Chuck Harrell

Recent Posts

Using Solar Energy to Produce Solar Steam

Posted by Chuck Harrell on Jun 4, 2016 11:00:00 AM

We're all used to seeing solar energy being used to power homes and some shops and provide energy to "the grid" but it's rarely used to power machinery.

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Designing Modern Factories

Posted by Chuck Harrell on May 18, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Factories are complicated places and designing them is a complicated process.  Getting the parts in the right place is obviously essential for things to work, but a well designed factory can also improve work flow and production efficiency which can in turn, speed up the delivery of whatever is being manufactured.

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Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

Posted by Chuck Harrell on May 15, 2016 11:00:00 AM

According to its own website, Hawaii is the most fossil fuel dependent state in the United States.  However, its big goal is to become 100% energy dependent by 2045.  This is being done with a combination of solar, wind, and smart meters on residential buildings.  But now, it's also going to be home to the first and the world's largest fully-closed Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant.

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City Flood Control System gets a Powerful IoT Solution

Posted by Chuck Harrell on May 11, 2016 11:00:00 AM

City flood prevention is mainly to prevent the problems of heavy rain. The function of the pump station needs to be combined with the water forecasting system for scheduling the tasks. Even in dry arid countries in the Middle East, storm water management is an essential tool. The local authority in Al Ain, in the UAE, started installing advanced storm water management systems in 2012. 

The scope of this project was to improve and upgrade the operation and maintenance of storm water networks and pumping stations in the UAE. This was designed as a two phase project, the first of which was completed in 2012, the second phase of the project looked at phase one and evaluated its efficacy. The conclusion was that phase one had problems that needed to be resolved and in March 2014, ETEK won the contract to build stage two. ETEK is a UAE based technology and integrated solutions provider that delivers a full range of products, services and support to clients within the GCC & Levant region. They provide industrial applications, industrial automation and business applications solutions and focuses on the water, utilities & IFMS, MES/MIS industrial automation solutions and infrastructure markets.

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Topics: Automation Controllers, Automation Software, Embedded Automation Computers

Powerful IoT Connectivity Enables Intelligent Buildings

Posted by Chuck Harrell on May 5, 2016 11:00:00 AM

IoT technology is elevating traditional buildings from limited automation to real intelligence, increasing our comfort and convenience with enriched user experience and giving more consideration to environmental friendliness.  A building is typically composed of a number of systems, including electrical power, water, lighting, HVAC, door entrance, video surveillance, etc.  In the past, these systems might have limited automatic or intelligent functions on their own, without interconnection or interaction.   For example, the administrators of an office building use a switch panel to remotely control lighting in different areas of the building and use a separate switch for HVAC control.

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Using Ethernet Switches to Monitor Traffic

Posted by Chuck Harrell on May 1, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Traffic control and monitoring systems are used for the effective management of public transportation, traffic indicator, traffic signals, freeways, and parking lots where huge amount of real-time video and statistics need to be handled swiftly and be reliable.  To do this effectively over a range of tough environments, high bandwidth and performance over physical layer media such as optical fiber or UTP is required.

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Topics: Industrial Communication

Augmented Reality to Measure Water Levels

Posted by Chuck Harrell on Apr 27, 2016 11:00:00 AM

A few years ago, the latest buzz word was "Augmented Reality".  The plan was that we would all be using our cellphones to display more information about the world around us by pointing our cameras.   The hype was that we'd be able to walk past restaurants, point our cameras, and get the latest Yelp review or menu or discount voucher.  But as with many things, the hype didn't live up to the reality.  We are still directly searching through websites for information but, in the industrial world, as we've seen with Google Glass, the ability to see large amounts of data in real-time can be a huge benefit to many industries.

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Topics: Remote I/O

Drones for Good Competition

Posted by Chuck Harrell on Apr 23, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Drones are all the rage.  If they're not attracting attention for being flown in places they shouldn't be they're being used to deliver our daily goods.

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Stoplights - Not with Fully Automated Vehicles

Posted by Chuck Harrell on Apr 16, 2016 11:00:00 AM

In every city, in every country, anywhere in the world, you'll get stuck in traffic congestion.  In cities with more relaxed traffic systems, cars seem to keep moving.   The problem is that it seems to be getting worse. It's not only traffic control systems which are the root of the problem, nor the number of cards, nor a human's inability to drive, but combined they are the perfect storm.

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