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GE tests new turbine enclosure for MMP

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first_img May 31, 2017 View post tag: US Navy View post tag: LM2500 GE tests new turbine enclosure as part of module modernization program Equipment & technology Share this article GE’s Marine Solutions announced it has completed a series of fire tests on a new composite LM2500 marine enclosure as part of the Module Modernization Program (MMP).According to the company, the tests verified that the composite material reduces weight and improves performance.The MMP is a program that seeks to inject updated technology into the gas turbine module system and reduce enclosure weight by approximately 50%, with the base structure excluded.Participants of the MMP include GE, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and the United States Navy; the program commenced in 2014.According to GE, the new monolithic composite structure of GE’s LM2500 marine module does not use bolted joints between the walls and ceiling. This feature improves assembly and noise attenuation through the elimination of noise channels. The use of composites also allows the module doors and access panels to be made larger, yet lighter for ease of handling. The use of composites eliminates rusting of doors, hinges and access panels, reducing maintenance, the company added.The assembly of a prototype enclosure is now underway and will be tested in a full-scale gas turbine test cell to confirm noise attenuation and thermal performances predicted earlier by component tests and analysis. The composite enclosure will then be subjected to barge shock testing to U.S. Navy requirements. These tests are scheduled to be completed by mid-2018.The gas turbine module developed under the MMP will be available in 2018 with the first application intended on the U.S. Navy’s DDG-51 Flight III ships. The lightweight composite enclosure and updated components will be available for international navies in 2018, the company said. Back to overview,Home naval-today GE tests new turbine enclosure as part of module modernization program View post tag: GE Marine Solutionslast_img read more

Sustainability in Big Sky Country

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first_imgThe young Blake family left Boston and moved to Big Timber, Mont., in the early 1970s to try their luck at cattle ranching. Since then, Francis ’61, Sandi, and their sons, Peter ’93, Alex ’96, and Amory ’98 (who was born a few years after the move) have spent the better part of five decades turning a patch of unloved dirt into a ranch and nursery built for sustainability. Alex, who was just a month old when he arrived in Montana, now runs day-to-day operations with help from his father and younger brother, Amory. He says that his parents recognized early on that the long-term viability of the business would depend on embracing smart conservation practices. The Gazette recently spoke with Alex, who was an economics concentrator and heavyweight crew team captain at Harvard, about the business and his views on the future of regenerative ranching in Montana, and across the country. BLAKE: While we have a long way to go on this front, our long-term goal is to restore our rangelands to their historic potential. This would mean much greater plant diversity, increased soil organic matter, better wildlife habitat, and ultimately healthier, happier cows. Some of the specific goals and targets that we think about are increasing our livestock carrying capacity through better grazing management, further reducing the need for livestock (hay, protein supplements) and chemical (herbicide and pesticide) inputs, and developing a herd that’s a better fit for our environment (smaller-framed, better adapted to our harsh summer and winter climate). Through our involvement in a soil carbon program we’re taking a lot of baseline soil samples that will allow us to track organic matter and soil carbon levels. The program has a 30-year commitment, and we hope to see significant improvements over that time period. All of these goals tie directly to our bottom line. Considering the relatively small scale of our operation, we know that without making continuous improvements to our management skill set and on-the-ground practices we’ll have a hard time keeping this ranch economically viable.In the spirit of enterprise diversity, we’ve also developed a grass-fed beef program that will improve financial returns on our cattle herd. We sell directly to consumers who are interested in supporting our care for the land and animals. These animals are finished here on grass, never in feedlots, are handled using low-stress herding techniques, and have never received hormones or antibiotics, so we feel confident that we’re selling a great product. Ultimately, we would like to market all of our cattle through this program or a grass-fed beef cooperative that shares these management principles and values.GAZETTE: Talk about the climate of sustainable ranching, and your place, in the state of Montana.BLAKE: We consider ourselves fortunate to be working with many like-minded partners in the sustainable/regenerative ag movement. I work part-time with a great nonprofit called Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE) that’s providing resources to ranchers using regenerative practices, and there’s a great network of progressive ranchers spread across the state and region who are alumni of schools and workshops that promote sharing ideas and alternative management strategies. We’re still a very small percentage of the overall ranching community (and I want to acknowledge that many/most of the “traditional” ranchers care a lot about conservation and good management practices too), but I think the movement has been gaining a lot of interest as producers become more aware of the realities of climate change and resource scarcity.GAZETTE: What is the future of sustainable ranching more broadly?BLAKE: I’m really excited about the growing interest in understanding soil health and learning about how we can build and restore healthy soils on our native grasslands. A soil health conference held in Billings a few months ago drew close to 400 participants. That same conference drew only about 50 participants just a few years ago. We see similar interest in WSE workshops that address grazing management, low-stress livestock handling, and “drought-proofing” ranches, among other topics, so I’m optimistic about the future of regenerative ranching as younger generations see the imperative to be better stewards of our land, water, and wildlife resources.We know that consumers are also demanding more accountability in how land and livestock are managed, so being in a position to meet and document these expectations is important for the future of our industry. In my opinion, the potential for building soil organic matter and carbon sequestration though better grazing management is one of the biggest and most important developments in our industry. This is why we’re really excited to be one of the first ranches to sign up with a new grasslands soil carbon program, which will pay us for verified sequestered carbon. This program is unique because it also provides up-front funding for infrastructure improvements, through stock water and fencing, that will increase our ability to manage our grazing.Interview was edited for clarity and length. Q&AAlex BlakeGAZETTE: When did your family start thinking about the importance of sustainable practices?BLAKE: My parents realized soon after they moved our family here in 1973 that protecting our grasslands and conserving our precious soils and water resources was really important in making this ranch viable. In the early years they started fencing off riparian areas and adopting rotational grazing practices. They formalized their efforts to this end in the mid-1980s when my dad attended holistic resource management trainings, which promote “healthy land, healthy food, and healthy lives,” and further realized that there were some alternatives to the traditional practices that were in favor at the time.At the same time my mother, who started the nursery in 1977, was seeing increasing demand for native hardy plants and recognized that there were very few, if any, nurseries in the area that were growing and promoting their use in landscaping. There was a clear need for these types of trees, shrubs, and perennials, and she had a strong interest in them, so this was a clear business opportunity for the nursery. Native plants tend to thrive in harsh Montana conditions that can include extreme cold, difficult soil, drought, and heat, as they need a lot less water than many non-native species that are introduced, and which can at times outcompete, or even take over landscapes. My brother Amory now runs the nursery (with valuable support from our mother) and he has continued this emphasis on plants that will thrive in our challenging environment. GAZETTE: Environmental concerns were only beginning to catch on in the 1970s. So was there something about the ranch itself that made your parents so aware of the need for sustainable practices?BLAKE: Our ranch is not large by Montana standards, and we have had limited baseline soil and water resources from the outset, so conserving and hopefully improving what we had was important from day one. We want to give future generations the opportunity to continue living and working on this land. Considering changing climate conditions and uncertainties in our cattle markets, that may not be an option without good management practices. We also care a lot about maintaining open spaces and keeping ranch lands and farmland intact, so not getting ourselves in a financial position where we’d have to consider subdividing has also been an incentive to manage as best as we can. What will make our ranch sustainable in the long term is our ability to work together as family and pursue these passions of ours here on this landscape. I really like that I get to work cattle with my wife, Abby, and other family members, and now my 11-month-old daughter, Mabel, is often along for the ride. It is powerful to share these enjoyable and sometimes challenging aspects of ranching with people we love.GAZETTE: What are some examples of the sustainable practices you employ?,BLAKE: We use regenerative grazing practices that attempt to mimic how this landscape historically would have been used by bison. In practice this means short-duration, high-intensity grazing with an emphasis on long rest periods. Our native landscapes in Montana need grazing; the types of species of plant life that grow in Montana don’t always do well when left to their own devices. A limited amount of grazing can stimulate plant growth, clean up old dead grasses, and as this happens, encourage deeper root growth and nutrient cycling.We have also built a low-input cow herd that fits our environment (low annual precipitation, hot, dry summers, and, historically, cold and snowy winters) and have moved our calving dates to be in sync with our grass resources and more favorable weather. So instead of the traditional February/March calving season, we now calve in May/June when the cows are on better grass (which means there’s less need for feeding hay) and the calves aren’t potentially being born in the middle of a blizzard. As a result of these changes we have almost no sickness in our cows and calves, and we have drastically reduced the need for antibiotics. In addition, we don’t use any hormones in our cattle.GAZETTE: Have you also been able to incorporate new technologies?BLAKE: In terms of powering the farm and nursery, we’ve installed solar panels for tasks like pumping livestock and irrigation water and for powering one of the homes and several outbuildings on the ranch. The nursery has specialized in low-input (drought-tolerant, winter-hardy) and native trees and shrubs for years and we work hard to promote practical landscaping that fits our harsh environment. We have completely eliminated synthetic fertilizers from the ranch and have significantly reduced our use of chemicals (herbicides and pesticides) in both the ranch and nursery.Recently, we started using an app called MaiaGrazing that allows us to track livestock movements and forage resources in real time. We’re also doing more soil sampling that will allow us to receive payments for carbon sequestered as a result of our grazing practices. When we do have to reseed pastures, we now use no-till techniques; this means that, through timed grazing and the use of cover crops, we’re able to avoid disturbing the soil, and we’ve stopped using the herbicides that are typically associated with reseeding. We’ve also recently installed a center-pivot irrigation system that will significantly reduce our irrigation water use. And we’re waiting for my older brother, Peter, to deliver a drone (he works in the industry) to help us find missing cows and to better monitor our range conditions.GAZETTE: Do you have specific goals and targets that you try to strive for? “I’m optimistic about the future of regenerative ranching as younger generations see the imperative to be better stewards of our land, water, and wildlife resources.”center_img The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

PODCAST: Raising consideration of credit unions

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first_imgAs a credit union branch manager in the 1990s, Chris Lorence found it frustrating how many members would have payroll deduction through the institution but keep their primary financial relationship elsewhere.They simply didn’t consider the credit union for most loans, investments, and other services.The same issue remains widespread today, he says. “As long as I’ve been in financial services, there has been the perception that credit unions weren’t for everyone. Consumers who aren’t members hear ‘credit union’ and think ‘car loan’ or ‘I could join one where I used to work.’” continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img

Verizon Wireless Customers without Service in Northern Michigan

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first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMichigan- Residents throughout Verizon experienced spotty or no service Monday morning due to an outage.Outages were experienced all the way from Flint up to the UP. The problem with many phones and internet was connectivity issues. Those problems began to die down around 1:00pm.To see if you are still affected by the outages, visit http://downdetector.com/AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Alpena Municipal Council Applies for State Grant on Behalf of NOAANext MNRTF Recommends Grants for State, Projects Around NE Michiganlast_img