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May 18th, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on May 18th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here’s what we are hearing:

Welcome to The Cement Grinding Office, a new concept to support engineers and technicians working every day with a ball mill

In the cement industry, the ball mill is probably the nemesis of all staffs. Why? Everybody knows that a cement mill is a technological heresy on an energetic point of view. The mill’s efficiency is extremely poor and the work to get some improvement is huge! We hope this site will give a little help for those who spend a large part of their lives for their ball mill. In this site, you will find some tools, such as calculators for volume load power, cement mill-2 compartments power, cement mill-3 compartments power, monochamber mill power, raw mill power, birotator central discharge mill power, ball charge make-up, Tromp curve, RRB Curve, drying capacities and heat balance.

The Kickstarter for solar could make you money starting this summer

(GigaOm) As early as this summer, Solar Mosaic plans to start offering people a way to buy into rooftop solar panel projects, and make back a return on their investment over time. Essentially for the investor it will be like buying the safe and predictable return of a mutual fund. The way it works is that a building owner will lease the solar equipment and enter into a contract for a fixed, low, electricity rate, commonly over about two decades. Solar Mosaic is working with solar lease providers like Sungevity, but Solar Mosaic is the one that organizes the crowd-funding of the money to get the solar rooftop installed. Once the project gets funded Kickstart-style, the rooftop solar panel installation process starts. Solar rooftops are a surprisingly low risk investment. As Daniel Rosen, cofounder of Solar Mosaic put it in an article for us last month: solar loans are backed by a revenue-producing asset (electricity) and the building owners are just continuing to pay for the electricity that they are used to paying for day in and day out. There is little risk to investors that the buildings owners will default on their electricity payments, particularly since they are also saving money on their energy bills from day one. In addition the costs, timelines and returns for solar panels are pretty transparent as the technology has become increasingly commoditized.

Westinghouse and Ameren Missouri announce creation of NexStart SMR Alliance to rapidly license and deploy Westinghouse small modular reactor technology

Westinghouse Electric Company and the Missouri Electric Alliance led by Ameren Missouri announced the formation of a utility participation group called the NexStart SMR Alliance. The Alliance is a consortium of current and prospective nuclear plant owners and operators and includes cooperative, municipal and investor-owned electric service providers, as well as public enterprises to advance energy security. Alliance members signed a Memorandum of Understanding that recognizes the importance of advancing nuclear energy in helping secure clean, safe and reliable electricity in the future by deploying the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor. The initial membership of the NexStart SMR Alliance includes Ameren Missouri, Exelon Generation Company, Dominion Virginia Power, FirstEnergy Generation, Tampa Electric Company, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, Savannah River National Laboratory, and members of the Missouri Alliance: Missouri Public Utility Alliance; Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Inc.; The Empire District Electric Company; and Kansas City Power and Light Company. Westinghouse and Alliance members are also in discussions with other utilities and enterprises considering NexStart SMR Alliance membership in order to support the potential deployment of a Westinghouse SMR at Ameren’s Callaway Energy Center in central Missouri.

Lux Research: Sustainability emerges as key focus in $53B architectural coatings market

Architectural coatings protect and beautify buildings, but use tremendous amounts of petroleum, water and energy. Environmental imperatives mean that sustainability of architectural coatings is increasingly vital, and their role in building energy efficiency is growing with the widespread acceptance of building standards such as LEED and NZEB, according to a Lux Research report. Lux defines sustainability along three dimensions – environmental impact, energy efficiency and resource efficiency – to create a simple “Sustainability Value.” Comparing this metric with “Technical Value,” Lux Analysts mapped out the technologies that will impact the architectural coatings market. “Sustainable coatings technologies reduce the energy, resource, and environmental impact of paints and coatings, but often get confused with ‘greenwashed’ unsustainable alternatives,” says Aditya Ranade, Lux Research Analyst and lead author of the report titled, Painting a Green Future: Opportunities in Sustainable Architectural Coatings.

Ceramic Fuel Cells reaches one million hours of operation

Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd. announced its products have achieved a combined one million hours of operation. The company’s first field trial units were operated in Australia, New Zealand and Germany from early 2006. In 2007, the company developed its high-efficiency Gennex fuel cell module, which is the core of the company’s BlueGen product and integrated mCHP products. Up to May 1, 189 units have been operated at Ceramic Fuel Cells’ facilities in Melbourne and Germany, as well as at customer sites in nine countries. Brendan Dow, managing director, said milestones such as this are important. “These units are not just operating in our labs, but at many customer sites in nine countries around the world,” he says.

Bayer to establish wind energy research center

(MaterialsViews) Bayer MaterialScience plans to establish a global wind energy competence and development center at its existing site in Otterup, Denmark. The new competence center will spearhead and coordinate the global development activities for advanced materials used in wind energy applications. The plan for the center underlines the commitment of Bayer MaterialScience to develop innovative and sustainable materials and technologies for generating power from renewable sources. It will bundle the development capabilities from across the company’s entire portfolio of polyurethanes, polycarbonates as well as coatings, adhesives and specialties materials, pooling expertise from research and development teams around the world. While full details of the global wind energy competence center have yet to be decided, Bayer MaterialScience CEO Patrick Thomas sees it as an opportunity to deploy the company’s expertise in chemistry and processing to help achieve a sustainable reduction in the cost of generating energy from wind turbines.

New chair of supervisory board at Carl Zeiss AG

(MaterialsViews) The Carl Zeiss AG Supervisory Board has elected Dieter Kurz as the new chair of its supervisory board, effective immediately. “With Kurz, we are gaining a chair who is very familiar with the company and the challenges of our portfolio through his many years of successful work as a member of the executive board and president and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG,” says Michael Kaschke, president and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG. “We at Carl Zeiss are looking forward to working with him.” Kurz was already appointed as chair of the shareholder council of the Carl Zeiss Foundation in March. According to the foundation’s constitution, this means that he is a member of the supervisory boards of the two foundation enterprises, Schott AG and Carl Zeiss AG, and is to be elected as chair by the two supervisory boards.

Solar industry CEOs launch Global Solar Council

Representatives of leading international companies in the solar photovoltaic industry have announced the founding of the Global Solar Council, a CEO-level industry coalition whose aim is to expand the global deployment of solar energy in a sustainable and cost-competitive way. Global Solar Council members will engage with policymakers worldwide to demonstrate the progress towards abundant, affordable and low emissions energy already made possible by the solar industry and to emphasize the importance of a supportive policy and trade environment, which will enable the ongoing development of competitively-priced solar energy, driving job creation and economic growth. Through its members, the Global Solar Council brings industry knowledge and insights from all sides of the solar photovoltaic value chain; from the supply of materials to product manufacturing and financing, policy, research and innovation, cross-border cooperation, and grid development and management. Council founding members are Applied Materials, Dow Corning, DuPont Electronics & Communication, First Solar, Lanco Solar, Phoenix Solar and Suntech.


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