Is the Aviation Industry Innovating Fast Enough to Deliver Sustainable Design?

This year has been one of significant milestones for the aviation industry. Two examples are Boeing’s hundredth year and the UK Royal Aeronautical Society’s 150th. Times like this provide a chance to reflect on some of the key technical innovations that have made major contributions to performance, safety, comfort, economy, energy innovation and sustainable design in the industry. Continue reading

Thermal Optimization for Energy Efficiency

Where I live in New Hampshire, in the northeastern United States, it is mid-autumn. The leaves are especially brilliant this year and fall temperatures have been warm with just a few nights below freezing. We had to turn on the heat recently and will be paying for the additional fuel usage soon. These chilly nights and warm days have me thinking about honeycomb window blinds and the lowest temperature we can all tolerate indoors in an effort to save energy when it truly gets cold. It strikes me that the heating decisions we make at home to optimize for energy efficiency are very similar to the ones engineers working on all kinds of things make everyday. Continue reading

The Role of Engineering Simulation in Energy Innovation

engineering simulation energy innovationA few weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege of being one of a few invited attendees at the DOE Mission Innovation Workshop on Grid Modernization. The workshop was hosted by the University of Pittsburgh and held at the Energy Innovation Center. Attendees included leaders from the Department of Energy, Pittsburgh city government officials, community and foundation organizations, and representatives from key local industries — including major utilities, electrical system integrators, electrical system manufacturers and technology companies (like ANSYS).

Pittsburgh, and other similar cities, face significant energy and sustainability challenges over the next few years. These challenges stem primarily from the significant disparity in the goals that have been set — as can be seen in the SmartPGH video — and the current state of the grid and industrial equipment. Continue reading

Breakthrough Energy Innovation. What Will You Change Today to Drive Sustainable Design?

Energy efficiency, sustainable design and green products are not new concepts but they are increasingly coming to the fore. Of particular recent note was the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) meeting in Paris and the commitment to limit global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels.

Why the increased emphasis and urgency? A widespread and growing recognition that our use of Earth’s resources is accelerating at an unsustainable rate, with measurable consequences. Continue reading

COP21 – A Call for Engineers and Scientists to Innovate

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

A Proven Approach to Reduce Oil and Gas Industry Costs

OTC2015Oil 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

Modeling Waves to Keep the Sea Clean

In 2013, over 4400 million tonnes of crude oil was extracted, which caters to roughly 33% of the global need for energy. Most of this oil is extracted from offshore sites and transported to shores for further processing. During this production and transport, if an accidental release of the crude or processed oil occurs, it is called Oil Spill. With the advancement of technology, volumes of oil spilled have reduced over last few decades, however, factors of human error and natural calamity can never be completely ruled out. Continue reading

Capturing Wind Energy Safely

Capturing wind energy is full of technical challenges but it also requires a high level of safety. The turbines must operate under harsh conditions, they must be highly reliable, and they must be safe.

Vestas develops wind turbines and is the leader in its domain. It has installed 56 GW of wind energy, which amounts to 40,000 turbines. They generate enough clean energy to power 19 million European households. Continue reading

Nanotechnology – A View Into the Future

Here’s some exciting technology with a view into the future. Imagine that when your cell phone battery gets low you can charge it just by walking around. Nanotechnology has the ability to deliver that promise as described in a recent article on theENGINEER.

We’ve heard a lot about alternative energies in recent years like wind, solar, tidal, etc. This represents a new form based on harvesting mechanical energy from vibrations. The Journal of Nanomaterials features a research article that shows how ANSYS Mechanical is used to develop this new energy source by simulating the piezoelectric behavior of the nanogenerators. Continue reading

Cleaner Use of Coal in the 21st Century

Coal will remain the key fuel for electricity generation in the near future, despite its major contribution to the greenhouse effect. That was the key takeaway from the 38th International Technical Conference on Clean Coal and Fuel Systems, which concluded recently in Clearwater, Florida, U.S.A. A large focus of the event was to provide information about the cleaner use of coal now and in the future.

That message was expected, given that there has been a concentrated effort by many researchers and engineers to make energy from coal as clean as possible. It was interesting to hear one of the speakers directly couple the economic growth of a country with its use of coal.

coalThe five-day conference provided comprehensive and up-to-date information on emerging, evolving and innovative technologies, fuels and policies in the power generation industry. Information and discussions during the conference help industrialists, academicians, researchers, and technology and equipment suppliers to plan their strategies for cleaner use of coal to mitigate environmental concerns in the 21st century. Continue reading