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Power and Water Industry Trends to Watch this 2018 A Fresh New Start For Engineers Tech Skills Every Millennial Engineer Should Know 6 Skills That Engineers Should Invest on Learning Qualities Of An Effective Engineering Team Losing Drive In Your Engineering Job? Ask Yourself These Questions How Engineers Can Balance Work With Their Passions Strategies For Engineers Who Want To Gain New Skills
The Latest Updates A Company Plans to Make Water, Electricity, and Hydrogen Out of Cow Manure 300 Days: Thatâ€™s How Long Costa Rica Relied On Renewables This 2017 This New Strain of Rice is Able to Grow in Saltwater Engineers Developed A Fabric Which Repels Liquids Scientists Have Successfully Transformed Stress Into Electricity
JANUARY 2018 ISSUE NO. 009
through Leading Anaerobic Technology
rocess eﬄuents from the Food and Beverage sector are characterized by highly biodegradable components with a high calorific value. Anaerobic technology plays a key role in the eﬄuent treatment and resource recovery from these industrial eﬄuent streams. Biothane is Veolia’s technology centre for anaerobic technologies and is one of the world's leading companies in the field of biological treatment of industrial wastewater. The principle of anaerobic solutions is the utilization of anaerobic bacteria (biomass) to convert organic pollutants or COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) into biogas without the presence of oxygen. Particularly adapted to treat medium to high strength wastewater, most of the degraded organic material will be converted into methane, while only a small fraction is used for biomass production. Produced biomass is a resource
that can be sold, at least for the granular sludge based technologies like Biobed® Advanced EGSB and Biothane Advanced UASB. This is not the case for aerobic treatment processes, which rely on energy-intensive aeration to oxidize organic material, while generating a large quantity of waste biomass which has to be disposed oﬀ.
''Anaerobic proven to
be most appropriate in view of Total Cost of Ownership and Sustainability
Biogas can be used for steam and / or electricity generation. Oil or gas fuel can be (partly) replaced by biogas, resulting in operational cost saving. There are many diﬀerent types of anaerobic processes. Combining this with the uniqueness of each eﬄuent, specific site conditions
and specific requirements, such as future expansion or energy and/or water recovery makes the selection of the optimal treatment technology important.
Anaerobic technology applied for brewery In order to increase its current beer production capacity, the Paulaner brewery (Munich, Germany) decided to expand and relocate their brewery. The nature of brewery effluent is most suitable for anaerobic treatment. This project had a key constraint in terms of available space and the effluent treatment plant had to be installed in a building. Compact, robust, high efficiency, Biobed Advanced. The system is a granular biomass type of treatment process. The granular biomass consists of different bacteria which convert the available organic fraction in the wastewater into valuable biogas. In top of the reactors, patented 3-phase Biobed
Treatment effluent BIOTHANE
RESOURCING THE WORLD
Memthane plant, Arla
Advanced settlers are installed, which separate the biomass from the final effluent and the biogas. The system is designed for 2,800 m/day of wastewater and produces more than 9,000 Nmbiogas per day (approx 2.8 MW).
Complete resourcing of waste and eﬄuent streams One of the world’s’ leading confectionary and pet food producers asked Veolia to provide a solution for the treatment of production water effluents and waste streams. The solution had to meet sustainable targets to maximize green energy recovery and water re-use, have no impact on the environment and achieve river discharge conditions. The available footprint was limited. The process concept selected is based on Memthane technology. Memthane combines anaerobic digestion technology with ultra-filtration membranes. The membrane acts as a filter and is a 100% physical separation of anaerobic biomass. Memthane treats process effluent and food waste fractions in one anaerobic treatment process, is compact and achieves high removal efficiencies (> 99%). The biogas is applied in a Combined Heat Power (CHP) unit, producing 2 MW of heat
equivalent to 1 MW of electricity. The Memthane effluent is posttreated by Veolia’s Anitamox process. The application of this technology saved more than 10% in additional energy production. The final stage of the plant is the polishing of a small aerobic posttreatment, by means of the Biosep process. It combines the aerobic treatment with Ultra Filtration membranes. Approximately 67% of the effluent is discharged into the river and 33% is re-used after an upgrade through Veolia’s Reverse Osmosis technology.
SMART plant operation To increase the ease, reliability and effectiveness of the operation of an anaerobic treatment plant, Biogas Manager Control® SMART technology for anaerobic wastewater treatment has been developed. The technology provides a new dimension in operating anaerobic granular wastewater treatment process through 24/7 real-time control. This allows for minimal physical operational attendance. This technology consists of a carefully designed instrumentation and control package. It measures online quality parameters: water flow, COD reduction, biogas production and biomass quality. The system is provided with automated 24/7
back up service - 365 days per year. This innovation is expected to change the regular operation of biological wastewater treatment plants into automated selfregulating plants, which are monitored remotely. ●
Summary Biothane has more than 600 references in the field of industrial effluent treatment. The Biothane anaerobic technologies prove to have added value through: • Compact & Small foot print solutions • Production of a green energy source • Low operational cost • Nutrient recovery • High removal efficiency • Minimizing Carbon -and Water footprint at site To select the most appropriate process, Veolia develops design studies to roadmap treatment routes for the sustainable treatment of present process effluents, aiming to optimize energy production and close water cycles. These studies are based on full scale expertise and support by tests executed at Biothane laboratories or Pilot Plants on site.
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It’s a brand new year and we’re happy to say GineersNow has gone a long way since it was launched two years ago. From entertaining our readers with our featured stories to giving them the latest updates about several industry trailblazers, we have continued to gather important information to help every engineer who crosses our path. We have published several magazines earlier last year - focusing on five important industry fields such as renewables, HVACR, oil and gas, construction and power and water. On November, we’ve added a new magazine on our digital shelves - GineersNow: Social Impact Leaders, where we talk about several individuals and organizations who made an impact in their communities. We have also launched GineersNow Community where engineers can write their own stories and share important details about their work, their inventions and their ideas.
Now, as we start a brand new year, we are looking forward to bring you more exciting stories, more featured articles and more important news that create an impact on our communities wherever we are in the world. This month, read the up-and-coming trends on the power and water industry this 2018! Learn the forecast and find out what we can expect as an improvement in both sectors towards utilizing smarter, Internet of Things solutions for old infrastructure issues! Don’t get left behind with the latest news on the industry. Read how a company plans to make water, electricity and hydrogen out of a cow’s manure. Learn how long Costa Rica relied on renewables last year and how scientists successfully transformed stress into electricity. Find out how engineers developed a fabric which repels liquids and how a new strain of rice is able to grow in saltwater. In this issue, we also haven’t forgotten to include special articles to help engineers create a fresh new start for themselves. Whether you want to go the extra mile to be better at what you do at work or you just want to find a way to balance your work with your passions, we’ve got you covered. Learn important tech skills and find out what qualities your team must have to become an effective group. If you’re an engineer who wants to gain new skills, learn more about these strategies to help you achieve that goal. We have also prepared questions you need to ask yourself as a form of self-assessment if you’re losing the drive to pursue your career goals. For every engineer who is going through their own challenges at work, we have stories for each one of you. Our company still has a long way to go before we become the most preferred source of news and featured stories for engineers but we’re slowly starting to leave a mark in the engineering industry. So go ahead, scroll through our pages and learn the latest news, find out more about this year’s trends and get inspired with our featured articles. Start the year right with GineersNow: Power and Water Leaders.
Engr. Alice Hernandez Senior Editor-at-Large
Contents Siemens Partners With Iraq Ministry of Electricity To Modernize Four Power Plants
DEWA MD&CEO visits Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
This Company Plans to Make Water, Electricity, 12 and Hydrogen Out of Cow Manure
ETW Energietechnik Expands The Modern Energy 20 Supply Concept Of The University of Göttingen And The University Medical School (UMG) Scientists Have Successfully Transformed Stress Into Electricity
6 Skills That Engineers Should Invest on Learning
Qualities Of An Effective Engineering Team
Losing Drive In Your Engineering Job? Ask Yourself These Questions
Tech Skills Every Millennial Engineer Should Know
Engineers Develop a Fabric Which Repels Liquids
Power and Water Industry Trends to Watch this 2018
300 Days: That’s How Long Costa Rica Has Been Relying on Renewables This 2017
China Is Building Solar Roadways
Australia is Now the Home of the World’s Largest Battery
Australia is Now the Home of the World’s Largest Battery
Danfoss Drives Southeast Asia Energy Efficiency Tour to Help Thailand Maintain Progressive Economic Momentum
This System Allows Hydropower Plants to Get the Same Output During Dry Season
How Engineers Can Balance Work With Their Passions
Mobisol Largest Off-Grid Provider in East Africa With 10 MW Installed Capacity
This New Strain Of Rice Is Able To Grow In Saltwater
Strategies For Engineers Who Want To Gain New Skills
Siemens Partners With Iraq Ministry of Electricity To Modernize Four Power Plants of Energy. The upgrade of the power plants will not only increase the reliability of the plants, but also will improve the efficiency and generation capacity.” The landmark agreement calls for Siemens to carry out critical service and maintenance works across the four power plants. The outage and upgrade services will enhance the reliability and efficiency of these units, helping them collectively generate more than 1,000 MW of power, 400 MW more than today, and save up to 10 percent in fuel consumption. This is enough to supply approximately three million Iraqi people with reliable electricity. The agreement includes spare parts supply as well as manpower training to enhance energy efficiency. In a move to help enhance Iraq’s energy supply, Siemens announced today the signing of multi-million euro service contracts with the country’s Ministry of Electricity. The project will see the maintenance and upgrade services of seven power generating units inside four power plants located in the areas of South Basra, Salah El Deen, Middle Region and Middle Euphrates. With approximately 15,700 megawatts (MW) of available power generation capacity, the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity is working towards improving
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the availability and reliability of power supply, while minimizing power losses. This service project with Siemens will support the nation’s industrial development plans and meet its growing population’s demand for power. Commenting on the agreement, Gianluigi Di Giovanni, Senior Executive Vice President of Siemens Power Generation Services in the Middle East said: “Iraq has a clear vision for the future of the country’s power sector. Siemens is honored to further strengthen our long-term collaboration with the Ministry
With over 40 years of presence in the country. Siemens’ advanced technologies are perfect fit to support Iraq’s development plans. Today, Siemens’ technologies are responsible for generating almost 40% of the electricity distributed across the country. For further information on Siemens Power Generation Services, please see http://www. energy.siemens.com/hq/en/ services/
DEWA MD&CEO visits Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), visited the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer model (IPP). The solar park has a planned capacity of 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030, and a total investment of AED 50 billion and will eventually save approximately 6.5 million tonnes per annum in carbon emissions. The solar park supports the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote sustainability and transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy, through the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, so that 7% of Dubai’s total power output will come from clean energy by 2020, 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. Nasser Lootah, Executive Vice President of Generation, Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development & Excellence, and Jamal Shaheen Al Hammadi, Vice President of Special Projects were also present. At the beginning of the visit, Al Tayer inaugurated the Visitors’ Centre, which was built by Shuaa Energy 1, as part of the 200 MW second phase of the solar park, inaugurated in March. Mohammad
Abdullah Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, welcomed Al Tayer during the visit. The centre includes a reception hall for VIP guests. It includes the latest SCADA and smart monitoring systems, It also includes a room to view all the solar park’s projects. Representatives from Shuaa Energy 2 briefted Al Tayer on the progress of the third phase of the solar park, which was established by DEWA, which owns a 60% stake in the company. Shuaa Energy 2 was launched in partnership with the Masdar-led consortium, and Électricité de France (EDF), through its subsidiary EDF Energies Nouvelles. The consortium owns the remaining 40% of Shuaa Energy 2. Masdar owns 24% and EDF Energies Nouvelles owns 16%. The international consortium led by the renewable energy contractor GranSolar from Spain, is handling the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC). It includes Acciona from Spain and Ghella from Italy. The first 200MW stage is 70% complete, and is expected to be operational by April 2018. The 800MW third phase will be completed in 3 stages over 16 square kilometres. The 300MW second stage will be operational in the first half of 2019, and the third 300MW stage will be completed in the first half of 2020. DEWA registered the lowest Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) worldwide of USD $2.99 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h) for the third phase of the solar park. Power & Water Leaders
This Company Plans to Make Water, Electricity, and Hydrogen Out of Cow Manure Once completed, the project is the first to generate 100 percent renewable power and hydrogen on a commercial-scale. We know that cow manure is an organic matter often used as fertilizer in agriculture. But little did we know that it can be made into essential substances like water and hydrogen. Methane gas is found in cow manure. It is a natural substance which has its pros and cons – its potential as a fuel has long been established. But it is only now that Japanese automaker Toyota wants to hone this potential. The company has made plans of building a power plant at the Port of Long Beach in California solely for the extraction of the water, electricity, and hydrogen from cow manure. Called the Tri-Gen Project, it will be the first to generate 100 percent renewable power and hydrogen on a commercial-scale. Estimates say that the plant, which is expected to come online in about three years from now, will produce 2.35 MW of electricity and 1.2 tons of hydrogen a day. That is enough power to accommodate 2,350 average homes and enough fuel to operate 1,500 hydrogen-powered vehicles daily. Moreover, this pilot plant will be home to one of the largest hydrogen fuelling stations in the world. “In most states, you have a conventional natural gas pipeline network that provides heat for your stove or furnace. The majority of natural gas comes from drilling for well gases,” said Matt McClory, senior engineer with Toyota research and development. “We’re trying to green up this process. One way is to find renewable sources, like from gases emitted from landfills, wastewater treatment plants and farm animals.”
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Doug Murtha, Toyota’s North America group vice president for strategic planning, shared how this project forwards the company’s green initiatives. “Tri-Gen is a major step forward for sustainable mobility and a key accomplishment of our 2050 environmental challenge to achieve net zero CO2 emissions from our operations,” Murtha said. Other than pushing the agenda of reducing emissions, this project was instigated to power the car manufacturer’s Mirai sedans and the upcoming Project Portal semi truck which run on hydrogen fuel cell. “Environmentally conscious motorists demand newer, cleaner forms of transportation,” Toyota said in its website. “[The] Mirai fuel cell vehicle helps answer that demand alongside our other alternative fuel vehicles to power a better future,” it wrote.
300 Days: That’s How Long Costa Rica Has Been Relying on Renewables This 2017 And this year is not even over yet. There are many countries around world which shifted from fossil fuels to renewable energy as their sources of electricity. Targets have been made by these countries to be fully dependent on solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, and nuclear but perhaps one country is ahead of everyone in this aspect. Costa Rica already made a feat in 2016 when it was able to power itself without burning fossil fuels for 250 days. And this year, it has even surpassed that number: the Central American country has clocked up 300 days generating electricity from renewable energy sources. A rainforested country with a geographical area of 51,100 square kilometers, Costa Rica has a population of about 5 million. While it ranked 129th worldwide in terms of landmass, it is still quite unbelievable that an entire country has run entirely on renewable energy. A report by Costa Rica’s National Center for Energy Control said that 99.62% of the country’s electricity production is now generated from five renewable sources.
Hydropower is the leading source, generating 78.26% of the total power generation. Wind comes after with 10.29%, geothermal energy with 10.23%, biomass and solar 0.84 percent%, and hydrocarbons 0.38%. The 300-day mark was recorded as of November 18, meaning that Costa Rica still has enough time to beat their 2015 record which is 299 days of dependence on green energy. Moreover, another record has also been made by Costa Rica in terms of using its backup in the absence of renewable energy sources. In 2017, the Central American country did not use its thermal backup for more than 200 days because green sources were available anyway. This beat the 76-day and 75-day streaks in 2016 and 2015 respectively. It is worth noting, however, that while the country as generated electricity totally on renewable energy source, it is still using fossil fuels for petrolbased vehicles and gas heating of buildings.
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China Is Building Solar Roadways It will be used to power the towns surrounding it, and will soon wirelessly power electric cars. China is currently building a 2km-length solar highway. This means that the solar panels on the road will be providing power to the towns that are surrounding it. The project engineers hope that this will also soon wirelessly power electric cars that are driving on the road. The Jinan South Ring Expressway will start off in the eastern Chinese city of Jinan, which has around 7 million people living there. It is known as a tech and transportation hub, the home to Sinotruck, which is the country’s state-owned heavy duty truck manufacturer. According to state-owned media the solar-powered part of the expressway will be completed and opened by the end of December. The road is capable of carrying up to medium-sized trucks. The Chinese engineers created three layers to build this photovoltaic highway. The uppermost layer is transparent concrete that is similar to asphalt. The next layer is the solar panels that absorbs the sun’s rays while it is protected by the uppermost layer. The bottom most part is a strip of insulation to make sure that nature doesn’t interfere from the bottom up. Other than being a power source, the road also has another benefit. The heat from the panels can transfer through the concrete, which allows it to melt snow. Solar roads are still a new innovation, but they have been around since 2014, where one opened in the Netherlands. This innovation is in line with China’s renewable energy pursuit in recent years, from farms to the largest solar park in the world. Solar road projects have often been questioned for their high cost and low output. But other roads generally focused on adding solar panels on top of current roads, in contrast to China’s layered protection. Once the road will be opened, we’ll be able to see if this innovation may crack the solar road problem. 14
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Australia is Now the Home of the World’s Largest Battery The world’s largest lithium ion battery has started providing electricity into the power grid in South Australia.
The world’s largest lithium ion battery has started providing electricity into the power grid in South Australia. This project is a collaboration between the American firm Tesla, French energy company Neoen, and the state government. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, though he was not present at the switch-on event, had promised to build the said battery in South Australia within 100 days. True enough, that promise was fulfilled. The 100-megawatt battery was officially activated recently. Musk mentioned that this battery was three times more powerful than the world’s next biggest battery. He also promised to deliver it for free if it was not built on schedule. The South Australian state government hopes that this project will be able to prevent power outages since this could give out electricity rapidly when it is most needed and reduce prices. Last September 2017, South Australia had suffered a state-wide power outage when storms damaged the electricity network. Jay Weatherill, the State premiere of South Australia, believes that the new battery would guarantee energy supplies.
“People were making fun of South Australia for its leadership in renewable energy and blaming it for the black-out,” Weatherill said. “That, of course, has now been debunked as a myth. We now know that our leadership in renewable energy is not only leading the nation but leading the world, and we are more than happy to supply our beautiful renewable energy stored in a battery to help out the national electricity market.” The battery is located near Jamestown, around 200 kilometers north of Adelaide. The 100 megawatt lithium ion battery is connected to a wind farm that is run by the French energy company Neoen. The farm has 99 wind turbines and is able to generate electricity which can be stored in the battery to serve 30,000 people for around an hour. As of now, the bulk of Australia’s electricity is still generated by coal, and the nation is one of the world’s worst per capita emitters of greenhouse gases. Hopefully, this battery will be the start of many efforts to help the country to switch to renewable energy.
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Danfoss Drives Southeast Asia Energy Efficiency Tour to Help Thailand Maintain Progressive Economic Momentum The Danfoss Drives Southeast Asia Energy Efficiency Tour journeys 6,000 km to 20 cities across Malaysia, Singapore Thailand over a span of three months. Danfoss, a key player in the energy efficiency space today crowned its inaugural Danfoss Drives Southeast Asia Energy Efficiency Tour, arriving in the capital city to raise awareness on the importance of energy efficiency and empower businesses to adopt brand new innovations in climate-friendly technology. The Tour covers 6,000 kilometers to more than 20 cities across Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. World Bankâ€™s latest Monitor Report highlights Thailand has seen 7.7 percent growth in the agricultural sector, boosting incomes, 16
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and a 6.6 percent upturn in merchandise exports, its highest growth rate in the last four years. This momentum is expected to drive greater consumption of water and energy in the Kingdom. Against the backdrop of the ASEAN region being well on track to be the worldâ€™s 4th-largest economy by 2050 and one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world, this presents an opportunity for Danfoss to help customers in resource-intensive industries enhance their process optimisation for sustainable, reliable and efficient operations.
Speaking at the industry event in Bangkok, Mr. Krisada Phetsuksiri, Regional Sales Director, Southeast Asia, Danfoss Drives said “The World Bank recently reported that economic growth in Thailand is gaining momentum, following recovery from severe drought and driven by 3.3 percent GDP expansion in the first quarter and 3.7 percent in the second quarter of 2017, both exceeding market expectations. The Danfoss Drives Southeast Asia Energy Efficiency Tour is a timely introduction to the market to empower and encourage more Thai enterprises ramp up adoption of technologies that enable them to do more with less. With our established leadership in the drives division, we believe that by 2025 more than 5 billion people worldwide will benefit directly or indirectly by Danfoss Drives in their everyday lives.” The Danfoss Drives Southeast Asia Energy Efficiency Tour journeys 6,000 kilometres to 20 cities across Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand over a span of three months. The Danfoss Drives Southeast Asia Energy Efficiency Tour will address new opportunities for energy efficiency through customer seminars and 3D Interactive Experience for visitors to better understand
the direct and indirect benefits of Danfoss Drives in their everyday lives. “Commercial buildings, food and beverage production and water treatment plants as well as heavy duty industries are energyintensive. The need for improved efficiencies is all the more important as Thailand pursues greater integration into the ASEAN export economy putting stresses on its energy and water resources. To help the Kingdom achieve its economic goals, Danfoss has long been active in helping the Bang Sue Wastewater Treatment Plant save energy and achieve much more with available resources. Danfoss Drives have helped Bang Sue reduce wear and tear on pump, filter and valves as well as provide flexibility for its SCADA system”, added Krisada. The South East Asia edition of the tour builds on the success of the Danfoss Tour in India, South Korea, US and Europe. In Thailand, beyond Bangkok, the Danfoss Drives Tours includes several stops in key cities of Hatyai, Surat Thani, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Saraburi and Khon Kaen.
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This System Allows Hydropower Plants to Get the Same Output During Dry Season Normally, hydropower plants during the dry season have low outputs due to lack of strong currents. Hydroelectric power stations, or hydropower stations, are installations which take advantage of moving water masses flowing in the rivers to transform them into electricity. The power generated depends upon the flow of the water, which is why during the dry season where there is no strong current, the hydropower plants tally low outputs. “Traditional hydroelectric power stations have a fixed water flow requirement, which means electricity outputs drop dramatically during the dry season,” said Lyu Mingsheng, a doctorate student of Hunan University in China. Not taking the situation down, he and his colleagues who are also doctorate students developed a solution: a system to increase the electricity generation of small- and medium-sized hydropower stations during dry season. According to Lyu, the system they developed fixes the current situation where power output is directly proportional to river flow. This means that the output will remain the same throughout all seasons once the system will take effect. Designed for small- and medium-sized hydropower plants, the system is based on a
variable speed, constant frequency motor. This allows the steady power output of the hydropower plants in China. Installing the system has its effect on the environment, the researchers said. That’s because improving the generating capacity could mean the reduction of the number of hydropower plants needed in the future. “The new technology will transform the dam construction in China, making it more environment-friendly,” Lyu said. Other than its environmental friendliness, the system will have great impact in the power output of the Chinese hydropower plants. Lyu cited official figures published in 2013 that stated China had more than 45,000 hydropower stations in rural areas, with the total installed capacity exceeding 65 million kilowatt (kW). The total installed capacity will increase by 19.5 million kW once the new system will be applied to each of the hydropower station in China. That’s equal to the output of the Three Gorges Dam which is 22.4 million kW, Lyu shared.
Mobisol Largest Off-Grid Provider in East Africa With 10 MW Installed Capacity Mobisol, a Germany-based provider of decentralized solar solutions, has successfully installed a capacity of 10 MW and electrified over 500,000 people in East Africa to date. Mobisol, a Germany-based provider of decentralized solar solutions, has successfully installed a capacity of 10 MW and electrified over 500,000 people in East Africa to date. The company fights global climate change by offsetting 50,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year through smart rent-to-own solar systems, benefitting communities in Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya. Mobisol provides solar solutions beyond lighting and focuses on the development and supply of large solar systems that power a range of energy-efficient household and productive use appliances. While currently distributing business appliances such as multiple phone chargers and barber salon packages, the company plans to increase its offering around productive-use appliances for small and medium enterprises in 2018. As part of its commercial strategy, Mobisol has recently grown its workforce to develop a number of B2B partnerships and support solar providers in an additional nine countries through their software suite SolarHub, which builds a digital foundation for pay-as-you-go (PAYG) business models. The company aims to bring partners up to speed fast and increase the scaling of off-grid.
Klaus Maier, Mobisol’s Head of Partnerships and Expansion, says: “In the past six years, we have revolutionized ‘Innovation made in German’. We’ve engineered reliable high-tech solar systems, paired with the most efficient appliances. We’ve developed highly innovative software, allowing for swift management from PAYG services to last mile logistics. Now, we are putting a stronger focus on corporate partnerships, enabling other sustainable businesses to utilise our versatile software solution, save costs and efficiently run their operations, while concentrating on their core business.” Mobisol’s founder and CEO, Thomas Gottschalk, adds: “We are proud to have reached this important milestone to electrify half a million people in rural East Africa. But it does not end here: Our vision is to help make poverty history by providing sustainable and affordable energy solutions to 20 million people by 2023 – and ultimately to show the world that a cleaner, non-fossil fuel dependent future is possible. The solutions are out there to sustainably, yet profitably provide energy access to millions of people, empowering people and boosting economies while protecting the global climate.”
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ETW Energietechnik installs the unit in a building of the University Hospital. The hospital‘s annual heat energy requirement corresponds to that of 33,000 private households. The base load is now supplied by 4.75 megawatts of thermal energy from the environmentally friend-ly combined heat and power plant.
ETW Energietechnik Expands The Modern Energy Supply Concept Of The University of Göttingen And The University Medical School (UMG) The University Medical Foundation (UMG) and the University of Göttingen have initiated an innovative energy supply concept.
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Delivery of the 53 tonne MWM engine for ETW Energietechnikâ€˜s coge- neration plant. With an electrical output of 4.5 megawatts, about half of the total power required by the university hospital is generated.
The basic supply of electricity and gas to the economy is one of the pillars of the Energy Industry Act. However, even more elementary is the safe and reliable energy supply in the medical sector. Both electricity and heat can save lives here. In order to ensure this security of supply in the future, the University Medical Foundation (UMG) and the University of GĂśttingen have initiated an innovative energy supply concept. A modern, decentralised energy and heat supply system is intended to bring production close to consumers in the future. Three large combined heat and power plants are to be built for this purpose: one at the university hospital and two at the university.
By the end of 2017, the first of the three power plants will supply around half of the electricity required and the base load of the heat required by the university hospital. The 4.5 megawatt power plant is supplied by ETW Energietechnik, the Moers-based specialist for energy plants, and has an outstanding overall efficiency of almost 90 percent (electricity + heat output). The 4.7 million euro project is financed by the state of Lower Saxony. The investment not only saves energy costs. The security of supply and the saving of 6,500 tons of CO2 per year also contribute to climate protection.
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Scientists Have Successfully Transformed Stress Into Electricity “This material could probably even be used to obtain energy from the human body.” Wouldn’t it be nice if our everyday stresses can produce something useful–like electricity? Well, recently, scientists have created a new organic material which can turn material stress
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to electricity. Researchers from Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, created this new material which is flexible and generates electricity when it is
on analog record players, like how the needles is guided through the grooves in the record to be able to generate mechanical vibrations. In a piezoelectric crystal, these vibrations will be converted into electric pulses, which will be amplified and converted into sound waves.
Crystals to Flexible Material Until recently, the piezoelectric effect has only been known for crystals. Being heavy and solid, the piezoelectric effect can only be used in limited applications. But now, Empa researcher Dorina Opris with her colleagues have given elastomers piezoelectric properties. The new material however, is difficult to produce. The rubber is a composite material that is made of polar nanoparticles and elastomer. Yee Song Ko, a PhD student at Empa, would first shape the two materials before connecting them. This will yield a thin, elastic film, wherein polar portions of the nanoparticles are still randomly oriented. To be able to create a piezoelectric material, Song Ko would need to introduce an internal polarization using a strong electrical field. To be able to do this, the film needs to be heated until the glass transition temperature of the nanoparticles has been exceeded and would change from a solid, glassy state into a rubbery and viscous one.Under these conditions, the polar portions are oriented by the electrical field. The orientation achieved is then frozen by cooling the material to room temperature.
subjected to stress. In the future, it could be used as a sensor that could be integrated into clothing or implanted in the body to power a pacemaker.
The Piezoelectric Effect This new rubber material is able to convert mechanical movements into electrical charges. The generated current comes from the internal polarization that changes when the rubber film is mechanically stressed. This effect, which was discovered in crystals is currently used in various applications such as sound pick-ups
There are a lot of potential applications for this new rubber film. For example, it can be used to create pressure sensors. Once the material is compressed, an electrical impulse is produced that can be received by devices. This can be used to create sensitive skin for robots to be able to feel pressure touches. This can also be used in clothing to monitor a wearer’s activities or generate electricity from their movements.”This material could probably even be used to obtain energy from the human body,”Opris said. “You could implant it near the heart to generate electricity from the heartbeat, for instance.”
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6 Skills That Engineers Should Invest on Learning They might be soft skills, but they pay off forever. n college, engineering students are trained to be technically proficient so they can do their respective jobs later on and build a career on them. Rarely do engineering schools train the students on soft skills, or those which do not require formal technical training, as such can only be learned through work experience and exposure to organizations. This is why on their first jobs, engineers should have a mindset that it is not only the technical or engineering stuff that needs to be focused on. The soft skills are just as important, even if they are difficult to learn. Here are seven of those skills which might be quite challenging to learn but definitely worthy as they pay off forever: 24
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Knowing when to shut up To make suggestions and give comments is one thing, to talk mindlessly or without consideration is another. While it feels good to say what you want to say, engineers should also learn that not all receiving ends appreciate honest talks. Be mindful about the consequences of your words because it could create conflicts in your workplace.
Being emotionally intelligent We could never emphasize more how important emotional intelligence is for engineers. Perhaps equally important as the intelligence quotient, EQ affects how you manage behavior, navigate social
complexities and make personal decisions in and out of your job. The core of this skill is being able to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.
Managing time It is important for engineers to be productive, deliver results, and beat deadlines. And the best way to do that is if you are able to manage your time effectively. Which tasks are the least and most important? Being able to prioritize is also a skill.
no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. This is considered a skill since it is often difficult to say no, especially to a higherup.
Getting high-quality sleep Even in college, engineering students do not get enough sleep. Bad news is that it carries over in the workplace, making it indeed a skill for engineers. Enough rest is required for engineers to perform peak performance at work. This is backed by science.
An engineer who is a yes man or a woman can have its consequences. For one, studies show that the more difficult you have saying
Engineering is difficult work. Tough times bring out the worst in you, so it pays to keep that mindset of staying positive and motivated.
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Qualities Of An Effective Engineering Team Here are some tips for maximum productivity as a team What makes the perfect engineering team? While there isn’t such a thing as perfect, but we can try to be as close to it as possible. Strong engineering teams are the foundation of high-performing companies. If employees don’t cooperate and don’t work well with each other, many problems can happen like poor organization, missed deadlines, blaming and conflict in the workplace. So here are some qualities that can help you ensure that you and your teammates can have maximum productivity during your work as a team.
Effective Communication Don’t forget that communication is a two-way
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process. If you are more of a speaker, learn to listen. In contrast, if you are more of a listener, learn to speak up as well. When you are in a team, being able to communicate openly is the first step to effective communication. Share your thoughts, opinions and ideas with all the members of the team. Effective communication is needed to be able to keep track of progress and work together efficiently.
Focus On Goals And Results Effective teams set team goals based on outcomes and results, not just on the amount of work being done. A straightforward plan ca then be set on how the team is going to achieve their objectives, as a group and as an individual contribution.
Delegation and Contribution Each member is delegated a certain task, and in turn each member gives their contribution based on their task delegation. Good teamwork means every member contributes their fair share of workload and they fully understand what their responsibilities are. They know that their presence and work is necessary for the team to be successful.
They Offer Each Other Support Team members are ready to
assist their teammates when they need a helping hand with work.
Good Leadership Every effective team has a leader that they trust and respect. This person serves as a glue that holds the team together and is responsible for setting the pace, offers encouragement and motivation, and makes sure all members of the team are updated.
makes sure that their own tasks are organized, and the leader makes sure that everything is organized in an overall level.
Fun All work and no play? No way! This can lead to team burnout, lack of productivity, and loss of motivation from the whole team. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s important to add some enjoyment. Effective teams get together outside of the office sometimes to socialize and have some fun.
Organized Organization is important for any project to run smoothly. Each member of the team Power & Water Leaders
Losing Drive In Your Engineering Job? Ask Yourself These Questions Re-ignite your drive to push yourself forward or make a change?
There will be a point in our careers when we will need to stop and think about where we are, where we have been, why we are still here, and what lies ahead of us. It’s that point in time where you’re going to decide whether you need to reignite your drive to push yourself forward in your current career, or you need to make a change and find a new path. So what do we do when we get to this point in our careers? One of my mentors in the past taught me to ask myself a set of questions that I should ask myself every 6 months or whenever 30
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I’m starting to ponder about my love for my career.
#1 Am I Continuously learning? Learning isn’t confined in the four corners of a classroom. One way to know if your career is healthy is when you know that your are continuously learning. Are you gaining new skills? Are you encouraged to attend seminars? Are you finding ways to improve your work? Or are you learning new things at work, but feel dissatisfied and want to learn something that is more
and passion in our work. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to find a new job ASAP. It may mean you just need a breather like a vacation. Maybe you need a fresh project to work on, whether it’s a project at your company, or a personal project at home.
#5 Am I happy?
challenging? It’s important to know whether you are learning new things at your current career and if what you are learning is sufficient enough to make you a better professional.
#2 Am I growing? In any career, not just in engineering, career growth is one of the most important aspects that should be checked every now and then. Is the path clear for you to be able to get to the next level at your company? Are you being trained for leadership roles? Do you see a different department where you could use your skills more? Take note of the path you are taking. We all have different ways to interpret growth. There are people who see growth as climbing up the career ladder and become a boss or manager in their company, while there are others who want to find growth elsewhere– such as a different department or a different company or field.
#3 Is respect present? Never settle in a company that makes you feel degraded and unappreciated. Always choose to be in an organization where your opinion matters.
#4 Am I doing my best? There will be occasions wherein we will lose our drive
There is no perfect job. Even your dream job will have it’s consequences and difficulties, as a matter of fact, ALL jobs have their difficulties. That’s why, it’s always better to choose a job that is close to your passions. It will definitely have difficulties along the way, but all your hard work will be worth it because you know you’re working for what you love. It’s difficult to have a definite yes to all these questions, but if you have answered “no” to most of them, then it may be time to ponder if you need to take a new direction in your career.
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Tech Skills Every Millennial Engineer Should Know Knowing how to use technology is one thing, but learning how to use them efficiently is another. Other than the good old hard drives, there are already cloud systems that can back up your data for you. Just make sure to encrypt them with a strong password, especially if they contain important documents.
Know how to install an antivirus programs
Knowing how to use technology is one thing, but learning how to use them efficiently is another. For many, these skills may seem easy, but believe me there are a lot who lack them and as a result, they lose productivity at work. If you’re part of the latter group, then do your best to improve yourself. Here are the four main tech skills every millennial engineer should know.
Use the search engine in an advanced way While almost everyone knows how to search what they need in a search engine, it may be a good tip to learn how to use it in a more advanced way. Add quotation marks and the boolean operators OR, AND, and NOT. This will help you save a lot of time as well as remove the unwanted results from the beginning. Also make sure that as you scan through the search results, that you know how to distinguish a reliable resource from a bad one.
Back up your data Prevention is better than cure. You won’t know when your computer decides to crash or gets stolen. That is why it is important to back up all of your important files, photos or documents. 32
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This skill is essential since you need to protect your computer from external attacks to be able to protect your data. As our world is getting more and more advanced in digital technology, it gets even harder to protect our privacy. That’s why we need to learn how to install and update our antivirus programs for our computers to be safe from anything malicious.
Access your office from anywhere If you’re an engineer who works remotely, then good for you, you have your work wherever you go. But if you work in an office and need to travel on a business trip, or need to work from home, it’s important that you can access all of your work files remotely from any location. Most offices nowadays have a virtual network where their employees can connect to wherever they are on the grid.
Engineers Develop a Fabric Which Repels Liquids No more laundry! It is not new that engineers find inspiration in nature. Now, researchers from the University of Hong Kong did the same, and developed a new material based on what they have learned from an insect. The material, which is a textile they call as ‘liquidrepellent surface,’ is exactly what its name suggests: it repels “water, oil and everything in between” according to the researchers. It is also durable and cheap to mass produce. 34
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“Nature is very clever. It invented [this for us],” research team leader Professor Wang Liqiu, from HKU’s mechanical engineering department, said. By nature, Wang is referring to the porous cuticles of the springtail, a tiny soil-dwelling insect, which breathes through the microscope holes in its body. The material works the same: it is a membrane surface made up of a patchwork of interconnected “micro-cavities.”
Compared to other commercially available products like the polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) water-repellent film, this material only costs about 13 cents in US dollar per square meter. That’s because according to Wang, the material uses only a physical process to modify the structure of the surface.
Tiny micro-cavities are retained after the residue of washed off. This is how the material repels liquid or keeping water or oil from making contact with the surface.
It is also worth noting that the making of this fabric is not derived from the chemical processes which pollute the environment.
“One important area is in textiles. By keeping liquids off fabric, it reduces the cost of laundry or even abandons the need [to wash clothes] altogether,” he added.
To make the unique textile, the researchers coated an existing surface, like glass, with an emulsion of “micro-fluid” which are droplets of water or oil containing polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). This micro-fluid is left to evaporate naturally, which leaves behind a residue of solidified PVA.
Wang said, “I can foresee wider applications in many different areas.
Applications for this fabric is not limiting to clothing. One of the researchers, Dr Zhu Pingan, shared that apart from textiles, the coating could also be applied to the surfaces of cars, ships, planes and even naval submarines to reduce friction between the vessel bodies and the air or water, improving speed and fuel efficiency. Power & Water Leaders
Power and Water Industry Trends to Watch this 2018 The Power and Water Industries are one of the biggest industries in our world today, and as we move forward this 2018, we can expect many advances in technology that are being utilized by these industries. In this data and energy driven world, we can watch out for an increased
demand and reliance on data centers, electric vehicles, smart consumer electronics, as well as renewable energy. With the continuous increase in computing and electronics, the demand for more efficient power increases as well. As for the water industry which has been around forever, we
to electrification and autonomy technology. In 2017, electric transport had a huge start, as many major global businesses began to announce commitments for electrical vehicle (EV) fleets as well as investments in the electric car charging sector. We can expect that there will be an acceleration in the development, demand, as well as improvement of electric vehicles this 2018.
Improvement on Solar Energy While the energy storage industry is still in its early stages, it shows great potential in both commercial and residential areas. Energy storage systems are very beneficial in our technological world, since it helps manage peak demand, provide backup power, as well as work as a part of an off-grid system when it is combined with renewable sources of energy. Soon, we may be able to expect entire communities that can operate off the grid. There are already some home energy storage projects that are being developed in some cities around the world. Energy storage systems are still quite pricey, but we can expect the pricing as well as the efficiency to improve as new power technologies and techniques will be developed.
More Efficient Data Centers
can expect an improvement in the sector towards utilizing smarter, Internet of Things solutions for old infrastructure issues. Looking ahead here are the key trends to consider in the Power and Water Industries:
Power Acceleration in Development and Demand of Electric Vehicles The automobile industry is slowly evolving thanks
Nowadays, data is everywhere. It is continuously created and stored every day. We can see them in social networks, IoT devices, videos, security systems, and even autonomous cars. While we are still some years away from fully autonomous vehicles taking over the highways, many automobile companies are already planning on how to manage and power their data centers for data flood. Data centers are already consuming 2% of global power usage, and may reach 5%. We can expect that maximizing power utilization through renewable energy use will be done to improve power systems.
Wireless Charging Will Be Everywhere As consumers get more gadgets and wearables such as laptops, smartphones, fitness trackers and smartwatches, there will soon be a need to remove extra weight in the form for extra wires and chargers. We can expect wireless chargeable devices to be more popular, and we may be able to even gain public access to them in convenience stores, coffee shops, as well as
other public venues. However, some of the current charging solutions needs the charger and the device to be in an almost perfectly placed alignment. Also, it takes a very long time to fully charge a gadget, especially when charging multiple devices at the same time. We can expect that companies will be finding a way to eliminate these limitations to pave the way for easier wireless charging.
Water Resilience In the past year, several natural calamities have struck countries all over the world. This highlights the need to improve the resiliency of the water and wastewater infrastructure. There is a growing need for utilites to be able to manage extreme water flow and to be able to resume normal operations after a calamity. We can expect improvements in water solutions like upgrading to more efficient pumps, as well as incorporating smart water solutions. They are pricey, but will be able to provide greater operational savings in the long term. Water reuse The demand for clean water all over the world is dramatically growing, and many companies are looking for ways to solve this problem. One of the solutions that is gaining popularity is water reuse. From craft brewers to utilities, to industrial companies. Many more companies are investing in recycled wastewater.
Smart Water for Agriculture The agriculture sectorâ€™s demand for water is increasing as well. Smarter irrigation can be expected and is anticipated. In places around the world which are experiencing drought, they are currently reshaping the water landscape, which drives smarter irrigation solutions as well as water reuse applications and groundwater management.
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How Engineers Can Balance Work With Their Passions While we love our jobs as engineers, we also have other passions that we want to give some of our time to.
A lot of people have different passions that aren’t related to their professions, such as art, dance, photography, music, etc. In an ideal world, our professional jobs and our passions would be one and the same. However, while we love our jobs as engineers, we also have other passions that we want to give some of our time to, and the problem lies there. Working full time as an engineer while trying to give time for your passions can be difficult to balance. So here are some tips on how you can balance work with your passions.
Be Strict With Your Schedule If you really want to balance your work and passion and you’re the type of person just chooses to “go with the flow”, then this is the time you should be strict with your schedule. The best way to balance any activity is to practice disciple. Make sure you set a time every week for finishing work (including a leeway for emergency overtime), so that you also have time for your passion.
Start A Bit At A Time
your passion activity can really take its toll on you. So start slow. Schedule your passion activity only once a week for the first month, and slowly increase the frequency of your passion activities as time goes by. By doing so, you would lessen the possibility of physical and mental burnout.
Choose A Day Off You should have a day in the week wherein you will neither work nor do your passions. This will be your day for ultimate relaxation, pampering, resting, and recharging for the next week to come. While this is not entirely possible because of the demanding day jobs, do your best to schedule some days in a month for this.
Count Your Hours of Sleep No matter what your work and passion schedule is, always make sure you have enough sleep–that is 6-8 hours. Remember, if you are not able to recharge your body, you won’t be able to function properly throughout the next day. Prioritize your body, it will thank you.
Having a jam packed week of full time work and Power & Water Leaders
This New Strain of Rice is Able to Grow in Saltwater A Chinese scientist discovered it. Traditionally, rice does not grow effectively in water with high salt concentrations because salt stresses plants’ water-absorption process. It affects their photosynthesis and respiration making it difficult for stalks to yield. But a scientist from China was able to develop a new high-yield strain of rice that grows in saltwater. Yuan Longping, already 87 years old, is known as the father of hybrid rice in his country. Working on feeding the world with rice all his life, he has now made a scientific breakthrough which might solve the world’s food crisis one day. His invention is much needed especially at a time where scarcity of freshwater, required for rice cultivation, has increased and where rising water levels make it more threatening to the roughly third of the total arable land in China which are high in salt. For example, in Dongying, a region in China’s eastern coast, 40% of land has salt concentration higher than 0.5%. This is a report according to the World Bank. Now Longping’s research gives hope that
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someday, people in China could grow rice even in salty water. He planted 200 different saltwater-tolerant rice strains at the Qindao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center on the Yellow Sea. To his surprise, it yielded 8,030 pounds of rice per acre – a sufficient harvest if compared with the annual harvest of U.S. grower at 7,200 to 7,600 pounds per acre. There is a catch: the water wherein the new strains were planted isn’t as concentrated with salt in seawater. Assistant Director General for Agriculture at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) Ren Wang said that it’s still only around 10% of the level of salt in seawater. While Wang admits that there is still a long way to go before the new strains of rice could help ordinary farmers, it can significantly increase China’s food supply once the breakthrough is refined. Plus, it could free up acres of soil that’s currently for rice in favor of other crops, considering the Chinese diets are changing from grains to more livestock and vegetables.
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Strategies For Engineers Who Want To Gain New Skills They say to be able to excel in your career, it’s important to pick up new skills that can help you grow professionally.
They say to be able to excel in your career, it’s important to pick up new skills that can help you grow professionally. However, not many of us know where to start, so here are some strategies that can help you learn new skills.
Memory Tricks Engineers are naturally talented when it comes to creating memory tricks, it’s a skill we’ve all nurtured since engineering school. Use this skill when you are learning a new skill at work as well.
Accept Both Sides of The Coin When you are learning something new, it’s important to remember that you will need to accept not only the good sides of learning, but the bad sides as well. You will need to accept failure. You will need to be willing to have some sleepless nights. You will need to accept that it’s not going to be fast and easy. You will need to be resilient.
Practice This is where many people give up. Constant practice can be difficult, but it is needed for you to develop your new skill. There will be other people who are more talented than you are, and will be able to master the same skill in a shorter period, but that doesn’t mean you need to keep up with them. Run your own race and concentrate on your progress instead of other people’s. Soon, you’ll be able to master your new skill.
Find a Mentor One of the best ways to master a new skill is to find a mentor who can show you the ropes. It’s always better to have a mentor than learn it yourself because you will be able to learn the skill more than just its theory. You will also be able to learn the skill through your mentor’s experiences. These tips can also be applied in skills other than for professional purposes. Hopefully, these tips will be able to help you learn and master your chosen skill quickly. 44
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GineersNow Power & Water Leaders Issue 009