performing in-line with the benchmark for the month. As highlighted by Tom many times over the past couple years, the company has an excellent business model that focuses on consistent growth with less risk than most of the Yieldco’s in the space. HASI generally raises its dividend in the fourth quarter. The above guidance implies that the 4th quarter dividend will be between $0.34 and $0.36, and the dividend will be raised another 4 to 7 cents in 2017. TransAlta Renewables continued its excellent performance in 2016, climbing another 18% in March. The stock was boosted in part by continued gains in the Canadian dollar, which was up 4.2% in March. As noted last month, the company recently completed a drop-down of a cogeneration plant, a wind farm, and a hydro facility in Canada from its parent, TransAlta Corp. (NYSE:TAC). Advanced biofuel producer Renewable Energy Group saw its stock soar 29% during March, as the company reported better than expected annual results on March 8th. Thanks to the retroactive reinstatement of the bio-diesel tax credit for 2015, the company reported revenues and earnings which were substantially higher than expected by the market. REGI also announced a stock and/or convertible bond repurchase program of up to $50mil, which has likely provided additional support for the stock. MiX Telematics Limited (NASD:MIXT; JSE:MIX). 12/31/15 Price: $4.22 / R2.80. Dec 31st Forward Annual Dividend: R0.08 (2.9%).  Beta:  -0.13.  Low Target: $4.  High Target: $15. 3/31/16 Price: $3.94/R2.36. YTD Dividend: R0.02/$0.12 Forward Annual Dividend: R0.08 (3.2%) YTD Total Return: -5.8% Software as a service fleet management provider MiX Telematics finally saw its stock climb again in March, as it was up 13.5%. The stock was also helped by a 7.5% improvement in the South African Rand. The company also announced two new offerings in North America targeting the oil & gas industry. The 2nd in particular highlighted the expected monthly savings to companies using MiX’s fleet solutions, a key consideration given the cost cutting required in the industry today. In addition, MiX has $1.85 worth of cash per share, and a P/E ratio of just over 8. Ameresco, Inc. (NASD:AMRC). Current Price: $6.25.  Annual Dividend: $0.  Beta: 1.1.  Low Target: $5.  High Target: $15.  3/31/16 Price: $4.77. YTD Total Return: -18.6% Energy service contractor Ameresco was the only pick aside from Terraform Global to trade down during March. The company reported so-so results in early March, with no news since, so the stock hasn’t seen any interest. On the plus side, insiders continued to purchase more company stock. Last month, Tom highlighted the fact that he was seeing great values across the renewable energy space, and urged investors with cash to buy. So far, it appears that the call was well timed. Even so, most of the stocks remain strong values, particularly the dividend payers. Given their relatively depressed share prices and projections for increasing dividends, total returns of 20-30% annually over the next couple years are not out of the question. DISCLAIMER: Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results.  This article contains the current opinions of the author and such opinions are subject to change without notice.  This article has been distributed for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product.  Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.


Dearnley P.A.,University of Leeds | Neville A.,University of Leeds | Turner S.,AMRC | Scheibe H.-J.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology | And 6 more authors.
Surface Engineering | Year: 2010

The tribological operating environment for cutting tools, automotive components and biomedical implant bearing surfaces is highly challenging. An assessment of the limitations of state of the art of coated materials for use in these applications has been made. Special consideration is given to the prospects for diamond-like carbon coating materials and the requirements for future high density plasma based surface engineering technologies. © 2010 Maney Publishing. Source

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