+44 1282 873 400 info@eleat.co.uk

A Close Look at Honda’s First Business Jet

GE Reports  By Tomas Kellner

The HondaJet business jet is one of the newest planes at this year’s EAA AirVentures fly-in extravaganza at Oshkosh, Wis. It was developed by Honda Aircraft, a subsidiary of the Japanese industrial giant primarily known for car and motorcycles.

Right away, the jet captures attention with its unusual over-the-wing jet engine mount. Honda spent the last two decades developing the design. Removing the engines from the fuselage allowed the engineers to build a more spacious cabin, reduce cabin noise and cut fuel consumption.

image

image

The plane is powered by a pair of HF120 jet engines jointly developed by GE Aviation and Honda.The engine was certified by the FAA last year and is now in production. With 18.5 inches in diameter and 2,095 pounds of thrust, it is the smallest jet engine in GE’s portfolio. For comparison, GE’s largest engine, the GE90-115B developed for Boeing 777 wide-body planes, can generate 127,900 pounds of thrust. On Tuesday, photographer Adam Senatori got an exclusive access to the plane here in Oshkosh, which has been already sold to a customer.

image

image

image

image

Images and GIF credits: Adam Senatori/GE Reports

Community Sports award for Ken Livesey

The Mumtaz Ellahi Community Sports Award was recently presented to Ken Livesey of Islington Football Club.

The award recognises the immense work of individuals or groups who volunteer their services to the development or organisation of local sport in Blackburn.

Ken received his award at the 2015 annual Fusion awards ceremony which took place at Blackburn’s King George’s Hall. This unique event has been supported from local and national organisations in the past nine years and continues to break new ground.

A familiar face at amateur football matches, Ken has been involved in local sport for much of his life. As well as playing in local leagues he has run numerous football clubs which have aimed to break down barriers between communities.

Ken has worked at ELE since 1996 and during this time has done many different jobs. He is currently a CNC Miller.

As well as football, Ken is a keen runner and competes for Trawden AC at distances from 5K to half marathons.

Now aged 57, the ever determined Ken can still be spotted at matches and even takes to pitch when his side is a player short!

He said, “It is such a wonderful gesture and I am delighted to have been chosen for the award”.

Dreamliner Dazzles Paris

GE Reports By Tomas Kellner

Millions of viewers have watched on YouTube the skills of Boeing test pilots Randy Neville and Van Chaney at the controls of Vietnam Airlines’ new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner powered by a pair of GEnx engines. The plane landed in the French capital last week for the Paris Air Show and on Monday, when the show opened for business, they performed their awesome routine in real time above thousands of visitors. Photographer Adam Senatori captured some of the flight’s best moments.

image

image

image

image

image

Image credits: GE Reports/Adam Senatori

Set Your Blades to Vibrate

By Adam Tucker

GE Reports

It takes a tiny electric motor to vibrate all 4.55 ounces of an iPhone 6. But the engineers who are vibrating 80-pound gas turbine compressor blades to test their strength at GE’s component test laboratory in Greenville, SC, need a much bigger rig.

They bolt the blades to a heavy-duty table that vibrates faster than the eye can see. The setup subjects the blades to acceleration forces approaching 10 g, double what a racecar driver might experience when making a turn at a motorway.

The high-pitched whine in the video below, for example, is caused by a 20-inch blade made from a nickel super-alloy vibrating hard enough to displace the tip by up to a few inches for more than a million cycles.

Why is GE being so hard on this blade? Subjecting new components to extreme vibration helps designers make sure they will be able to handle extreme conditions.

Bert Stuck, general manager for GE’s power generation engineering component and development testing, says the test is meant to ensure that the part will be reliable in any situation a customer might experience.

Eventually, the team vibrates the blade to the point of failure. A pass in this test is equal to a break in the precise spot where engineers calculated it would be.

image

Vibration is just one of the many tests that Stuck’s team performs on newly designed components, before moving on to testing entire compressors and turbines.

(GE recently opened the world’s largest dedicated turbine test bed in Greenville. Since the test bed is not connected to the grid, it can do things to turbines that could otherwise destabilize or damage the power network.)

“We test [blades] to failure so we can determine what the design margins actually are, and make sure they match what we predicted,” Stuck says.

image

First Subsea Tidal Power Plant to Go Live in France

Most people might still consider the idea of using tides to generate electricity as outlandish as a trip to the moon. But starting this year, the concept is quickly becoming reality. “We went to the moon 46 years ago, and now we are using it to produce energy,” says Frederic Navarro, project director at GE Power Conversion in Belfort, France. “That’s because the moon’s gravity tugs on the ocean and produces predictable tides that run like clockwork, twice a day.”

Navarro leads a GE team that is helping build France’s first subsea tidal power plant for Electricité de France (EDF), near Paimpol-Brehat, in Brittany. When completed at the end of this year, it will generate 1 megawatt of renewable power and feed it through a 10-mile-long (16 kilometers) underwater cable to the local grid.

image

Above: A drawing of EDF’s tidal array off the coast of Brittany. The turbines were made by OpenHydro. GE technology will transform the current and send it to the grid. Image credit: OpenHydro Top Image: EDF’s subsea turbine during testing. Image credit: EDF

As the tides move in and out, they will spin two huge turbines measuring 16 meters in diameter and sitting 35 meters below the sea level. The turbines generate electricity with direct-drive permanent magnet generators and send it for processing to a subsea converter. Navarro calls it the “yellow submarine” because of the way it looks. “It works just like dropping a wind turbine to the bottom of the ocean and using water to move the blades,” says Navarro. “It’s that simple.”

image

The French island of Brehat is famous for its dramatic and fast moving tides.

The idea might be simple, but the execution takes some serious skills. The turbines, made by OpenHydro, a DCNS subsidiary specializing in the design, manufacture and installation of marine turbines, are so large they have to be assembled in a dry dock in the port of Brest and deployed using a custom built barge.

In the dock, they will be coupled with the “yellow submarine,” built by GE Power Conversion at GE Power & Water’s massive factory in Belfort. But it just happens that Belfort is the most geographically distant town from any coast in France. So last week, the company loaded the subsea vessel on a customized flatbed truck for the 650-mile long journey to Brest.

image

The turbines, which are 16 meters (52 feet) in diameter, will sit 35 meters (115 feet) below the sea level and 16 kilometers (10 miles) off the coast. Image credit: OpenHydro

Navarro says the “yellow submarine,“ which is 9 meters long and 5 meters wide, will be “the brain” of the whole tidal array that decides how the turbine should move (see below). The technology inside will control the rotation of the turbines and optimize the power produced generators according to the speed of the tides. “There is a lot of complex engineering that takes place behind the yellow walls,” he says.

For example, it holds sophisticated technology that can independently control the speed of each turbine, transform their variable AC voltages to a high DC voltage, and reduce losses along the 16km subsea cable.

image

GE’s yellow submarine contains power technology, nitrogen, and special transformer liquid more expensive than olive oil. Image credit: GE Marine

The current’s journey is anything but ordinary. When it first enters the “yellow submarine,” it travels through a chamber filled with nitrogen. “This allows us to remove any moisture and oxygen and prevent corrosion,” Navarro says.

The current then flows to an enclosure filled with special transformer oil. Made by Midel, the ester-based fluid has been custom-designed to protect the environment in case of a leak. “This stuff is more expensive than the best olive oil,” Navarro says.

Finally, the current travels to an onshore sub-station where another piece of GE technology transforms it again, so it can be connected to the French electrical grid (see below).

image

DCNS and OpenHydro will assemble the turbines and the GE equipment in Brest and then tow them via barge to Paimpol-Brehat some 200 kilometers away.

That’s when some of the hardest work will begin. “Naturally, tidal arrays go to places where there are strong currents,” Navarro says. “But these currents also make such locations a tough place to work.”

OpenHydro will use specially trained divers to install the equipment some 35 meters below the surface. “The divers will be only able to work during certain times of the day, when the conditions aren’t dangerous,” Navarro says. The partners expect the array to start producing power by the end of the year.

image

A subsea turbine during tests. Image credit EDF

France is far from being a tidal power newbie. In 1966, the country opened the world’s first tidal power station inside a bridge spanning the River Rance, in Brittany. Just like Paimpol-Brehat, the plant is currently operated by EDF.

Likewise, Paimpol-Brehat is not the only tidal project involving GE. In February, the company said it would supply technology for a massive, 320-megawatt tidal lagoon off the coast of Wales.

“Not too long ago, tidal power seemed like science fiction,” Navarro says. “But today, we’ve started unlocking the potential of tidal energy around the world.”

This article is from GE REPORTS