Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) engineers say they have reduced nitrogen oxide (NO(sub x)) emissions on a 4,200-hp, 16-cylinder, natural-gas-fueled (LNG) engine by 75% when compared to a diesel-fueled counterpart. "These emission levels make using LNG an attractive proposition for rail companies in noncompliance areas, such as Southern California and parts of the Northeast, where diesel locomotives contribute substantially to air pollution," David Meyers, a group leader in SwRI's Engine and Vehicle Research Div., reported to members of the GasRail USA industry research project. GasRail was initiated in 1993 by SwRI, together with federal, state, and industrial participants, to demonstrate that LNG could contribute to lower NO(sub x) emissions. To date, SwRI has designed, tested, and evaluated six LNG engine combustion systems. The locomotive system selected, known as LaChip (Late cycle High Injection Pressure), uses small amounts of diesel fuel as an ignition source for the high-pressure natural gas injected late in the combustion cycle. Diesel fuel also can be used in an emergency, allowing the locomotive to pull into a shop for repairs if the LNG supply is interrupted. The system will be field-tested in a Metrolink commuter locomotive owned by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority in early 1999. FAX Elizabeth Douglas at (210) 522-3547.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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.