U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently called for a report on the dependability of our electricity grid to ensure it continues to provide Americans with the power they’ve come to expect.
The grid is undergoing substantial changes in order to keep pace with rising energy demand — some of the most profound changes since its inception, as a matter of fact — and the study is intended to assess “how certain policies are affecting, and potentially putting at risk, energy security and reliability.”
A dependable electrical grid is essential across all industries, but especially for manufacturing and fuel production.
The significant changes in how the U.S. generates its power is greatly tied to the Marcellus shale gas boom within the past ten years. The affordable, plentiful supply of natural gas from the shale formation in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York lessened U.S. dependence on imported gas and, in part, marginalized coal and nuclear power plants. The use of wind and solar power continues to rise, too.
The U.S. electricity system is a complex network of power plants, transmission and distribution wires, and electricity consumers, and ensuring it remains reliable will be no easy task. As we wait for the study to shed light on the grid’s dependability now — and in years to come — modernization efforts continue and integrate new technologies with the existing grid infrastructure.
Central Metal Fabricators is an industry leader in the production of silencers for exhaust stacks, inlet stacks, and enclosures. We also supply exhaust plenums, filtration systems, enclosure panels and doors, exhaust diffusers, turning vanes, vandal-rain-snow roof/guards, exhaust stack eductor assemblies, and acoustical-thermal panels, turbulators and turning vanes.
Let us help you with your gas turbine silencing needs. Contact us today, and follow our blog, as well as connecting with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The annual National Manufacturing Day is the first Friday of October, so mark your calendars for Friday, October 6th, 2017. The initiative brings together manufacturers and communities in an educational way to address common industry issues.
MFG DAY events near you are listed on the site for interested personnel such as students, educators, media, politicians, and businessmen alike.
Industry Issues to Address
Although manufacturing is key to the economy, it still has its share of disputes. Current concerns being addressed are the manufacturing skills gap, public misconceptions about the industry, the amount of male versus female workers in the field, and the outsourcing of jobs overseas for cheaper labor.
National Manufacturing Day is one of the biggest initiatives supporting methods to overcome each hurdle.
What the National Manufacturing Day Entails
During both public and invitation-only visits, manufacturers have the opportunity to dissolve any myths about the manufacturing industry. Common misconceptions include dirty shop floors and low-paying positions, but today’s industry happens to be quite the opposite.
Step foot inside a facility and you will see that today’s manufacturing industry means technological advancements, STEM skills, secure job placement and benefits, as well as economic benefits across the country and across the globe.
The Importance of Manufacturing Today
The manufacturing sector has grown faster than the rest of the U.S. economy since the recession that ended in 2010. Manufacturing significantly impacts today’s economy, spurring economic growth, as well as encouraging innovation with its technological improvements in machinery. Plus, services are dependent on manufactured items. Let’s not forget that manufacturing creates employment too.
Central Metal and National Manufacturing Day
Central Metal Fabricators supports each National Manufacturing Day initiative, including bridging the skills gap, supporting male and female student proficiencies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and encouraging reshoring of manufacturing activities.
For more information continue to follow our updates via Twitter, LinkedIn, and company blog.
Here for Your Manufacturing Needs
Central Metal Fabricators has been a leading designer and manufacturer of gas turbine silencing equipment in the U.S. for more than half a century. Our gas turbine and utility parts such as hoppers, bus bars, boiler panels, and tanks are top quality. Our team works efficiently to fit within your project timelines.
To discuss how we can help your company initiatives, please contact us today.
What are the future expectations of wind and solar energy for supplying global power? Here at Central Metal Fabricators, we fabricate, assemble, and install gas turbine silencing equipment and associated metal items. Our panel of industry experts delve into the matter below, and the findings might surprise you.
IEA Projections on Renewable Energy
As per data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), wind and solar power will generate more of the world’s energy by 2040 than it does today. But, while primary energy demand (TPED) renewables, which includes solar and wind, have higher usage than 1990, it likely amounts to less than you imagine.
In 2014, solar cells or photovoltaic (PV) cells and wind contributed a meager 0.6% of total global energy. Fast forward to 2040 and this number increases, but only to 2.9%. Respectively, coal, oil, and gas will continue to dominate as the top three energy power sources around the world.
Plus, the IEA prediction assumes that every country complies with the Paris Agreement on climate change. The US is currently not in the climate accord, and compliance is not likely to be gained by every other country, so the IEA’s estimate of less than 3% is likely more than it will be come 23 years from now.
Natural Gas and Nuclear Power Estimates
Natural gas will grow faster as an energy resource than any other TPED, accounting for 25 percent of global demand by 2040, based on projections by a recent ExxonMobil report. This will be less than oil, which will be the biggest resource, providing about 32% of the world’s energy, and more than nuclear power at 7%.
While renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind will grow over the next few decades, its development will be considerably slower than the rate and volume of natural gas.
Applying the Research
Regarding the above, you have an idea of the world’s energy picture for the near future, including only about 3% renewables. Understanding the energy supply for Central Metal Fabricators and many other industrial manufacturers is important so that we use the sources wisely to craft optimal products and plan for the future.
Internally, we manufacture an array of industrial products including dampers for gas turbines, boiler casings, steel hoppers, and busbars. Our top quality engineering design service replacement parts, gas metal arc welding, flux core arc welding, and more.
Stay on top of relevant trends by following us on our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be sure to contact us to place your next industrial product order or if you have any questions.
Have you seen the environmental science education video, “Can We Rely on Wind and Solar?” It’s popular on the social media scene, with more than 644,000 views in the last few weeks. The video asks the question, “Why do solar and wind combined provide less than 2% of the world’s energy?” The video presents a case for using fossil fuels as are energy supply resource contrary to popular beliefs promoting wind and solar energy.
In the video, Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress, says, “The only way for solar and wind to be truly useful would be if we could store them so that they would be available when we need them.” But, there is no realistic way to do so.
Epstein points out that the process of generating energy for mass consumption from renewable sources is expensive. He also notes that wind energy and solar energy are “unreliable” and “intermittent,” saying, “Yes, the sun is free. Yes, wind is free. But the process of turning sunlight and wind into useable energy on a mass scale is far from free.” Epstein adds, “Compared to other sources of energy – fossil fuels, nuclear power, and hydroelectric power – solar and wind power are very expensive.”
There are other issues, too. According to Epstein, the unreliability or “intermittency problem” of wind and solar energy is the main reason why there aren’t any freestanding solar or wind power plants in the world. He says, “In the entire world, there is not one real or proposed independent, freestanding solar or wind power plant. All of them require backup. And guess what the go-to backup is: fossil fuel.”
Whether or not you’re wondering if “green” energy, specifically wind and solar energy, are the solution to our world’s climate and energy problems, you might want to take a few minutes (less than five minutes) to watch the video. Or if you’d like to explore the types of turbines and related industrial products the energy industry is using to produce power for global mass consumption, check out the Central Metal Fabricators website.
The National Safety Council (NSC) has declared the month of June each year “National Safety Month.” While safety should always be top-of-mind in the workplace, National Safety Month is a good reminder to do an annual check-up on safety practices in our workplaces.
Unfortunately, workplace injuries happen frequently across the country. A recent report from EHStoday.com says 3.7 million workers are injured each year, according to OSHA. As a result of these workplace injuries, businesses spend $170 billion per year on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses. The same article cites a report released by The Travelers Companies Inc., the largest workers’ compensation insurance carrier in the U.S., which identified the most common causes of workplace accidents and injuries as:
- Material handling
- Slips, trips and falls
- Being struck by or colliding with an object
- Accidents involving tools
- Traumas occurring over time (including when a part of the body is injured by overuse or strain)
Interestingly, any type of workplace injury can negatively impact your business operations and the productivity at your plant. A Travelers executive is quoted as saying, “Even seemingly minor injuries, such as strains or sprains, can substantially impact an employee and slow a business’s operations and productivity… The most common injuries we see can often be prevented if the proper safety measures are in place, if safety issues are promptly addressed, and if leaders continuously emphasize a culture of safety with employees.”
Safety issues impact every industry, but certain causes of injuries and accidents seem to be more prevalent in some industries than others. For instance, material handling accidents were especially common in the manufacturing and retail industries, while also being the top cause of injuries overall. Falls from height were more common in the construction and retail industries than in other industries. And the oil and gas industry was the only industry in which motor vehicle accidents were one of the most frequent causes of workplace injury.
Whatever industry you’re in, you should make it a point to set aside time during the coming few weeks to review safety practices at your plant. Ensure a culture of safety with your employees by offering safety training, and hopefully you’ll prevent workplace injuries that could harm your employees and negatively impact your business.
For many years now, energy companies throughout the U.S. have been using natural-gas combustion turbines to provide power usage. But the use and popularity of combustion turbines have grown, especially in recent years. And combustion turbine usage will most likely continue to increase in the coming years. In fact, on its website, Duke Energy, says combustion turbines “are an important part of our flexible energy mix.”
Low gas prices represent only one reason why utilities across the country are using natural-gas combustion turbines to generate electricity in response to the increasing demand for power. Government regulations and compliance to mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 are other reasons why more utilities in the U.S. turn to natural-gas combustion turbines as successors to coal-fired power generation and nuclear power generation.
How do combustion turbines work? In broad and brief terms, here’s the process: Using natural gas or fuel oil, combustion turbines heat compressed air, and the heated air expands to drive a turbine-generator that produces the electricity.
If you want more details, we can be more specific about how combustion turbines work: Gas combustion turbines are complex machines, but can be broken down into three main components: the compressor, the combustion system and the turbine. The compressor draws air into the engine and then pressurizes it, feeding it into the combustion chamber at high speeds—hundreds of miles per hour. The combustion system consists of a ring of fuel injectors that feed the fuel into the combustion chambers. There, the fuel and air mix and are burned at high temperatures – over 2,000 degrees F! A high-pressure, high-temperature gas stream then enters, expanding through the turbine. In the turbine, alternating rotating and stationary blades cause combustion gas to expand, spinning the rotating blades, which are simultaneously driving the compressor to draw air into the combustion system, and spinning a generator to produce electricity.
Since there are more gas combustion turbines being used today, there are some issues with turbine noise. That’s where we can help! At Central Metal Fabricators, we design, manufacture, assemble and install combustion turbine silencing equipment, and we are recognized as a leader in the industry because we’ve been doing this successfully for almost seven decades now. We eradicate turbine noise problems for industrial clients and utilities, providing solutions that are both effective and economical. Check out our website for more information about what we do, or give us a call at 305-261-6262 to learn more about our capabilities.
As a leader in gas turbine silencing equipment for over 65 years, we are often the first call of customers looking to tackle big projects. This happened recently when we were contacted by Trans Canada and National Gridin the Northeast and Georgia Power in the Southeast for service to their gas turbine silencer systems.
CMF offers gas turbine silencer services that encompass replacement of existing systems as well as full technical support for any problems or issues. Power generation gas turbines have an expected operating life of about 40 years but the silencing systems installed with original equipment have demonstrated useful operation of less than 20. We have found that on many gas turbines the silencing systems often require a complete replacement.
CMF provides a complete site re-evaluation of the acoustical requirements to determine if refurbishment or replacement is the best option. If current acoustical performance requirements have changed, upgrading equipment may be a possible choice. Or, it might be more economical to replace older silencing systems with less, but more efficient equipment.
In the cases of Trans Canada and National Grid, and Georgia Power, we performed on-site evaluations and delivered solutions that meet current noise pollution and efficiency standards.
Our abilities to fabricate, assemble, and install gas turbine silencing equipment sets us above any others in the industry. If you have aging equipment or need stack replacements, contact us to learn more about our custom-engineered products and services.
Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, the largest independent environmental organization in the world, recently offered some facts about the benefits of carbon dioxide (CO2). He shared the information in The Truth About CO2, an educational video presented on the PragerU website. The purpose behind the creation of the video was to offer information “you won’t hear in the current debate” about CO2 and carbon emissions, and to counteract the EPA’s classification of CO2 as a “pollutant.”
You may be surprised by some of the facts he shares in the video, especially if you follow the news about regulations pertaining to carbon emissions and manufacturing. You might also be surprised by the information in the video if you’re aware of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mandate that “CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, which constitute 85% of our energy use, must be reduced to zero by 2100,” as stated in the video. Moore says the common usage of the term “carbon emissions” to refer to the emissions from burning fossil fuels for energy is misleading. He goes on to explain that “carbon dioxide is not carbon… It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas which is an indispensable food for all living things.” According to Moore, while climate alarmists are saying you can have too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the big-picture outlook paints a different reality. He says that for most of the history of life on Earth, carbon dioxide has been present in the atmosphere at much higher levels than today. He cites the time of the Cambrian explosion, when CO2 levels in the atmosphere were as much as 10x higher than today.
Among the other information and facts Moore shares in the video, you’ll hear, “Fossil fuels are 100% organic” and they’re “positively green.” He also states, “If there were no carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the Earth would be a dead planet,” and he adds, “All life is carbon-based, and the carbon for all that life, originates from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
Moore claims, “We should celebrate CO2 as the giver of life it is…” rather than looking at CO2 as a bad thing. Wherever you stand in the debate about climate change, it takes less than five minutes to watch The Truth About CO2. We found Moore’s video presentation to be very interesting. What do you think?
Power plant managers continually face the challenge of increasing efficiency, extending facilities life and complying with growing environmental regulations and concerns. One option they have is to purchase new plant assets, but that can quickly become costly, and create unaffordable down-time. An alternative to choosing a major overhaul is to maintain and improve existing stacks.
Retrofitting a combustion or gas stack is a significant way to revitalize facilities without major complication. Our expertise in gas and combustion turbine solutions include the capability to do just that, through refurbishing or retrofitting existing simple cycle CT/GT stacks.
In today’s modern age, we know that many CT/GT stacks need upgrades but require custom-engineered solutions. At Central Metal Fabricators, we have become authorities in complete custom designs for refurbishment projects. We provide solutions for optimal performance at a low cost. We’re committed to providing our customers with a cost effective, top quality retrofits that will stand up to the increasing and ever-changing energy demands. At Central Metal Fabricators, we comply with environmental regulations all while driving up capacity and efficiency.
A retrofit can extend a unit life up to 25 years depending on the upgrades. Said upgrades may include new compressors, rotors, advancements in combustion systems and updated emissions and control packages.
Retrofits can be far more efficient to invest in because they keep downtime of operations at a minimum, cost effective and stay up to date with all environment regulations. Taking the refurbishment strategy results in existing stacks becoming cleaner, smarter, and more efficient in a shorter amount of time than any other solution.
To learn more about our gas turbine and combustion stack retrofits visit our website. To keep up-to-date with all things power generation follow us on our Twitter or connect us with on LinkedIn.
What we do for our clients is right in our name: Central Metal Fabricators. We design and manufacture the highest quality metal components and products for a wide variety of industries.
But, of course, metal is a large umbrella term; we work with an array of metals based on the specific needs and applications, and we use our experience and expertise to choose the right one for the job. This includes various stainless steels, and we’re often asked how specific stainless steels differ. Here, we’d like to explore the similarities and differences between two of them: T409 and T304.
Stainless steel T409 is most commonly used for automotive exhaust systems and similar applications, due to its composition of chromium and nickel, which is highly corrosion-resistant. Chromium produces a filmy texture that acts as a buffer on the steel, preventing corrosion as well as cuts and scratches; the more chromium in steel, the more corrosion- and oxidation-resistant it is. When you add nickel to it, it becomes even more resistant. T409 has a high chromium content (10.50% to 11.75%, and a nickel content of 0.50%), making it very resistant.
T409 Stainless Steel is used frequently in applications with higher temperature ranges of 700 F to 1400 F. Therefore T409 is a good material to use in Gas Combustion Systems, Exhaust Stacks, Silencer Systems and Expander Exhaust Cases.However, while it offers good strength, it doesn’t have the strength needed for certain applications, such as fasteners, and it can show surface oxidation over time, due to its high ferrous content.
While T409 has a relatively high chromium content—and, therefore, good corrosion resistance—T304 has more chromium (between 18% and 20%). It also has a much higher nickel content (between 8% and 10%) and lower ferrous content. This makes it a higher quality stainless steel, as it is more durable and resistant. Therefore, it’s used in applications where strength and durability are of utmost importance. However, as a higher quality metal, it is more expensive, so it should be chosen when strength and durability are required, and when T409 will not meet these needs.
In the end, the suitable stainless steel choice depends on the requirements of the part and application. While it is important to know the above distinctions in order to make the right choice, experts can help guide you and ensure you make the right choice.
At Central Metal Fabricators, we will talk extensively with you about your projects’ needs, and direct you to the exact right metal for you. Feel free to contact us anytime with questions.