The quest for compact dust collectors in the industrial manufacturing arena has led to the increased use of filter cartridges. Among these dust collectors is one developed by a manufacturer using PowerCore® filter cartridges. When filtering dust that doesn’t easily release from the filter media, cartridges often plug and restrict airflow. Soon, several customers and operators of these smaller dust collectors found themselves dealing with filter issues and contacted Parker for a solution.
The innovative TotalPleat™ aftermarket replacement filter was developed to fit Donaldson PowerCore® CP filter part numbers P032358-016-340 and P280356-016-340. The proprietary MERV 15 filter provides numerous improvements and advantages over the OEM filter.
Our engineering team used advanced engineering tools, computational fluid dynamic modeling, and 3D printing to design a filter cartridge that can handle more demanding conditions. Innovations like our louvered grid on top of the filter not only more evenly distribute the cleaning air but also serves as a handle for cartridge removal and ASHRAE 199 testing validated the new design.
The installation | case study
After extensive analysis, laboratory, and beta-site testing, some of the first BHA® TotalPleat™ cartridges were installed in September of 2019 in a collector in the southeast United States. The collector, on top of a cement loadout silo, is in plain view of the adjacent interstate and visible dust emissions would attract immediate attention.
With the new TotalPleat™ cartridges, a remote monitoring device was installed to track the collector’s performance. As of December 2020, there had never been any visible emissions from the TotalPleat™ filters and differential pressure has been excellent (see chart on page 2 for the dp trend).Application details
The cement dust filtered by the TotalPleat™ cartridges has more moisture than normal, can be sticky, and harden on the filter media when the moisture condenses. The intermediate use of this collector favors condensation and moist dust. To avoid excessive dust buildup, the cartridges are cleaned continuously during collector operation. Off-time, the time between pulses is 23 seconds and results in one complete cleaning cycle every three minutes. The continuous cleaning requires a tough filter media to withstand the high number of impacts generated by the pulse valves. By December 2020, the cartridges had received over 45,000 pulses, there are no emissions and the differential pressure is still quite low, overall: very good.
A year-plus after installation and without any maintenance, the TotalPleat™ filters are still running strong while the original OEM cartridges had emission and pressure drop problems within the first three months of operation. In several instances, TotalPleat™ life has quadrupled compared to the OEM cartridge, as reported by customers.
What is noteworthy is that during the first days of operation, the TotalPleat™ filters were slightly damaged because the header pressure for the pulse valves was accidentally set to 100 PSIG instead of 60 PSIG. This has not caused any operational issues or emissions and speaks well for the robust new design.
Why do the TotalPleat™ filters perform better?
Pleated filters and cartridges pack a lot of filtration surface into a small space. This results in narrow gas passages that get clogged by sticky dust. Optimizing pleat geometry to balance filtration area, gas velocities, and dust release was key to the advanced performance of the TotalPleat™ cartridge. The louvered grid improved cleaning efficiency by properly distributing the cleaning energy to the entire pleat pack. That is why BHA® TotalPleat™ has longer filter life and the ability to better discharge the accumulated dust. The TotalPleat™ filter cartridges are a direct replacement for the Donaldson PowerCore CP filter part numbers P032358-016-340 (MERV 13) and P280356-016-340 (MERV 15). TotalPleat™ cartridges are completely incinerable.
This blog was contributed the Filtration team, Parker Industrial Gas Filtration and Generation Division.
Powercore® is a registered trademark of Donaldson Company, Inc.
Exotic Metals Forming Division began in 1963 with the creation of titanium sheet metal flanges. Today, the organization continues to be a leader in the forming of specialty metals in the aerospace industry as an expert using titanium and nickel alloys. These high-strength metals are corrosion resistant at high temperatures, making them ideal for aerospace applications. Also, these materials’ characteristics make them difficult to form, requiring specialized infrastructure and innovative proprietary processes. Exotic continues to refine and develop ways to form these alloys using specialized manufacturing processes.
Exotic employs a cradle-to-grave engineering philosophy. Engineers take a project from concept to full-rate production and support throughout the product lifecycle. A project begins with the engineering team providing technical leadership in quoting, manufacturing design, process development, and tooling design. Engineers use the latest CAD and simulation software, including Siemens NX and ANSYS. They develop tooling processes and work with our in-house tool and die shop.
Customer focus and quality are key components of the cradle-to-grave engineering philosophy. Engineer teams work collaboratively in all stages of process development. With forward-thinking, a collaborative mindset, and advanced technology, the engineering teams create manufacturing processes and product design solutions that best match our customers' needs.
The following are examples of the manufacturing technology, equipment, tools, and the process followed to form, trim, and assemble parts today and how Exotic works to advance their technology for the future.
Exotic first used an axial load bulge in the forming process. Bulge forming seals raw material inside of a die cavity and is pressurized until the raw material takes the shape of the die cavity.
Hydroforming uses a pressurized bladder that pushes a flat piece of raw material into a contoured die cavity. The contoured punch is also used to force a flat piece of raw material into the pressurized bladder, forming it to the punch contour.
Exotic uses many other processes to turn raw material into a complete part. Raw material arrives as sheet stock, which may be rolled and welded into tubing using an automated longitudinal seam welder or cut into a dimension blank using a flat pattern laser or waterjet. To form successfully, Exotic has developed welding techniques to optimize the formability of welds.
Several unique forming processes are used at Exotic. One of those processes is superplastic forming. A piece of raw material and die are heated until the raw material is in a superplastic state. One side of the die is then pressurized using gas to force the raw material into the contour on the other half of the die.
Manufacturing technology: material trimming
The teams at Exotic have developed industry-leading capability and knowledge in the area of laser trimming. Primary trimming tools at Exotic are a suite of six-axis laser cutters. The lasers are capable of a high average power output, which allows for quick continuous cuts. These tools are used in trimming formed subassemblies and final processing of assemblies.
Manufacturing technology: assembly
A variety of welding processes are used at Exotic to join details to form complete assemblies. The following types of welding processes are used to create complex assemblies; tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding performed manually and automated, seam, laser, and plasma welding.
Manual riveting is used at Exotic alongside robotic-riveter machines to automatically drill, countersink fastener holes, load, and squeeze rivets for assembly with fasteners.
Development of technology at Exotic
The advanced technology and automation team at Exotic is dedicated to developing new technologies to improve manufacturing processes continuously. Examples include retrofitting manual-operated forming equipment with electronic controls; improving the accuracy of forming operations; installing a robotic parts mover to deliver material around facilities without human involvement; and incorporating additive manufacturing into the growing list of capabilities.
The Exotic engineering and manufacturing teams remain committed to pushing the boundaries of what's possible by developing new processes and technologies to maintain our position as the industry leader in sheet metal assembly fabrication. Exotic celebrates our past, enjoys the present, and looks forward to the future.
Article contributed by members of the Engineering Team at Exotic Metals Forming Division.
Have you been frustrated with going through multiple design iterations when rubber components are failing due to high stresses or your device has been leaking due to insufficient compression? Have you lost months and months of precious time having to recut tools and make design changes?
FEA takes out the guesswork
Finite element analysis (FEA) is an effective tool used in design iterations. It allows for different design ideas, options, and alterations to be quickly, effectively, and precisely compared.
Using FEA can improve both the speed and quality of product design as well as reduce the overall cost. Rubber parts, such as silicone diaphragms, septums, seals, valves, tubing, and balloons are critical components in today’s medical devices that can benefit from the use of FEA. It can be an excellent design tool to improve the functional performance of these devices. FEA for rubber products is actually far more complex than for metal or plastic products. It requires sophisticated nonlinear FEA software - such as MSC Marc - as well as a good understanding of the material behavior, material modeling, and testing requirements.
Rubber is highly stretchable, flexible, and durable. This blend of elastic properties differentiates rubber from other materials and makes it one of the best choices for many components in medical devices. However, it’s important to note that rubber materials are not 100 percent elastic because they can develop compression sets and force decay, causing eventual performance degradation and shorter useful life.
Nonlinear FEA for rubber products
Normally, there are three types of nonlinearities encountered: kinematic nonlinearity, material nonlinearity, and boundary nonlinearity. Additionally, rubber products are often subject to large deformations. Whenever material experiences large deformations at least two kinds of nonlinearity - kinematic and material - are involved.
Commonly used nonlinear material models in FEA are elastoplastic models for metals and plastics and hyperelastic models for rubber. in addition, the boundary nonlinearity is usually associated with large deformations.
What are the best test modes to use? One basic engineering rule should apply: always design and perform tests that most closely simulate the actual application conditions that the finished component or device will experience.
Rubbers are almost incompressible
In general, rubber materials are considered nearly incompressible, simply because their volume change is negligible for most applications as a result of that their bulk modulus (105 psi) being several orders larger than their shear modulus (102 psi). The rubber material is actually much more compressible than metal in a confined state (the bulk modulus of typical steel is 107 psi). This understanding is very important to the design considerations of elastomeric products, especially when thermal expansion, limited groove space, or compression of high aspect ratio parts are involved.
Simulation accuracy and relativity
Many factors affect the accuracy and reliability of FEA results, such as material modeling, geometry simplification, and numerical methods. FEA is mostly used in design iterations for which relative comparison is sufficient in the majority of instances. When analysis results are interpreted in a relative sense, different design ideas, options, or modifications can be compared effectively and accurately, and most importantly, rapidly. Furthermore, some tested cases may already exist and can be used as references.
FEA improves product design
FEA is a powerful tool for the development of rubber components for medical devices. The proper use of FEA can minimize physical prototyping and provide for concurrent engineering. It greatly improves both the speed and the quality of product design, as well as provides cost savings.
Parker has more than 20 years of testing experience with FEA. For more information on Parker‘s use of FEA watch our detailed video - Accelerating Your Launch: Reducing Design Iterations with FEA.
Check out all of our Sealing solutions for Life Science applications including featured applications for Diabetes Care, Surgical, Respiratory, Drug Delivery Systems, and more!
This post was contributed by Albena Ammann, life science development engineer, Engineered Materials Group, Parker Hannifin.
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What do you do when your production and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) teams are faced with unscheduled demand for new equipment and overhaul/repair services from a customer supporting the United States military? Especially when you are required to cut lead times in half?
The answer: collaborate with your customer, thoroughly analyze data, sharpen lean processes, and get creative with supply chain strategy to hit the target. Then, in this case, the customer recognizes the success of your efforts.
GA-ASI MQ-9, Avenger, and Gray Eagle increasing landing cycles
The Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division (AWBD) of Parker Aerospace is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of wheels and brakes for the MQ-9, Avenger, and Gray Eagle remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI). Parker has enjoyed a long relationship with GA-ASI, providing not only OEM equipment but also overhaul and maintenance services for the fielded product.
As the GA-ASI aircraft have been called to fly more missions for the United States Air Force and Army, the number of aircraft landing and braking cycles and demand for new aircraft has grown. This growth led to a surge in order requirements which required AWBD to respond quickly and decisively to deliver in an aggressive time frame.
Leaning forward to reduce production lead times
As deployment of remotely-piloted aircraft grew, the need for new production wheels and brakes increased. Customer GA-ASI asked Parker to initially double, and ultimately triple, the number of deliveries per month to meet this requirement.
Lead times for new complex production orders, including the manufacture of forged and machined components plus assembly and testing, can take many months. Though not an uncommon reality for highly engineered products, the customer can encounter unscheduled demand due the aircraft’s success in the field. It was calculated that the greater need could only be met by cutting lead times by at least 50 percent.
With this increase in demand and the timeframe required, it became apparent that a key impediment to success was the procurement of long-lead components, especially forged parts. Traditionally, the AWBD team would order forged parts when an order requiring them was in-house; this usually added weeks to the lead time. In the case with GA-ASI, AWBD’s supply chain team was able to adjust their forecast model and commit to carrying inventory for a number of long-lead parts, saving critical time.
Using Lean principles to improve in-service support
The Parker team has continued to refine every aspect of its support to consistently meet customer expectations. With increased sorties comes increased demand for support, which is where Parker’s culture of continuous improvement can ensure operational capability and capacity. To keep up with increased demand, AWBD developed a prioritized overhaul schedule that was cost effective and ensured that necessary repairs were done on time. Additional AWBD kaizen events have yielded improved product flow through the repair station and cut turnaround times by nearly 70 percent.
Collaboration key to improving lead time
In both new production and field support, gaining a clear understanding of the hurdles to meet customer objectives was paramount to implementing change. And that took a concerted effort between the Parker and GA-ASI teams. Starting with forecasting data from the customer, the teams expanded their insight into which wheel and brake components needed to be ordered in advance and which would require repair or replacement.
“When we were faced with the need to shrink lead times and improve turnaround time for GA-ASI repairs, we naturally opened dialogue with the customer. We saw an opportunity for the Parker and customer teams to examine a broad range of data and meaningfully engage, aligning our systems while optimizing what we do and how we do it.”
– Mark Harbison, key account manager, Parker Aerospace
Sign of success: AWBD team acknowledged for its efforts
In recognition of their commitment and work required to support increasing demand over multiple years, GA-ASI recognized Parker AWBD for its outstanding support. The Parker Aircraft Wheel & Brake team was presented with a banner from GA-ASI that thanked them for the outstanding support. The banner proudly hangs in the AWBD facility as a reminder of a job well done and the value in providing premier customer service.
This post was contributed by Justin Hodges, business development manager, Parker Aerospace, Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division.
The West Virginia Department of Highways has the responsibility to maintain and repair thousands of miles of public roads and state highways to support the environment and communities that call West Virginia their home. The Department of Highways in West Virginia needed a durable tilt attachment that could withstand the use and abuse of digging in rocky soil. They also wanted a tool that would reduce their reliance on manual labor to perform a variety of tasks such as cleaning ditches, laying and repairing pipe, and removing asphalt. When they added a PowerTilt to their backhoes, they found a tilt attachment that outlasted their previous backhoe without needing any repairs, and it improved their productivity between 30 to 75 percent depending on the task performed.PowerTilt reduced pipe installation by 75 percent
Before PowerTilt, installing pipe in landscaped areas in West Virginia required a lot of time-intensive manual labor and finish work to clean up the job site. Since the machine couldn't always be leveled to obtain the level bottom in the ditch that these installations required. West Virginia Department of Highways used a PowerTilt to dig the trench to the appropriate depth and width for pipe installation. With PowerTilt, the installation crew could tilt the bucket to level and make the bed for the open top drain or the drop inlet level.
“With PowerTilt you can save so much time and effort by simply positioning your bucket instead of repositioning the entire machine."
Wyatt Reed, backhoe operator for West Virginia Department of Highways
Since backfill wasn’t allowed into either the open top drains or the drop inlets, the installation crew previously dumped backfill on the side of the ditch and shoveled it in by hand. Now with PowerTilt, the installation crew simply positions the bucket 45 degrees and drops the fill rock out of the corner of the bucket. Also before PowerTilt, backfilling was a backbreaking manual task accomplished with shovels and a lot of hard work. Now installing the pipe and backfilling the trench is a breeze. They can tilt the bucket to 90 degrees and use the edge of the bucket just like a rake. Then the installation crew can pull the entire excess dirt off the grass or concrete.Time saved for installation and clean up
PowerTilt not only saved West Virginia Department of Highways tons of time in the pipe installation, it also saved them tremendous time on the project clean up as well, which reduces labor costs and increases productivity. “The PowerTilt cut our project time for installing pipes by 75 percent. Previously, the cleanup in landscaped areas required around six or seven men, and with the PowerTilt we can now do a much better-looking job, in a lot less time, with around three men (including the operator),” stated Reed.An average of 35 percent of time saved when repairing pipe
West Virginia Department of Highways spends a fair amount of time using PowerTilt for pipe repair projects. The repair process starts by digging around both sides of the pipe. Then machine operator tilts the bucket and uses a tooth to loosen the soil around the sides of pipe. If the pipe just needs to be straightened out, then the operator can tilt the bucket and use a tooth to hook the lip at the end of the pipe and then lift to straighten the pipe. When the pipe needs the end cut off, the operator uses the PowerTilt to tilt the bucket 90 degrees and actually dig under the pipe so they can get all the way around it with a cut off saw. Before the PowerTilt, the construction crew had to dig under the pipe by hand, which significantly increases the timeline along with the expense.
“When we need to repair a pipe there's no better tool than PowerTilt. A job that may have taken hours before now takes less than 35 percent of the time with the PowerTilt,”
Wyatt Reed, backhoe operator for West Virginia Department of Highways.Cutting asphalt with PowerTilt saved 30 percent in time
Another unexpected benefit of PowerTilt was the ability to use it to break up old asphalt for road prep work and repaving projects. PowerTilt allowed them to remove the asphalt without bringing in a dedicated machine or breaking the asphalt with jackhammers or other intensive manual labor methods. The Department of Highways in West Virginia used the PowerTilt to angle the bucket and then used a tooth to score, or gouge, the asphalt. This process weakens the asphalt allowing the PowerTilt to then break the asphalt and pick it up. The West Virginia Department of Highways reduced labor time by 30 percent by utilizing one machine instead of many for the removal of old asphalt.Increased productivity by 50 percent when cleaning ditches
With PowerTilt, West Virginia Department of Highways was able to easily dig the V shaped ditches by utilizing the 130 degrees of side-to-side swing rotation offered by PowerTilt. Without the PowerTilt, ditches ended up with a ‘'U" profile. PowerTilt also allows the ditching work to be accomplished from the road, diminishing the impact on roadside vegetation. The Department of Highways in West Virginia found the smooth rotation of the PowerTilt to be really helpful for small angle adjustments, which comes in handy when carving a gentle slope from the roadside to the ditch for optimum runoff and erosion control. As a result, PowerTilt increased the West Virginia Department of Highway's ditching productivity by 50 percent.Durability to a new level
West Virginia’s soil is full of rocks and boulders so digging and hard pounding in this type of environment takes a toll on the backhoe and the backhoe operator. “PowerTilt was used and abused yet it stood up to the abuse better than the backhoe or the operators. We’ve used our PowerTilt over six years and with the exception of daily greasing by the operators, we haven't had to send it in to our service department for any repairs,” said Reed. "If PowerTilt ever wears out, I will do everything in my power to make sure the department buys me another one.”Inside Parker’s Helac rotary actuator technology
PowerTilt uses Parker’s innovative Helac sliding-spline operating technology to convert linear piston motion into powerful shaft rotation. Each Helac actuator is composed of a housing and two moving parts - the central shaft and piston. As hydraulic pressure is applied, the piston is displaced axially, while the helical gearing on the piston outer diameter and housing's ring gear cause the simultaneous rotation of the piston. PowerTilt's end caps, seals and bearings all work in tandem to keep debris and other contaminants out of the inner workings of the actuator, prolonging product life and reducing required maintenance. PowerTilt is available for equipment up to 75,000 pounds in eight sizes with standard rotation of up to 180 degrees. Each model is designed for a specific class of machinery and individually customized to fit the carrier.
Learn more about the benefits of Parker’s Helac PowerTilt by visiting solutions.parker.com/powertilt
This article was contributed by Jessica Howisey, marketing communications manager and Daniel Morgado, applications engineer, Helac Business Unit, Cylinder Division.
As regulatory pressure continues to curb greenhouse emissions, there has been a lot of attention on solar and wind energy. However, a less-publicized renewable energy source could play a major role in preparing for a world that is less dependent on fossil fuel — tidal energy.
The potential energy that could be harvested from tidal movements on a global scale is enormous, with some experts citing about 1 terawatt of power is stored in the world’s oceans. This would be enough to power 10 billion 100-watt lightbulbs at once.
Industry experts describe tidal energy as one of the greatest untapped renewable energy sources on the planet. In the U.S., where there are thousands of miles of coastline, the Department of Energy estimates that developing just 5% of tidal energy’s identified technical resource potential would generate electricity in the amount of 12.5 terawatt-hours per year, which is enough to power slightly more than 1.1 million typical American homes.
Read part 2 of our white paper- 2021 Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends, to explore renewable energy technology trends, both established and newer technologies including hydropower, wind, solar, and biogas.
Tidal energy pros and cons
Tidal energy is attractive for many reasons. It is environmentally friendly and represents a highly predictable energy source, especially when compared with wind energy or solar power. It also offers high energy density and provides an inexhaustible source of energy with comparatively low operational and maintenance costs.
There are several disadvantages, however, that need to be addressed before tidal energy can reach its full potential. The largest barrier to tidal energy is the high cost associated with building tidal power stations. Another major concern is the potentially negative environmental effects on marine life. Spinning blades can injure living organisms, as can water fouling resulting from various system components.
Other disadvantages of tidal energy include the variable intensity of sea waves. Plus, there are location limits. Tidal energy plants must be located where tides are the strongest, yet not too close to cities where aesthetic concerns prevail.
Recent technological developments have reduced economic and environmental costs to competitive levels, opening the door to a bright future for tidal energy.
Leading technologies for capturing renewable ocean energy
There are two primary methods of generating electricity from tides:
Tidal range devices utilize the difference in water levels between high and low tides.
Tidal stream devices utilize the energy of flowing water in tidal currents to generate electricity directly.
A tidal barrage is one of the better-known tidal range devices. Tidal barrage technology utilizes dam-like structures that are often built across the entrance to a bay or estuary. Their tunnels contain turbines that generate energy created by the changing heights in tides.
Although tidal barrages have a long history, their future is less certain. High installation costs and concerns about the effects on local marine life have turned the interest from barrages to stream devices. These include a variety of turbine designs, as well as more innovative concepts, such as oscillating hydrofoils and tidal kites.
Many different technologies are currently in development in the tidal stream sector. Challenges remain, however, before they may prove commercially viable.
Durability is a primary concern, as any tidal stream device needs to withstand greater loading forces because of the high density of water. There are also concerns regarding the impact of tidal turbines on water quality since they disrupt upstream and downstream current velocities. In addition, local sea life is adversely affected by noise pollution, the generation of electromagnetic fields, and possible injury from rotor blades and other moving parts.
Designing tidal turbines to withstand harsh marine environments
Tidal turbines are similar to wind turbines in that they have blades that turn a rotor to power a generator. They can be placed on the seafloor where there is strong tidal flow. Because water is about 800 times denser than air, tidal turbines must be much sturdier and heavier than wind turbines, which makes them more expensive to build. However, they can capture more energy and release greater amounts of power with the same size blades.
Given the increased water density, the harsh corrosive environment of the sea, and concerns about oil leaking from components and harming marine life, tidal energy systems require components that are highly durable, reliable, and proven safe.
Parker has led the market with several innovative products that have proven, over time, to withstand the harsh marine environment and provide safe, reliable operation.
Some of these products include:
A proprietary Global Shield™ Coating Technology for steel cylinder rods that offers significantly increased corrosion protection for longer component field life at a lower cost than stainless steel.
Parker F37 / Complete Piping Solutions (CPS) that eliminate welded pipe connections, increasing safety and decreasing installation time.
The Parker Tracking System (PTS), which reduces asset downtime as well as the efforts of the maintenance staff when replacing products such as ruptured hoses.
Creating technologies that harness the potential of tidal energy
As tidal power engineers work to refine existing technologies, there has been a focus on improving turbines and how they are powered. Consider some of the more noteworthy innovations that have taken place in just the past few years:
Modified bulb turbines with an additional set of guide vanes are allowing better management and control of the flow through the turbine. Bulb turbines are attractive because they can deliver very high-power output.
A breakthrough announced in mid-2020 was a turbine that does not require a gearbox. With fewer moving parts in the turbine, there is greater reliability and longer intervals between maintenance checks.
Concentrators or shields are being placed around turbine blades to optimize tidal current flow toward the rotors. A remaining challenge is that high-tech equipment is required to deploy these devices in rough seas and anchor them to the seabed.
Direct-drive, hydraulic, and inertia systems continue to evolve. For example, considerable research is being done on dielectric elastomer generators, which utilize soft capacitors that do a better job of withstanding harsh ocean environments than traditional electromagnetic generators.
Artificially intelligent turbines promise to provide greater efficiency and the ability to adjust to changing conditions in real-time. A newer AI system has been designed to utilize data derived from wind energy. Data is captured at the surface and transmitted to the turbine system to maximize turbine performance and efficiency. Such a design is projected to reduce lifetime costs for this tidal energy system by nearly 20%.
A new 73-meter-long floating superstructure has been developed that supports two 1-MW turbines on each side to generate twice as much energy.
An innovative tidal kite known as Deep Green is creating several hundred times more electricity than a stationary turbine on the seafloor. The tidal kite can produce electricity from slower currents which makes it more versatile.
A wave energy team at Oregon State University is researching novel direct-drive generators which don’t require the use of hydraulic fluid or air. Instead, they leverage the velocity and force of a buoy to power the generator. The generators respond directly to ocean movement by employing magnetic fields for contactless mechanical energy transmission and power electronics for efficient electrical energy extraction.
Although much of the research on tidal turbines over the past decade has focused on design options that will produce greater energy efficiency, today there is greater awareness regarding the need to achieve a more reliable operation to ensure the consistent production of tidal energy. Types of damage that most often affect the drivetrain of a tidal turbine include:
broken gear teeth
lubrication variability resulting in dry contact of the rotating surfaces
This has opened the door to a new generation of condition-based monitoring and diagnostics equipment. Parker offers in-depth expertise in this area with products such as:
icountPD Online Particle Detector that features the most up-to-date technology in solid particle detection for independent, real-time monitoring of system contamination trends.
Parker On-Site Heated Viscometer, an on-site oil analysis that detects out-of-spec fuels or lubricants before equipment damage occurs.
Parker Acoustic Bearing Checker monitors high-frequency Acoustic Emissions (AE) signals naturally generated by deterioration in rotating machinery.
To learn more about tidal and other energy trends impacting our world, read our Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends White Paper – Part 2.
Article contributed by the Filtration and Energy Teams.
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As renewable energy sources such as wind and solar become a larger part of the overall United States’ energy portfolio, energy producers and system operators have an opportunity to take advantage of expanding options to introduce renewable energy to the power grid.
The renewables trend
Renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the United States. Total annual electricity generation from wind power in the United States increased from about 6 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2000 to about 338 billion kWh in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
During the past decade, solar power has grown at an average rate of 42% annually, resulting in more than 89 gigawatts of solar capacity in place today across the United States, according to Solar Industry Research Data.
Read part 1 of our white paper- 2021 Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends, to learn how fossil-based power generation technologies are rapidly evolving and renewable technologies are being scaled to meet the demands of the 21st-century market.
The rise of renewable energy is a result of many factors, including a favorable regulatory environment, technological advancements, and increased demand for clean energy in electricity markets.
As this trend continues to grow, solutions to accommodate the fluctuating supply and demand associated with variable renewable energy--from utility-scale wind farms to residential rooftop solar panels--become critical. A solar installment or wind farm that can capture and monetize oversupply is more efficient. In fact, experts in a YaleEnvironment 360 article have described energy storage as the true bridge to a clean-energy future.
Utility-scale batteries are used to store and distribute energy, increasing reliability and resilience for energy producers. Due in part to advancements in technology, the cost of utility-scale battery storage has dropped dramatically in recent years nearly 70% between 2015 and 2018, according to the EIA. The EIA predicts battery storage will increase by nearly 7,000 MW in the near term.
Customer and third-party-owned distributed energy generation and storage units are also becoming more common. Single-family households are installing rooftop solar panels. Microgrids are serving university campuses with small wind turbines. Large hospitals are generating electricity with a reciprocating engine combined heat and power (CHP) system for its own heating, cooling, and electricity.
As these trends continue to grow, the implications for existing energy grids become more complex. Connecting solar, wind, and other utility-scale renewable energy sources into the grid are difficult in part because current grids are designed for a centralized distribution model. Grids built decades ago were not designed to efficiently accommodate widely distributed generation.
Renewable energy and grid stability
The United States electricity grid is aging. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 70% of the U.S. electrical grid’s 160,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines are more than 25 years old. Many transformers that either step up or step down the voltage to accommodate distribution are roughly the same age. Other components still in operation were installed more than a century ago.
While the grid has served energy needs well for decades, today’s energy demand does not resemble the needs that drove its initial design, or the needs that have emerged since its mid-century expansion. Today’s energy consumption has grown more complex, straining the capabilities of the grid.
Electric utilities have increasingly invested in replacing and modernizing this aging infrastructure. The U.S. publicly owned electric utilities spent an estimated $52 billion on electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure in 2019, representing about half of the total capital expenditures.
This investment in modernization is in part driven by the need to accommodate grid integration of renewable energy sources.
Grid integration of renewable energy systems
One way in which renewable energy systems are connecting to the grid is through smart grid technology. Smart grids enable the efficient integration of renewable energy sources, critical for the transition to clean energy.
In modernizing the energy grid, smart grid digital technologies are being deployed across the transmission and distribution system to help grid operators improve operational efficiency, reliability, flexibility, and security, and to reduce electricity consumption. Rather than replacing elements of the existing grid, smart grid technologies improve efficiency by digitalizing, upgrading, and expanding the current electrical grid.
Smart field devices and sensors are key elements of smart grid technology. These monitor processes, communicate data to operations centers, respond to digital commands, and adjust processes automatically. In modern smart grids, Phasor Measurement Units help operators assess grid stability. Advanced digital meters provide information to consumers and automatically report outages. Relays automatically sense and recover from faults in substations and automated feeder switches reroute power around problems. Batteries store excess generated electricity, accessible on-demand to the grid.
To further enhance smart grid capabilities, communications networks share data among devices and systems, while information management and computing systems process, analyze, and help operators access and apply data coming from the grid.
Another growing technology for grid integration of renewable energy sources is high-voltage direct current (HVDC). Electrical grids have long been based on alternating current (AC). In the early days of electricity, transformers could reduce AC voltages, but nothing similar existed for making direct current (DC) safe for residential use. With technological advances, however, this has all changed. During the past two decades, numerous HVDC transmission systems have been built throughout the world. These are long-distance lines carrying DC electricity that are separate from the AC transmission lines in the grid.
HVDC power systems transmit electricity over long distances more efficiently. Transmitting AC at lower voltages increases resistance in the transmission line conductors. Resistance generates heat, resulting in the loss of electricity as it travels through the line. Over long distances, the cost of power loss over high-voltage AC power lines exceeds the added cost of the HVDC converter stations over the lifetime of the system. This breakeven distance has been estimated at 800 km (500 miles) for overhead lines and 50 km (31 miles) for underground and undersea cables.
This means it can be more cost-efficient to transmit electricity over DC rather than AC power lines when the customers are consuming electricity hundreds of miles from where the power is generated. Renewable energy sources such as wind farms, large solar arrays, and hydroelectric power are often great distances from the population centers they serve.
HVDC systems are helping countries around the world advance toward renewable energy grid interconnection. The United States has 20 HVDC systems in operation, including a 3,100 MW capacity line that transmits electricity 845 miles from Oregon to the Los Angeles area. China, a leader in this technology, is in the process of building a massive national electrical grid based on a hybrid system of UHV (ultra-high voltage) DC lines for power transmission from its provinces in the north and west and an AC network for distribution to its population centers near the eastern coast.
Parker's solutions for power transmission and distribution
From transmission and distribution applications to energy storage solutions and power conversion systems, Parker offers a wide range of solutions on the leading edge of the grid modernization trend.
To learn more about power transmission and distribution, read our white paper 2021 Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends – Part 1.
The article was contributed by the Filtration and Energy Teams.
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Parker Colorflow valves have been a global standard in industrial and mobile applications for more than 60 years. The exclusive colored rings found on metering, flow control and needle valves provide users highly visible checkpoints that allow for accurate and quick set/reset of valve positions. Though they have changed very little since development, they are quickly adapting to a new digital age.The original design
Colorflow inventor brothers, Ted and Julius Zajac, were born to Polish immigrant parents in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, a solidly working-class neighborhood overlooking Cleveland’s vast industrial valley and the Cuyahoga River. They were raised, like our founder Art Parker, in the same area surrounded by industry and innovation. Although the Parkers and the Zajacs were separated by a few decades, their family homes were located only a dozen blocks apart.
During their lifetime, the Zajac brothers would found several companies and author 20 patents. One such company was Manatrol Corporation, a company known for innovative fluid control, founded in 1958. Within a few years, they would receive their patent on a unique flow control valve (Patent No. 3,085,592) that they named their Colorflow line. It is hard to imagine if the brothers could have foreseen that tens of millions of their valves would be manufactured over the course of several decades, but as they filed their patent, they began the story of their Colorflow line.
In 1963, Manatrol Corporation merged with Perry Fay Corporation in Elyria, Ohio, and in 1969 was acquired by Parker. The Manatrol Division of Parker Hannifin was created, the foundation of what would eventually become the Hydraulic Valve Division (HVD) of today.
Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, childhood homes of Art Parker and the Zajac brothers—also the first location of Manatrol Corporation during the 1950s. Interestingly enough, Art Parker’s first location of the Parker Appliance Company was in the adjacent neighborhood of Cleveland’s Ohio City during the 1920s. Photo by Glenn Petranek @ glennpics.comApplications
Over the next several decades, manufacturing of Colorflow flow control, needle, metering and check valves continued to grow. Based on a common design standard and footprint, Colorflow valves control flow in a variety of applications. With steel, brass, and stainless steel options, nitrile and fluorocarbon seals, as well as NPTF, SAE, BSPP, and BSPT ports, Colorflow valves from Parker offer the flexibility to adapt into any system. You’ll find them in industrial applications like tire presses, pulp and paper equipment and die casting machines. They are also common to mobile applications such as agricultural sprayers, forklifts and wheel loaders. Colorflow valves help customers everywhere get the job done.
The Colorflow family
Check valves (C series) are offered in metal seated configurations for particularly aggressive applications with high temperature or contamination or with proprietary soft seating poppets that combine the rugged benefits of metal seated valves with the low leakage performance provided by soft seated designs. While these valves are not used in place of load-holding valves, they offer reliable performance on a variety of power units around the globe protecting pumps and sensitive equipment from downstream pressure spikes.
Needle valves (N series and MV series) provide hydraulic technicians and machine operators a method of variable speed control which can be coarsely adjusted through the use of the Vernier indications on the needle stem. These valves are indispensable when creating a variety of flow and pressure conditions on test stands and for tuning in a power unit or the speed of a cylinder or motor. A micro-fine needle with special milling is available for applications which require extremely fine control.
By integrating needle valves with the metal poppet and seat from the C series check valves, flow control valves (F series) provide for the ability to create meter-in or meter-out hydraulic circuits which can be particularly useful in controlling overrunning loads. By integrating these functions together, a system benefits from fewer fittings and fewer potential leak points. Flow control and needle valves can both be set in position by use of a set screw, a finger-adjustable screw, or by permanently installing a tamperproof pin.
Pressure compensated flow control valves (PC*K and PC*M series) incorporate a pressure-reducing compensator spool to a standard flow control valve. This compensator provides for a constant motor or cylinder speed regardless of any fluctuations in supply pressure or in downstream loading either by the flow setting provided by a fixed control orifice or the variable needle with Vernier graduations. These valves can be ordered with or without an integrated check valve depending on whether a system requires reverse flow through the valve to be restricted through the control orifice/needle valve or to be free flow. A particularly interesting application for series PCCK valves is for subsea blowout preventer (BOP) control. PCCK valves can be used in combination with hydraulic motors, like those from Parker Calzoni, to actuate BOP rams with predictable response speed.The digital future
In 2021, an initiative began to bring the valves into the digital space. In a modern era where society is increasingly coming accustomed to both seeing and scanning 2D barcodes using smartphones, Parker’s Hydraulic Valve Division adapted the manufacturing and computing changes to incorporate the 2D barcodes on every valve manufactured. Customers now have a unique access point of information and capability.
For the first time in history, each valve now comes individually serialized, embedded inside the 2D barcode. Traceability and quality assurance are inherent to the individual serialization. With an increase of counterfeiting and imitation, customers have increased confidence they are receiving a Genuine Parker Part.
With this ease of access, buying additional valves through eCommerce has become even easier. After scanning the Colorflow valve, a convenient “Buy Now” button provides a streamlined path to order valves and get them delivered to your address. Our vast network of Parker Distribution functions as eFulfillment.
For a customer physically holding an existing product, information on the valve is now at their fingertips. Pressure drop curves, an installation guide, Colorflow FAQs, and performance limits provide an all-encompassing confidence and understanding for an end user of the product.
The primary tool to access all this information is the Parker Tracking System (PTS) Mobile app. Initially scanning the barcode links a user to download the Parker-backed mobile application.
To download the mobile app and view a Colorflow F400S example, scan here:Conclusion
From their origins in Cleveland’s Industrial Valley to their incorporation into the digital space, Colorflow valves are built tough and here to stay. Countless industries worldwide will continue to enjoy the proven quality and performance and will gain access to important product information at their fingertips.
Parker Hydraulic Valve Division is proud to bring Colorflow into the modern era and looks forward to manufacturing these valves for decades to come. As was in the days of the Zajac brothers, these Colorflow flow valves are made in America—built by the hard-working people in Elyria, Ohio.
This article was contributed by Mike Giammo, product sales manager and Mitch Eichler, business development manager, Parker's Hydraulic Valve Division.
Medical technology continues to evolve towards diagnosis and treatment equipment that is closer to the patient - wearable or in the home. Examples include point of care diagnostics, dialysis, compression therapy machines, and negative pressure wound therapy devices. Medical equipment manufacturers are responding to this trend by designing smaller, more portable, and quiet devices to improve the patient's experience and comfort. To ensure a competitive edge, OEM design engineers are faced with integrating components that meet design specifications without compromising functionality.
We will explore how design innovations in diaphragm pumps are helping OEM design engineers mitigate noise, improve performance, increase product life and reduce service costs.
One of the biggest challenges to pump longevity is the brushless DC motor that operates the pump mechanism. Most diaphragm pumps operate similarly: a motor shaft rotates a connecting rod assembly that drives a diaphragm up and down to create a pressure differential that results in flow. This connecting rod and diaphragm are attached perpendicular to the motor shaft creating a reciprocating radial load. In other words, the load of the diaphragm is pushing and pulling on the motor shaft with every stroke. As you can imagine, doing this 3000 times every minute for thousands of hours can be tough on a motor and lead to increased noise and reduced life.The solution
Parker has a patented process to restrict the free movement of the motor ball-bearing balls so they roll in a fixed position and cannot chatter. This greatly reduces the noise, but more importantly, it allows the pumps to operate for thousands of hours at peak performance.
A winning combination
Parker has been building miniature diaphragm pumps for more than 20 years. Brushless motors are designed and built in the same ISO 13485 certified factory as the pumps. This combination delivers the best motor solution for customers, ensuring a reliable, long-life pump. Manufacturing the pumps and motors in the same facility also allows for strict control of the design, resulting in better quality control and change management.
The BTX pump
Parker’s BTX pump product line combines best-in-class diaphragm pump design, innovative brushless motor technology, ultra-low vibration, and advanced manufacturing techniques to bring a next-generation solution to next-generation device needs. The BTX Pump delivers high performance with superior quality and reliability. The product line offers a growing range of options for motor type, motor controls, and pump performance flexibility to serve a wide range of needs.
Parker Precision Fluidics offers a wide variety of miniature pumps and valves for all your application needs. With over 30 years in the industry, Parker Precision Fluidics offers guaranteed high quality, reputable product, and market-driven innovation. Contact us today to speak to an expert engineer about your application-specific needs.
Our applications engineering team is always available to provide recommendations and customize equipment to customer specifications, call 603-595-1500 to speak with an engineer.
This article was contributed by Jamie Campbell, product manager, Parker Precision Fluidics.
The potential for wind energy is massive. Although wind energy currently represents only about five percent of the world’s total electricity, many experts predict it could easily produce at least one-fourth to one-third of the world’s total production by 2050.
Growing the offshore wind industry
Much of the expected growth is projected to come from offshore wind farms. In the United States, northern California has been identified as the site for America’s first floating offshore wind farm. In addition, states like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts already are making major commitments to developing future offshore wind farms.
The benefits of offshore wind farms include:
they don’t take up valuable land space
offshore wind power is typically more constant and less turbulent than onshore wind
the hauling of components out to sea is relatively easy to manage
Read part 2 of our white paper- 2021 Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends, to explore renewable energy technology trends, both established and newer technologies including wind, solar, biogas and hydroelectric.
Offshore wind farm challenges include aesthetic issues if the wind farms are located near the shore. If they are farther out, the water is often too deep to build a traditional tower, which means a less-stable floating structure must be built.
The floating platforms are exposed to harsher conditions, resulting in increased vibration, fatigue and heavy loads on the structure. As researchers continue to evaluate possible innovations that result in greater reliability and less downtime, they are looking to the offshore oil and gas industry for solutions, as many of the same mechanical issues are faced in those operations.
Previous innovations have focused on improving the design of offshore turbines, optimizing the blade shapes, identifying more robust, lighter-weight materials and adding intelligent control systems. The search continues for lighter-weight materials that are flexible but still strong. In typical offshore turbines, the entire system is constantly flexing, so components must be able to withstand continuous flexing without prematurely failing.
The key to maximizing the potential of wind energy is building taller wind turbines with longer blades. Already the largest flexible rotating machine in the world, today’s wind turbine blades exceed 80 meters (262 feet) in length on towers that rise 100 meters (328 feet) meters and even 200 meters (656 feet).
To access faster, more powerful winds, however, it is estimated that the towers will need to reach heights above 300 meters (984 feet). That presents major challenges since, at those heights, the turbines would straddle two layers of the atmosphere and be subjected to varying atmospheric forces. Researchers need to better understand the dynamics of wind at these higher elevations. While skyscrapers exceed these heights, they are not moving, so the wind is less of a factor in their design and maintenance.
More powerful offshore turbines are coming, as manufacturers continue pushing the capacity of offshore wind farms. Wind turbines are also getting smarter with digitally connected sensors and artificial intelligence-driven (AI) software that anticipates and reacts to changing conditions, predicts component longevity and communicates with remote data centers. The enhanced use of AI is increasingly automating operations, boosting productivity and cost savings.
Addressing maintenance and performance issues of today’s taller wind turbines
Of course, turbines are only as good and reliable as their individual parts. With the tremendous stress on the turbines (especially as they are being built taller and farther out at sea), mechanical failures and overheating are key concerns.
Parker manufactures several high-performance, durable components for wind turbines, including bladders, pumps, diaphragms, pistons and valves, sealants, power conversion systems, integrated lube oil filtration systems and compact blade activation systems. Learn more about these wind turbine products and solutions.
Some of the more common problems affecting wind turbine performance include: Pitch control
Wind turbines are built with emergency pitch-control systems to protect them from damage during excessive wind speeds or grid power loss. Such systems are vital to the ongoing safe and reliable operation of the turbines, as they shift the turbine’s blades out of the wind and slow down the rotor from spinning out of control. Some industry experts estimate that pitch control failures account for nearly one-quarter of all downtime in wind turbines.
Parker has responded to this problem through continuous improvement in its pitch control valves, ensuring they can withstand heavy vibration and shock, as well as extreme temperatures. The D1FC and D3FC direct operated proportional DC valves with position feedback represent major breakthroughs. They feature anti-shock mounting technology that allows them to withstand harsh operating environments and are well sealed to protect against dirt and moisture.
Pitch control failures also can be the result of problems with the battery, including voltage faults and degraded performance in hot or cold weather. A newer, promising alternative to battery-based systems is ultracapacitor-based energy storage for the pitch system. Ultracapacitors are high-powered devices that store charges electrostatically.
Lead-based batteries, in contrast, operate electrochemically. An inherent disadvantage affecting the reliability of batteries is the nature of their chemical process. Ultracapacitors, on the other hand, are touted to offer greater efficiency and reliability in emergency pitch controls and require no scheduled maintenance for at least 10 years. This translates into considerable savings in maintenance time and costs.Bearing failures
As wind turbine blades continue to get longer to maximize energy production, the bearings turning the blades are subjected to increased stress. A challenge is that bearings need to be compact in design to help reduce overall component size, weight and manufacturing costs. Newer tapered roller bearings have recently demonstrated a highly desirable performance compared to conventional, spherical roller bearings. The tapered bearings are smaller in size with their rings and rollers tapered in the shape of truncated cones to simultaneously support axial and radial loads.
The tapered shape offers increased power density which reduces the overall cost of energy and can bear both thrust and radial loads. This is critical in ensuring consistent performance despite harsh conditions and unpredictable changes in wind speed and direction.Cable faults
Cable faults are more likely with offshore wind farms because the subsea equipment is deployed from a vessel or retrieved from the water which places extreme tension on the attached subsea cables.
Underwater helical cable terminations have recently been shown to prevent fault because they disperse the stress that would have occurred at a localized point on the cable over the entire length of the cable. An added advantage of the helical cable terminations is that they can be installed anywhere along the length of the cable without access to the cable end. In addition, they require no tools or cable preparation.
Looking to the future of clean energy
In response to the growing global demand for more sustainable energy options, research is underway to further reduce the environmental impact of wind power and increase its consistency. Two of the larger focus areas include the use of floating solar panels and green hydrogen. In both cases, the goal is to store power to generate extra electricity during periods of high demand.
Interest in green hydrogen is skyrocketing, not just for wind farms, but also for use in the oil and gas industry. A green hydrogen electrolysis system deploys an electric current to “split” hydrogen gas from the water. Such a system could run during periods of low demand, using excess wind power, solar power or both. One challenge is that electrolysis typically requires purified water, which means more energy is needed to run the system. Research is ongoing for solutions that would minimize energy demand for this process.
The potential for wind energy appears unlimited. However, the industry will need additional innovations to solve current challenges regarding reliability, productivity, and sustainability.
To learn more about wind energy, read our 2021 Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends White Paper – Part 2.
This article was contributed by the Hydraulics and Energy Teams.
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Biogas is a renewable energy source that can be used to generate heat and electricity. It’s produced through the decomposition of organic materials from plants and animals, also known as “biomass.” Further refined through a renewable natural gas production process, biogas can be used for virtually any application where fossil natural gas is used.
Where biogas comes from
There are three principal sources of biogas.
Municipal solid waste facilities are the primary source. Here, landfill gas is created by the decomposition of paper, yard trimmings, food waste, and other organic wastes.
Dairy farms and livestock operations are other sources. These often have covered holding ponds for animal waste and used animal bedding. When collected, this raw biogas can be burned to heat water or run specially modified, diesel-powered farm equipment.
A third source is anaerobic digesters, used by municipal sewage treatment plants, paper mills, and food processors, as well as large livestock operations. These digesters facilitate and speed up the decomposition process of plant, animal, and human waste.
Read part 2 of our white paper- 2021 Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends, to explore renewable energy technology trends, both established and newer technologies including solar, wind, marine, and biogas.
What are the advantages of biogas?
As a renewable energy source, purified biogas can be used in place of traditional fossil fuels in a variety of applications, including utility-scale electrical generation, fuel for combined heat and power (CHP) plants, pipeline natural gas, and vehicle fuel. It can reduce the amount of material placed into landfills and can help contribute to the development of a circular economy.
It’s also made without combustion, and its production and refinement release much less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than fossil fuels.
According to a 2019 report on biogas potential by the World Biogas Association, biogas produced by anaerobic digestion could help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 10%-13%.
Biogas fuel production processes
Raw biogas has a methane composition of 40%-60%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The remaining components include carbon dioxide, water vapor, hydrogen sulfides, and other byproducts of the anaerobic digestion process.
Without removal of these byproducts, the raw biogas can corrode and damage the metal parts of power generation equipment, while having a reduced energy potential. Once treated, however, the 90% methane gas that remains is as pure as fossil methane. This gas, also referred to as renewable natural gas (RNG), can be used virtually anywhere fossil natural gas is used.
A variety of technologies and processes can be used to purify biogas. The exact approach chosen may depend on the condition of the biogas, the amount to be purified, or the intended use of the RNG. These technologies and processes include:
Filters to remove foams, small particles, grease, particulates, and other similar contaminants
A dehydration or dehumidification process to remove water vapor
Biofiltration to remove hydrogen sulfide, siloxanes, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Chemical, pressure, or membrane processes to remove carbon dioxide
For pipeline quality gas, RNG often requires drying with an adsorption dryer down to a pressure dew point (PDP) of -58°F (-50°C) prior to injection into the natural gas grid
The future of renewable natural gas production
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, biomass gasification — which is currently being researched — could be deployed soon to produce hydrogen for fuel.
In this process, biomass is heated to temperatures more than nearly 1,300 degrees F (just greater than 700 degrees C). Steam and oxygen are added to the reaction, resulting in the production of both carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be removed using adsorbers or special membranes. Additional filters can be used to capture the carbon dioxide, resulting in minimal emission. The DOE is supporting research into ways to lower the capital costs associated with this process.
Another promising technology involves the use of biomass to produce synthetic natural gas through thermochemical conversion. In this process, biomass goes through a series of processes to create what’s known as Bio-SNG ( Bio -Synthetic Natural Gas). This gas can be used as a substitute for natural gas and is suitable for transmission in energy pipelines.
The global biogas trend
According to a 2020 report by the World Bioenergy Association the European Union is the world’s biogas leader.
In 2018, the EU’s production accounted for more than half of the global biogas industry. Asia was second, with a share of 32%. The Americas were a distant third at 14%.
In the United States, according to the EIA, biogas helped generate 11.75 kWh of electricity in 2019. This amounted to less than 0.5% of all electricity consumed in the country.
Overall biogas production currently is just a tiny portion of the world’s energy portfolio. But experts do believe it has potential for growth. This is especially so in Europe, where, according to a report by Euractiv, conservative estimates point to a tenfold increase in production by 2030.
As global energy needs grow, biogas holds great potential to grow in stature as a renewable power source. Parker offers a range of solutions to help those in the biofuel industry harness energy from biogas and biomass production processes.
To learn more about trends in the Renewable Energy industry, read our 2021 Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends White Paper – Part 2.
This article was contributed by the Filtration and Energy Teams.
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In our recent webinar about electrically conductive sealants and adhesives, our experts covered many topics from electrically conductive filler packages to the physical properties of the materials like adhesive strength, flexibility and working life. Did you miss Introduction to Electrically Conductive Sealants and Adhesives? Watch it now.
The viewer learned the difference between an electrically conductive sealant and an electrically conductive adhesive, why you’d choose one over the other, and the design considerations you need to take now.
During the Q&A portion of the webinar, our experts fielded your excellent questions, so we’ve rounded up our eight top favorites for you below.
This blog was contributed by Jarrod Cohen, marketing communications manager, Parker Chomerics.
Improvements to a drug delivery system (DDS) can control the consistency and increase the quality of drug delivery. Parker’s self-sealing polyisoprene is designed to improve on existing systems available in the market. Parker’s USP <381> self-sealing polyisoprene elastomers demonstrate exceptional self-sealing capabilities, even with needles as large as 16-gauge. Due to the minimal force required for piercing, our material is ideal for seals and septa used in infusion systems and insulin pumps. Using our USP <381> polyisoprene material may improve septum performance and user safety for doctors, nurses, and patients.
The advantages of self-sealing
A needle, as large as 16-gauge, can pierce the polyisoprene septa as many as 20 times with no trace of leaks. Good self-sealing properties ensure that when the needle comes out, the drug stays in. Our self-sealing polyisoprene is non-coring. After piercing, there is no visible fragmentation and therefore no tiny pieces to clog the system or contaminate the fluid. This is important to maintaining the purity of the drug throughout the delivery process and ensuring a safe transfer to the patient.
Parker’s self-sealing polyisoprene meets USP <381> standards for the functional testing of closures intended to be pierced by a needle. It also meets biological testing as defined by USP <88> and USP <87> for in vitro and in vivo testing, respectively. Our self-sealing polyisoprene passed the biological reactivity and systemic injection tests. The material is biocompatible and has shown no harmful reactions or toxic effects.
Using Parker’s self-sealing polyisoprene for seals and septa in insulin pumps and infusion systems provides improved performance, ease of use, and increased safety due to elimination of leaks and reduction of blockages. This pioneering material allows medical staff to have seals and septa that can be pierced multiple times during use with no leaks. The development of this new product is an exciting prospect for the drug delivery market.
Our facilities are located near major cities to enable easy distribution. Contact us for more information on how we can improve reliability with your drug delivery system.
This article was contributed by Saman Nanayakkara, Engineering Manager, Parker Hannifin Composite Sealing Systems Division.
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This Climate Control blog is to review the basic refrigeration cycle and the interaction between the four basic components. The four basic components are the compressor, condenser, expansion device, and evaporator. Let's look at each component and its function and then look at what happens when we do not properly match these components.
The compressor is the transition point from the system's low-pressure side to its high-pressure side. Its purpose is to compress the cool low-pressure gas/vapor at the evaporator pressure up to the condenser pressure. In the compression process, the heat from compression and possibly motor heat increases the gas's temperature. The vapor entering the compressor is also superheated, which further increases during the compression process. At the discharge of the compressor, the refrigerant is a high-temperature, high-pressure superheated gas. Figure 1 below shows the ideal refrigeration cycle graphically on a Pressure-Enthalpy Diagram. The vertical axis is pressure, and the horizontal axis is enthalpy, or the heat content of the refrigerant per pound of refrigerant circulated. The compressor is the sloped line on the right side. The upper horizontal line is the condenser, the lower horizontal line is the evaporator, and the vertical line on the left is the expansion valve. Please note this is an ideal refrigeration diagram. There is no superheat exiting the evaporator or subcooling exiting the condenser. For a more detailed explanation of the P-H diagram, please refer to Sporlan Form 5-200 in our website's literature section under HVACR Educational Material.
We task the condenser with removing the heat absorbed in the evaporator, the heat of compression, and heat added by the compressor motor (as long as we use a hermetic or semi-hermetic compressor). This heat removal comes in two forms. First, the gas is desuperheated since the gas exiting the compressor increases in temperature above the saturated condensing temperature. Desuperheating is a sensible temperature change that can be measured as a decrease in temperature as the heat is removed from the gas. After the gas is desuperheated, it is in saturated conditions. At this point, additional heat removal condenses the gas into a liquid and is where the condenser gets its name. This heat removal occurs at a constant temperature and pressure until all the gas is condensed into a liquid, referred to as latent heat change. Keep in mind that the pressure is still at the same pressure when it exited the compressor, minus any small pressure loss from flow losses. Also, anytime there is liquid and vapor present, you are in saturated conditions, such as in the condenser or evaporator. You can use a Pressure-Temperature chart to determine the corresponding temperature from the measured pressure. Be aware of the difference and when to use dew point or bubble point when using a blended refrigerant. After the gas completely condenses into a liquid, any additional heat removal results in a temperature drop or sensible heat change. When the temperature drops below the condensing temperature or the saturated condensing temperature, the liquid is subcooled. Subcooling means we cool the refrigerant below the saturated temperature or, in this case, the condensing temperature. Subcooling is beneficial to prevent the refrigerant from flashing or reaching saturated conditions before the expansion device. Flashing can occur due to pressure drop from pressure losses in the tubing and accessories ahead of the expansion device. Any gas bubbles (flashing) can severely affect the TEV flowrate by reducing the refrigerant volume that can pass through the expansion device orifice.
The expansion device is the transition point from the system's high side to its low side. The expansion device drops the pressure from the high side pressure, referred to as the discharge pressure or condenser pressure, to the low side pressure. You may also refer to the low side pressure as the suction pressure or evaporator pressure. For this example, we use the Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TEV) as the expansion device. Other expansion devices could be a capillary tube, fixed restrictor, automatic expansion valve, or an electric expansion valve. These devices all have their benefits when weighing cost and performance or efficiency. The thermostatic expansion valve or TEV controls the superheat exiting the evaporator. In doing so, it controls the proper amount of refrigerant flows into the evaporator under all load conditions. As the load increases, the superheat increases driving the TEV further open to match the amount of refrigerant boiled off in the evaporator. Vice versa, if the load decreases, the superheat decreases driving the TEV in a more closed position.
The evaporator is the component that the other components are supporting. The evaporator removes the heat from the space you want to cool, whether it is a walk-in cooler or freezer, supermarket case, or an A/C unit. When the refrigerant leaves the TEV, it is a refrigerant liquid and vapor mixture. The vapor exiting the TEV is due to the refrigerant boiling at the lower pressure and cooling the liquid down to the desired evaporator temperature. When the refrigerant mixture enters the evaporator, it continues to boil at constant pressure and temperature. As it changes from a liquid to a vapor, it absorbs the heat flowing across the evaporator at the desired temperature. Evaporators may also be used as heat sinks to cool computer chips, machinery, or other items.
Matching or mismatching of components:
The secret to an optimally performing refrigeration or air conditioning system is matching all the components to balance the system. If one or more of the components are oversized or undersized, poor performance could result and higher energy costs.
For example, let us start with a 3 ton or 36 MBH(36,000 BTU/hr) system with all the components properly matched for the load. When we match the components correctly, we maintain the desired evaporator temperature at design conditions. Let us analyze what would happen if we replaced the 36 MBH compressor with a 48 MBH compressor, with everything else remaining the same. The first issue is the higher cost for a larger compressor, but we selected a larger compressor in this case. Since the compressor is now larger, the evaporator's pressure with a larger displacement compressor operates at lower suction pressure and lower evaporator temperature. Lower suction pressure results in a compressor that can cause short cycling, higher energy cost, and a shortened compressor life. Lower suction also causes a higher TD (temperature difference) across the evaporator coil, increasing its BTU capacity. It can also result in a different relative humidity than desired and possible coil frosting or icing since the TD is now higher across the coil. The increase in TD also causes an increase in the evaporator capacity and results in a higher flow rate than design through the expansion valve. If not sized for the new compressor, the TEV is not large enough for the system and starves or operates at a higher superheat. The compressor EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio also decreases due to the lower operating suction pressure meaning less BTU removed per Watts of energy consumed.
The result of installing a smaller compressor would be the obvious lower system capacity and not meeting the required design conditions or comfort for space. Also, the TEV would be oversized and could hunt. Also, the evaporator would operate at a higher pressure/temperature resulting in possible poor humidity control.
Moving around the system, if everything else is equal, what happens if the condenser is oversized? The drawbacks to an oversized condenser would be increased system refrigerant charge and increased equipment cost, and possibly operating issues during cold ambient conditions. However, there are benefits to an oversized condenser when properly evaluated by equipment manufacturers. Everyone has noticed that condensers are much larger than in past years on residential air conditioning units. The condensers in these systems have increased in size to meet the new SEER ratings, and a larger condenser helps increase the SEER rating of the system and reduce energy consumption.
An undersized condenser results in higher discharge temperatures, added stress on the compressor, and higher energy cost. It could also cause oil and refrigerant breakdown and result in a premature compressor failure.
It is always wise to properly size the TEV to match the compressor and evaporator capacity. Undersized TEVs starve the evaporator resulting in low suction pressure and poor system performance and temperature control. A starving valve (high superheat) can also cause high discharge temperatures and compressor overheating. An oversized TEV can result in TEV hunting because it overshoots its superheat setpoint due to the oversized valve port. Additionally, a hunting oversized valve could cause flood back to the compressor and damage to the compressor. A hunting valve also causes poor system performance as the valve overfeeds and underfeeds.
Evaporators need to be correctly sized to extract the correct amount of heat to meet the design load. If undersized, they operate at a lower suction pressure affecting/reducing the space's humidity and causing the compressor to operate at a lower pressure than design, resulting in higher energy costs. If oversized, it could result in better energy efficiency, but it could adversely affect the humidity, which could be undesirable if used for comfort cooling. Sizing the evaporator becomes a balancing act like the other components between comfort or desired result and energy efficiency.
These are just some examples to look for when installing or replacing equipment components. As well as these examples, there are other considerations when diagnosing a system; a change in entering air temperature, relative humidity, outdoor air temperature, dirty filters or condensers, and many other factors. When troubleshooting, look at the basics and check temperatures and pressures. If these numbers are not correct, check and verify what could be influencing the pressures and temperatures.
HVACR Tech Tip Article contributed by Pat Bundy, application engineer, Sporlan Division of Parker Hannifin
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The sun has been referred to as a primary inexhaustible energy source capable of meeting energy demands on a global scale. Electricity can be generated from solar energy either directly using photovoltaic (PV) cells or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP) technology. The advantage of PV systems is that they can be installed quickly and easily. CSP technology, however, is promising because of its high capacity, efficiency, and energy-storage capability.
Progress has been made to improve solar energy efficiency in both options. However, the biggest challenge to fully integrating solar energy into the energy mix is a lack of solar energy storage. The global power grid is not suited for intermittent energy. So, any viable renewable energy source must be consistent and reliable, as well as cost-competitive.
Read part 2 of our white paper- 2021 Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends, to explore renewable energy technology trends, both established and newer technologies including solar, wind, marine, and hydroelectric.
A lot is changing in solar energy, specifically regarding:
innovations into efficient energy storage technologies,
identification of lower cost,
more abundant materials for PV solar cells, and
upgrades to tracking systems to make solar panels more efficient in capturing the sun’s energy.
One of the more exciting possibilities for solar energy is a satellite power station that could transmit electrical energy from solar panels in space to Earth via microwave beams.
Satisfying solar energy storage needs with battery innovations
Battery storage is required for solar energy because of cloudy days and nightfall, both of which limit sun exposure. However, there are challenges to overcome. Currently, lithium-ion batteries still dominate the market. There are growing concerns; however, about their toxic effects, limited duration, and safety risks relative to overheating. In addition, lithium is a finite resource and environmentally taxing to mine.
Tremendous research has been done to identify cheaper and more abundant elements that could be used instead of lithium. Elements receiving the greatest interest include silicon, sodium, aluminum, and potassium. However, the electrochemical potential of some of these elements is lower than lithium, which means the energy density of the battery may be reduced. Such limitations have opened the door to using a combination of alternative materials.
Sodium-sulfur batteries, for example, are promising for large-scale energy storage because they are long-lasting and highly efficient at producing electricity. Sodium-sulfur battery electrodes contain molten sodium and molten sulfur, and the electrolyte is solid, A remaining challenge, however, is that these batteries currently need to operate at very high temperatures. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, cited in a September 2019 article in Cleantech Concepts, are investigating the possibility of sodium-sulfur options that can operate at room temperature.
Flow batteries: another attractive option
Flow batteries are another attractive option gaining greater interest. They consist of two tanks of liquids that feed into electrochemical cells. Their advantage is that they store the electricity in the liquid rather than in the electrodes. This makes them more stable than lithium-ion batteries and gives them a longer lifespan. In addition, the liquids are less flammable, and the design of the flow battery means it can easily be scaled up simply by building bigger tanks for the liquids.
One type of flow battery, known as the vanadium flow battery or vanadium redox battery, is already available commercially. It is a type of rechargeable flow battery that employs vanadium ions in different oxidation states to store chemical potential energy. The attraction of the vanadium redox battery is that you can charge and discharge it at the same time, something that can’t be done with a lithium battery. China had anticipated completing construction on the world’s largest vanadium flow battery in 2020, according to a May 2020 article on the VanadiumCorp website, COVID-related lockdowns in the country put the project behind schedule.
Like any alternative design, there are downsides to vanadium flow batteries, namely that the liquids can be costly, and they aren’t quite as efficient as lithium-ion batteries.
Beyond flow batteries, there are plenty of other developments creating excitement in battery research and development. For example, researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne are developing a proton battery that works by turning water into oxygen and hydrogen and then using hydrogen to power a fuel cell. Other research teams are exploring 100% lithium-free ion batteries using materials such as graphite and potassium for the electrode and aluminum salt liquids to carry the charged ions.
In addition, researchers in China are looking at improving the existing technology of nickel-zinc batteries, which are cost-effective, safe, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly. Like the vanadium flow batteries, however, they don’t last as long as current lithium-ion batteries. Work is also underway on saltwater-based batteries, with one design already being used for residential solar storage.
Innovations in tracking systems help capture greater solar energy
While battery innovations are helping to store more energy, work also continues to find solutions designed to capture more energy from the sun.
The concept of using tracking systems to position solar panels in such a way that they capture more sunlight is not new. Various studies have suggested that by following (tracking) the movement of the sun, output from solar panels can be boosted roughly 20%-30%. Traditional tracking systems are built on a single axis, but newer dual-axis systems can capture more energy. The greater energy, however, comes at a steep cost, making dual-axis tracking systems cost-prohibitive for many applications.
New designs and technologies are reducing those costs. Not only are efforts underway to make dual-axis tracking systems less expensive, but new solar panel materials are also being identified. Some solar farms, for example, are hoping to switch from silicon to perovskite, a crystal-like structure that consists of calcium titanium oxide. Preliminary studies suggest that perovskite could increase electricity generation by a third. However, no perovskite solar panels are yet commercially available as engineers are still working to overcome stability problems with the material.
Regardless of the material used, a key concern relative to the reliable use of tracking systems continues to revolve around condition monitoring and maintenance. The trackers are subject to tremendous load variances, especially when working in dusty, windy environments. Since many solar farms in operation today are in remote areas, visual inspection of the tracking systems and solar panels is time-consuming and expensive.
That’s why Parker launched its SCOUT™ Cloud Software and SensoNODE™ Gold Sensors, which provide a wireless, remote monitoring solution.
By monitoring the pressure levels of the solar panel tracking system’s hydraulic loads, end users can easily calculate how much extra pressure is being put on the panels. A change in the supported load can sometimes indicate structural damage that needs to be addressed before the scheduled visit from field technicians.
Enhanced energy storage solutions in the form of alternative battery designs and higher-efficiency, lower-cost solar panel tracking systems represent a part, but not all, of the necessary solutions to make solar energy more reliable. The power is there, but more work must be done to help solar energy reach its full potential.
To learn more about trends in the solar industry, read our Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends White Paper – Part 2.
This article was contributed by the Fluid Gas Handling Team.
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During the past 60 years, the use of the natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) process for electricity generation has grown to make it one of the world’s leading sources of power. Along the way, natural gas combined cycle efficiency has improved because of engineering advancement.
This blog offers an overview of NGCC. It includes a brief look at its history, covers the advantages of NGCC over other power generation types, and discusses some of the challenges engineers still are confronting as the technology moves to the future.
Read part 1 of our white paper- 2021 Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends, to learn how fossil-based power generation technologies are rapidly evolving and renewable technologies are being scaled to meet the demands of the 21st-century market.
The history of natural gas turbines to generate electric power starts in 1940. In that year, a plant in Switzerland came online and produced 4 MW of power by passing superheated gas through a turbine; a process now known as a “simple cycle.” This was the first time a natural gas turbine had been used to supply the public with electricity. Larger plants were built in the decades that followed. In 1960, a simple cycle plant in British Columbia, Canada became the first to generate 100 MW of electricity.
A year later, a newer gas technology arrived: Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC). The world’s first combined-cycle power plant, a 75 MW facility in Austria, started operation in 1961. By the time of its retirement in 1974, and thanks to combined cycle efficiency improvements, NGCC had established itself as “the most efficient and low-cost route to electricity production,” according to an article in International Turbomachinery. Today, NGCC is one of the leading natural gas power technologies in the world.
How NGCC works
To understand how NGCC works, it’s helpful to understand the ways it’s different from simple cycle technology.
In a simple cycle gas turbine plant, hot gas is burned and propelled at high pressure through a single turbine. The turning of the turbine is used to generate electricity. Wasted heat is simply lost in this design, and the overall efficiency of such a plant is approximately 35 to 40 percent.
An NGCC plant improves on this design, leveraging that waste heat and an additional generator cycle to maximize overall plant efficiency.
In the first cycle of an NGCC plant, natural gas is burned to directly power a generator that produces electricity. The hot exhaust that would otherwise be lost in a simple cycle plant is instead captured for a second cycle. That heat energy is delivered to a boiler and used to generate steam from water. This, in turn, is used to power a steam turbine generator that produces additional electricity. The steam then condenses back into liquid water and is recycled for further use. With these multiple cycles, overall efficiency is boosted to around 50 to 60 percent. Today’s NGCC plants range in size, with the largest producing more than 1,500 MW.
Improvements to natural gas combined cycle efficiency
NGCC technology has evolved over the years, and plants have been built with increasing capacities. Global and U.S. capacity for gas-fired electricity has continued to grow steadily in recent decades. Natural gas plants (all types) now supply more than half of the energy for both residential and commercial use, and 41% of the energy used by U.S. industries. And as consumers and industries alike become more aware of the broader impact of their energy use, they can rest easier knowing that natural gas plants produce significantly fewer emissions than the average coal-fired plant.
An article in the journal Science Direct lays out several key advantages for NGCC technology.
Boosted electrical efficiency. NGCC plants have an efficiency of between 50 to 60% of fuel used. This is the highest efficiency currently available among power plant generating technologies; it compares to an efficiency of 30 to 35% for a coal-fired plant. A large, simple cycle, natural gas plant has an efficiency of 35 to 40%, according to Bridgestone Associates.
Lower capital costs. The capital cost of an NGCC plant larger than 200 MW ranges from $450 to $650 per kW. A smaller plant ranges from $650 to $1,200 per kW. Additionally, a large NGCC plant can be built in less than 24 months.
Lower emissions and environmental impact. NGCC plants have the lowest emissions of unburnt hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide of any current thermal power plant technology. NGCC plants also have a more compact footprint than other major power plant types, further lessening their impact on the environment.
The highest recorded efficiency for an NGCC plant is 63.08%. This was achieved at the 1,190 MW Chubu Electric Nishi Nagoya plant in Japan, according to a 2018 article in POWER magazine.
According to another analysis, prepared in 2019 by the consulting firm Sargent & Lundy for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a 1,100 MW NGCC plant would have an estimated capital cost of $958 per kW. A 240 MW simple cycle gas plant would have a total capital cost of $713 per kW. A 650 MW coal-fired plant without carbon capture, meanwhile, would have an estimated total capital cost of $3,676 per kW. Adding incremental levels of carbon capture technology to the coal-fired plant would increase this cost correspondingly.
The Science Direct article also predicts that:
These (NGCC) plants will displace coal in the power generation sector by 2050, under a model scenario where industrialized nations reduce CO2 emissions by 2050 through carbon emission pricing. Large emerging economies such as Brazil, China, and India will reduce CO2 emissions by 2070.
The annual energy outlook for NGCC in the US
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, NGCC first surpassed coal-fired plants for producing electricity in late 2015 and early 2016 when natural gas prices were very low. This trend reversed itself when gas prices rose, until February 2018. As of 2020, NGCC is responsible for 26% of electricity generation in the U.S., making it the clear leader. With the growing number of NGCC plants and the retirement of more coal-fired plants, the technology should be the leading source of power in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.
Managing NGCC operations and maintenance costs
Compared to other types of power generation, operations and maintenance costs for NGCC plants are relatively low. Data from the International Energy Agency show that NGCC has an average O&M cost of $25 per kW. This matches solar photovoltaic ($25 per kW), and beats coal ($43 per kW), onshore wind ($46 per kW), hydropower ($53 per kW), and nuclear ($198 per kW).
Nevertheless, plant operators are smart to take a planful approach to maintenance, especially for NGCC plants used in applications with frequent starts and stops.
Rely on Parker Hannifin for NGCC plant maintenance needs
Parker Hannifin offers a wide range of solutions for power plants. These include products for automation, filtration, fluid connections, hydraulics, instrumentation, and sealing. One utility company managing a 790 MW NGCC plant was able to increase the life of its electrohydraulic service valves from 3,100 hours to more than 60,000 hours, simply by switching to Parker's solution.
To learn more about advancements in power generation, read our Power Generation and Renewable Energy Trends White Paper – Part 1.
This article was contributed by the Process Control Team.
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Over the last few years there has been a significant increase in the popularity of electric cars. These vehicles are efficient, silent and do not pollute the air (at least where they are driven). In looking at the function of an electric car, there are several keys to the success of the electric technology. First and foremost, is the fact that the battery, inverter and electric motor have reached a level of efficiency and power density that allows a car to be driven several hundred miles between charges. Even with the weight of a battery, the weight of an electric car is about the same as a combustion engine car. The added battery mass is offset by weight savings in the engine and by simplifying the driveline. And finally, an electric car efficiently utilizes energy recovery with its brakes. All these factors put passenger cars in a “sweet spot” for electrification today.Refuse truck challenges
Vehicles that are based on a truck chassis demand more from electrification than passenger cars. For these vehicles, the primary energy source must not only power the driving but also power the transportation of loads and the hydraulic functions, which can be significant throughout the day. This is the situation for automated side loader (ASL) refuse collection vehicles. A side loader can carry approximately 15,000 pounds of garbage and uses a hydraulic system to pick individual trash cans while compacting the load. The work of hydraulics becomes very significant considering that a truck normally collects between 1,000 and 1,500 trash can loads per day. In order for a fully electric vehicle to complete this amount of work, it must be powered by a very large battery. Besides being a significant cost adder, a large battery leads to a decrease in payload, which is the most important factor when it comes to material collection and transportation. Various fully electric automated side loaders have been built and tested as vehicle demonstrators. However, as of today, the electrification technology that is driving the success of electric passenger cars has not found commercial applications for this class of vehicles.Automated side loader
The electric hybrid solution is particularly attractive in machines that work with repetitive cycles and require a significant amount of power to move hydraulic functions. In traditional ASLs, the operator drives the machine and between stops collects the garbage cans by operating a hydraulic arm. While performing these functions, the packer continuously runs to compact the load inside the body. The collection of the trash cans happens while the truck is at idle and the pumps rotate at low speed. This operating condition is the opposite of ideal because the pumps and the engine produce the work at a very inefficient operating condition. Furthermore, the engine is loaded at idle and, in order not to stall it produces the traditional muffled noise, which also accompanies higher emissions.Electric Hybrid System
A significant but simple improvement to this situation can be achieved by implementing an electric hybrid system for implement control. Here, the hydraulic pump(s) use a thru-drive configuration and are piggy-backed to a permanent magnet electric motor. This sub-assembly is mounted on the truck transmission using a traditional clutch-shift PTO. The electric motor is controlled via an inverter which derives power from a compact battery pack.More Information
If you would like to learn more about Parker's Electric Hybrid System and the performance results when used on the ASL in a dense route, download the white paper "An Electric Hybrid System for Refuse Vehicle Applications." The white paper presents an in-depth description of the system and an energy mapping analysis applied to the specific case of an automated sided loader in a typical duty cycle.
Article contributed by Germano Franzoni, Ph.D., senior systems engineer, Parker Hannifin, Global Mobile Systems.
Allied Systems, a Portland, Oregon-based fabricator of material handling equipment for the wood products industry, was looking to redesign their hydraulic system for greater efficiency on their New Generation series Wagner L490 Log Stacker. The L490 is a purpose-built, 4-wheel drive, 45-ton single pass lifting capacity machine that unloads log trucks, high decks and reclaims logs to and from storage as well as loads the infeed at plywood and lumber mills.
Before the redesign, the L490 took 18 seconds to lift a 45-ton payload from the ground to the top of its lift height -- just over 19 feet. The goal of redesigning the machine was to cut the operation cycle time in half. To achieve the performance improvement, Allied was looking for a complete redesign for the L490’s hydraulic system. The equipment’s current hydraulic system utilized competitive open center valves, which were continuously open and fixed displacement pumps that consumed engine horsepower constantly.Solution
Working in collaboration with Allied Systems’ design engineers, Parker’s Global Mobile Systems (GMS), Parker’s Hydraulic Pump and Power Systems (HPS) and Parker Integrator Western Integrated Technologies redesigned the L490’s hydraulic system with closed-center valves and load sense pumps. As a result of this new hydraulic system design, power is only generated upon system demand making it more efficient than the previous open valve design paradigm. Additionally, this new hydraulic system design increases the overall fuel efficiency, reducing the cost of ownership and operational costs significantly for the end-user.
The major components of the new L490 design include the following Parker components:
• P3 Pumps
• M5 Fan Motors
• K220LS and M402LS Valves
• IQAN Controls and Display Electronics
The P3 High Pressure Mobile Pump 145 cc was selected for L490’s new hydraulic system over competitors’ pumps due to its higher speed, better inlet characteristics and fewer auxiliary components required. As an example, the P3 excellent inlet characteristics allow for a standard reservoir design, a pressurized breather to reduce air exchange, facilitate venting and contamination ingress when the fluid level rises or drops while actuating a hydraulic function. Overall, the P3’s higher speed rating and excellent inlet conditions add to the complete overall performance of the new L490 design.
The heavy-duty M5BF Vane motor with its integral valves and a speed sensor for multiple fan drives replaced a vane motor, separate inline valves and an external speed sensor. The added benefits of the integrated M5 fan drive include:
• Self-cleaning maintenance by reversing the fan and blowing the dust out
• An integrated system with the valving included, resulting in a more compact, integrated system
• Fewer components, providing a more cost-effective solution
• Integrated valving that reduces parts counts, assembly labor and has fewer leak points
Critical to reaching the desired 2X performance enhancement in operational speed was to increase the system pressure and flow, while reducing the cylinder volume and preserving the ability to lift the same loads. To complement the Allied in-house cylinder design by combining the higher flow and pressures achievable by the Parker P3 pumps, the valve arrangement and sizing changed to accommodate the high demands to hoist and lower log loads.
Combining left and right dedicated hoist valves (M402LSs) that work in concert with a K220LS implement valve, the precompensated solution draws only the flow demanded by the operator and builds just enough pressure to meet functional requirements. The net result: an increase in hydraulic efficiency and reduced cycle times. Other benefits of the M402 and K220 include:
• Application-specific standard spools with match flow and function characteristics
• Industry proven durability
• Individual work-port pressure limitation for increased system efficiency
• Combination relief/anti-cavitation cartridges for system protection
The operator has a new level of control provided by this system design, which includes variable displacement pumps, proportional valves and joystick control functions that were previously impossible but are more routinely required today.
For instance, the ability to preset a carriage position provides the operator with greater confidence when removing logs from a truck, establishing a safe travel position, or placing logs in the infeed. In addition, Allied’s advanced programming of the MD4 and IQAN control has provided a new level of HMI excellence that Allied customers benefit from every day.
Rounding out the Parker product portfolio on the log stackers is the in-tank filtration, which includes new GLI Filters, Global Core hose, and Parker fittings to connect all the hydraulic components.
Ultimately, the L490’s hydraulic system has been completely “Parkerized” with complementary components delivered from Parker’s Motion Systems Group, including Valves, Hose & Fittings, In-Tank Filtration and IQAN.Result
With a revised hydraulic system that has twice the hoist speed of the earlier design, Allied Systems was able to significantly reduce cycle times over the previous model L490 by two to one.
In addition, the new hydraulic technology has modernized Allied’s legacy design and made it more competitive in the industry by improving speeds, efficiency, and reducing the overall cost of ownership.
Finally, Allied Systems found this hydraulic system design to be so effective that they have implemented it on all their New Generation Wagner Log Stackers, Chip Handling Dozers, and Landfill Compactors.
Parker’s Hydraulic Pump and Power Systems Division has been designing pumps and transmission for over 50 years. The division is the result of the Parker piston pump business's acquisition of Denison Hydraulics and the merger with the Parker Oildyne Division. These two businesses combined have extended Parker's product offering to include the quality compact hydraulic products and systems the division has been pioneering since 1955. To learn more about the products, visit www.parker.com/hps or contact the team.
Article contributed by Bill Vetters, applications engineer, for Parker Hannifin Corporation's Hydraulic Pump and Power Systems Division.
Demand for wood is higher than ever. According to a 2020 report by the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, record volumes of wood-based products were produced and traded globally in 2018. This represented an 11% increase in international trade value.
The forestry industry is adapting to meet this growing demand. A range of solutions are helping forestry operators and other industry stakeholders be more productive, run safer timber harvesting operations, and be better stewards of natural resources/business assets. This trend, known as precision forestry, is prompting a revolution in the way trees are harvested — including types of mobile equipment used to harvest timber and move it from forests.
Download our white paper Off-Road Trends: Driving Cleaner, More Efficient and Connected Machinery, and learn what influences the advances in mobile heavy machinery.
How cut to length logging means doing more with less
Precision forestry involves a shift away from the traditional, highly manual, broad-brush harvesting approach. It leverages digital technology, high degrees of mechanization, and granular decision-making. Harvesting decisions can be made based on data gathered by drones/unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), outfitted with remote sensing technologies, flying above a forest. Today, two or three skilled workers operating highly automated machines can accomplish as much as the large logging crews that worked in forests a century ago.
Key to this transformation is the precision forestry technologies that allow for mechanized harvesting. A recent report by McKinsey outlines an example of this new type of harvesting, a process known as the cut to length (CTL) logging system.
CTL is fully mechanized. Gone are dangerous, difficult, manual logging processes (think hand-held chainsaws). Instead, a track-mounted, 20-ton mechanized harvester — run by a single, skilled operator — fells a tree, delimbs it, and bucks it (cuts it to size). The machine does this in seconds using a boom-mounted, computer-controlled processing head, all powered by hydraulics. The operator touches neither the timber nor the dangerous instruments used in turning standing trees into stacked logs. Onboard computers receive real-time cutting instructions from sensors mounted on the harvester; it uses this data to optimize cuts.
Another wheeled or tracked piece of equipment, known as a forwarder, then moves in. It picks up the logs using a boom, loads them into a cargo bay, and moves them from the felling site to a roadside holding area. Here, they can be loaded into trucks for over-the-road transport.
Advantages of cut to length logging
Such a system offers a variety of advantages. First and foremost is greater safety — rather than working outside among the logs, operators are tucked into their protected cabs. Labor productivity also improves. And the access to data and advanced analytics gives managers greater control and the ability to make more informed decisions based on the needs of their supply chains.
The organization Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities lauds this system for its ability to allow forest managers to harvest more selectively, which helps landowners manage for a wider range of objectives. According to the organization,
“Cut-to-length logging helps reduce the need for log landings and access roads and can reduce soil compaction and disturbance. Its efficiency in dense stands makes it especially useful for forest health and fuels treatments.”
-Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities
Parker offers a variety of hydraulic solutions that are well-suited to precision forestry applications. These are engineered to help solve known issues such as adapting the machine to differing load conditions, achieving full performance at variable load cycles, machine stability and system function predictability, and flexibility on how valve functions are performing.
The bottom line is better performance with less fuel consumption. It’s an ideal solution for heavy equipment in forestry, mining, construction, and similar applications.
Precision forestry technologies are changing the paradigm
Traditional forestry is dangerous, difficult, and highly manual work. Meanwhile, traditional practices such as clear-cutting apply far-from-optimal, broad-brush approaches to forest management. Today, technology-driven solutions are changing this paradigm. Modern, precision forestry has the potential to be far safer, less physically demanding, more automated, and more productive. It offers better outcomes for forests and landowners.
To learn more about trends in the Forestry industry, read our white paper- Off-Road Trends: Driving Cleaner, More Efficient and Connected Machinery.
This article was contributed by the Hydraulics Team.
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It was a chilly morning over three years when Paul Austin and Brandi Koltermann were enjoying their landscaping work together. Taking down a large tree was the next major task. Paul, formerly a rescue swimmer for the U.S. Navy, owns a landscaping business. One last limb had to be cut before the trunk. Paul climbed the tree while Brandi waited on the ground, ready to clear away the brush. Paul started up the saw but then grabbed the back of his leg. Falling from the tree ten feet, he broke his back and severed his spinal cord, a T11 complete injury.
Although life has changed, Paul and Brandi have maintained their business. They’re still receiving requests for work, but their roles are different. Paul cuts lawns and Brandi does the weeding. Paul is grateful he can still do the landscaping work he loves, even though tree removal is no longer an offering.
Brandi recalled her vivid memory of the accident. She held Paul’s head and talked to him to calmly while he received treatment. When told he was paralyzed, Paul looked dead in the eyes. He was devastated. He lost everything he worked so hard for. Paul worried that relationships would change.
Paul believed walking again was not an option. When he started rehab in Richmond, VA, he noticed the use of exoskeletons in physical therapy. He asked about “those Robo Cop legs.” As a Navy veteran, he went through the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. He submitted his name to the research department, expressing interest in the exoskeleton. Six months later, he was called to take part in a nine-month program involving therapy twice a week. “The VA definitely helped with this process. They’ve been so supportive,” said Paul.
Seeing the exoskeleton in use in rehab, provided a glimmer of hope. When he tried the Indego exoskeleton, there was a smile on Paul’s face and hope in his heart. When he stood up, Brandi was overwhelmed with emotion. “You lost the use of your legs, and now this gives that back to you,” she said.
When Paul first stood up, Brandi was able to hug him face-to-face for the first time since the accident, and she cried. Paul loved the feeling of being able to look someone in the eyes again. “It’s an indescribable feeling. It was such a good feeling, because in your head you’re thinking you’re never going to walk again, and I can’t do this or that,” he said.
When Paul saw the Indego exoskeleton at the 2018 National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Orlando, he knew he had to try it. The device wasn’t as bulky and had fewer components than the one he was using. With the Indego, mobility seemed almost graceful, very different than with his current exoskeleton. After a one-hour trial, they were convinced. The Indego provided a smoother more natural gait.
Plus, the Indego weighs significantly less. The couple did not travel with their first exoskeleton, but with the Indego, they knew that it was possible to be on the go. With the other brand, Paul felt like a machine because of its weight, feel, and rigid components. With the Indego, walking felt more natural.
The Indego exoskeleton was very easy to learn to use. He leaves the device charged and assembled in a chair. Then, with Brandi’s help, he simply transfers in and out as needed. “It does all of the work for you after that!” He did have to get used to walking around at home and on hills and ramps, but after practice, it didn’t take long to get accustomed to the Indego. Paul now walks three times a week, on average.
With the help of the VA and Indego, the process of acquiring the exoskeleton was streamlined. “As simple as it could be, and the communication was great,” said Paul.
Paul’s daughter is planning to get married, and he fully intends to walk her down the aisle. When he found out he was paralyzed, Paul gave up this dream, but Indego has made his dream possible. As a father, walking his daughter down the aisle is a major life milestone. “It’s a big deal,” he said.
A short time after using the Indego, Paul saw extreme improvement in his health, both physically and mentally. His upper body strength and bone and joint health has improved. And his mental outlook is better. “Thanks to the exoskeleton, there is hope for walking. It’s a great feeling. Everything feels a bit lighter. It’s made a true difference,” said Paul.
Paul is considered young for wheelchair use, but the couple has a positive outlook on life despite all that’s happened. They are always looking forward to new possibilities and opportunities. For example, Paul was able to start electrotherapy after using the Indego exoskeleton.
What’s next for the couple? This year’s 9/11 Memorial & Museum 5K Run/Walk in New York City. They set goals and the Indego helps achieve them. To prepare for the walk, Paul practices distance walking at home. Their quarter-mile long driveway is the perfect track. The first goal is to be able to walk a mile, with a pine tree or mailbox as the end marker. Recently, Paul has begun walking three quarters of a mile regularly. He’s excited to reach the one-mile mark. Brandi looks forward to the moment she can say, “You know what Paul, we did this.”
Brandi keeps an engraving near Paul’s National Wheelchair Games medals that states: An “I can’t” became “I can.” Later, Brandi updated the saying: An “I can’t” became an “I did.” Over the past few years, Paul progressed from believing he would never walk again and listing impossibilities to setting the goal of walking a mile.
Brandi keeps a list of things that Paul thinks he can’t do because he is in a wheelchair. They cross things off as they accomplish them together. Crossed off the list are: riding a four-wheeler, scuba diving, using a zero-turn lawn mower, going up in a hot air balloon, and walking!
The couple’s mission is now to encourage others. “We are in a place with technology where the question is, ‘Why not?’ At times, things can seem tough, but just never give up hope and always strive to be better,” they advised.