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Energy

A Collaboration between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Kaluza to Innovate Smart Charging Services

Launched more than a hundred years back, for the same purposes that they were initially prevalent, electric vehicles have currently seen a surge in sales. Renewable sources like solar energy, wind power, and different forms of bioenergy would need to be implemented. Consequently, there are prospects for carbon reduction inside the automotive sector.   Ironically, it seems that the current transport industry could also offer an incentive for accelerated emissions reduction. Some innovations and policies mitigate transport pollution, like public transport, light-duty cars, start-up trains, advanced motor design, fuel replacement, and enhanced productivity. 

However, EV’s battery services form a significant disadvantage in innovation due to shorter distance coverage. Some electric vehicles can only cover 60 to 100 miles when fully charged, thus inconvenient for drivers with extensive commutes. Also, the charging time may take longer compared to conventional vehicles. For example, when a driver drops at a petrol station, it will take approximately ten minutes to fuel the car compared to an electric vehicle. Most electric cars’ charging time is about four hours for a full charge, while others take a whole day. Furthermore, there are fewer charging stations compared to petrol stations. 

The drawbacks have necessitated Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Kaluza collaborate to invent smart charging services. Conversely, the merger aims at providing cost-effective, sustainable, and simpler charging amenities. FCA clients will utilize Kaluza’s cloud platform. The collaboration will occur in distinctive phases seeking to smoothly incorporate the system to FCA’s customers using the Kaluza cloud platform. The first phase will entail innovating a smart charging service for the model Fiat 500 EV. The move will reduce the customers’ cost as the direct-to-car innovation will transmit data from local grid providers to translate car charging periods in low carbon intensity and cheap energy without separating the charging points.

According to FCA, a section of Fiat 500 EV clients will be nominated in the UK to try the services before the release. The clients will give feedback in designated forums at the beginning of 2021. On the other hand, Kaluza fully supports the smart charging technology as it utilizes its Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that governs EV charging. The AI manages the vehicle-to-grid machines and intelligently balances and tabulate the price. The FCA manager, Roberto Di Stefano of the EMEA, stated that the collaboration would significantly lower the charging prices and ownership. Roberto further noted that the technology would facilitate the clients to encounter the advantage of using Fiat 500 EV without extra installation of charging devices.

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Energy

Foreign companies dominate the Japanese renewable energy industry

Overseas companies have discovered that the Japanese renewable energy market is profitable and is narrowing down to enjoy these revenues. The European industries are penetrating this market with wind energy. On the other hand, China is expanding rapidly with the uptake and development of solar resources to obtain solar energy.

This development comes as Japan strategizes to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the coming three decades. Additionally, the government has loosened its stand on the barriers to exploring offshore wind power to maximize renewables’ exploitation. While Europe and China have unbeatable potential in renewables, the local developers of renewable energy in Japan are contending against these experienced giants.

An excellent example is Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, which is preparing to establish its branch in Japan. This branch will facilitate the manufacture of wind turbines for the exploitation of this renewable in the country. Niels Steenberg, the general manager of the branch in Spain, stated that they expect the projects in Japan to perform efficiently.

Siemens Gamesa intends to initiate an assembly plant in Taiwan that will develop wind turbines to meet the country’s industry demands come next year. The company revealed that this is its strategy to acquire more contracts in the Asian continent. The firm explained that it hopes the facility starts gaining popularity in the Japanese market immediately it launches operations on the facility.

Similarly, Iberdrola, a Spanish company, acquired Japan’s Acacia Renewables to control the wind power production in this country through the firm. Iberdrola intends to revive this company’s offshore wind power segment to gain profits from both sides of the wind energy technology. Norway’s Equinor is also entering the Japanese wind energy industry, having developed its offices in the country two years ago. Denmark’s Orsted also ventured into the Japanese renewable energy industry in 2019, creating an offshore wind energy branch.

Ignacio Galan, the chief executive of Iberdrola, reported that they are working on the inception of their company into Japan’s wind energy market. Although wind power boasts of 15% market share in Europe, the Japanese renewable energy industry has less than one percent dependence on wind power. Japan has enough land and resources to support offshore wind farms.

Japan has been accepting long-term deals from companies to accelerate the transition to renewable energy. The government is keen to support renewables bypassing regulations that incentivize wind energy projects. In conclusion, Japan anticipates the renewable energy industry to create employment opportunities for the locals. Nevertheless, the country is evaluating methods that will ensure the profits remain in the country by supporting the local manufacturers of wind energy resources.

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Space

The Cause for the Falcon 9 Engine Abort Found

  The cause of the Falcon 9 engine problem that led to the aborting of a GPS satellite launch at the start of October has been determined. According to news from NASA and SpaceX, the problem that led to the delay of a commercial crew mission, which was to be carried out mid-November, has been established.

During an October 28 briefing, the Vice president of build and flight reliability at SpaceX, Hans Koenigsmann, stated that the engine misfunctions that led to the aborting of the mission seconds to lift off on October 2 was due to a blockage on a relief valve in the engine’s gas generator responsible for thy powering of the turbopumps. By aborting the mission’s seconds from its liftoff, they could prevent the engine from hard starting itself, which would have damaged it. 

 The material responsible for the blockage was identified as a “masking lacquer,” a red substance similar to nail polish. The substance is applied on surfaces to protect them when aluminum engine parts are being anodized to prevent corrosion. After the process is complete, the lacquer should be removed using cleaning fluid. As per Koenigsmann, SpaceX outsourced for the anodizing work and speculated the lacquer could have remained due to changes in normal processes that may include the use of less cleaning fluid. According to him, the company had discussed with the people responsible, making them aware of the situation, and he was confident it would not happen again. 

After examining SpaceX’s data from other Merlin engines, two similar engine startup signatures used in the Falcon 9 booster were found in the ones to be used in the Crew-1 commercial crew mission. SpaceX is currently replacing the engines together with one more Merlin engine mounted on a Falcon 9 scheduled to be used in launching the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean science satellite bin on November 10 this year. NASA stated on October 26 that it had rescheduled the Crew-1 launch, which had been planned for October 31 to 7:49 p.m. Eastern November 14. According to the NASA statement, the Crew-1 launch would be carried out after a thorough review of the launch vehicle performance from the Sentinel-6 launch.

NASA is still carrying out preparations for the launch of the Crew-1 mission on November 14, with the four crew members entering what Stich, a commercial crew program manager for NASA, termed as a soft quarantine at home before carrying out a strict pre-flight quarantine on October 31. according to Stich, NASA and SpaceX should carry out testing to verify that the Falcon 9 is ready for the mission to avoid further delays. 

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Space

In Fear on dangerous collisions, NASA Raises Concerns on a new Mega-Constellation

After AST & Science requested to build a mega-constellation to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), NASA raised some concerns. The constellation will be at an altitude of 270 km from the Earth’s surface. FCC is yet to respond, and for the first time in history, NASA went on record publicly regarding this particular application. It states that it is concerned about the occurrence of collisions. According to an engineer at the agency Samantha Fonder, the letter submission took place during the public comment period. Through the letter, NASA addressed the concern in detail to understand what is at stake. The fact that it has assets on the orbit makes it justifiable. There is a need to mitigate such collisions’ risks so that all involved parties don’t face dire consequences.

The request in question is one that AST & Science declares to create a mega-constellation comprising of 240 large satellites. They would facilitate cell towers’ deployment in space to provide 4G and even 5G broadband connections accessible to cell phones back on Earth. The company already has a name for the constellation, which is Space Mobile. It has also raised approximately $120 million as they wait for the FCC’s go-ahead to commence the project. NASA concerns are a result of several reasons. One of them is the altitude that AST & Science proposes. According to the agency, it lies near a constellation of 10 satellites named A-Train. The operators of those Earth-science monitoring satellites are NASA, the US Geological Survey, and Japanese and French partners. According to NASA’s letter, previous experience shows that conjunction between space objects often occur around that altitude.

Another reason is the satellites being too big since it will have several antennas and cover up to 900 square meters. The size would make it hard to maneuver around the mega-constellation. To avoid a collision, NASA would have to carry out 15,000 planning activities and 1500 mitigation actions annually. So, that would be 40 for the former and 4 for the latter daily. Again, that is something that concerns NASA of the mega-constellation idea was to see the light of the day. Lastly, NASA feels that AST & Science is missing the relevant experience. It is yet to make a satellite or a large vehicle similar to the ones creating the constellation. Therefore, there are high chances of failure of at least 10% of the 240 satellites. NASA says that the defunct satellites are hard to maneuver, which makes avoiding collision quite hard.

As far as the US Company is concerned, after reviewing NASA’s concerned, the agent need not worry about collisions. The chief scientist says that the constellation’s design can handle orbital debris. The parties look forward to FCC’s response.

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Energy

South Australia understands the essence of creating employment opportunities in the clean energy shift

2020 will be a historic year in which the coronavirus pandemic tumbled the economy. Nevertheless, climate expert Bill McKibben stated that this might also be the year of restructuring the world to prepare for the renewable energy transition. McKibben explained that this year had been loaded with various packages ranging from the pandemic to bushfires in Australia. Nevertheless, all these events have pioneered the transition towards clean energy, with China committing to realizing this plan by 2060. Other strategies that will catalyze net-zero emissions include the EU’s promise to implement the Green Deal and dash out Є100bn Just Transition Fund to accelerate the uptake of renewables in this region. On the other hand, the US milked over $15 trillion from conventional fuels.

Businesses and governments have realized that they must collaborate to complete the transition to clean energy in countries like Australia. The chair of Australia’s Business Council, Tim Reed, expressed his determination to help the government and businesses integrate and actualize the net-zero emissions plan. Many states have started committing to this noble course, with South Australia being at the forefront.

South Australia’s energy and mining minister, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, stated that his state would be focusing on realizing the transition to renewables by the end of this decade. They currently have wind, solar, and battery technology whose full exploitation will help the state become a leader in switching to this clean energy. Renewable energy transition covers beyond the types to the solar panels, turbines, scheduled targets, and technological adjustments.

Ben Jewell of CEPU South Australia stated that renewables’ exploitation would help recover the jobs that the residents lost to the Leigh Creek project. Initially, the project intended to generate 150 MW of solar power before the project came to a halt. The project managers stated that they could not obtain more capital to kickstart the project from the previous lamentable results.

The other projects which have progressed successfully include Bungala Aboriginal Corporation, which will create over 300 jobs and become a solar energy hub. However, Jewell lamented that the locals did not have enough opportunities in these new developments. Additionally, there are 35 turbines under installation in the 126 MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, which will form the core of the second stage of the project. This second stage will involve introducing 94 MW of power over 20 turbines and 10 MW of battery storage technology. The final step in this project is still waiting for authentication by the authorities. To conclude, these projects create a sense of growth in this state since the citizens’ lives will be transforming through employment. Additionally, they will be able to report cases where the installation process might interfere with the ecosystem.

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Energy

EV Future a Likely Face-off between the US and China

China’s EV sector is growing at a relatively fast rate. This growth attributes to several factors working together to situate China as the upcoming global leader in all matters EV. The country currently holds the record for having two major EV battery manufacturers in the country and is on a roll to becoming the top authority in EV sales.

According to a UBS report, the Chinese EV industry has experienced massive growth with more EV start-ups than any other country. Experts speculate that this is the country’s strategy to dominate the EV industry. Tesla currently dominates the EV industry with records sales reaching 368,000 units in 2019

However, China is dedicated to upstage the S in the global EV market. According to A statement made by the Vice Chancer at IHS, China is on the way to becoming a global leader in EV manufacturing. He ascertains that EV’s assist the Chinese government in establishing dominance over the industry.

Referring to Yerghin’s statement, electronic vehicles provide three benefits to the Chinese government.  China gains a reduction in the oil demand, reduces pollution, and a chance to dominate a singular fundamental global market. The industry is a golden ticket for the Chinese government to become a global leader. 

Likewise, the Chinese government has a lot to gain from establishing itself as a global electronic vehicle manufacturer. Yergin affirms that the evil market is going to experience tough competition both parties drive to place themselves in the leading position

The evolution of the EV industry in the future will cover a significant portion of trade relations between the rivalries in economies. Historically the two countries have not been in good trading relations.  This is most evident in the trade sanctions from both sides that have affected significant activities.  The most notable example is the United States ban on text giant company Huawei from trading with hardware and software suppliers in the United States. 

Experts expect that future entries in EV generations are highly dependent on trade relations between the two countries. The future is set to have a multifaceted EV industry should both countries use previous relations to set a precedence for the upcoming global EV scene. Both countries instinctively benefit a good deal from their respective EV industry. The US EV industry contributes 3.5% of its national GDP while China gets 10% of all total sales from the established EV sector. With this in mind, it is safe to relate that the global EV market’s future depends on the interaction between the United States and China.

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Space

Soviet Union Satellite Recovery Plans Faces Problems

Russia is on a plan to enter the satellite race. The country has long since had the project scheduled but did not manage to start. This result is more so caused by the coronavirus pandemic that immobilized social systems and potential plans at the start of 2020. However, the country is getting back on its feet, including the prospects on satellite systems previously in line for launch. 

However, certain parties in the country bring up the possibility of several challenges that face the project. One such individual is the deputy minister in charge of Digital Development, Communication and Mass Media, Oleg Ivanov. According to Ivanov, adopting an orbital satellite communication base is essential. However, he emphasizes the need to prepare for eventualities in pushing this project. He further raises concerns over establishing a well-laid network to allow citizens in rural areas to access information readily. He also expressed his views concerning courses in data rates and wireless communications latency over long distances. 

Ivanov’s point of concern is the cost of establishing such a satellite network in orbit. He further explains that the satellites’ need for operators causes a significant problem. The governing body will be required to decide whether the satellites will be private or government-operated. Likewise, he also but another concern on methods of solving future challenges that might arise. As the head of the communication department, he also addressed the issue, stating that satellite network bands are different from the ready functional systems. 

If Russia wants to implement a satellite constellation system in Low Earth orbit, there is a significant need for changes that will affect the country’s whole communication system. There is a possibility that this change will cause the rise and fall of certain brands in the market. Ivanov further affirms that business entities that will not be able to shift their operations to adopt this new system will be greatly affected. 

Other connected parties voiced their opinion on the satellite initiative stating that the cost of manufacturing satellites in Russia is a major hindrance in development. According to Yuri Vilkov, the deputy general designer in charge of satellites’ development and innovation, the country urgently needs to find ways of reducing the costs of manufacturing satellites. Such results could be through extensive incentives in the sector. He further requested the need to have more research done into the specification of satellites that could cater to the country’s needs

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Space

Sweden Space Agency Finalizing on Planned Space Launch

Sweden’s financial body recently announced a plan to spend $10 million on an Esrange Space Centre upgrade. This upgrade will enable the center to facilitate the next series of space launches. According to reports, the plan will be underway by 2020 when test launches start. Esrange’s financial boosting us the second record in space exploration investing by the Swedish government. Previous investments include a 60-million-krona boost to upgrade a planned test site. 

Swedish government plans to use this investment to set it among the few countries that can launch satellites into orbit. However, there are rumors that the UK also plans to have a stake in orbital launches. This venture includes a proposition to integrate Richard Branson and flight-based company to provide the base for future launches into space. A successful launch from Virgin will establish the first in-country based launch station for the country. UK’s current launch station is on a disputable piece of land with France. 

Sweden’s space exploration plans began with looking into the option of an in-country launch in 2013. Sweden’s space exploration venture was initiated in 2013 with a test flight that was a proof of concept to help gather support. The country is so far prosperous in its space-based attempts. However, there are concerns over the capacity to launch rockets from the proposed Esrange Space Center. 

The center also received a 5,200 square kilometre allocation in the designated tundra region. This piece of land’s demarcation is to provide a buffer zone for launch stages to descend without endangering civilians. Space also acts as a reserve for reindeer in the region. 

The plan is of Sweden’s 300million krona development scheme. The project that started with an infrastructure modernization project in 2018 is now in its third phase. The second entry included building test stands to test-firing rockets. 

Sweden’s space agency, the Swedish Space Corporation, might host the launch. The Swedish Spaced Corporation controls activities on the Esrange Space Center but does not have a dedicated launch provider. There are talks about having a small launch company’s go step in as a launch provider. 

The SSC also plans to integrate the help of emerging German ventures like Isar Aerospace as well as Rocket Factory Augsburg. These parties will be useful for the initial rocket and stage testing of the project. Both ventures have a cumulative payload of 2300 kilograms expected to launch into the orbit

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Space

Momentus Aims to Become a Public Startup with a Steady Road Acquisition Organization

In- space shipping company called Momentus declared on the 7th of October that they are arranging to grow into a publicly traded firm through a union with another organization. Ideally, from the day Momentus was founded, it has brought in many clients by accepting to ship satellites from the place where big rockets land them to their anticipated endpoint. Momentus plots to show that ability with its orbital transportation car in the coming years. Furthermore, in the past months, Momentus has increased its employee and business sector to involve hosting payloads and capturing space stations in orbit using an engineered robot the company is designing. From the union and public engagement, Momentus wishes to get funds to increase the development of its group of space tugs.

Moreover, concerning Vigoride, Momentus id designing Ardoride, a truck to ship little and big sized satellites to orbits, and fevoride, a car to heavy loads of goods anyplace outside the space; this according to a statement on the website of Momentus. Space firms have suffered for many decades to raise money, making it harder for them to design cars faster than other large organizations such as SpaceX and Blue Origin; this statement made by Mikhail Kokorich to the SpaceNews. Furthermore, Kokorich mentioned an urge to design their cars at the same speed as SpaceX and Blue Origin. He added that, with the company’s capital, it would enable them to move quickly on Favoride and Ardoride to enhance the ability of gigantic space ships to transport goods.

However, the union between Momentus and Stable Road directors was confirmed following the consent of regulators and firm partners. The agreement is supposed to settle by the beginning of 2021. Afterward, Momentus dividends would trade its stock under the MNTS symbol. According to a statement by Kokorich, it illustrated that Momentus is at the lead of the new space business and is self-assured to maximize the chance to grow. Likewise, he said that the company’s goal is to offer infrastructure assistance to help other industries outside the earth. According to Brian Kabot, the Chief Executive Officer of Stable Road, he mentioned that they are planning to discover a disruptive firm. Momentus was a different and captivating chance to generate value through partnership. He concluded by saying that the firm is a spearhead in the increasingly growing space industry.

 

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News

Antares deploys the Cygnus payload space vehicle to the ISS

Northrop Grumman successfully deployed the Cygnus payload spacecraft to the International Space Station via its Antares rocket at the beginning of this month.