PACE https://pacetoday.com.au Process & Control Engineering Tue, 20 Nov 2018 02:57:30 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 https://pacetoday.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/prime-creative-media-50x50.png PACE https://pacetoday.com.au 32 32 CSIRO invests $35 million in future of space and AI https://pacetoday.com.au/csiro-invests-35-million-future-space-ai/ https://pacetoday.com.au/csiro-invests-35-million-future-space-ai/#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 02:56:45 +0000 http://pacetoday.com.au/?p=47396 Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is investing $35 million in frontier research in space technology and artificial intelligence (AI). The investment will include the development of advanced imaging of Earth from satellites, in addition to cutting-edge data science to support the growth of AI technology. The investment is part of CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms portfolio, … Continue reading CSIRO invests $35 million in future of space and AI

The post CSIRO invests $35 million in future of space and AI appeared first on PACE.

]]>
Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is investing $35 million in frontier research in space technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

The investment will include the development of advanced imaging of Earth from satellites, in addition to cutting-edge data science to support the growth of AI technology.

The investment is part of CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms portfolio, aimed at dedicating research to new and emerging opportunities for Australia.

They aim to help reinvent old and create new industries, as well as grow the capability of a new generation of researchers through specially-created student places in these ‘future’ fields.

READ: Icebreaker18 focusing on AI and space technology

Space Technology and Artificial Intelligence join eight other areas of future science, including in the fields of health and energy.

By 2022, the CSIRO Future Science Platforms program would have invested $205m since it was launched in 2016.

Space Technology will receive $16m to identify and develop the science to leapfrog traditional technologies and find new areas for Australian industry to work in.

It will initially focus on advanced technologies for Earth observation, and then address challenges such as space object tracking, resource utilisation in space, and developing manufacturing and life support systems for missions to the moon and Mars.

AI and Machine Learning will receive $19m to target AI-driven solutions for areas including food security and quality, health and wellbeing, sustainable energy and resources, resilient and valuable environments, and Australian and regional security.

The primary research areas include platforms to improve prediction and understanding of complex data; platforms to enable trustworthy inferences and risk-based decisions; and data systems to enable ethical, robust and scalable AI.

CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall said the CSIRO Future Science Platforms have an important role to play in inventing and securing Australia’s path to prosperity.

“Our Future Science Platforms aim to turn Australia’s challenges into opportunities where new science can break through seemingly impossible roadblocks to give Australia an unfair advantage on the world stage,” said Marshall.

 

Innovation needs deep collaboration, to together this nation’s world-class expertise across all fields of science, technology, engineering and maths to deliver real solutions to real world problems, he said.

“CSIRO is here to solve Australia’s greatest challenges through innovative science and technology – and to do that we have to invest in the big thinking and breakthrough research that will keep us ahead of the curve,” said Marshall.

The post CSIRO invests $35 million in future of space and AI appeared first on PACE.

]]>
https://pacetoday.com.au/csiro-invests-35-million-future-space-ai/feed/ 0
Swinburne University: 3D concrete printing takes the ‘boring’ out of buildings https://pacetoday.com.au/swinburne-university-3d-concrete-printing/ https://pacetoday.com.au/swinburne-university-3d-concrete-printing/#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 01:56:20 +0000 http://pacetoday.com.au/?p=47391 Construction is one of the largest industries in the world economy – worth $10 trillion globally – equivalent to 13 per cent of GDP. But, Professor Jay Sanjayan, from Swinburne University of Technology, explains that construction has suffered for decades from remarkably poor productivity compared to other sectors. While agriculture and manufacturing have increased productivity … Continue reading Swinburne University: 3D concrete printing takes the ‘boring’ out of buildings

The post Swinburne University: 3D concrete printing takes the ‘boring’ out of buildings appeared first on PACE.

]]>
Construction is one of the largest industries in the world economy – worth $10 trillion globally – equivalent to 13 per cent of GDP.

But, Professor Jay Sanjayan, from Swinburne University of Technology, explains that construction has suffered for decades from remarkably poor productivity compared to other sectors.

While agriculture and manufacturing have increased productivity 10-15 times since the 1950s, construction remains stuck at the same level as 80 years ago, he said.

“That’s because construction remains largely manual, while manufacturing and other industries have made significant progress in the use of digital, sensing and automation technologies.

READ: Ultimaker continues to unlock new 3D printing applications

“We and other research groups see 3D-printed concrete as a possible solution to these problems. The technique will likely also give architects the freedom to inject more creativity into their designs for new structures,” said Sanjayan.

Modern civil infrastructure is almost entirely built with concrete. More than 20 billion tons of concrete is used per year, Sanjayan explains.

“The only material we use more than that is water.

“The construction industry is facing a number of serious problems, including low labour efficiency and high accident rates at construction sites.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the construction industry has the highest rate of work-related injuries at 59 per 1000 workers.

There are also difficulties in quality control at construction sites, high levels of waste and carbon emissions, cost blow-outs, and challenges in managing large worksites with a vanishing skilled workforce.

Disruptive technologies such as 3D concrete printing can offer solutions.

3D construction uses additive manufacturing techniques, which means objects are constructed by adding layers of material.

Conventional approaches to construction involve casting concrete into a mould.

But additive construction combines digital technology and new insights from materials technology to allow free-form construction without the use of formwork.

Eliminating the cost of formwork is the major economic driver of 3D concrete printing. Built using materials such as timber, formwork accounts for about 60 per cent of the total cost of concrete construction.

It’s also a significant source of waste, given that it is discarded sooner or later.

The post Swinburne University: 3D concrete printing takes the ‘boring’ out of buildings appeared first on PACE.

]]>
https://pacetoday.com.au/swinburne-university-3d-concrete-printing/feed/ 0
Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind https://pacetoday.com.au/sight-not-mind-2/ https://pacetoday.com.au/sight-not-mind-2/#respond Sun, 18 Nov 2018 23:59:27 +0000 http://pacetoday.com.au/?p=47385 Non-contact level sensors ensure greater safety in environments endangered by hazardous substances Chemicals are everywhere – but mostly in places where we don’t see them: from the furniture that we relax on in the evening to the packaging of our favourite sushis. What these everyday items all have in common is that sooner or later … Continue reading Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind

The post Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind appeared first on PACE.

]]>
Non-contact level sensors ensure greater safety in environments endangered by hazardous substances

Chemicals are everywhere – but mostly in places where we don’t see them: from the furniture that we relax on in the evening to the packaging of our favourite sushis. What these everyday items all have in common is that sooner or later they are no longer needed. Our household waste is then joined by the waste materials created in the manufacturing processes that produce those very items. The long list ranges from tank sludge, oily mixtures and solvents to paint, varnish remover and chlorinated emulsions. Such material fractions require specialized, well thought-out disposal solutions that are in accordance with prevailing standards and ecological responsibility.

Chemicals for neutralization
If the degree of contamination of the materials is not too high, incineration can be the most sustainable option; in the EU Waste Directive, this disposal method ranks below recovery. It has two main goals: reducing the volume of waste and destroying potentially hazardous substances. This poses considerable challenges for waste disposal companies: from the bulk handling of incoming waste to the careful monitoring and control of substances re-entering the environment. Still more chemicals are used here, but their task is to purify, optimize and neutralize the process streams and residual materials. They are stored in large storage tanks at strategic points in the respective waste incineration plants.

Reliable measurement makes the difference
The British town of Belvedere, near London, is the site of such a waste incineration plant. Four polypropylene tanks filled with sodium hydroxide (caustic soda 32% and hydrochloric acid 32%) are located on site. The medium is stored here in a large container for long-term supply and in a smaller day container used for process-critical dosing and neutralization. All tanks were originally supplied with a low-cost bubbler level measuring system, which eventually failed due to corrosion and buildup. Vapours and gases escaped through the housing. Moreover, the systems were unreliable, inaccurate and very unsafe.

As little contact as possible
To ensure a lasting function, the sensor must be made of the right materials, i.e. expensive alloys, and equipped with special elastomer seals. During installation and deinstallation, the workforce has to wear extensive protective equipment in accordance with COSSH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations. When equipment is installed or removed from the tank, the surrounding area must be closed off. These measures are necessary and involve high costs. They also pose a security risk.

The stored chemicals, especially those that are highly acidic or alkaline, are usually highly toxic, corrosive substances that can leave residues and easily outgas. Any contact with or release of such substances into the atmosphere can quickly become dangerous for personnel. At the Belvedere plant, these chemical substances are carefully monitored. Accurate level measurement helps to avoid overfilling and ensures that there are enough raw materials for the process.

“The previous level measuring system caused a lot of problems. These have been completely eliminated by the new sensors,” explains the responsible engineer. VEGA suggested using non-contact radar technology, i.e. externally mounted sensors that “see” right through the top of the tank, to measure the level inside.

The advantages of non-contact level measurement
When measuring the level of liquid chemicals, a sensor always requires a process fitting on the vessel in order to bring its “sensing element” – whether rod, cable or diaphragm – into contact with the process, even if the sensor is a “non-contact” instrument mounted on top. Regardless of the mounting method, being able to measure all process variables 100% contactlessly offers enormous advantages: longer service life of the sensor, protection against chemicals and the process as well as increased safety through reduction or complete avoidance of exposure to hazardous substances. Radar has the ability to measure the level of a liquid from the outside, e.g. through the completely opaque top of a plastic container or through a sight glass mounted in a port.

Plastic containers in use
Due to new materials and manufacturing techniques, more and more companies are using plastic containers and tanks for chemical and liquid bulk storage. These can be produced faster, are usually cheaper, have good chemical resistance and are easier to move during installation. They have a longer service life and require less maintenance than equivalent steel tanks that are painted, lined or coated, for example. Many are even supplied with a double tank wall that provides additional security. Plastic IBCs are also the most common containers for transporting medium-sized quantities of liquids. Radar technology can be used to measure the level of a liquid right through the container top.

How is radar able to see through plastic containers?
Radar is based on microwave technology. Practically every day we experience how a microwave oven works: the microwaves penetrate plastic containers and other non-metallic, non-conductive materials, heating only the conductive, water-containing food inside (a dry powder, for example, cannot be heated in a microwave oven). A radar sensor has basically the same capability. It can transmit signals through plastic and other non-conductive materials such as glass and ceramics. The radar signals are then reflected by any liquids on the other side. And if the sensor has a good dynamic range (sensitivity), even condensate or deposits on the inside of the container top are no problem.

Why 80 GHz?
80 GHz offers several advantages: 1) the improved focusing results in good penetration of the plastic container top, 2) different installation points are possible (e.g. mounting position closer to vessel wall or ports) and 3) the probability of unwanted interference signals being received is lower. This high frequency also enables a very large measuring range, suitable for very small or very large containers (up to 30 meters high) or anything in between. Another advantage is the high dynamic sensitivity. In some of these applications, even hydrocarbons with low reflectivity can be measured.

Best installation practice
Installation of the radar sensor on a suitable support above the tank, perpendicular to the liquid surface, is an ideal method and allows for a small gap between the sensor and the tank top. A lightly sloping tank top is just right for a microwave sensor because any unwanted signals reflected from the top are thus deflected away from the radar antenna. If the top is flat (i.e. horizontal) like on most IBC or small day tanks, this is no problem, since disturbing signals can be suppressed. In the case of an outdoor tank, a cover should be applied to prevent snow, for example, from collecting on the tank directly below the sensor. Also, a position should be chosen that reduces the likelihood of water puddles forming underneath, as radar sensors cannot “see” through water. Rainfall on an outdoor tank with a sloping top, however, does not affect sensor performance.

Safer measurement and control
The first radar sensor at the waste incineration plant in Belvedere is now measuring successfully through the top of a chemical tank. It is mounted on a simple frame with a holder supplied by VEGA. The sensor required only a basic setting for the minimum and maximum levels. The software and the high sensitivity of the VEGAPULS 64 sensor did the rest. “The instruments are easy to operate and Bluetooth communication for setup via the VEGA tools App or a PC/tablet with PACTware makes everything so much easier,” adds the engineer, obviously quite pleased with these features.

Using radar technology to measure through plastic tanks and even glass windows in reactors offers great advantages: increased safety and reliability, chemical compatibility and time-saving installation. Not to mention savings in sensor data. The operators of the Belvedere plant summed it up this way: “VEGAPULS 64 radar level measuring instruments give us real flexibility and security in operating our chemical storage tanks and controlling processes on site.”

Level measurement through glass and plastic walls

What advantages does the radar level sensor VEGAPULS 64 offer the user?

  • Radar technology allows measurement of the level without direct contact with the medium.
  • Radar signals can penetrate non-conductive materials such as plastics, glass and ceramics. This means that the sensors can even be mounted completely outside of containers.
  • With VEGAPULS 64, several factors contribute to making measurement through windows or plastic containers easier. Thanks to the high signal frequency of 80 GHz, interfering signals are deflected to the side if the container top has even a slight inclination. This makes the measurement more accurate and reliable.

The post Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind appeared first on PACE.

]]>
https://pacetoday.com.au/sight-not-mind-2/feed/ 0
Icebreaker18 focusing on AI and space technology https://pacetoday.com.au/icebreaker18-focused-ai-space-technology/ https://pacetoday.com.au/icebreaker18-focused-ai-space-technology/#respond Sun, 18 Nov 2018 22:10:29 +0000 http://pacetoday.com.au/?p=47372 Icebreaker18 is a speed-networking event hosted by Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI) at the Tonsley Innovation District. It is part of the opening night of SouthStart 2018, a two-day startup conference showcasing South Australia’s leading entrepreneurs to a national and international audience of investors. The inaugural 2016 Icebreaker attracted more than 1200 participants who … Continue reading Icebreaker18 focusing on AI and space technology

The post Icebreaker18 focusing on AI and space technology appeared first on PACE.

]]>
Icebreaker18 is a speed-networking event hosted by Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI) at the Tonsley Innovation District.

It is part of the opening night of SouthStart 2018, a two-day startup conference showcasing South Australia’s leading entrepreneurs to a national and international audience of investors.

The inaugural 2016 Icebreaker attracted more than 1200 participants who each went on 22 ‘speed dates’ across the three-hour event.

Icebreaker18 will be held on November 21 and will utilise data analytics powered by SpiralData to match like-minded individuals based on survey information provided as part of the event registration.

NVI Director Matt Salier said the new data technology will delve deeper into creating rich, uniquely tailored connections for participants.

“Our data-charged IceBreaker18 is part of this journey to inspire, educate and connect even more people and businesses,” said Salier.

NVI Deputy Director Enterprise Kathryn Anderson said Icebreaker16 had an estimated $2.9 million of forward value for South Australia, according to the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute.

“We are aiming to beat that result this year,” she said.

The speed-networking event will be followed by the two-day SouthStart program, which will include guest speakers and networking events.

SouthStart Event Director Craig Swann said the event would highlight the innovation capabilities of South Australia, attracting international and interstate investment.

“Anyone that is thinking of starting a business or scaling up a business, this is the place to be to connect with your peers,” Swann said.

“SouthStart is a two day exploration of everything startup and technology. It’s really bringing together the wonderful minds that are here in South Australia with an international and national collection of people.”

The 2018 program includes more than 30 speakers, with a curated line up of entrepreneurs featuring Canva’s Cameron Adams, astronaut Pamela Melroy, Rising Sun’s Tony Clark and fashion designer Paul Vasileff. The theme of the event is ‘Frontiers of the Future’, with a focus on artificial intelligence, space technology and future mobility.

Nova System’s founder Jim Whalley, the newly appointed Chief Entrepreneur for South Australia, said SouthStart was an opportunity to evoke inspiration within the entrepreneurial community.

“SouthStart is a really important part of our strategy for increasing entrepreneurship in the state,” he said.

“We hope to reinvigorate that environment and help get not only entrepreneurs but also investors together in one place where they can share stories and lessons.

“SouthStart is about inspiring, equipping, enabling and celebrating entrepreneurship and making it a fundamental part of our state’s economy.”

The post Icebreaker18 focusing on AI and space technology appeared first on PACE.

]]>
https://pacetoday.com.au/icebreaker18-focused-ai-space-technology/feed/ 0
Grid scale battery powers up in Gannawarra https://pacetoday.com.au/47368-2/ https://pacetoday.com.au/47368-2/#respond Sun, 18 Nov 2018 21:56:41 +0000 http://pacetoday.com.au/?p=47368 The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has jointly announced that the second of two grid scale batteries funded with the Victorian Government has been completed in Gannawarra. The 25 MW / 50 MWh Gannawarra Energy Storage System (GESS) began exporting electricity to the grid in October and will be fully commissioned in time for summer. … Continue reading Grid scale battery powers up in Gannawarra

The post Grid scale battery powers up in Gannawarra appeared first on PACE.

]]>
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has jointly announced that the second of two grid scale batteries funded with the Victorian Government has been completed in Gannawarra.

The 25 MW / 50 MWh Gannawarra Energy Storage System (GESS) began exporting electricity to the grid in October and will be fully commissioned in time for summer.

The battery is co-located at the 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm near Kerang in North Western Victoria.

In March, on behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA committed $25 million to two grid-connected, utility-scale batteries, matching the $25 million committed by the Victorian Government as part of its $50 million energy storage initiative.

Together with the Ballarat battery, these two grid scale batteries will help to ease constraints on transmission lines and balance the grid with higher shares of renewable energy.

Australian renewable energy company Edify Energy oversaw the development and construction of the project in a joint venture with Wirsol Energy. GESS uses Tesla’s lithium ion battery technology.

EnergyAustralia will operate GESS in addition to a long-term offtake agreement to buy all the electricity generated from the co-located Gannawarra Solar Farm.

EnergyAustralia is also the operator of the Ballarat battery now registered and working.

GESS is Australia’s largest battery to be integrated with a solar farm, and will be among the largest solar and battery facilities in the world – with the ability to provide solar energy at night to the grid.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project shows the growing importance of batteries providing stability to the grid, and was an example of retrofitting a solar farm with a battery.

“Grid-scale batteries have the ability to provide rapid response injections of power and provide back-up power when needed.

“Integrating with the local solar farm provides potential for solar energy to be stored and used at night, helping to deliver secure and reliable electricity when it is needed.” Mr Miller said.

“We congratulate the consortium behind the GESS project and look forward to it providing valuable system security services to Victoria’s grid this summer,” he said.

“ARENA is excited about the completion of both batteries in Victoria which – along with the successful large-scale batteries in South Australia – will continue to play an important role in Australia’s transition to affordable and reliable renewable energy.”

Edify Energy CEO John Cole sees this project being a win for Victorian and Australian energy consumers.

“The entire sector is aware of the potential for storage projects to not only provide invaluable services to the market and the grid, but also to enable the roll out of more and more clean and cheap renewable energy. Solar plus storage is a ‘category killer’ and we are very proud to have developed, structured and overseen the construction of two projects that together can serve as a model for wider adoption of storage into the market and the realisation of a high renewable future.

“We intend to continue the roll out of storage and renewables projects to help our retail and corporate customers achieve their energy and sustainability objectives.” Mr Cole said.

EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna said the project is an example of what we can look forward to in a modern energy system that delivers reliable, affordable and cleaner energy for customers.

“The ability to store and quickly release energy will help integrate renewables in the system as coal-fired plants progressively retire,” Ms Tanna said. “These are the new technologies and approaches that will come to underpin our energy system, keeping customers’ lights on and their costs down.”

The post Grid scale battery powers up in Gannawarra appeared first on PACE.

]]>
https://pacetoday.com.au/47368-2/feed/ 0