National Instruments' goal for Green Engineering is to provide measurements and control technologies for scientists and engineers so they can better design, develop and improve products, technologies and processes that result in both environmental and economic benefits. We see this being applied in almost every industry or, as we like to say, from windmills to steel mills. Another saying we like to use is, “Measure It – Fix It.” Good measurements help us understand our impact on the environment and identify problems; and control technologies fix many of these problems by adding intelligence to the products and processes being worked on.
Renewable power generation is becoming very important and key political figures are endorsing its use, specifically wind and solar energy. Power monitoring and power quality analysis applications let us understand how much power is used. One area for improvement is industrial production, where machines and processes created in the last industrial revolution can be optimized by applying advanced technologies to reduce power consumption and operating efficiencies. While these applications and industries have shown great improvements in the recent past, much innovation and ingenuity is still needed to make them more economically viable.
There are many ideas being researched and worked on, including large carbon sequestration devices, wave harvesting buoys, kite power generation and the potential for fusion as an almost unlimited source of energy. Some of National Instruments' advanced multi-core technologies are being applied to this area and we hope they can help provide an almost inexhaustible supply of fuel from sea water. This has been a challenge, but we must try to figure it out and create a long-term solution to supply energy while having minimum environmental impact.
The NI vision is to enable this next generation of technologies through our Graphical System Design platform, where we bring in state-of-the-art measurement capabilities and expand them into embedded systems. This unique capability to add high-performance measurements to control systems provides an ideal platform to design, prototype and deploy products and technologies. By tightly integrating design with prototyping, engineers and scientist can perform rapid iterations on their design, substantially improving the performance and capability of products and technologies they're developing.
Green Engineering can help engineers and scientists identify and solve many challenging problems our society faces today. Measurements help to quantify usage and identify problems, while more intelligent devices, through control and embedded system technologies, will provide new solutions that fix many of the problems that desperately need fixing. Learn more at ni.com/greenengineering.