Page 3 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- May 2020
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 3 Professors Investigage Pumped Storage Opportunities In Retired Underground Mines
DS Tech Helps Companies Transition To Remote Workforce
HOUGHTON, MI —– March 25, 2020 — – Three professors from Michigan Technological University and Texas A&M University are inves- tigating a method to store power generated by alternative power sources by making use of unused and abandoned underground mining sites in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. If proven successful, the project could deliver a blueprint for providing continuous power from intermit- tent and zero-emission sources.
To meet the increasing demand for electricity across the globe, two relatively new sources of energy have dominated construction activity in many areas —– wind turbines and solar arrays. The advantage of these generation sources is that, once installed, they have no fuel costs or emissions and contribute minimally to global warming trends.
One major impediment to wind and solar energy is that they are intermittent; that is, they only generate electricity part of the time (rough- ly 25% to 33%), as there are periods when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine. That poses major challenges to the electric grid, which requires instantaneous, balanced power to keep supply and demand consistent.
Realizing the opportunity and potential, pro- fessors Tim Scarlett and Roman Sidortsov of Michigan Tech, and Joseph Dancy, a Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation (MTEC) board member and professor in the Texas A&M Col- lege of Law, have decided to investigate different methods to store power generated by alternative means. “Storage can offer relatively environmen- tally friendly support to the existing electric grid”, said Sidortsov. “This is one step in the right direction, accelerating change toward a low-carbon future”.
The three professors work with a larger team, supported by the Sloan Foundation, and are cur- rently looking at using the historic copper and iron mines in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They are investigating pumped storage – saving excess renewable power generated during sunny
or windy days for use during periods of high demand – using old mine shafts to store electric- ity. This is achieved by pumping the under- ground water up to the surface during periods of conventional excess power generation, then allowing the water to drain back into the shaft to generate power during periods of demand. This process would be a closed-loop system to reduce environmental impacts. “Pumped stor- age is a simple and proven method for managing intermittent power generation from renewable sources,” said Dancy.
Scarlett also noted that the former mining communities have vibrant cultural heritage. In addition to investigating the feasibility of pumped storage, the researchers realized the importance of protecting the cultural history of each area. “If we are successful, we might not only provide high-demand power from green power sources, but establish a design process that builds on community history and identity,” said Scarlett.
Dancy extended the trio’s research by looking at the applicability of pumped storage to solar facilities being constructed in West Texas, anoth- er historical mining area that is in the midst of a major renewable power construction boom. Texas has its own power grid, with rules that are somewhat different from those in Northern Michigan.
Dancy presented his Texas findings to the North Texas Renewable Energy Group earlier this month.
Last summer, Dancy and Dan Jamison, CEO of MTEC SmartZone, visited the L’Anse War- den power plant, a biomass generating facility on the shores of Lake Superior, as they investigated opportunities for businesses in the energy sector in the surrounding area. Several local manufac- turers are also attempting to address niches in the power sector.
Currently, the team is looking to secure fund- ing so student researchers can begin initial work this summer.
Leading Managed Technology Services Com- pany Giving Businesses the Capability to Work From Home
ESCANABA, MI — DS Tech, a leader in managed technology services, announced today that the company is proactively helping small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) rapidly transition to a remote workforce. With the outbreak of COVID-19, mandatory precautions have forced organizations to adopt a work from home policy. DS Tech has been setting up remote workforces for years and their expertise has enabled the company to be in the leader in their community and enable organizations to make a successful transition in a very short period of time.
Working from home is just as productive as working in the office if you have the right tech- nology and the right provider guiding you along the way. Today’s technology that is a must for collaboration, communication, and productivi- ty includes voice, videoconference, instant mes- sage, Office365, Microsoft Teams and access to files whether cloud-based or via VPN. Cyberse- curity solutions is a necessity as well because there has been a substantial increase in cyberat- tacks. Hackers are sending a flurry of COVID-
19 phishing attacks and are preying on workers sitting at home hoping to gain access to personal and company information.
“These are unprecedent times for companies and employees alike,” said Eric Wakkuri, Presi- dent of DS Tech. “Organizations have been asked to transition to a remote workforce, which is totally new for them. They don’t know what to do or where to begin. That’s where DS Tech comes in. We have had tremendous experience in this area because we have been doing this for our customers for many years. We have the tech- nology and a team of professionals that can rap- idly take a company remote quickly. Plus, we give our customers guidance on how to the use technology to manage a remote workforce and ensure collaboration and productivity happens.”
DS Tech, founded in 1976 as Delcomp, is a leading tech- nology provider. The company’s mission is to increase its cus- tomers’ profitability, improve their productivity and give them a competitive advantage by implementing the right technol- ogy. DS Tech is the only provider that protects its customers from the two risks of technology - obsolescence and cost. As its customers’ trusted technology advisor, DS Tech has earned the position as the market leader and its customers’ business through quality products and services.
For more information on DS Tech Inc., call 906-786-1699 or visit

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