Big Generator Heads to Denmark
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GE Power Conversion has completed construction of the first of an expected 300 permanent magnet generators to be built at its factory in France. The generator, which will be installed in an offshore wind farm in Denmark, will give the turbine a power yield 15 percent higher than that of other same-generation wind turbines. GE says that the 6-MW PMG is one of the largest wind turbine generators built, and has a direct drive system with no mechanical gearbox coupled to it. A low component count is expected to increase equipment reliability and enable higher energy efficiency and less downtime. The generator is split into three electrical circuits. In the event that two circuits go offline, the redundancy enables the turbine to produce power in degraded mode. GE says this is critical to offshore wind power plants where stormy weather can delay repair work for weeks.
Ice Wall Set for Damaged Reactor
Installation of the equipment needed to build a frozen soil wall to block groundwater from entering the damaged reactor buildings at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan has been completed. The ice wall will use chilled fluid circulating through pipes in the ground to create a solid barrier. The wall is an attempt to prevent further groundwater penetration and contamination. Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant's operator, estimates the daily flow of groundwater into the basements of the reactor buildings to be on the order of 150 metric tons per day. Installation of the wall-building equipment began in June 2014, and a test circulating the chilling liquid to specific parts of the wall has been under way since April 2015.
Sniffing Out Bogus Spices
Scientists from the Czech Republic and Spain have used chemical fingerprint analysis to confirm that much of what is labeled as Spain-originated saffron comes from other countries. The stigma of the saffron flower is one of the oldest and most expensive spices in the world. This has led to the fraudulent labeling of non-Spanish saffron. The researchers developed a classifying methodology that allowed for three types of saffron to be defined based on their chemical fingerprint: one that is certified with the protected designation of origin, a second that is grown and packaged in Spain and a third category that is packaged as Spanish saffron but is of unknown origin.