Pittsburgh Technical Council

PTC Member News Round Up for May 2017

PTC Member News Round Up for May 2017

Article Published: May 19, 2017

Fort Cherry Elementary Students Power Up With New Discovery Zone

Students at Fort Cherry Elementary School are getting a hands-on experience with solar energy and the school’s energy consumption, thanks to a solar power installation by AYA Instruments Inc. The AYA solar power station and weather station will highlight the grand opening of the Fort Cherry Discovery Zone at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. AYA Instruments installed a solar power station and weather station in the Discovery Zone to help educate Fort Cherry students about solar energy and energy consumption. 

The Discovery Zone is used by students in grades K-12 of all content areas for several projects and activities, as well as staff and community members of the Fort Cherry School District. The Discovery Zone will include a worm/root garden, self-watering systems, shade garden, living salsa wall, and a wall mural. AYA was selected for the installation in the summer of 2016 after Dr. Trish Craig, the Fort Cherry School Director of Curriculum and Instruction, received funding from the Benedum Foundation, Grable Foundation, and Chevron, specifically the STEAM grant (collaboration with AIU3 and IU1), Expanding Innovation Grant (collaboration with Remake Learning, LUMA Institute, South Fayette School District, and Chatham University Eden Hall). With the help and support of the Fort Cherry maintenance staff, AYA installed both the solar power station and weather station at the Discovery Zone location, adjacent to the elementary school.

The off-grid solar power station supplies the Discovery Zone with 2000 watts of power to two AC outlets that also provide USB connections for student use. An off-grid or standalone photovoltaic system is not connected to the utility grid, instead producing its own electricity through the sun’s energy. In the future, the students will have the option of connecting a wind turbine or generator to the station. The station has a battery bank to store the electricity for later use. The students will be able to monitor the performance of the station with a web-based software program. To attend to the grand opening, please contact Dr. Trish Craig at 724-796-1551 X248.


Full-Scale Microgrid Powers Eaton’s Expanded Pittsburgh Experience Center with Enhanced Application Demonstration Capabilities, Training Space

Power management company Eaton today announced it has expanded the range of capabilities in itsPower Systems Experience Center (PSEC), a full-scale training, testing and demonstration facility near Pittsburgh. The 21,000-square foot facility in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, now includes a complete microgrid solution, which powers the expansion, as well as hands-on demonstrations of a utility substation and utility distribution areas serving multiple markets, from industrial to residential. The PSEC’s real-world training scenarios enhance learning opportunities for industrial, commercial and utility program participants that can be immediately applied to projects in the field.

“Our experience centers across the globe play a crucial role in giving engineers firsthand access to products and technologies powering their industries,” said Dan Carnovale, manager, Power Systems Experience Center, Eaton. “The new experiences we’ve added to our Warrendale facility allow us to display the full breadth of our offerings, from generator to plug, enabling visitors to improve their electrical engineering skills.

Eaton’s PSEC facility typically hosts more than 6,000 engineers, technicians and other guests annually. The expanded training center capabilities in the facility will enable Eaton to host four or more simultaneous sessions or customer events thanks to added training rooms and physical space.

New and expanded experiences for customers in the Warrendale PSEC include:

-       Full-scale microgrid featuring capabilities for solution testing and demonstrations for solar, battery storage, generator and utility feeds, as well as Eaton’s Microgrid Controller.

-       Utility substation featuring a capacitor bank, transformer, regulators, reclosers and feeder automation.

-       Utility distribution area featuring residential, retail, light commercial and industrial vignettes and a simulation of powerline reclosers in action during a lightning storm.

-       Trade school area featuring several training demonstrations, Air Flow Drive demonstrations, a power systems lab bench and a “behind the walls” display of commercial and residential facilities.

-       Student workroom featuring Eaton’s Wrightline testing and laboratory furniture.

-       Training room(s) featuring a multipurpose 80-person, state-of-the-art room for training purposes with Eaton’s new LED lighting solutions and lighting control system.

“Microgrid management is increasingly critical in the evolution of the power grid,” said Carnovale. “Our expanded training offerings in this area, combined with the ability to showcase a full-scale demonstration of this technology, will provide an invaluable opportunity for customers and students to gain hands-on experience with our microgrid solutions in a live environment.”

For more information about Eaton’s Power Systems Experience Center or to schedule a visit, visit www.eaton.com/psec.  


AT&T Invests Nearly $120 Million Over 3-Year Period to Enhance Local Networks in the Pittsburgh Area

At AT&T[i], we invested nearly $120 million in our Pittsburgh wireless and wired networks during 2014-2016. These investments enhance reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and businesses. They also improve critical services that support public safety and first responders. 

In 2016, AT&T made nearly 320 wireless network upgrades in the Pittsburgh area, including adding new cell sites and boosting network capacity.

“We’re investing to provide faster, more reliable, highly secure connectivity. We want our customers to have internet access at any moment, from almost any device—anywhere,” said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T Mid Atlantic.   “These continued investments bring residents and businesses in the Pittsburgh area a host of new opportunities.”

The AT&T LTE network covers nearly 400 million people in North America.

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) recently chose AT&T to build a nationwide public safety broadband network. The network will be dedicated to America’s police, firefighters, EMS personnel and other first responders when they need it. Should Pennsylvania opt-in to the FirstNet network, we will build upon our current and planned investments with a dedicated focus on the state’s first responders.

And we would expect to make a significant investment to upgrade and maintain Pennsylvania’s FirstNet network over the next 25 years, bringing your first responders the coverage, value and experience they expect.

For the third year in a row, FORTUNE magazine recognized AT&T as the Most Admired Telecommunications Company in the world in 2017. We also placed No. 37 among the Top 50 World’s Most Admired companies.  AT&T is the only telecommunications company on the list. We ranked No. 1 in all 9 attributes. This included innovation, financial soundness and quality of products/services.

We have an extensive Wi-Fi network with more than 40,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots at popular restaurants, hotels, bookstores and retailers. And we provide access to Wi-Fi at more than 1 million locations around the world. Most AT&T smartphone and home internet customers get access to the entire national AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spot networkat no additional cost. Wi-Fi usage doesn’t count against customers’ monthly wireless data plans.


Pittsburgh International Becomes First Airport to Partner with Tech Innovator Plug and Play to Drive Innovation

Pittsburgh International Airport and Silicon Valley-based Plug and Play announced a new partnership today that will help position the airport at the forefront of technology with the aim of improving the passenger experience and improving cost efficiencies.

“Being forward-thinking and embracing the latest technology are key goals for Pittsburgh International Airport. Airports should be leaders in the aviation industry, and Plug and Play will help us improve the customer experience and enhance operations,” Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis said.

Plug and Play will identify and connect relevant start-up companies looking to market the latest technology that fits with airport goals. With ties to over 6,000 start-ups and nearly 200 corporate partners, Plug and Play drives innovation on a global scale.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in airports and I truly believe that innovation in the space can help to improve safety and passenger experience to ultimately make the stay more pleasant,” said Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug and Play.

Through Plug and Play, Pittsburgh International Airport will be first in line for new and innovative technologies produced by tech companies at various stages of growth looking to implement their ideas on a large scale.


Bradley Brown Design Group has been selected as a two-time winner in the Graphic Design USA 2017 American Web Design Awards. The winning pieces were C2 Paint – C2 Color Video and our very own Bradley Brown Design Group company website. Both can be viewed on our website at bradleybrowndesign.com.

For more than five decades, Graphic Design USA has sponsored design competitions that spotlight areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals. The American Web Design Awards has expanded into a highly-anticipated annual showcase of the power of deign to enhance online communications, with a growing emphasis on web design, interactive design and UX design. Entries rose to 1,400 – a record – with a highly selective 15 percent recognized as a winner.


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