Solar-storage combo key to Mideast buildings

“Digitalization in Energy Conference” is part of Middle East Energy, a global power industry event previously known as Middle East Electricity.
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Updated 16 February 2020

Solar-storage combo key to Mideast buildings

A combination of solar power generation and storage systems will be the most efficient means of transforming buildings throughout the Middle East from energy passive to active, according to a German electricity innovation expert.

Speaking ahead of the “Digitalization in Energy Conference,” which will run at the Dubai World Trade Centre from March 3 to 5, Marc Helfter, disruptive innovation director for the electrical installations solutions provider Hager Group, said the region’s future smart buildings will be totally electric-powered.

Helfter, who is to present a “Smart Building in Action” case study at the conference, said the region’s high sunshine penetration rate — running at 1747 kWh/kWp/year in Dubai — made solar the obvious choice to power buildings but solutions needed to be supported by storage infrastructures.

“Within the region solar has by far the biggest potential but to be fully efficient, PV installations have to be combined with energy storage solutions,” he said. “The future will be fully electric. Mobility, heating, cooling will become electric.”

“Digitalization in Energy Conference” is part of Middle East Energy, a global power industry event previously known as Middle East Electricity.


Ford works with 3M, GE in fight against COVID-19

Ford Motor Company’s US design team is quickly creating and starting to test transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders.
Updated 31 March 2020

Ford works with 3M, GE in fight against COVID-19

Ford Motor Company, joining forces with firms including 3M and GE Healthcare, is lending its manufacturing and engineering expertise to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for health care workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus.
In addition, Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields per week and leverage its in-house 3D printing capability to produce components for use in personal protective equipment.
“This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman.
Ford team members are working with 3M to increase the manufacturing capacity of their powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) designs and working jointly to develop a new design leveraging parts from both companies to meet the surge demand for first responders and health care workers. This new respirator could be produced in a Ford facility by UAW workers.
To go as fast as possible, the Ford and 3M teams have been resourcefully locating off-the-shelf parts like fans from the Ford F-150’s cooled seats for airflow, 3M HEPA air filters to filter airborne contaminants such as droplets that carry virus particles and portable tool battery packs to power these respirators for up to eight hours.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Ford is working with 3M to manufacture at scale powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs).

• Ford and GE Healthcare are working to produce a simplified version of GE Healthcare’s existing ventilator design.

• Ford, in cooperation with the UAW, will assemble more than 100,000 plastic face shields per week at a Ford manufacturing site.

“Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. “We are focusing our efforts to help increase the supply of respirators, face shields and ventilators that can help assist health care workers, first responders, critical workers as well as those who have been infected by the virus.”
“We’re exploring all available opportunities to further expand 3M’s capacity and get health care supplies as quickly as possible to where they’re needed most — which includes partnering with other great companies like Ford,” said Mike Roman, 3M chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
In addition, Ford and GE Healthcare are working together to expand production of a simplified version of GE Healthcare’s existing ventilator design to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing caused by COVID-19. These ventilators could be produced at a Ford manufacturing site in addition to a GE location.  
“We are encouraged by how quickly companies from across industries have mobilized to address the growing challenge we collectively face from COVID-19,” said GE Healthcare President and CEO Kieran Murphy.
Meanwhile, Ford’s US design team also is quickly creating and starting to test transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders.