A low-cost technology introduced by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has substantially increased the output of an Australian combustion-turbine power plant. Using the EPRI technology, air passing through compressors at the Ecogen Jeeralong Power Station in Victoria is sprayed with a fine mist of demineralized water. This cools the inlet temperatures, increasing flow through the combustion turbine. In all, 2,500 fine nozzle sprays per unit are fitted to the turbine inlet air duct. The result: a 10% increase in power output during peak summer demand. Moreover, on hot, dry summer days, when industries and households switch on their air conditioners, the station can be brought to its peak load capacity of 465 MW within a half hour. In another installation in Missouri, the Utilicorp Energy Group estimates a similar system will save the utility more than $3 million through the year 2010. "With EPRI's aid, we identified ways of raising our plant capacity at a fraction of the cost of building a new plant or buying expensive power," notes Mike Jonagon, superintendent of gas turbines at Utilicorp. E-mail email@example.com.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.