Sustainable engineering along with process safety is one of the technical tracks in this year’s upcoming Spring meeting of the American Society of Chemical Engineers – March 26-30 San Antonio, TX. The forum covers a range of process design topics, presentations and discussions around environmental initiatives for air, water and soil protection. So, what is sustainability and what are chemical engineers doing about it? Continue reading
Global prosperity requires reliable energy at a reasonable cost. To meet this demand, the industry is changing the way it produces energy and power, whether it comes from hydrocarbon, nuclear or renewable means. Supplying it requires sustainable development, environmental stewardship, compliance with regulations and cost management. Independent of prices, the industry’s most pressing challenge is cost per unit of energy. Recent layoffs and out-of-the ordinary cuts to capital and operating costs are driving the oil and gas industry to produce energy more efficiently, more safely, and with a smaller carbon footprint. Debate over subsidies, reliability and viability have resulted in accelerated development/deployment and widespread innovation in renewable energy, which includes solar, wind and hydropower, fuel cells, wave and tidal, energy storage, the next generation of fission nuclear reactors and advancements in fusion energy. Continue reading
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is changing the way the world designs, connects and optimizes machines. The advent of the IIoT brings together the things of the industrial sector (countless pieces of industrial equipment, machines, production facilities, plants) with a network (high speed routers, switches and gateways) and the cloud (access to cutting-edge local or remote computing on private or public computing clusters), which hosts the software and analytic for making decisions based on data from the things. In effect, the IIoT is connecting IT, product design and operational technologies. Industrial equipment must become digital or “smart machines.” Continue reading
As the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference — COP21 — took place in Paris, I watched as business and world leaders met with the goal to reach a binding agreement on climate policy among all nations. One of the main objectives is to set a path to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100 by reducing man-made emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). Continue reading
The energy of a human voice at certain pitch and volume can shatter a wine glass due to vibrations caused by sound waves. Motion of fluids can also create structural vibration, sometimes with disastrous consequences: In 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state collapsed when high winds caused the structure to oscillate with increasing amplitude from end to end, until sections of the bridge fell into the river. The bridge structure was responding to the transient forces caused at certain flow frequencies as the wind blew past the bridge. At a critical vibration frequency corresponding to the natural (or harmonic) frequency of the structure, mechanical resonance occurs, and the objects fail — glass shatters, the bridge collapses. Continue reading
Oil and gas industry professionals will be gathering at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC2015) in Houston, May 4-7. This year’s OTC event is taking place at a time when there are understandable concerns about jobs, costs and investments due to continued uncertainties in petrochemical prices, global demand and realigning of capital investments. ANSYS is going to the OTC conference because we believe that the energy industry is resilient. We also believe that ANSYS has solutions to help the industry cut costs through improvements in engineering best practices and use complete virtual prototyping of its system with the insight needed to prioritize and optimize the industry’s investments and adoption of advanced technologies. Continue reading
The recent drop in oil prices naturally has produced economic winners and losers, and price speculators and pundits are lining up conventional producers against those behind American-drilled Shale oil. Yet, questions remain about how the world is over-supplied with oil only a few years after we supposedly passed peek oil and survived oil prices topping $140 per barrel. Discounting the anticipated demand softness due to economic activities in Europe and Asia, technology is playing a strong role in finding, producing and using energy across the full range of industrial activities. Continue reading
To boost production safely, and economically, oil and gas industry faces different challenges depending on the type of hydrocarbon resource, the location and required technology. For years, the Global Petroleum Show has been one of the primer events in Calgary, Alberta bringing over 60,000 industry professionals and stake holders together to showcase and discuss topics related to oil sand and heavy oil. Continue reading
Wind power can be a source of cheap, renewable energy when it is captured and used efficiently. From a business perspective, engineering simulation technology contributes to wind energy viability by influencing efficient generation, which can impact design, manufacturing, site selection, farm layout, deployment and operation.
The industry continually innovates to meet growing complexities for both onshore and offshore wind turbines. The combination of cost and weight reduction requirements, coupled with reliability and economic considerations, puts additional demand on engineering design and processes. The benefits of engineering simulation include better understanding of components and system-level performance, which deals with both components and systems and covers fluids, structure, electronic, acoustics, composites, transmission, seismic, fatigue and thermal analysis and design.
Developing more efficient water processing units for oil and gas production is becoming an industry focus. Water occurs naturally within oil and gas reserves and can also be introduced as part of enhanced oil and gas recovery process. The water involved in oil and gas production is called produced water and is an undesired by-product in that industry. Both onshore and offshore produced water requires large amounts of pumping energy and the costs for water management and disposal are rising. The problem is greatest for old wells and for offshore production. Exciting new technologies are being developed to address these issues and engineering simulation can help.