Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

By Line Goyette

SolarSolar Impulse was the first solar-powered plane to fly around the world. It's to talk about this project I met with Conor Lennon, the Solar Impulse Project Manager for ABB, during the ABB Customer World in March earlier this year in Houston, Texas. I wanted to learn a little more about it.

“Imagine working on a project where the goalposts are constantly changing,” he said. “Now imagine the entire stadium is also moving, and you don’t know when, or where, it is going to be at any given time. If you’ve got that image down, you might start to have an idea of the sort of challenges faced by the Solar Impulse commercial partners during the project’s groundbreaking flight around the world (the first by a solar-powered plane).”

One difference made by the Solar Impulse project was to draw attention to the shifting energy mix. For those who would like to see renewable energy provide the world’s electricity needs, Solar Impulse has served as a huge inspiration. The project’s engineers have managed to accomplish what many, the airline industry included, considered impossible: fly a plane day and night using only solar energy. The project team has been the first to harness an intermittent source, the sun’s rays, to keep an electric plane in the air throughout the hours of darkness. They achieved this by achieving new heights of energy efficiency and building an effective battery storage system.
Before the trip began, what did you want to achieve?

“ABB and Solar Impulse entered an innovation and technology alliance in 2014, in which ABB committed resources including the expertise of its engineers to help accomplish the first-ever circumnavigation of the planet without fossil fuel.

“The alliance was about a vision in which ABB believes in and a technological partnership to make this happen. ABB is very proud to have been part of this vision. The world needs clean energy more than ever, both to power the present and to secure the future. For over a century, ABB has been pioneering sustainable energy solutions to support economic growth and improve quality of life, while minimizing environmental impact. As you saw at the Customer World conference, ABB is now driving the development of a smarter, greener power grid by enabling the integration of renewable energy and electric mobility, and producing energy efficient motors, drives, robots, and with our range of digitally connected ABB Ability solutions.”

How did the actual journey compare to your expectations?

“The flights showed that the aircraft handling qualities, performance and production quality in general were as expected, which is not obvious. Nevertheless the aircraft system in general got a lot more complex caused by several redundancies. Hence, lots more effort was spent on testing the backup modes of systems.

“Our primary purpose was not to revolutionize aviation, but the way in which people think about energy and clean technologies. If Solar Impulse technologies were used on a massive scale, the world would be able to save up to 50% of the current consumption of fossil energy and produce half of the rest with renewable energies. As for the aviation industry, it is well aware of its need to change. However, this cannot be done quite as drastically as with Solar Impulse. Our project involved zero fuel. Conventional aviation cannot switch straight to zero fuel. Intermediate steps are needed, such as using lighter materials, more direct routes, or approaching airports through constant descent rather than performing level landings. Aviation will be the final area of transport able to stop using fuel.”

How did the world react when the project was announced?

“There was a great reaction. ABB and Solar Impulse were perfect partners, with the common goal of addressing the world’s energy challenges through groundbreaking technological innovation. Solar Impulse showed what’s possible when one is willing to venture beyond the boundaries of the conventional; ABB shows how breakthrough innovation can be transformed into tangible technologies and solutions.”

What unexpected results/benefits did you encounter?

“ABB, through its products and projects, has long been helping its customers find ways to boost efficiency and reduce resource consumption, regardless of the industry in which they are active. And Solar Impulse was the ideal ambassador for helping cement this message in the minds and hearts of the broader public. Quite simply, Solar Impulse stands for an ideal that has become ABB’s credo: Running the world without consuming the earth.”


What aspect of the project exceeded your expectations?

“The media coverage of ABB’s alliance with Solar Impulse was overwhelmingly positive. Our social media traffic increased dramatically (250% on Twitter, 140% on Facebook), our media rating was 89% positive (the rest being neutral), and over 1,000 media articles referred to ABB and Solar Impulse.”

What has the project meant to you personally?

“It taught me never to accept that something about which you are passionate is impossible (and also that some people might find that attitude exasperating!). The Solar Impulse maxim that ‘failure is when you stop before you succeed’ has also stayed with me.”

How will the learning from the project, and the awareness it generated benefit the power generation industry?

“By joining forces, ABB and Solar Impulse have been able to strengthen the case for renewables and to demonstrate that economic growth, progress and quality of life can be maintained and improved without consuming unsustainable amounts of energy and polluting the environment.

“ABB’s alliance with Solar Impulse was both technological aspect and inspirational. ABB engineers were embedded in the Solar Impulse project, sharing know-how and technology, helping to extract maximum power yield from the solar panels and making sure the batteries were fully charged, while deploying ABB equipment to improve the reliability of the control system of the mobile hangar that housed the plane when it had to make unscheduled stops.”

Why is it important for organizations like ABB to support initiatives like this?

“Because ABB and Solar Impulse are passionate pioneers of leading-edge technology. ABB and Solar Impulse share a common vision of decoupling environmental impact from economic growth. Solar Impulse embodies ABB values that shape our culture. The mission underlines that ABB is a global leader for solutions to enable energy efficiency, sustainable transportation and renewable energy as solar is a key driver and contributor to the future energy system.”

What difference has ABB made to the project?

“ABB engineers were embedded in the Solar Impulse project, sharing know-how and technology, helping to extract maximum power yield from the solar panels and making sure the batteries were fully charged, while deploying ABB equipment to improve the reliability of the control system of the mobile hangar that housed the plane when it had to make unscheduled stops.”

What do you want people to take away from the Solar Impulse project?

“Solar Impulse was a truly historic and unprecedented undertaking, and one that demonstrates that with a pioneering spirit and technological innovation, we can solve the world’s biggest challenges. Solar Impulse brought message to life and to people all over the world in a highly visible, inspirational way.”

Conor Lennon, Global Manager for Special Projects at ABB, is a communications professional and broadcaster with over 15 years experience. Formerly a broadcast journalist and TV and radio presenter, he has worked for major broadcasters including the BBC and Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, as well as international organizations including UN agencies. Since working for ABB, he has overseen major projects, including the partnership with Solar Impulse.
Line Goyette is Managing Editor of EIN; linegoyette@kerrwil.com

Photo source: Jean Revillard/Solar Impulse.

Changing Scene

  • Prev
  Malcolm Bird, General Manager of Fusetek, and Frank Dunnigan, CEO of Techspan Industries, ...
  EiKO, a manufacturer and distributor of premium lighting products, is expanding its ...
  The new CSA C83-17 offers utilities a comprehensive list of components, with critical ...
  Schneider Electric Canada has just launched Go Green in the City 2018, its global ...
  A new report published by Philips Lighting and SmartCitiesWorld highlights drivers and ...
This ongoing study provides industry with information on the most up-to-date issues and statistics ...

 Electrician Forum Brought to You by Schneider Electric             

The Electrician Forum is a monthly column that provides valuable information to electricians and electrical contractors on current industry trends and concerns. 

Schneider ElectricSponsored by Schneider Electric

In this issue: 

Quite simply put if you feel that job site costing and quote development are a lot of work, you are right! To properly assess a job and estimate the required work time, product costs and various other expenses can take more time than is often feasible for a small company. You need to be spending your time completing projects, which can become difficult if you are spending your hours doing cost analysis. We learned this first hand in last month’s edition of the Electrician Forum when Steve Beeby of Beehive Electric discussed the balance required to own and operate an electrical contracting company.

read more...

Watch a portion of the interview conducted by Electrical Industry Canada with Steve Beeby of Beehive Electric

 

Codes and Regulations Brought to You by the CSA Group

  • Prev
In this article: Section 58 — Passenger Ropeways and Similar Equipment. Rule 58-000 ...
  Unauthorized CSA Group certification marks have been found on wiring by Triumph Cable ...
In this article: Section 52 — Diagnostic imaging installations. The CE code is a ...
In this article: Section 46 — Emergency Power Supply, Unit Equipment, Exit Signs, and ...
  In this article: Section 44 — Theatre Installations. The CE Code is a ...
CSA has published C22.2 No. 60947-7-3, the harmonized standard for low-voltage switchgear and ...
  Electric welders. The CE Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem ...
  In this article: Section 40 — Electric cranes and hoists. The CE Code is a ...

Fluke Hammon Healy

As our population grows and consumers continue to rely on technology for both essentials and comfort, the need for power quality has become vital. Fluke is a leader in this field, offering power quality training seminars, as well as employing power quality specialists with years of industry experience.

This month’s personal profile is a double feature of two of Fluke’s senior power quality specialists, Hilton Hammond and Frank Healy.

Hilton Hammond has been with Fluke since 1995, and in 2013 moved into his current position as Power Quality Business Unit Manager. He has a deep and thorough knowledge of power quality and related electrical instrumentation. 

Frank Healy, Power Quality Product Marketing Manager at Fluke since 2006, has been in the industry for well over three decades. He globally manages Fluke’s power quality products, including measuring instruments and precision power analyzers.

Read More



Tools for the Trade

  • Prev
  IDEAL Industries has introduced Combination Drill Taps to its tool lineup. Combining the ...
  Stripping and crimping device, 100 - 240 V input voltage, for insulated ferrules with a ...
Professional all-in-one cutter/stripper for coaxial and twisted pair cables     ...
  Klein Tools' Coax Explorrer 2 tests coaxial cable and maps up to 4 locations   ...
  Ideal Industries' T-14 wire stripper s are ideal for all professionals working within the ...
  The ATS850 conveyor eliminates all types of electro static discharge requirements. ...
  Lorik Tool & Automation has the experience and ability to manufacture a variety of ...
  Ideal Industries' 26 piece insulated Journeyman kit is ideal for new electricians or for ...
  Klein Tools Deluxe Fish Rod Set comes in 19 pieces that when assembled can fish wire and ...
  BendWorks Software was designed to help electrical contractors adopt this new process ...

Product News

  • Prev
  Emergency stop, light grid or safety door – the PSRmini and PSRclassic safety ...
  Brady's B-555 Aluminum Safety Sign is an aluminum sign panel, with protected graphics. ...
  Greenlee offers 8 styles of ANSI compliant eyewear to meet the varied needs and ...
    Ideal Industries non-conductive S-Class Fiberglass Fish Tape is designed ...
  Archilume releases its new LED luminaire, Balance. Drawing inspiration from the Bauhaus ...
  Archilume’s new LED luminaire offers a new Dim to Warm feature enhancing the ...
  Inspired by minimalist shapes condensed to their most basic yet visually strong essential ...
  As buildings become increasingly more connected through the Internet of Things (IoT), ...
  The EVHC series from Dual-Lite is a high lumen output emergency lighting unit designed ...
  The LED Low Voltage Down Light (LV-DL series) utilizes high brightness Epistar COB (Chip ...

 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
David Johns is a unique and dedicated individual both at home and in the workplace. At home he is a ...
    Sean Freeman is a vibrant, enthusiastic and selfless individual who has taken his ...
  Automation companies are drivers of innovation, and have penetrated near every industry ...
Total Electrical Solutions was founded in 2013 by Jeremy Herrington in Quispamsis, on the outskirts ...
Andrew MacLeod is a territory sales manager with Leviton Manufacturing of Canada in British ...
  Floyd Lau founded Amptek Technologies in 2002 as an end to end engineering design ...
Mike Marsh, President and CEO of SaskPower, has been a leading figure in Saskatchewan’s ...
Gordon MacDonald is a cheerful, driven individual who loves to be challenged, a trait that suits ...
  Most of us have a difficult enough time managing one job and a home life. However, some ...
  Since 2012 Barnstormer has advanced the abilities of their brewery with the installation ...

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

 Sean Freeman

Sean Freeman is a vibrant, enthusiastic and selfless individual who has taken his trade expertise beyond that of a simple career. Not only is he a Master Electrician but he has traveled around the world as an electrical technician delegate with the Red Cross Emergency Response Unit. His skills are a vital part of emergency response and disaster relief.

In 2013 Sean responded to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In 2014 Sean spent almost a month in Kenema, Sierra Leone working at the Ebola Treatment Centre. There he was responsible for ensuring electricity and clean water were available, and worked to strengthen the infrastructure of the facility. 

read more

Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
2016 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil