When Corporate Systems Crush Powerless Employees…



All the flaws in a mega reservation system end up crashing down on first the lone staffer’s head, and then on any customers unlucky enough to depend on this satellite location. The “headquarters” operation could be set up to take pressure off these isolated Hertz employees, but instead procedures push more problems onto their backs.

A system that drives both employees and customers crazy. That truly is crazy.

Read more.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/when-corporate-systems-crush-powerless-employees-bruce-kasanoff

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Reality Poses the Ultimate Challenge to Skeptics:



No amount of argument shakes the skeptic’s credo, and so it’s refreshing that they are being upended, not only by metaphysics or deeper investigation into consciousness–all of which gets dismissed as woo-woo, but by science itself. With the discovery of so-called dark matter and dark energy, which either obeys none of the laws of nature that apply to ordinary matter and energy or else conforms to those laws in a hidden way, the primacy of the visible universe has shrunk alarmingly. Every solid object in the cosmos, including interstellar dust, is barely the cherry on the top of an ice cream sundae, because only a fraction of 1% of creation is constituted by ordinary matter and energy.

Read more.

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Trends in Utilization of Palm Kernel Shells


By Salman Zafar

The palm kernel shells used to be initially dumped in the open thereby impacting the environment negatively without any economic benefit. However, over time, palm oil mills in Southeast Asia and elsewhere realized their brilliant properties as a fuel and that they can easily replace coal as an industrial fuel for generating heat and steam.

Major Applications

Nowadays, the primary use of palm kernel shells (PKS) is as a boiler fuel supplementing the fibre which is used as primary fuel. In recent years kernel shells are extensively sold as alternative fuel around the world. Besides selling shells in bulk, there are companies that produce fuel briquettes from shells which may include partial carbonisation of the material to improve the combustion characteristics.

Palm kernel shells have a high dry matter content (>80% dry matter). Therefore the shells are generally considered a good fuel for the boilers as it generates low ash amounts and the low K and Cl content will lead to less ash agglomeration. These properties are also ideal for production of biomass for export.

As a raw material for fuel briquettes, palm shells are reported to have the same calorific characteristics as coconut shells. The relatively smaller size makes it easier to carbonise for mass production, and its resulting palm shell charcoal can be pressed into a heat efficient biomass briquette.

Although the literature on using oil palm shells (and fibres) is not as extensive as EFB, common research directions of using shells, besides energy, are to use it as raw material for light-weight concrete, fillers, activated carbon, and other materials. However, none of the applications are currently done on a large-scale. Since shells are dry and suitable for thermal conversion, technologies that further improve the combustion characteristics and increase the energy density, such as torrefaction, could be relevant for oil palm shells.

Torrefaction is a pretreatment process which serves to improve the properties of biomass in relation to the thermochemical conversion technologies for more efficient energy generation. High lignin content for shells affects torrefaction characteristics positively (as the material is not easily degraded compared to EFB and fibres).

Furthermore, palm oil shells are studied as feedstock for fast pyrolysis. To what extent shells are a source of fermentable sugars is still not known, however the high lignin content in palm kernel shells indicates that shells are less suitable as raw material for fermentation.

Future Outlook

The leading palm oil producers in the world should consider limiting the export of palm-kernel shells (PKS) to ensure supplies of the biomass material for renewable energy projects, in order to decrease dependency on fossil fuels. For example, many developers in Indonesia have expressed an interest in building palm kernel shell-fired power plants. However, they have their concerns over supplies, as many producers prefer to sell their shells overseas currently. Many existing plants are facing problems on account of inconsistent fuel quality and increasing competition from overseas PKS buyers. PKS market is well-established in provinces like Sumatra and export volumes to Europe and North Asia as a primary fuel for biomass power plants is steadily increasing.

The creation of a biomass supply chain in palm oil producing countries may be instrumental in discouraging palm mills to sell their PKS stocks to brokers for export to foreign countries. Establishment of a biomass exchange in leading countries, like Indonesia, Malaysia and Nigeria, will also be a deciding factor in tapping the unharnessed potential of palm kernel shells as biomass resource.

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Biogas Frequently Asked Questions

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The Internet of Things (IoT) – Is it Complex or Simple to Understand?


Wayne C Tighe

VP Software Sales – IoT / Cloud / SaaS / Big Data & Analytics / Energy Management / Enterprise, March 14, 2017

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The internet of things (IoT) is growing rapidly and becoming a core element of most Fortune 500 company’s latest corporate strategy. Today, the IoT encompasses over 20 billion embedded sensors on various smart devices, appliances, vehicles and buildings around the world. Innovative software and network connectivity enable these sensors to wirelessly (and over a fixed LAN) accumulate and exchange data so intelligent decision can be made. This information flows over the internet to inform business owners, facility managers, factory workers or any human being – that a piece of equipment or machine with a smart device on it is functioning adequately, needs to be maintained, or simply controlled in some capacity.

Soon virtually everything will be IoT-enabled in our world – 50+ billion “things” will be connected to the internet by 2020 according to wide-ranging estimates by Gartner and ABI Research. Although we are still in the infancy stage with the development of the IoT, the overall framework can be complex to fully understand. I have found this attached Beecham Research IoT World of Connected Services diagram to be the best example of how simplistic our connect world can be in the future.

 
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San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

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Maharashtra plans to cut power tariff for farmers, aims to install solar pumps in fields


By Krishna Thevar, ET Bureau | Updated: Feb 10, 2015, 05.15 PM IST

The Maharashtra government is seeking to reduce the power tariff for industrial users to help the state supply cheap electricity to farmers.

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MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government is seeking to reduce the power tariff for industrial users by lowering the burden they need to take on to help the state supply cheap electricity to farmers. The plan is to give solar water pumps to farmers and reduce their dependence on conventional energy. 

On Tuesday , chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ cabinet is expected to approve a proposal to instal 7,500 solar water pumps for farmers in Vidarbha and Gadchiroli as a first step, said a state government official with knowledge of the plan. The government aims to give as many as 40 lakh pumps in five years, he said. 

Maharashtra, which has one of the highest power tariffs for industrial consumers, hopes this will eventually help reduce the rates by close to 30 per cent. 

Maharashtra charges industrial consumers an average Rs 8.50 a unit, while for commercial enterprises it is Rs 11. Over the past, this high rate of power being charged in the state has had many industries relocating to other states, mainly Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, where power tariffs are lower. 

The cost of power in Maharashtra is high because industries have to bear a part of the subsidy that the state government offers to farmers. 

While the per-unit cost of supplying power is Rs 5, a farmer pays just Rs 1. The state government pays the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Rs 1.8 as direct subsidy . Industries are levied an extra Rs 2.3 a unit to reduce the burden on the utility . 

The government move to remove the cross-subsidy burden comes after representations from numerous industrial ists who have complained about the high power rates in the state. 

“Our plan is to ensure that the farmers can use the solar water pumps for pumping water in the fields and that could free the farmers from the state grid. In the first year, we have set up a target of giving five lakh water pumps. In five years, we will give 40 lakh solar water pumps.This will reduce the cross subsidy bur den,” said the official. 

The tariff reduction for industries would not materialise immediately and would depend on the success of the programme. 

“You will see a reduction in the power tariff only after a year, however it would be down by around 30 per cent. So if an industrial unit is paying Rs 8.5 per unit now, it would have to pay only Rs 6 if the plan succeeds. We will thus not just be retaining our industries but will have industries from other states flocking to us,” said the official. 

Another government official from the state’s power department said the idea has been borrowed from Rajasthan where 10,000 such solar water pumps have been given by the government. Those water pumps are working properly, he said. 

The state government is also pinning its hopes on the auction of coal mines to help further reduce the cost of producing power. The state feels that it could cut the cost substantially if it gets mines close to coal-fired power plants.

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Jess C.Gregorio

InSpecIT Inc.

Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center

San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

gregoriojess@yahoo.com

We do SCADA, BMS, FDAS, FMS, HMI, and Control System Integration.

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Energy Potential of Palm Kernel Shells


By Salman Zafar

The Palm Oil industry in Southeast Asia and Africa generates large quantity of biomass wastes whose disposal is a challenging task. Palm kernel shells (or PKS) are the shell fractions left after the nut has been removed after crushing in the Palm Oil mill. Kernel shells are a fibrous material and can be easily handled in bulk directly from the product line to the end use. Large and small shell fractions are mixed with dust-like fractions and small fibres. Moisture content in kernel shells is low compared to other biomass residues with different sources suggesting values between 11% and 13%.

Palm kernel shells contain residues of Palm Oil, which accounts for its slightly higher heating value than average lignocellulosic biomass. Compared to other residues from the industry, it is a good quality biomass fuel with uniform size distribution, easy handling, easy crushing, and limited biological activity due to low moisture content. PKS can be readily co-fired with coal in grate fired -and fluidized bed boilers as well as cement kilns in order to diversify the fuel mix.

The primary use of palm kernel shells is as a boiler fuel supplementing the fibre which is used as primary fuel. In recent years kernel shells are sold as alternative fuel around the world. Besides selling shells in bulk, there are companies that produce fuel briquettes from shells which may include partial carbonisation of the material to improve the combustion characteristics. As a raw material for fuel briquettes, palm shells are reported to have the same calorific characteristics as coconut shells. The relatively smaller size makes it easier to carbonise for mass production, and its resulting palm shell charcoal can be pressed into a heat efficient biomass briquette.

Palm kernel shells have been traditionally used as solid fuels for steam boilers in palm oil mills across Southeast Asia. The steam generated is used to run turbines for electricity production. These two solid fuels alone are able to generate more than enough energy to meet the energy demands of a palm oil mill. Most palm oil mills in the region are self-sufficient in terms of energy by making use of kernel shells and mesocarp fibers in cogeneration. In recent years, the demand for palm kernel shells has increased considerably in Europe, Asia-Pacific, China etc resulting in price close to that of coal. Nowadays, cement industries and power producers are increasingly using palm kernel shells to replace coal. In grate-fired boiler systems, fluidized-bed boiler systems and cement kilns, palm kernel shells are an excellent fuel.

Cofiring of PKS yields added value for power plants and cement kilns, because the fuel significantly reduces carbon emissions – this added value can be expressed in the form of renewable energy certificates, carbon credits, etc. However, there is a great scope for introduction of high-efficiency cogeneration systems in the industry which will result in substantial supply of excess power to the public grid and supply of surplus PKS to other nations. Palm kernel shell is already extensively in demand domestically by local industries for meeting process heating requirements, thus creating supply shortages in the market.

Palm oil mills around the world may seize an opportunity to supply electricity for its surrounding plantation areas using palm kernel shells, empty fruit branches and palm oil mill effluent which have not been fully exploited yet. This new business will be beneficial for all parties, increase the profitability for palm oil industry, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the electrification ratio in surrounding plantation regions.

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Biogas Frequently Asked Questions

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Waste to Energy. What is holding you back?

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History of Anaerobic Digestion

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/a-short-history-of-anaerobic-digestion/

Email me for biogas or biomethane solutions:

Jess C. Gregorio

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