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By: Security Systems News

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—SnapAV, a leading global source of professional A/V, surveillance, control, networking, and remote management products, announced it has partnered with electronics distributor Delta Smart in Argentina to quickly and efficiently serve partners in that country.The agreement, the first of its kind for SnapAV in Argentina, will make it easy for new and existing SnapAV and Control4 partners to acquire and deploy the company’s solutions.“We’re eager to continue our global expansion by expanding operations in South America,” said Blake Van Cleave, SnapAV Senior Director for Canada and Latin America Sales. “Thanks to our new agreement with Delta Smart, we can improve the speed and efficiency in which local partners in Argentina do business with us.”Under the agreement, Delta Smart will maintain SnapAV and Control4 inventory in its Buenos Aires warehouse for rapid distribution to dealers nationwide. The distributor will also provide in-country technical support and warranty coverage. The company also operates an authorized training center in Buenos Aires where it will provide required training certifications and continuing education.“Delta Smart is an Argentinian company with more than 10 years of home automation experience,” said Delta Smart Owner Dario Haustech. “We are constantly training our staff with the newest technologies, and we are well-equipped to support our dealers in the region. We are very proud to be the new distributor for SnapAV/Control4, and we are eager to serve local dealers by providing them with innovative solutions.”“This is a significant step by SnapAV to invest further in the Argentina market,” Van Cleave added. “By working with Delta Smart, dealers will have better access to leading control, pro A/V and other SnapAV solutions and have their orders fulfilled quickly, enabling them to secure more projects.”For existing SnapAV dealer partners in Argentina, Control4 Latin America Sales Manager Herbert Bansbach will continue to provide support and assistance in tandem with Delta Smart.

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By: Power Engineering

The first of three Oklahoma wind energy facilities to be owned by subsidiaries of American Electric Power is now completed and in commercial operation.

The 199-MW Sundance Wind Energy Center is now generating power from its site in north central Oklahoma. It is one of three projects in the North Central Energy Facilities which will provide up to 1,485 MW of carbon-free power into the grid.

Public Service Co. of Oklahoma and Louisiana-based Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) will deliver that electricity to their customers. Both are part of AEP.

See our full coverage of utility-scale wind power projects

“The completion of Sundance is a milestone for AEP and our customers as we continue to build a clean energy future,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “North Central will ensure we can provide clean, reliable energy to our customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, while also saving them an estimated $3 billion in electricity costs over the next 30 years. We continue to transform AEP’s generation fleet with investments in new wind and solar and modernize the grid to support the integration of more renewable resources and new technologies.”

Invenergy is developing the three North Central Energy Facilities, which also include the 287-MW Maverick and 999-MW Traverse wind power projects due to go online in late 2021 and early 2022, respectively. PSO and SWEPCO assume ownership once the wind farms go into commercial operation.

GE is supplying the wind turbines through its agreement with Invenergy.

Overall, AEP and its units are investing about $2 billion in the projects. It will be the first wind-power ownership for the utilities, which previously delivered wind power to customers through power purchase agreements with other developers and operators.

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Utility-scale wind projects are part of Decarbonization and the Future of Electricity, which both will be content tracks when POWERGEN International happens Jan. 26-28, 2022 in Dallas. The POWERGEN Call for Speakers is now open and seeking session ideas.



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By: Power Engineering

An energy infrastructure firm and investment wing of the Southern Ute tribe are partnering to develop a gas-fired power plant combined with emissions capture to become a carbon-free generation project

8 Rivers Capital LLC and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Growth Fund together will develop the Coyote Clean Power Project on the reservation in Colorado. The NET Power gas-fired plant will generate about 280 MW at capacity while capturing and storing the carbon dioxide, according to the announcement.

“We are delighted to partner with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on this clean power project, highlighting our collective leadership in the energy transition to a carbon neutral environment. The Coyote Clean Power Project’s affordable delivery of zero emissions power is unprecedented, and the project is a model for future deployments of this critical decarbonization tool” said, Damian Beauchamp, President at 8 Rivers and Board Member of NET Power. 

As the project moves forward, Coyote Clean Power expects to make a final investment decision in 2022 and production could begin by 2025.

The Southern Ute tribe already has operated a power project which captured methane and develop a utility-scale solar project in southwestern Colorado.

Shane Seibel, Southern Ute Growth Fund Executive Director stated, “The Growth Fund is excited to partner with 8 Rivers, a leader in developing decarbonization technology,  to progress the Coyote Clean Power Project to the next phase of development enabling the Southern Ute Indian Tribe to continue its leadership of energy development in Indian Country and to participate in solutions for transitioning to a carbon neutral environment by providing clean and affordable baseload power in Southwest Colorado.”

The NET Power system utilizes the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle, combusting natural gas with oxygen, as opposed to air, and uses supercritical carbon dioxide as a working fluid to drive a turbine instead of steam. This theoretically eliminates all air emissions, including traditional pollutants and CO2, and inherently produces pipeline-quality CO2 that can be sequestered.

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Decarbonization, the Future of Electricity and Trends in Conventional Power are all tracks planned for POWERGEN International happening Jan. 26-28 in Dallas. The POWERGEN Call for Speakers is now open and seeking session ideas around projects and case studies.



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By: Power Engineering

Live freely. Power up renewably.

This slight variation of the Jack Daniels motto feels apropos as the whiskey maker embraces zero carbon energy for its Lynchberg, Tennessee distillery.

Jack Daniels is partnering with the Tennessee Valley Authority, Duck River Electric Membership Corp. and Nashville-based solar power producer Silicon Ranch. If completed, the distillery will be powered with 20 MW of solar energy, courtesy of TVA’s long-term power purchase agreement with Silicon Ranch.

The developer Silicon Ranch will build, own and operate the solar facility just a few miles from the whiskey operations in Moore County. The project is awaiting environmental reviews.

See our full coverage of the solar power sector

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The partnership is supported by TVA’s Green Invest program, which is securing solar farms to help meet renewable energy goals for various companies from automakers to data centers, municipal utilities and universities.  So far the Green Invest program has attracted nearly $2.7 billion in solar investment to procure more than 2,100 MW of generation capacity.

“Our commitment to making great whiskey is only matched by our commitment to preserving the world we call home through sustainable practices,” said Jack Daniel’s Vice President and Assistant General Manager Melvin Keebler. “We’re excited to be the first distillery to sign a Green Invest deal that will provide nearly three-quarters of our electricity needs. Now the world’s most iconic whiskey is even greener.”

TVA has increased its solar capacity contracting by 60 percent just since October 2020, according to the federal agency.

Silicon Ranch collaborated with local landowners Cumberland Springs Land Company, the leadership at Motlow State Community College, and officials in Moore County to develop the solar project.

“The Tennessee Valley is our home, and Silicon Ranch is honored to be part of this compelling story that demonstrates what’s possible when partners work together with a shared commitment to our local communities,” said Reagan Farr, Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and CEO. “Thanks to the leadership of our friends at TVA, local power companies such as DREMC, and visionary companies such as Jack Daniel’s, Silicon Ranch is on pace to invest more than $1 billion across the Valley, and we are proud to expand this legacy to Moore County.”

Jack Daniels has been producing whiskey since the late 19th century.

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The continuing ascension of the solar power industry will be part of the content presented when POWERGEN International happens Jan. 26-28 in Dallas. The POWERGEN Call for Speakers is now open and seeking session ideas around Decarbonization of the power sector.



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By: Security Systems News

As Security Systems News’ Managing Editor Cory Harris and I have been pointing out lately in our columns, it has been exciting to see the security industry come together in myriad ways to tackle the industry’s top issues.The latest industry association superheroes to join forces are the Security Industry Association (SIA), PSA Security and Security Specifiers, which have jointly developed something our industry desperately needs – a cybersecurity certification for all!Set to be available in June, earning the Security Industry Cybersecurity Certification (SICC) will demonstrate a high level of competence in physical, cyber and information security. “The new SICC was born out of the recognition that the security of installed systems depends on the knowledge and qualifications of those who install and configure them,” said Security Specifiers Founder and Managing Director Ray Coulombe. “This certification is an important step in the provisioning of cyber-secure systems.”The development group said the SICC is the only credential focused specifically on cybersecurity and physical security convergence, noting, “As a designated SICC, you will validate the skills required to support technical security installations according to industry best practices for electronic security and cybersecurity and aligning with clients’ organizational priorities and business objectives.”The SICC has been developed for integrators, manufacturers, consultants and other related industry professionals who are responsible for technically supporting the installation, networking, configuration and/or specification of electronic security/low-voltage technology devices, and is designed to ensure these professionals have hands-on experience and a deep understanding of physical security and cybersecurity convergence. The program is designed to assess and validate the core competencies these individuals must possess to effectively perform jobs involving critical aspects of cybersecurity.I look forward talking with all of the key players from SIA, PSA and Security Specifiers in the coming weeks to get an inside look at how this certification came about and what it could potentially mean for integrators, dealers, consultants, and the industry as a whole, so keep an eye out for an exclusive sneak peek at the certification coming soon!

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BETHESDA, Md.—Group337, a team of experts focused on the business of the security, access control and IoT industries, announced the hire of Jonathon Harris as vice president of The Index, adding yet another hi-profile executive to their quickly expanding roster. Group337 recently hired of Hilary Gallagher as vice president. In his new role as vice president of The Index – the data and analytics arm of Group337’s solutions for the market – Harris will lead Group337’s efforts in security industry metrics, data, analyst reports, and more, as well as working closely with consulting, insight and content for Group337.“It is an honor to bring my security industry knowledge and experience to the Group337 team,” Harris said. “I have so much respect for how Group337’s growth to date, and I look forward to furthering that growth and helping our clients to achieve their goals.”Harris, who is a Board Member of the ASIS Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area Chapter, has worked within the physical security industry for more than 12 years. He most recently was Director, Enterprise Solutions for Guidepost Solutions, a leader in domestic and international investigations, compliance solutions, monitoring, and security and technology consulting. He also served as A&E Consultant Program Manager for LenelS2, Associate Director for UTC Aerospace Systems, a Security Account Manager for Whelan Security, and a Training Supervisor for Securitas. Harris was also honored in 2016 with Security Systems News’ “40 under 40” award, which celebrates current and future leaders in security.“We have seen tremendous acceptance and interest in our data and analytics since we launched The Access Control Index, The $70B total addressable market report, and our website Security Industry Metrics,” said , Group337 CEO & Founder Lee Odess. “As we continue our rapid growth, we need a proven leader to take our industry metrics to the next level. We have found that leadership in Jonathon.”Harris begins his new role on April 15. He can be contacted at Jharris@group337.comGroup337 is a team of experts focused on the business of the security, access control, and IoT industries. Founded in 2020 in Bethesda, MD by Lee Odess, Group337, along with The Inside and Security Industry Metrics, helps companies, brands, channels, and financial institutions achieve exponential growth through strategy, insights, content, and data.For more information, visit www.group337.com

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By: Power Engineering

By Robert Presser, vice president, Acme Engineering Prod Inc.

Due to the threat of global warming as well as international commitments to the Paris Accord on Climate Change, utilities operating power plants to generate electricity in Europe and North America are tasked with significantly reducing their environmental footprint in record time. 

In response, last year the 27-nation European Union (EU) agreed to cut greenhouse gas carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.  According to a recent report that has tracked the EU’s power sector since 2015, renewables surpassed fossil fuels last year (38% to 37%), indicating that utilities are already pivoting away from carbon emissions, whether that is for baseload power, cyclic generation, or peaking power.

Even the U.S., which recently rejoined the Paris Agreement, has targets for American businesses to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050.

While the interest of utilities in electric boilers has waxed and waned in the last century, suddenly it is in vogue again.  Whether to honor Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) goals, meet regulatory commitments, or take advantage of government credits and incentives, a growing number of utilities are installing new or retrofit high-voltage electrode boilers that are compact, economical, and produce no emissions.

This is, in part, due to technological advances in electric boiler design that increase the output to a level that rivals even large gas or oil-fired boilers.  Whether utilized to produce high-pressure steam in power plants, replacing fuel boilers, or maintaining power demand-supply balance, electric-powered alternatives are sure to be a critical piece of the puzzle in meeting future emission reduction goals.

Transitioning from High-Emission Gas and Oil-Fired Boilers

When it comes to electric power generation, besides the notorious greenhouse gasses carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), natural gas-fired boilers and furnaces emit nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (PM). 

However, many utility engineers familiar with gas-fired boilers believe that electric boilers cannot match the output of the traditional, fossil fuel burning units.  Due to considerable advances in electric boiler technology, that is far from the case.  Today, for power generation, proponents say such technology can match the capacity of large gas or oil-fired boilers in a much smaller footprint.

Electric boilers utilize the conductive and resistive properties of water to carry electric current and generate steam.  An A.C. current flows from an electrode of one phase to ground using the water as a conductor.  Since chemicals in the water provide conductivity, the current flow generates heat directly in the water itself.  The more current (amps) that flows, the more heat (BTUs) is generated, and the more steam produced.  Crucially, almost 100% of the electrical energy is converted into heat with no stack or heat transfer losses.

As an example, the electrodes of a High Voltage Electrode Steam Boiler are vertically mounted around the inside of the pressure vessel.  This enables the unit to produce maximum amounts of steam in a minimum amount of floor space, with boiler capacity from 6MW to 52MW.

The boiler operates at existing distribution voltages, 4.16 to 25 KV with up to 99.9% efficiency, and can produce up to 170,000 pounds of steam per hour.  With pressure ratings from 105 psig to 500 psig, the boilers are designed to ASME Section 1, and are certified, registered pressure vessels at the location of the boiler.

There is an entire generation of utility engineers that grew up with oil and gas-fired boilers almost exclusively.  As a result of preconceived notions, most view electric boilers as small underpowered units, like a hot water heater. We frequently have to educate engineers that for power generation, there is electric boiler technology that can match the capacity of large gas or oil-fired boilers available.

High-capacity electric boilers are well suited to supply auxiliary power virtually on demand.  Auxiliary boilers also are used to supply turbines with steam when high output is required quickly.

In addition, electric boilers have several advantages compared to oil or gas-fired boilers, including superior safety, ease of installation, faster start-up and shut down time, and quiet operation. Electric boilers do not have a high minimum operating level to make them immediately available.

Electric boilers do not need an operator, because if anything goes wrong the breaker trips, preventing further escalation of the issue. With gas burning boilers, however, any gas leak can increase the risk of an explosion.  So, gas units must usually be continually monitored or periodically inspected.  State and municipal safety guidelines vary depending on boiler type and the expected frequency of inspection.

With electric boilers, the energy input as well as adjustment is also precise and virtually immediate.  In contrast, increasing or decreasing the temperature in a gas fired boiler is a slower process because it takes time for the heat in the boiler to rise or dissipate before reaching the targeted output. 

The electric units are also exceptionally quiet compared to fuel fired boilers.  Unlike gas-powered burners that throttle like turbine engines almost continually, electric boilers keep operational noise levels down.  Because the loudest boiler component is a circulating pump motor, it is easy to have a conversation next to one without having to raise your voice

As the EU and U.S. resolve to dramatically cut their greenhouse gases to combat climate change, the urgency for utilities to similarly reduce their carbon emissions will only grow. In this battle to protect the environment before the global climate hits an irreversible tipping point, utilities along with government must do their part.  Fortunately, advanced, zero-emission electric boiler technology can be a readily implementable part of the solution.

Acme Engineering is a North American manufacturer of boilers for large industrial and commercial applications.

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Optimizing Plant Performance is the theme of this month’s POWERGEN+ Series happening April 28-29. The free sessions will feature energy experts from Entergy, Black & Veatch, Competitive Power Ventures, NAES, KSB SupremeServ, HanAra Software, GSE Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, DroneDeploy and the University of Texas at Austin. Click here to find out more and register for live or on-demand sessions.



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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—SafeGuard Cyber, a leading SaaS-based platform dedicated to managing the entire lifecycle of Digital Risk Protection, announced it has raised $45 million of equity and debt led by NightDragon with participation from Cisco Investments and previous investor, Allegis Cyber.SafeGuard Cyber’s AI-powered platform empowers businesses to adopt critical collaboration, social media, and mobile chat digital channels while reducing cybersecurity risk and ensuring compliance. These technology areas have become essential with today’s remote work environment. The new funding will enable SafeGuard Cyber to expand its business and technology capabilities to meet global demand for this rapidly accelerating market.”SafeGuard Cyber offers a one-of-a-kind solution for any business or individual using cloud-based applications today,” said Dave DeWalt, founder, and managing director, NightDragon. “These capabilities are more critical than ever in today’s ‘work from anywhere’ world, where activities have migrated to social, mobile chat, and modern collaboration channels. We look forward to working with the SafeGuard team to enable today’s modern workforce and bring about a new era of worry-free commerce and human connections.”SafeGuard Cyber enables people to interact securely on any cloud application, including social apps, mobile chat, collaboration platforms, CRM, and service clouds. It empowers security and compliance teams with unprecedented visibility into these business-critical cloud communication applications and the ability to apply policies to secure their use. This capability drives SafeGuard’s mission of securing human connections no matter what digital channel is used.“The needs of the enterprise workplace are changing rapidly, and our solutions represent the future of cybersecurity with risk protection evolving to business-critical digital channels,” said SafeGuard Cyber CEO and co-founder Jim Zuffoletti. “Information security, compliance and risk professionals, marketing teams, and sales enablement all benefit from leveraging social media, collaboration, and mobile chat communication tools, yet these platforms remain largely vulnerable to security and compliance risks at many organizations. Our new backing from the investors at NightDragon, Allegis Cyber, and Cisco Investments gives SafeGuard Cyber the ability to rapidly scale and meet this massive marketplace need by providing businesses a way to grow securely across the digital landscape.”SafeGuard Cyber saw tremendous growth in 2020 as businesses increasingly turned to digital channels, such as collaboration, social media, and mobile chat, to operate their businesses effectively during the pandemic. Integrations and partnerships with platforms like Slack, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp, and more enable even the most regulated companies and industries with the ability to archive messages, voice, video, and chat.“Security is built-in as a foundational element to everything we do at Cisco,” said Morgan Mann, vice president of strategy & operations, Cisco Security Business Group. “Our investment in SafeGuard Cyber is consistent with our innovation strategy, and we believe it is well-positioned to be a leader in digital risk protection for securing today’s growing business collaboration requirements.”SafeGuard Cyber customers include some of the biggest names in financial services, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, education, technology, government, sports, media, and entertainment. They use SafeGuard Cyber to communicate directly with customers over Zoom, WhatsApp, and WeChat in a secure and compliant manner enabling authentic social selling solutions.

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