+41 768307656

Archive: 09/05/2022

Wind energy or Photovoltaic, which is the best?

Nowadays there are several sources that are not affected by quantity limitations because are renewed by the nature in different way, they are the renewable energies. The two most common and developed are wind energy (on-shore and off-shore) and solar (as photovoltaic), with some advantages according to the location where they will be placed, both are governed by environmental conditions.

Wind energy has the greatest advantage high energy density which relates to energy production in kWh and land occupied in sqm because they are developed vertically, on the other hand wind turbines can handle wind speeds from 3 m/s (cut-in) to 25 m/s (cut-out parameter).

Solar, photovoltaic energy has the greatest advantage to be cheaper than wind turbine, no cut-out parameter but they require more land area to achieve same energy production.

Over the years, cost of kW installed of both systems falls down until now when photovoltaic is cheaper the onshore wind energy, passing from barely 5000 usd/kW to less then 1000 usd in 10 years, while wind energy decreasing is less pronounced.

One the parameter that can help the reader to get a clear information of performance difference of both sources is the capacity factor.

Can be defined as the

unitless ratio of actual electrical energy output over a given period of time divided by the theoretical continuous maximum electrical energy output over that period.

The graph shows the capacity factor of all renewable energy sources and can be noticed that photovoltaic has a lower capacity than wind but at a cost that is 3 times lower than offshore wind and 0.5 times lower than onshore wind.

What is Data Driven Decision Making? A quick intro


Data driven decision-making has become a buzzword in today’s business world. Companies are using data and analytics to drive their decision-making processes and gain insights into their operations. This approach allows them to optimize their processes, reduce costs, and increase revenue. In this article, we will delve into the concept of data-driven decision-making and its importance in companies. We will also explore the works of Erik Brynjolfsson, DJ Patil, and Hilary Mason, who have made significant contributions to the field.

What is Data-Driven Decision-Making?

Data-driven decision-making involves using data and analytics to drive business decisions. It is a process that involves collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to gain insights into operations and identify patterns. By doing so, companies can make informed decisions that lead to better outcomes.

The process of data-driven decision-making involves several steps. First, data is collected from various sources, such as customer feedback, sales data, and operational data. The data is then cleaned and transformed into a format that can be analyzed. Once the data is prepared, it is analyzed using statistical methods to identify patterns and trends. Finally, the insights gained from the data analysis are used to make informed decisions.

Why is Data-Driven Decision-Making Important?

Data-driven decision-making has several benefits for companies. First, it allows them to optimize their operations and reduce costs. By analyzing data, companies can identify inefficiencies in their operations and take steps to improve them. This can lead to cost savings and increased profitability.

Second, data-driven decision-making can help companies to identify opportunities for growth and innovation. By analyzing customer data, companies can identify trends and develop new products and services that meet the needs of their customers. This can lead to increased revenue and market share.

Finally, data-driven decision-making can improve customer experience. By analyzing customer data, companies can gain insights into customer behavior and preferences. This can help them to tailor their products and services to better meet the needs of their customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Erik Brynjolfsson and Data-Driven Decision-Making

Erik Brynjolfsson is a renowned economist and Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a leading authority on the economics of information technology and has made significant contributions to the field of data-driven decision-making.

In a 2011 paper titled “Big Data: The Management Revolution,” Brynjolfsson and his co-author Andrew McAfee argued that data-driven decision-making was transforming business operations. They highlighted the importance of data-driven decision-making in improving operational efficiency and driving innovation.

The authors noted that companies that were data-driven were more likely to be successful in the long run. They cited examples of companies like Google, Amazon, and Netflix, who had embraced data-driven decision-making and achieved great success.

Brynjolfsson and McAfee argued that data-driven decision-making was becoming more accessible to companies of all sizes. They noted that the cost of data storage and processing had decreased significantly, making it easier for companies to collect and analyze data.

The authors also cautioned that data-driven decision-making was not a silver bullet. They noted that companies needed to have the right infrastructure, talent, and culture to make data-driven decisions successfully.

DJ Patil and Data-Driven Decision-Making

DJ Patil is a data scientist and entrepreneur who has worked for companies like LinkedIn, Greylock Partners, and the US government. He is known for his contributions to the field of data science and data-driven decision-making.

Patil has emphasized the importance of data culture in companies. He argues that companies need to develop a culture that values data and encourages data-driven decision-making. This involves creating a data-driven mindset among employees and promoting data literacy across the organization.

Patil also notes that companies need to invest in data infrastructure and technology. This includes data storage, processing, and analysis tools that enable companies to collect, clean, and analyze large amounts of data.

In a 2014 paper titled “Building Data Science Teams,” Patil emphasized the importance of collaboration in data-driven decision-making. He notes that data science teams need to work closely with business stakeholders to understand their needs and develop data-driven solutions that address those needs.

Patil also highlights the importance of experimentation in data-driven decision-making. He notes that companies need to be willing to experiment with new ideas and approaches, and to learn from their failures as well as their successes. This requires a culture of innovation and risk-taking, where failure is seen as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Hilary Mason and Data-Driven Decision-Making

Hilary Mason is a data scientist and entrepreneur who has worked for companies like Bitly and Fast Forward Labs. She is known for her contributions to the field of data science and her advocacy for data-driven decision-making.

Mason has emphasized the importance of data storytelling in data-driven decision-making. She argues that data needs to be presented in a way that is meaningful and engaging to stakeholders. This requires data scientists to have strong communication skills and the ability to tell compelling stories with data.

Mason also notes that companies need to focus on the right data. She argues that companies should prioritize data that is relevant to their business goals and objectives, rather than collecting data for the sake of collecting it. This requires companies to have a clear understanding of their business needs and to align their data collection efforts with those needs.

In a 2014 TED talk titled “The Urgency of Curating Data,” Mason emphasized the importance of data curation in data-driven decision-making. She notes that data needs to be curated and maintained to ensure its accuracy and reliability. This requires companies to invest in data governance and quality control processes, and to ensure that data is being used in a responsible and ethical manner.

Examples of Data-Driven Decision-Making

Data-driven decision-making has become increasingly common in companies across various industries. Here are a few examples of how companies are using data to drive their decision-making processes:

Netflix: Netflix is a prime example of a company that has embraced data-driven decision-making. The company uses data to personalize its content recommendations and to develop new content that meets the needs and preferences of its viewers. Netflix also uses data to optimize its operations and to improve customer experience.

Amazon: Amazon is another company that has leveraged data to drive its decision-making processes. The company uses data to optimize its supply chain and to improve its logistics operations. Amazon also uses data to personalize its product recommendations and to develop new products and services that meet the needs of its customers.

Ford: Ford is using data to drive its innovation efforts. The company is collecting data from its connected cars to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences. This data is being used to develop new products and services that meet the needs of Ford’s customers.


Data-driven decision-making has become essential in today’s business world. Companies that embrace data-driven decision-making are more likely to succeed in the long run, as they can optimize their operations, identify opportunities for growth and innovation, and improve customer experience. Erik Brynjolfsson, DJ Patil, and Hilary Mason have made significant contributions to the field of data-driven decision-making, emphasizing the importance of data culture, collaboration, storytelling, and curation. Examples of companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Ford show how data-driven decision-making is transforming business operations and driving innovation. As data becomes increasingly important in business decision-making, companies that can effectively collect, analyze, and interpret data will have a significant competitive advantage.

Natural Gas in Italy, a deep insight into the market

After several months of research, we are happy to announce our first report about LNG & Natural Gas energy in Italy. This report is the result of thorough research, data analysis, and consultations with experts in the energy sector. With over 60 pages filled with graphs, tables, and useful information, this report serves as a valuable tool for journalists, data-driven companies, and market insiders.

Natural gas is a significant source of energy in Italy, accounting for over 30% of the country’s total energy consumption. Italy is the third-largest natural gas consumer in Europe, after Germany and the United Kingdom. The country’s high dependence on natural gas has been driven by a combination of factors, including its role as a transitional fuel towards decarbonization, its flexibility in balancing intermittent renewable energy sources, and its relatively low carbon intensity compared to other fossil fuels.

The Italian natural gas market is characterized by a high level of integration with the European market, with cross-border pipelines connecting Italy to several neighboring countries, including France, Switzerland, and Austria. The country also has access to liquefied natural gas (LNG) through several import terminals located along the coast. These terminals receive LNG shipments from countries such as Qatar, Algeria, and Nigeria.

One of the key drivers of the Italian natural gas market is the power sector, which accounts for over 40% of the country’s total gas consumption. Natural gas is widely used for electricity generation, both in combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) and open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs). The use of natural gas in power generation is driven by its flexibility, low emissions, and relatively low cost compared to other fossil fuels.

Another important sector for natural gas in Italy is the residential and commercial sector, which accounts for around 30% of the country’s total gas consumption. Natural gas is widely used for space heating, hot water production, and cooking in households and commercial buildings. The use of natural gas in the residential and commercial sector is driven by its convenience, low emissions, and relatively low cost compared to other fuels such as oil and propane.

The industrial sector is another important consumer of natural gas in Italy, accounting for around 25% of the country’s total gas consumption. Natural gas is widely used in the industrial sector for process heat, steam production, and as a feedstock for the production of chemicals and fertilizers. The use of natural gas in the industrial sector is driven by its reliability, flexibility, and relatively low cost compared to other fuels such as coal and oil.

The Italian natural gas market is highly competitive, with several players operating in different segments of the value chain. The upstream segment is dominated by ENI, the country’s largest integrated energy company, which has a significant presence in the exploration and production of natural gas both in Italy and abroad. Other important players in the upstream segment include Edison, TotalEnergies, and Shell.

The midstream segment of the natural gas value chain in Italy is characterized by a high degree of infrastructure development, including pipelines, storage facilities, and LNG terminals. The infrastructure is operated by several players, including Snam, the country’s largest natural gas infrastructure company, and international players such as Fluxys, GRTgaz, and Trans Austria Gasleitung.

The downstream segment of the natural gas value chain in Italy is characterized by a high level of competition among gas distributors and retailers. The gas distribution network in Italy is owned and operated by several companies, including Snam, Italgas, and Hera. Retailers compete with each other to offer natural gas to residential and commercial customers, with players such as Enel Energia, Eni Gas e Luce, and Edison Energia.

Despite the significant role of natural gas in Italy’s energy mix, the country faces several challenges related to its energy transition. The transition towards a more sustainable and low-carbon energy system is a priority for Italy, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve this goal, the country needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, including natural gas, and increase the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower.

One of the main challenges for Italy’s energy transition is the need to ensure energy security and affordability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The country’s reliance on natural gas as a transitional fuel presents a trade-off between reducing emissions in the short term and achieving long-term decarbonization goals. To address this challenge, Italy needs to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources, improve energy efficiency, and develop new technologies to enable the decarbonization of the natural gas sector, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen production.

Another challenge for Italy’s energy transition is the need to address the social and economic impacts of the transition, particularly in regions that are heavily dependent on fossil fuels. The closure of coal-fired power plants and the shift towards renewable energy sources and natural gas may have significant implications for local communities and workers. To address these impacts, Italy needs to develop a comprehensive strategy for a just transition that includes measures to support affected communities, provide retraining opportunities for workers, and ensure a fair and equitable distribution of the benefits of the transition.

In conclusion, natural gas is a significant source of energy in Italy, with a wide range of applications in the power, residential and commercial, and industrial sectors. The country’s high dependence on natural gas presents both opportunities and challenges for its energy transition towards a more sustainable and low-carbon energy system. Our report provides valuable insights into the Italian natural gas market, its key players, and its role in the country’s energy mix. We hope that this report will serve as a useful tool for journalists, data-driven companies, and market insiders and contribute to the ongoing discussions about Italy’s energy transition.

With more than 60 pages full of graphs and useful information, our report is a tool for journalists, data-driven companies and marked insider.

Below you can find some excerpts of the content of the book.

If you are interesed in a copy of this selected report, write to us info@htc-sagl.ch

Do you like vibrations? Have fun!

Fourier wave generator

Wave generation concept & theory is the key to understand vibrations in industry with a consequence on maintenance.

Discrete: Allows you to create a wave choosing the armonics value. turn on the speaker to hear it!

Wave Game: Try to match the wave below by chosing armonics values. there are 5 levels, level 1 with one armonic, level 5 with 5+ harmonics

Wave Packet: A full in depth view of fourier wave generation

Waves on a string

With this game you can study the effects of resonance, wave fundamentals and damping. Try to play around with frequency, amplitude, damping and tension.

Have fun!

Wind Power Generation

A technical review

Wind power generation is the most preferred among all renewable sources of energy, since the ratio between the dimension of the basement with energy produced is very high if compared with solar or hydro.

Wind power generation is not a new technology. The first turbine used for power generation was built in 1883 in Glasgow Scotland by professor James Blyth

The world’s first windfarm was in 1980 consisting of 20 turbines is built in New Hampshire, but due to a failure, the project was abandoned

But after 10 year of experimenting and testing, the first offshore wind farm was installed in the 90’s in Vindeby (Denmark), with a total power of 450kW.

From that day, improvement in technology, R&D and materials led to increase in power generation by wind with a decreasing cost.

Power generation against wind turbine diameter

In the graph it is possible to see increasing rotor diameter and the worldwide power generation. The swing between 2013-2015 neutralize themself. From the information above it is possible to obtain the specific power generation per meter (as diameter) of the rotor.

Energy produced per meter of the rotor

It is worth to highlight that from 2008 the GW/m remains mostly unchanged until 2016; as said before the swing 2013-2015 is neutral to the analysis.

Compressor Inspection in Switzerland

Compressor and pumps are two rotating equipments that carry fluids inside a plant or circuit.

Two of the most common compressor used in industry are centrifugal and reciprocating, depending on the duty they are involved. Also axial compressor and screw are used in some applications.

For testing, exists two reference standards API 617 for centrifugal compressors and API 618 for reciprocating compressors. In both documents there is a dedicated section for inspection requirements, but the client can decide the extention of the inspecting activities.

We as a company have a vast experience with inspecting compressors, both centrifugal and reciprocating whose have some activities in common and some specific for their category. Starting from the very beginning of the construction phase, we assisted hydrostatic pressure test of the casing, that can house the cylinder in case of reciprocating compressor or the impellers in case of centrifugal compressor.

Centrifugal Compressor

Successively overspeed and balancing of the impeller is key step in ensuring compressor performance. Assisting to this step is very important because allows to verify the fundamental frequency of the impeller which is important for maintenance and performance analysis.

After balancing, performance and running test are performed. Performance test scope is to simulate process condition at supplier shop and determine the behaviour in terms of polytropic head and thermodynamic efficiency. To achieve this, there is a sequence of steps to follow in order to get the nearest result of the behaviour compressor can have under process condition.

On the other side, running test scope is to determine reliability/endurance behaviour of the compressor. After completion of both performance and running test, inspection of the bearings is done to verify wearing, scratches that are caused by tests.

Final stage is assembly and final inspection.

Being based in Switzerland, we have the assignment to witness tests from the first step to the final stage, packing

Reciprocating compressor

Reciprocating compressor inspection, starts with hydrostatic test of the casing that will house the cylinders. After hydrostatic, air & helium test are done to fully determine possible leaks.

Performance test is a key step for evaluate compressor behaviour and also cylinder head inspection is needed. In contrast with centrifugal compressor, after running test, piston allignment need to be measured and verify if in tolerance.

Packing is the last activity to do by checking tools and spare parts provision.

Hinkley Point C – Blade construction Inspection

Hinkley Point C nuclear power station (HPC) is a project to construct a 3,200 MWe nuclear power station with two EPR reactors in Somerset, England.

The site was one of eight announced by the British government in 2010 and in November 2012 a nuclear site licence was granted.

Power generation is made by two GE Arabelle nuclear steam turbine. One of the most important components in power generation by turbine is the shape of the blade.

As based a company based in switzerland, we were chosen to follow construction of blade of the 1st stage of the turbine by witnessing forming, welding, NDE and dimensional check.

Finished blades

Blades (airfoils) were made in Switzerland by a Swiss manufacturer specialized in airfoil construction for different applications, ranging from energy production to aviation.

Airfoil is made by shaping two plates, one for high pressure side and another for lower pressure side. After forming, the two halves are welded at the leading edge and trailing edge.

Finally after machining airfoil get his final shape and can be inspected for weld defects, geometrical deviations and surface condition.

Sellafield project – Weld Supervising

After 2 interviews with Sellafield representative our company was involved as Tier 5 on full time basis in supervising weld activities, NDE & FAT testing 5 gate valves intended for HVAC system lifetime operational. The valves were fabricated in Switzerland, Basel area.

Sellafield, located 500 km north London, is the biggest nuclear site in Europe. Covering 265 hectares, comprises 200 nuclear facilities, 1000 buildings and 10.000 employees.

Starting from 2003, nuclear production of power generation was shut down leaving operative facilities for reprocessing or storage of spent nuclear fuel and/or nuclear waste coming from Europe.

The site is due to be fully decommissioned in 2120.

The Project

The Box Encapsulation Plant Delivery Team is an unincorporated joint venture of Amec Foster Wheeler, Balfour Beatty and Jacobs.

The framework contract for the project was awarded in October 2014 and is being delivered as an integral part of the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo (MSSS) programme for Sellafield Ltd, which is tackling the clean-up of one of the most hazardous legacy facilities on the Sellafield site.

When complete BEP will deliver the capability to treat nuclear waste recovered from MSSS, immobilise it and prepare it for storage. In addition, the BEP may also process waste recovered during the decommissioning of other Sellafield facilities including the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond (FGMSP) and the Pile Fuel Storage Pond (PFSP).


After 2 interviews with Sellafield representative our company was involved on full time basis in supervising welding activities, NDE & FAT testing 5 gate valves intended for HVAC system lifetime operational. The valves were fabricated in Switzerland, Basel area.

According to Nuclear QA grading, the valves (or dampers) were classified with a quality grade 2:

Failure is likely to lead to a MAJOR but less serious radiological risk


cause serious injury to persons


lead to a breach of the Site Licence or Environmental or Statutory requirements


lead to SIGNIFICANT cost penalty


The construction of the valve isin 304L, 5 mm plate with metal-to-metal sealing and removable internal mechanic blade.

Welding process was divided in 3 stages to avoid deformation due to high precision required to ensure -0.5 mbar vacuum.

The first stage isthe fit-up; the second stage consist in more than 300 welds seams with different lengths, third stage only minor welds.

The welding process was manual TIG or GTAW with only one approved weld position, having an impact on the handling of the damper with final weight of 350 kg. One of the key parts of welding was the colour of the weld and the grade of inerting/shielding.

First weld layer was monitored in terms of forming gas flow rate, weld seam length (max. 100 mm) and welding parameters. Since back gouging was not practical due to low space, the entire body was sealed and inerted with forming gas. An oximeter was used for monitoring the quantity of oxygen generated during welding.

Surface wet pickling was not practicable due to impossibility to ensure water full dryness so the final surface condition was glassblasted (100 microns glass microsphere). A test was done the verify the removal power of the glass against weld seam colour. It was found that the colour of the welds where the O2 was above 30 ppm, cannot be removed.

After 200 working days all 5 valves were completely welded.

Before testing, cleaning was achieved with solvent; the chemical composition of the pure inlet solvent stream was monitored and compared with the outlet wasted stream. When the difference between clean inlet & outlet contaminants was zero, the damper was considered fully clean.

Testing was aimed to check vacuum tightness with obtained values of zero flow rate passing to the seats.