lca-life cycle assessment

#Webinar: LCA – Life Cycle Assessment

The market has “dragged” many companies which weren’t entirely convinced into the world of environmental sustainability. This is why there are so many products which are falsely eco-friendly and there is still so much “green washing”.

The easiest thing to do is make a manufacturing process or a product’s feature “green”, hiding or creating negative environmental impacts during other processing or disposal stages or in the less visible aspects of the product.

For this reason, serious companies complete a LCA, which is a Life Cycle Assessment (analysis of the life cycle) of their products or sectors, whether it is to achieve an EPD or other certification, or whether they simply wish to know how improve. We asked Professor Giuseppe Vignali of the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Parma, to explain to us how to complete a LCA, also by giving us practical examples.

NS1 solar pump – Youngsters with a 100 years of experience!

Nova Somor resumed the journey that Somor in Lecco began in 1948 and ended in 1964.
We began by studying their engines to reach our NS1 solar pump.

Nova Somor, Ecomondo2014

Nova Somor will present its NS1 Solar Pump at Ecomondo

Ecomondo, the third largest European fair concerning environmental issues, will take place in Rimini between 5th and 8th of November. We felt that Nova Somor could not miss such an appointment. We will be located inside the “Sustainable City” pavilion, positioned at the east entrance of the Fiera di Rimini. Although obviously being indoors there will be no sun, we have developed a compressed air device which will allow visitors to view our NS1 Solar pump while running.

Nova Somor was born just three and a half months ago, and in terms of promoting the product, apart from a few appearances at various events, has focused its efforts almost exclusively on Internet. Attending Ecomondo is a sort of debut on the physical market in order to show the NS1 Solar Pump in operation and where it is possible for us to interact face to face with people. Daniele Gasperini, along with his partner Andri, presented his Elio Dinamic pump at the trade fair of Tripoli in Libya in 1936 and reportedly was very successful. We have much better conditions than he had: in those days exploiting solar energy was considered little short of witchcraft, there was no awareness of environmental impact and the only important fact was that the solar motor was perfectly aligned with the “self-sufficiency mystique”.

Nova Somor faces much better scenarios and we therefore hope that our presence at Ecomondo will gain the interest of visitors and of the media, and give us the satisfaction that the Product definitely deserves. Moreover, in early November just before the start of the Fair, an equity Crowd funding organised by Starsup will open which will allow many, if they so choose, to join and invest in this extraordinary Project.


The NS1 Solar pump in the pits of the Misano circuit

On October 12th, thanks to the hospitality of our partner Claudio Giannone, our solar pump was exhibited at the race boxes of Vacca Races Racing Team at the Misano Classic Weekend, a weekend of vintage motorcycles. Hundreds of people stopped by to request information, photograph the prototype, take leaflets and comment both about the NS1 Solar Pump and the overall Nova Somor Project in a positive manner. The box next door to Vacca Races was occupied by a large team financed by an Angolan bank and the mechanics and pilots, people who live or who have spent many years in Africa, picked up a lot of information concerning the solar pump operation whilst also giving us many tips to make it more “tropical”. They said for example that the beautiful bicycle wheels must be replaced with something more rustic, because otherwise they will be stolen at once! Then that the entire structure should be strengthened and many other things.

We made a lot of contacts and distributed dozens of business cards and we are happy with the time invested in Misano. We also gained a series of “interesting suggestions” from the mechanics of the teams close to our location, with a list of jokes and colourful comments such as: “What is it? An oven to pre-heat pilots?” “Do you cook pork in that oven there? “,” Hey, look at that nice cart! Is it for chestnuts? Flatbread? Vegetable gratin?? “” Wow, that’s a long thing! What is it? A coffin for Watusi? “. Once again our thanks to Claudio Giannone who gave us this opportunity and allowed us to take a peek into the world of vintage motorcycle fans.

Nova Somor, Jugaad Innovation

Nova Somor and the Jugaad Innovation

Nova Somor fully slots in to what is called “jugaad innovation”, or said as Italians would say: “frugal innovation”. Six years after the onset of the international financial crisis, the perception of scarcity is an objective issue that forces taking on drastic organisational measures. The latest research in the neuroscience and behavioural science fields shows how the perception of scarcity leads to a surplus of attention towards the desired achievement; that is “the end of the tunnel.” Focusing attention on the exit of the tunnel means focusing on what is missing and remaining indifferent to what you actually possess. This compromises individual and collective performance.

The Indian noun “Jugaad” indicates an organisational competence which is fundamental during this historical moment: the art of doing without, seizing the best professional opportunities precisely when experiencing considerable difficulties. The Jugaad Innovation approach is based on three principles: looking with greater awareness, being able to adapt to the surrounding conditions, knowing how to live complexity, reasoning along a systemic approach.

Musil, eliopompa NS1, eliopompa novasomor

“Society Debut” for the NS1 Solar Pump

The NS1Solar Pump, the first NOVA SOMOR srl product, finally made its society debut just like a young lady from a good family! A major conference took place on 10th October in Brescia, at the Museum of Industry and Labour in Rodengo Saiano: “History and current affairs of CSP with an Italian contribution” organized by GSES (Group for the History of Solar Energy). The event began at 10:30 in the morning and ended late in the afternoon at 6.30 pm. Our Solar Pump remained on display at the museum next to the remains of the 50s SOMOR pump for the entire day. A high school student body and all the conference participants were able to appreciate the evolution of the specific technology and were amazed at our NS1 which was really successful.

The location was splendid and the GSES chairman, Eng. Cesare Silvi, organised a conference with a rich and interesting program, with speakers of great quality and competence. The speakers’ large horseshoe table and the participants’ chairs were placed at the centre of the museum, among the huge shelves full of machines and artefacts of all kinds from different periods. The morning was dedicated to reports on the history of solar thermal power in Italy and to what one wants to accomplish next year for the occasion of “The year of the light” (The year of light and related technologies) and to the activities that GSES has achieved during its 10 years’ existence.

Early afternoon was devoted to low-temperature solar thermal power. After the intervention by Professor Marino Ruzzenenti, who recalled the earliest period of the technology between 1920 and 1940, three speakers from the University of Brescia described their work for disassembling, analysing and 3D modelling of the 50s solar motor and SOMOR pump kept at the Musil. We then listened to the exciting testimonies by Gildo Gasperini, son of Daniel Gasperini, inventor of SOMOR and by Angelino Olmeo, the son of a canny Sassari farmer who in 1956 allowed installing the solar pump in a well in his land. It was Gildo himself who installed that specific solar pump and Angelino, who was only 12 years old at the time, was assigned to the well. After these historical speeches it was my and Roberto Belardinelli’s turn to talk about current affairs and the future with our report entitled: “From SOMOR to Nova Somor srl: an Italian story that gets back on track”.

The final part of the conference was devoted to solar thermal power at medium and high temperatures, with highly experienced speakers on the state of the art technologies for tower and peak system boilers, and Fresnel systems for molten salts in systems using pipes placed in focal concave mirrors. The speech by Francesco Flora of ENEA concerning sundials and the newest solar compasses, which are essential for correctly pointing the mirrors of high-temperature thermodynamic systems, was also extremely interesting.

At the end of the event, a video message by photographer and artist Jamey Stillings was shown, which made us reflect on the fact that technologies for renewable energy also always involve an environmental impact. Unlike other types of power plants that are more “discreet” and therefore outside our perception, power stations such as the one in the screening have the advantage of being much more visible to our eyes. This increases the perception of how difficult it is to produce electricity and how it must never be wasted. The documentary showed us how the construction of the solar concentration station of Ivanpah, the largest in the world, has deeply changed the fascinating area of the Mojave Desert in California. Alongside the prerogative of saving electricity, the NOVA SOMOR low-temperature thermodynamic systems are inspired by the widespread micro production of energy, with an immensely reduced environmental impact compared with that of the large power plants.

The debut of NOVA SOMOR and of its NS1 prototype could not have occurred under better conditions or in a better place. The choice by President Cesare Silvi to organise something which resembled a round table conference more than a classic mass convention, allowed the participation of a very high concentration of competent people concerning the topics of the meeting and all those present to meet and discuss issues of common interest. The fact of being right in the museum where the exhibits of the 50s SOMOR solar pump are preserved, was a further plus, both cultural and emotional.



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Nova Somor srl at the races!

Whilst Ferrari pays out € 27 million of severance pay to liquidate Montezemolo, Nova Somor srl enters the racing world, we are speaking of motorcycles, without spending a single euro!

Through the courtesy of co-founder and partner Claudio Giannone, the Nova Somor brand looks great on the Vacca Races Racing Team’s motorbike! And our manifesto and other documents are displayed on the wall of their box. Thanks to Claudio we will also attend the Misano races on 11th and 12th October.

Nova Somor srl at the Musil of Brescia

A major conference concerning: “History and current affairs of CSP with an Italian contribution” will take place at the Museum of Industry and Labour in Rodengo Saiano (BS) in Brescia on 10th October.

Roberto Belardinelli and Giordano Mancini will attend giving a speech titled: “from SOMOR to Nova Somor srl: an Italian story that gets back on track”. The children of Grassi and Gasperini, the founders of SOMOR in 1949 and the son of Olmeo, the owner of a farm in Sardinia where one of the solar pumps was installed in the 50s, will be present and will tell their stories. On the side-lines of the conference, both the 1955 SOMOR solar pump and the one just developed by Nova Somor will be on display.

The Musil of Brescia is a major museum where some unique pieces that tell us the story of Italian high and low temperature solar thermal energy are preserved. The idea is to make it a place to work, do research and be inspired by the technologies of the past which is fully alive.

A solar collimator for the solar pump

These days there is no device, from a smartphone to the car’s navigation system, from a construction theodolite to the on-board computer of every boat, that is not “geo-referenced”! GPS (Global Position System) is everywhere in daily technology and it really seems that one cannot do without it. Naturally, each signal receiving device from the constellation of satellites is an electrical device with its consumption.

The origin and most important use of GPS is military: it is necessary to position troops, to safely move aircraft and ships, and also to bomb. There is also a very successful kit for the retrofit of old free-falling aircraft bombs, notoriously inaccurate. The kit is called JDAM and allows you to turn an old bomb into a device that falls with deadly accuracy on the “GPS point” that is assigned to it.

Both the use of electrical energy and the dependence on a military tool could not be acceptable to NOVA SOMOR, however, the solar pump must be oriented in the best possible way in order to capture the required solar radiation. This is why our solar pumps are equipped with a sophisticated precision instrument, insensitive to electromagnetic disturbances, which does not need to be powered by electricity: the solar collimator! Following the instructions provided, just place the solar pump at the right time next to the well, or any other location where the solar pump has to work, and the ray of sunlight passing through the sight will indicate the exact orientation. Another case where an ecological, economical and extremely simple and practical solution, which harks back to the operating principle of sundials invented thousands of years ago, is a more suitable and appropriate answer rather than the sophisticated and expensive newer technologies.