Grid threats increase daily - from foreign foes, terrorists, criminals and hackers. Utilities are tasked with guarding against a rising tide of potentially disruptive intrusions into their power grid and electronic networks. What will it take to keep the power more...
Monday Jun 24, 2013
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - USA
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Roger Arnold is a systems architect and engineer, recently focusing on energy systems and controls. His consulting company, Silverthorn Engineering, is developing architectures and software for motion control using custom switched-reluctance actuators and motor-generators.
Mr. Arnold graduated from the Honors College at Michigan State University with a triple major in physics, math, and chemistry. He then worked for IBM’s Components Division in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. His budding career at IBM, however, was interrupted by the draft.
The Army at that time had no slots in which to fit a drafted semiconductor physicist, however junior. However, it was assumed that a college graduate working for IBM must be an expert on business and data processing. On that basis, he was assigned as a systems analyst for a U.S. Forces Support District in Germany. As a lowly PFC, he found himself writing operating procedures and overseeing a pool of higher ranking military programmers and operators. He acquired a reputation for tactful troubleshooting. After two accelerated promotions, he spent much of his second year on temporary duty assignments to other locations in Germany.
It was, altogether, about as painless as military service in the final year of the Viet Nam war could get. Nonetheless, rubbing shoulders with men badly scarred by what they had seen and done in combat left an impression that informs his politics to this day.
Upon release from the Army, he enrolled at the University of Colorado Graduate School to study computer science and work as a research assistant in computer architectures. After graduate school, he worked seven years for Boeing Aerospace as a Software Engineer. His assignments ranged from IR&D on serial data communication protocols to embedded operating systems and software tools development. He worked with designers from IBM Federal Systems to optimize microcode of the IBM 4-Pi CC2 computer developed for the NATO E3A (AWACS) project. As a junior member of the proposal team for the sale of NATO AWACS planes to Iran, he narrowly missed being in Iran when the Shah was overthrown.
Mr. Arnold left Boeing in 1982 to join a startup company in San Diego. The company developed compilers and runtime software for the Ada programming language. He designed an advanced global optimizer for the compiler and served as manager of code generator development for RISC architectures. When the company was acquired by a competitor, he left and took a position as manager of compiler development for a company in the Silicon Valley area.
Since moving to Silicon Valley, he has worked for a number of different companies, in positions that leverage his unusual breadth of knowledge in software, hardware, and device physics. He was a principal architect and co-designer of the TriCore microprocessor / DSP used by Infineon Technologies in its line of controller products for the automotive market. He holds a number of patents on key architecture features of TriCore, including its variable length pipeline for masking memory fetch latencies.
Mr. Arnold currently resides in Sunnyvale, California, along with his wife, teenage son, and two cats. He can be reached at (408) 802-3060, or e-mail to RArnold@SilverthornEngineering.com.
Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is a surprisingly controversial topic. Coal interests and climate change deniers insist, predictably, that it is unnecessary and would create an intolerable drag on the economy. But CCS is also opposed by some militant environmentalists.
In part 1, we looked at the likely impact of the recent EPA rules for greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. We also looked at some of the technology options for carbon capture from new coal-fired plants, and how they might affect the cost of compliance.
he EPA recently issued a plan that would impose limits on emission of greenhouse gases from new power plants. The proposed limit for CO2 is 1000 pounds per megawatt-hour (MWh) -- a value easily met by natural gas power plants but impossible for traditional coal-fired plants without carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).
In September 2008, EnergyPulse published an article by Harry Valentine on "The Potential for Seasonal Energy Storage" 1. One of the possibilities for very large-scale pumped hydroelectric storage that Harry mentioned would operate between the Salton Sea in Southern California and Mexico's Sea of Cortez. I didn't initially think his suggestion was practical. Lately, though, I've reconsidered.
In parts 1 and 2, we looked at supply management and load management as mechanisms for coping with the variability of renewable energy sources. In this final part, we look at possibilities for energy storage - the ultimate solution for the long term, once the burning of fossil fuels is no longer an option.
In Part 1, we looked at supply management as a mechanism for coping with the variability of wind resources. In this part, we look at the other side of the equation, load management. What are the prospects for being able to use power "as available", and how will that capability affect the economics of renewable energy?
One of the biggest issues with solar and wind power is their variability. They produce power "when they want to", and not necessarily when we would like them to. There are ways to cope with this variability, but each has some economic cost. In this three-part article, we review current options, and suggest likely developments for the near future.
President Bush has said that to achieve energy independence for the United States, we need to quickly build new receiving terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG). The new terminals will enable us to import more natural gas to compensate for our own flagging production.
Advocacy for distributed generation (DG) has a long history. Conservation activists preached the concept in the early '70s, and even before. But it never really caught on. Now, suddenly, it's again become a hot topic.
The recent and apparently continuing surge in oil and gas prices has stimulated fresh interest in the hydrogen economy. But the concept is surprisingly controversial. "The hydrogen economy" encapsulates a vision of hydrogen as a superior successor to fossil fuels for serving the world's energy needs.