ABB

Power and automation technology group ABB has launched its new generation 420 kV Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS), which reduces product volume by up to 33 per cent (width x depth x height) to provide a considerably smaller footprint.

The unit’s compactness makes it ideal for use where space is constrained, and it reduces the SF6 insulating gas requirement by 40 per cent. It also reduces thermal losses, lowers transportation costs and optimises infrastructure investment.

The new GIS can be factory-assembled, tested and shipped in one container bay, saving site installation and commissioning time by up to 40 per cent compared with traditional designs.

Frontal access to drives, position indicators and service platforms enable easier operation, inspection and maintenance. Standardised modules and connection elements also enable flexibility in terms of configurations and building optimisation.

The product features a fast single-interrupter dualmotion circuit breaker, and has been designed for current ratings up to 5000 A. It is capable of providing protection to power networks with rated short-circuit currents up to 63 kA.

“A compact, more user friendly design, faster on-site commissioning and lower environmental impact are some of the key features of this latest generation of Gas Insulated Switchgear,” said Giandomenico Rivetti, head of ABB’s High Voltage Products business, a part of the company’s Power Products division.

With GIS technology, key components including contacts and conductors are protected with insulating gas. Compactness, reliability and robustness make this a preferred solution where space is a constraint (as in busy cities) or in harsh environmental conditions.


Schwarze-Robitec debuts cold-bending machine

Schwarze-Robitec

Tubes in materials with high-strength and high-fatigue strength are increasingly used in combustion chambers to withstand the strain of extreme temperature fluctuations in starting up and shutting down power stations. But processing these poses challenges in machinery construction and for the supply industry.

Schwarze-Robitec has responded with the CNC 100 DB Twin tube cold-bending machine, which has been developed specifically for bending boiler tubes and tube coils in demanding materials such heat-resistant steel alloys like T91.

“Ultimately, efficiency inside the combustion chamber depends on the tubes providing the greatest possible area for heat transfer with the tightest possible bending radii,” says Schwarze-Robitec’s managing director, Bert Zorn. “The bending challenge is much greater due to the high-strength materials.”

With the CNC 100 DB Twin tube cold-bending machine, specialists have constructed the required plant innovation and further developed the booster-bending machine process without mandrel.

Greater bending forces are needed to cold-shape the harder tubes, but the material reacts more sensitively. The process of the CNC 100 DB Twin has been optimised to achieve results under a 1D radius even with high-strength materials. With the CNC 100 DB Twin, two floating bending heads are used, which alternately bend the tube in opposite directions. The tube coil is not needed after each curve as the tube coils are transported at a fixed height above the hall floor using conveyor technology.

Large tube coils can only be turned only with huge effort, but the machines allow fast production of the tube system, says Schwarze-Robitec.


Flexitricity launches frequency reserve service in UK

UK company Flexitricity has launched Flexitricity Frontline, a below one-second demand response service for tackling frequency deviations in transmission and distribution networks to unlock revenue from existing electricity-generating equipment. The reserve service is procured under a new contracting mechanism with National Grid. The company also contracts to National Grid’s Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) procurement mechanism.

Dr Alastair Martin, founder of Flexitricity, explains: “System frequency is controlled in real time by National Grid by balancing electricity demand with generation. If there is a shortfall in generation, such as when a large power station fails, frequency can fall rapidly. Flexitricity Frontline is an automated smart grid system that aggregates frequency responsive capacity for National Grid, reducing loads and starting generation in less than one second.”

Flexitricity claims to have created and now operates the UK’s first, largest and most advanced Smart Grid system. The company’s technical team has spent more than 18 months developing and testing new hardware and software to support the service.

“Sites need to be able to reduce load or increase generation rapidly in response to a digital signal,” said CEO Ron Ramage. “This requires a higher level of engineering expertise than traditional demand response systems, and also means we need to connect with energy assets that can respond fast. We’re actively securing sites with Diesel Rotary Uninterruptible Power Supplies, refrigeration and cold-storage systems, together with energy storage and other loads that can be used at very short notice.”

Many businesses are sitting on untapped sources of revenue in their on-site generation and electricity consuming equipment. Flexitricity unlocks this revenue for UK businesses, helping to increase asset reliability while reducing CO2 emissions at a national level.


Micro-Epsilon launches high-resolution thermal imagers

Micro-Epsilon has extended its thermoIMAGER TIM range of infrared thermal imagers with two higher-resolution versions offering improved image resolutions to detect smaller temperature differences.

The thermoIMAGER TIM 400 and 450 thermal imagers can capture and store thermal video and images with extremely high optical resolution (382 x 288 pixels) at a full frame rate of 80 Hz (80 images per second). They are also equipped with new detectors providing thermal sensitivities of 80 mK and 40 mK respectively, which enables the cameras to detect even smaller changes in temperature. The smallest USB camera in its class – the TIM 400/450 – weighs just 320 g (including lens) with dimensions of 46 x 56 x 88 mm.

The new cameras come pre-calibrated with temperature ranges from -20 °C to +900 °C with an option to extend this to +1500 °C. The cameras are currently provided with 30° or 13° angle of view (aperture) lenses. The TIMConnect software provides tools for using the cameras in R&D tasks and process control. Other applications include test cells, automatic hotspot detection in quality control and automated industrial environments.

Protected to IP67, the TIM 400/450 can be installed in harsh industrial environments. The camera can be equipped with optional accessories such as a water-cooling jacket, which enables the camera to operate in ambient temperatures up to 240 °C. Other options include a high- temperature USB cable, mounting flange and angled connector.

The thermoIMAGER TIM 400/450 integrates easily with existing plant automation and control systems, and comes with an integral process interface for input and output of digital signals. Open connectivity drivers are also provided via DLL, ComPort and LabVIEW, simplifying connectivity to fieldbus networks and automation systems.


First North America order for Siemens SGT-750 industrial gas turbine

Siemens SGT-750

Siemens Energy has received a first order from North America to supply its SGT-750 industrial gas turbine. The purchaser is Energia MK KF, S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of textile manufacturer Grupo Kaltex. When commercially operational in October 2013, the 36 MW facility will supply electricity to the textile facilities operated by Grupo Kaltex in Mexico.

The Energia MK KF, S.A. de C.V., combined heat and power plant with a total installed capacity of 36 MW will be located in Altamira, in Tamaulipas State, Mexico. One third of the total electrical capacity will be used for the Kaltex facility on site and two thirds will be fed into the grid for other Kaltex facilities in Mexico.

The plant will meet about 40 per cent of Kaltex’s power needs in Mexico. The SGT-750 turbine will generate all the process steam needed for producing synthetic fibres.

Siemens’ supply encompasses installation and commissioning of the SGT-750 gas turbine, together with the electrical generator and heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), with supplementary firing system and auxiliary systems.

“This order from Mexico shows that our SGT-750 gas turbine is also gaining momentum in the 60 Hz market,” said Markus Tacke, CEO of the Industrial Power Business Unit of Siemens Energy. Siemens claims the SGT-750 gas turbine stands out for its high degree of availability and reliability. With a downtime of only 17 days in 17 years, if generator swap is done on site, this gas turbine has the highest uptime in its class. The modular design SGT-750 provides the ideal customised solution for excellent serviceability. The machine attains an electrical efficiency of 38.7 per cent, which corresponds to a shaft efficiency of 40 per cent.

The SGT-750 represents the latest development in the Siemens gas turbine portfolio. The very first order for the supply of a SGT-750 industrial gas turbine came 2011 from WINGAS GmbH, a joint venture of the BASF subsidiary Wintershall and the Russian company Gazprom.

The turbine will be deployed in the landfall station of the Nord Stream pipeline in Lubmin, Germany.


Primasonics launches Quattro sonic sootblowers

Primasonics launches Quattro sonic sootblowers

Working with two UK universities, Primasonics has designed a cost-effective, high-performing range of acoustic cleaners. Sonic soot blowers are an innovative alternative to traditional steam soot blowers.

Made from 316-grade stainless steel & fitted with a new wave generator, the Quattro Range ensures maximum cleaning performance over a wide range of plant applications.

Sonic soot blowers eliminate particulate buildup problems in key plant sectors. Aimed at the multi-horn installations associated with power generation, ESPs, boilers (power generation, industrial and marine) and baghouse applications, sonic soot blowers prevent ash buildup; provide 360° total tube cleaning; offer no risk of tube erosion or corrosion, and no damage to integral structure of boiler or other plant structures; significantly reduce the risk of soot fires; prevent internal damage to ESPs caused by mechanical rapping; significantly increase filter bag life and eliminate hopper blockage; and require minimal maintenance.

‘Sonic soot’ is caused by rapid pressure fluctuations transmitted into particulate or ‘bonded’ dry material, causing the solid particles to dislodge from the surfacet. Once dislodged, the materials fall, either due to gravity, or being carried away by the gas or air stream within the process.


Schott Solar monocrystalline module

Schott Solar monocrystalline module

Schott Solar has launched Schott Perform Mono 260, a high-quality monocrystalline module that delivers outstanding and stable electricity yield per surface, improved durability and long-lasting, sophisticated looks, according to its maker.

Significant developments in the latest technology from Schott Solar have resulted in the new module, which provides specifiers with a durable, yet lightweight, fully accredited, design-led module, according to Schott.

Schott Perform Mono 260 features high-power output supplied by 6″ monocrystalline cell technology, while the compact design offers a high-module efficiency rate of 15.9 per cent. Its three busbars (3BB) cell technology reduces electrical losses to ensure reliability and higher performance.

John Meadows, managing director of Schott UK, said: “Schott’s Perform Mono 260 offers an outstanding nominal output, combined with a highly durable construction; in fact, the frame design has actually been improved recently to be lighter and easier to handle due to a lower profile. The 35 mm frame with toughened front glass provides the homeowner with confidence that they will perform and last the 25 years even in severe weather conditions.”

The sleejer profile is defined by an enhanced black anodised aluminium frame, which offers easier handling and improved tactility, complete with sleek homogeneous black cells for a more streamlined look. Its hollow chamber reduces the weight of the module to only 19 kg.

Furthermore, Schott Solar has developed a special concept for the corners of the frame – these have been strongly reinforced and feature a hole for use in grounding. Wide drainage systems ensure that rain and condensation water is able to drain off at all inclinations and angles.

The completely symmetrical design of the Schott Perform Mono 260 allows for flexible installation, as well as an attractive appearance. The cells are tightly arranged together, made possible by using pre-formed connectors and an enhanced encapsulation material. This layout enables the modules to be installed in virtually any direction. There will also be an option to specify the module with a laminated black backsheet foil for a truly aesthetically pleasing finish.

Schott Solar’s main priorities are quality and long-term performance, therefore the company invests extensive time rigorously testing its products to ensure they exceed international standards.

The company has more than 50 years’ experience in the solar technology industry, and a proven record of product innovation and durability, as well as a commitment to quality control.

All Schott Solar modules, including the Schott Perform Mono 260, are climate-tested to double the criteria set out by the International Standard IEC 61215, ensuring long-lasting performance and reliability with a 25-year guarantee.


Sandvik opens steam generator tubing mill

Sandvik opens steam generator tubing mill

Sandvik has officially opened the world’s largest mill for advanced manufacture of stainless steel and high nickel alloy tubes for use in nuclear power plant steam generators at its facility in Sandviken, Sweden.

The new mill utilises the latest state-of-the-art technology, including innovative advances in equipment design from tube manufacture, annealing, final finishing, inspection and dispatch within one dedicated production facility.

Officially inaugurating the new mill, Jonas Gustavsson, president of Sandvik Materials Technology, said, “The energy sector is a key segment for Sandvik, and we see a lot of interesting opportunities for nuclear and steam generator tubing.”

The investment not only strengthens Sandvik’s position as leading global supplier of seamless nuclear steam generator tubing, it also provides the company with the flexibility and manufacturing capability to satisfy the requirements of the rapidly growing nuclear power industry.

Work on the site commenced in 2010, and has involved over 150 people and 330 specialist suppliers up to its completion.

At over 340 metres long and covering an area of approximately 12,000 square metres, the new mill is the equivalent size of two soccer pitches. It incorporates a fully automated flowline, in which the layout facilitates greater flexibility with short set-up and lead times.

A fully integrated computer control system ensures optimum utilisation of the automated production process from start to finish.

“Sandvik has been a world-leading manufacturer of steam generator tubes for the nuclear industry for many years,” explained Jonas Gustavsson.

“Today, approximately two and a half years after the investment decision, we now have a world-class mill. Through this investment, we are significantly increasing the capacity and thereby further strengthening our position in this market.”

Prior to the mill’s opening, Sandvik invested in excess of 120 000 hours of dedicated operator training to ensure that the advanced manufacturing is handled precisely and the plant is operated at optimum efficiency.

As could be expected with the installation of leading-edge technology, the mill’s design incorporates the latest in energy efficiency programmes and recycling capabilities. This includes the capture and recycling of heat from the manufacturing processes to provide energy for heating the mill and energy efficient lighting throughout.


Institute tests with Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder

Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder

The Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder has featured in a test set-up created by Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP) to offer an impulse-voltage calibration and testing service based on the international IEC60060 standard for high-voltage testing of the ability of electrical equipment to survive harsh conditions such as lightning strikes. IEC60060 standards prescribe testing with a simulated lightning overvoltage.

The voltage is defined as an ideal double-exponential waveshape with a front time of 1.2 µs and a time to half-value of 50 µs. The impulse generator creates a waveshape distorted with front oscillations at a higher frequency. Research has shown that these oscillations have a small impact on the electrical withstand of the test object, so IEC60060 specifies a standardised filter conforming to the experimental results. The digital filter is applied on measured data.

There are three major parameters to measure on a lightning impulse: peak voltage, front time and time to half-value. These need to be measured at very high voltages of 1000 kV and higher. The test object and the high-voltage divider are of considerable size – up to 10 or 20 metres tall – and this, together with the requirement for a flat frequency response from DC into the MHz range, challenges the measurement equipment’s calibration and design.

IEC60060 requires the tests to be performed with measuring equipment that has a traceable calibration. With equipment for these voltage levels, it is not generally feasible to transport it to a calibration laboratory, so SP has developed a test set-up, with the DL850 as an integral part. By bringing a high-accuracy reference measuring system for voltage levels up to 500 kV to the customer, SP provides traceability to international standards of measurement. Above 500 kV, the linearity of the system is proven by other recognised methods.

The Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder is a versatile instrument combining a high-speed oscilloscope and a traditional data acquisition recorder in a single, portable instrument. It features high-speed acquisition – up to 100 megasamples per second – over up to 128 channels.

A key feature is the isolated input module which, combined with the 100 MS/s acquisition speed and the 12-bit resolution, makes the DL850 ideally suited to measurements such as high-voltage impulse testing.


Avanti presents wind turbine service lifts

Avanti presents wind turbine service lifts

Avanti Wind Systems has presented two service lifts for wind turbines. The new Pegasus is a rack and pinion service lift guided by the ladder system in the wind turbine. The lift is pulled up and down through pinions geared by motors on the lift and a rack welded to the ladder system.

Avanti has developed the lift to accommodate different internal designa and tower dimensions, especially adapted for wind turbine concrete towers. The other service lift – Dolphin – is guided by wires. It has a sliding door that can be divided in an upper and a bottom part and the lift can be equipped with windows.

Both new service lifts have space for two technicians and their tools. And, like the other service lifts from Avanti Wind Systems, the new Pegasus and Dolphin service lifts can be put into service even during construction and commissioning of the turbine with the benefit that the technicians making the final installations in the turbine do not have to climb up and down the ladders.

The lifts cannot run if the door is open, but when the lifts are brought to a standstill and the technician is secured on his hook, inspection and repair can be performed from the lift.

Avanti Wind Systems has produced more than 16,000 service lifts for wind turbines all over the world. All Service Lifts from Avanti are approved according to relevant standards worldwide and manufactured with high-quality components and seawater-resistant aluminum.

The lifts can be used both onshore and offshore.


Boiswood launch differential pressure transducers

Boiswood launch differential pressure transducers

Wet-to-wet differential pressure transducer introduced by Boiswood – the Multi-Sense(R) 231RS from Setra Systems – can cut installation and materials costs, as well as shortening set-up times, using multi-sensors.

These sensors are installed directly into the pipe, with their electrical connections to the main housing being made via cables or conduit, which also significantly reduces labour costs.

Measurement start-up time is also cut, as purging air from the lines is no longer necessary. Materials costs are also reduced since the copper piping that connects traditional pressure transducers is eliminated.

These savings make the 231RS a cost-effective replacement for traditional wet-to-wet differential pressure-sensing technologies. The transducer can be used in the most demanding applications, such as in energy systems management, process control, liquid or gas flow measurement, and pressurised vessel liquid level measurements.

Available in both conduit and cable versions, the 231RS has four unidirectional and bidirectional switch selectable pressure ranges. Field-selectable outputs are true 4-20 mA, 0 to 5, 1 to 5 and 0 to 10 VDC, and push-button zero and remote zero capabilities are included, as well as a jumper-selectable port swap.

CE marked and RoHS-compliant, the units have a cast aluminium construction with NEMA4 rated housings.

An optional LCD is available for greater readability of output.

For more information, enter 89 at pei.hotims.com


Future Green launches 50 kW CHP unit

Future Green launches 50 kW CHP unit

Future Green, an Italian company that studies and builds gasification and cogeneration systems involving result-focused characteristics, has conceived a system that can use, as matrix, chipped virgin wood with medium-high (up to 40–50%) moisture content. The configuration of the syngas filtration process makes it tar-free.

The project has already resulted in an extremely performing combined heat and power (CHP) system with a consumption of about 0.8 kg per kWe produced and an output of 50 kWe and 80–110 kWth. In an immediate future, two further modules of 100 kWe and 200 kWe will be added, with the possibility of making larger power systems by just multiplying the number of modules. The footprint for a 50 kWe system is about 2.5 x 8 x 2.5 metres, excluding the feeding system.These CHP systems find application in all those fields where wood-cellulose wastes can be found, and can be profitably used with renewable energy CHP units with a short ROI and extremely low maintenance costs.


Meggitt introduces MEMS pressure transducer die

Meggitt introduces MEMS pressure transducer die

Meggitt Sensing Systems, a Meggitt group division, has announced the introduction of the Endevco model 40931, a low-cost MEMS-based flip-chip mountable piezo-resistive pressure transducer die designed to provide high-accuracy, high-repeatability performance within medical OEM, surface airflow and other pressure measurement applications calling for high output within a micro-miniature package.

With a 0–15 psia range and with 200 mV full-scale output (with 5 Vdc sensor excitation), the compact Endevco® model 40931 measures just 1.65 millimetres long by 1.2 mm wide by 0.4 mm tall. A sculptured silicon diaphragm design provides high sensitivity, high overpressure capability and a combined 0.5% non-linearity, non-repeatability and hysteresis specification, making it one of the most accurate pressure transducers of its size and type.

Four connection pads allow the sensor to be ‘flip chip’-mounted to a circuit or substrate using conductive epoxy. The MEMS pressure sensing element on the top of the sensor package enables surface mounting and serves as the sensing element for absolute pressure measurements.

All elements for the Endevco® model 40931 are machined in-house at Meggitt’s MEMS facility in Sunnyvale, California, US.


DP CleanTech cleans flues at UK waste-to-energy plant

DP CleanTech has been awarded a contract to supply the Flue Gas Treatment system for Devon County Council’s first waste-to-energy power plant in Exeter. The company has extensive experience in redefining complex requirements, and a proven track record in delivering reliable and cost-effective systems for meeting emissions standards all over Europe.

DP CleanTech will manufacture, design, install and commission the complete Flue Gas Treatment system, and was awarded the contract by EPC contactor Groupe Tiru SA, which is responsible for the overall delivery of the plant. DP CleanTech opened its specialised Flue Gas Cleaning Division in Wolverhampton, UK at the end of 2011.

“This project represents the next step in our growth strategy – flue gas cleaning being an increasingly important constituent of producing clean energy. Our decision to focus on the UK is validated with the award of this significant project,” said Simon Parker, CEO of DP CleanTech.

David Ryan, DP CleanTech engneering manager, said public misconception of emissions and health risk had been “a major hindrance to the waste-to-energy industry”. “We are confident we will exceed the most stringent EU standards, and drive a real change in attitude towards municipal solid waste as a practical and desirable alternative energy source,” he added.

The company plans to expand its waste-to-energy work in the UK, both in this and in converting biomass to heat and power. The 3 MW plant in Exeter will convert 60 000 tonnes of Devon’s municipal solid waste into renewable energy and help the county achieve its landfill allowance target set by the UK government.


Flowserve ships isolation valve for AP1000 in China

Flowserve Corporation, a leading provider of flow-control products and services for global infrastructure markets, announced it has shipped the first of several main steam isolation valves (MSIVs) to the Sanmen Nuclear Power Plant, located in the Zhejiang Province of China.

The MSIVs will be installed in Unit 1 of the plant, the first Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plant ever built. The shipment relates to several multi-million-dollar valve orders for the Chinese nuclear market booked with Flowserve since early 2010.

The massive MSIV, the largest of its kind produced by Flowserve, utilises a Flowserve Edward gas/hydraulic actuator. As part of the secondary system of the pressurized water reactor (PWR), the MSIV isolates the main steam line between the steam generator and the turbine. The total assembly of the valve and actuator together stands more than 6.1 metres tall and weighs more than 25 900 kg. The MSIV is designed to close within three to five seconds –critical if plant operations need to be shut down quickly.

The AP1000, the Westinghouse advanced passive pressurised water reactor, incorporates an innovative design that requires 50 per cent fewer safety-related valves, 80 per cent less safety-related piping and 85 per cent less control cable. This design also utilises gravity in lieu of mechanical equipment to provide emergency cooling water flow.

“The global nuclear power industry requires excellence,” said Arnold Wallace, president, Flow Control Operations. “After earning the opportunity to work with Westinghouse, Flowserve is proud to provide MSIVs for their new AP1000 nuclear power plant.”


Marsh Bellofram introduces gas pressure regulators

Marsh Bellofram introduces gas pressure regulators

The BelGAS division of Marsh Bellofram Corporation, a member of the Marsh Bellofram Group, has introduced the Type P133, a versatile direct operating pressure regulator, designed to offer high-performance gas monitoring and reduction capabilities within industrial and residential environments.

Offered with a wide range of pressure capabilities within a single regulator, from 2″ of water column up to 10 psig, the compact Marsh Bellofram Type P133 reduces the effects of supply pressure changes on output pressure via a balanced diaphragm design for accurate control. With user selection of appropriate options, the regulator can be further utilised in either low or high-pressure applications.

Units are designed to operate in a temperature range of -20 °F to +150 °F (-29 °C to +66 °C). The bubble-tight shut-off feature makes the Type P133 ideal for use with residential and light industrial heaters and industrial burners, as a reliable means of supplying gas to furnaces, burners, light industrial heaters and other appliances. No seat-to-seat adjustment is required.


DJB Instruments claims accelerometer breakthrough

DJB claims a technological advance with a new range of piezo-electric voltage accelerometers that works in high-temperature environments: 185 °C with a further increase to 225 °C just around the corner.

This “significant breakthrough” in vibration sensor technology from DJB Instruments means that tests in challenging high- temperature environments will be significantly easier, cheaper and more reliable, says the company.

The product is aimed at a wide range of applications and engineers working in industries such as oil and gas, energy, aviation, aerospace, automotive and communications will find the versatility the industrial accelerometers provide invaluable.

Paul Hunter, managing director of DJB Instruments (UK) Ltd, said: “We’re confident this device will make a big difference to engineers faced with the challenges of collecting data from high-temperature environments.”

Until now, conventional voltage accelerometer electronics have operated within a traditional limit of 125 °C, placing severe limitations when working within challenging environments, said the company.

Ken Brown, a consultant who has worked extensively with vibration transducers, said: “The new high-temperature voltage output (QVC) accelerometers will provide engineers with an opportunity to use these for instrumentation and cabling work on hot surfaces. It represents a significant cost saving over the previous alternatives.”

Working to a DJB’s design, the migration of the traditional low- temperature control electronics to a high-temperature, SOI-based ASIC device has been carried out by GE Aviation Systems. The control device has been assembled using high- temperature electronics packaging technology with piezo-electric accelerometers.


Swedish Institute tests with Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder

Swedish Institute tests with Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder

The Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder is part of a test set-up created by Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP) to offer an impulse-voltage calibration and testing service based on the IEC60060 standard for high-voltage.

To test the ability of electrical equipment to survive harsh conditions such as lightning strikes, standards such as IEC60060 prescribe testing with a standardised simulated lightning overvoltage. This is defined in IEC60060 as an ideal double-exponential waveshape with a front time of 1.2 µs and a time to half-value of 50 µs.

During testing, the impulse generator creates a waveshape distorted with front oscillations at a higher frequency. These oscillations have a small impact on the electrical withstand of the test object, and IEC60060 specifies a standardised filter that conforms to the experimental results. It has a digital filter applied on digitised measured data.

There are three major parameters to measure on a lightning impulse: peak voltage, front time and time to half-value. These need to be measured at voltages of 1000 kV and higher. The test object and the high-voltage divider are of considerable size – up to 10 or 20 metres tall.

IEC60060 requires that the tests are performed with measuring equipment that has a traceable calibration. With equipment for these voltage levels, it is not generally feasible to transport it to a calibration laboratory, and so SP has developed a test set-up, with the DL850 as an integral part, to bring the calibration laboratory to the customer. Above 500 kV, the linearity of the system is proven by other methods that are recognized in the standard. The first stage is a resistive voltage divider.

The scale factor is determined by measuring DC resistance, and is then extended to the megahertz range by measuring the step response using a special 200 V step generator and applying convolution methods. The cables, attenuators and termination resistor are also part of the measuring system, and the resistance values of these are used to determine the scale factor. The frequency response of this set-up is flat to at least 500 MHz, providing excellent performance.

The Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder is a versatile instrument that combines a high-speed oscilloscope and those of a traditional data acquisition recorder in a single, portable instrument. It has high-speed acquisition up to 100 megasamples per second; over 128 channels; the ability to carry out real-time recording; a powerful user interface; and a comprehensive range of PC interfacing capabilities.


Masaood John Brown opens repair facility in Dubai

Masaood John Brown’s (MJB) houses and operates a new state-of-the-art repair facility that has had significant investment in their product capability portfolio in addition to considerable investment in previous years. MJB’s Jebel Ali, Dubai customised air-conditioned workshops now extend to 8000 m2 with full capability to repair heavy industrial gas turbine stationary and rotating parts, including FA & DLN Technology.

MJB can now offer re-blade and balancing of rotors up to and including Frame 9, as well as offer their stock exchange pool rotors across the full range of GE Frame gas turbines, including a FS9 turbine section and re-bladed compressor section. This allows MJB to continue to ensure customers in the region and internationally have access to critical parts on an urgent basis.

Additionally, MJB are now able to perform extensive gas turbine package refurbishment, including full zero-hour remanufacture of the GE range of frame gas turbines.

“We are extremely proud of the new facilities the expansion project has delivered, and we continue to take pride in our reputation for providing world-class service and delivering quality, cost-effective solutions for the operation and maintenance of gas turbine plant,” said Brian Waddell, MJB’s general manager.

MJB’s history goes back as far as 1967, when Mohamed Bin Masaood (Al Masaood Group) started to establish a network in the region with the support of John Brown Engineering Ltd. in Scotland, UK.


Omicron releases RelayLabTest test software

Omicron has launched RelayLabTest, which it describes as a powerful new test software that enables users to assess the overall performance of protection devices under realistic operating conditions.

Test signals are calculated on the basis of a network simulation and directly output on Omicron’s CMC devices. RelayLabTest is easy to use and requires no special simulation or programming skills. It already complies with the requirements for simulation tests according to the future standard IEC 60255-121 for distance protection devices.

The setting up and execution of comprehensive tests is very convenient as RelayLabTest offers unique modeling and test automation functions. The grid editor allows the user to model complex power networks within minutes. Any network or fault parameter can be varied automatically, thus making the software ideal for manufacturers’ type testing or acceptance testing undertaken within utilities. The creation of thorough tests with a large number of test shots takes only a few mouse clicks.

RelayLabTest enables the user to define extensive test sequences in order to simulate complex fault scenarios such as cross-country and evolving faults. These sequences may include multiple fault incidents and breaker operations in response to the relay commands. This not only allows for the simulation of sophisticated auto-reclosure cycles, but also offers the possibility to perform iterative closed-loop tests of one or more protection relays.


Silicon Designs launches MEMS accelerometers

Silicon Designs launches MEMS accelerometers

Silicon Designs, Inc. (SDI) – a manufacturer of industrial-grade MEMS capacitive accelerometer chips and modules – has introduced a high-precision accelerometer with simple four-wire snap-in removable connector, designed to allow users the ability to exchange, move, reposition, and replace accelerometers within a given test set-up for greater flexibility, convenience and cost savings.

The Silicon Designs Model 2266 is tailored for zero-to-medium frequency applications and offers integral amplification and high-drive, low- impedance buffering for precision measurements. The accelerometer produces two analogue voltage outputs and supports both single-ended and differential modes. Signal outputs are fully differential, about a 2.5 V common mode voltage. Sensitivity is independent from the supply voltage of +8 to +32 V.

At zero acceleration, the output differential voltage is nominally 0 VDC; at full-scale acceleration, the output differential voltage is ±4 VDC. The sensors feature on-board voltage regulation and an internal voltage reference that eliminates precision power supply requirements. It is relatively insensitive to temperature changes and thermal gradients, and self-calibration is quick and easy.


NNL and ARES collaborate on nuclear security

UK National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and ARES Software UK (ARES) have signed a partnership agreement in security software. In addition, NNL has undertaken the first application of ARES AVERT software outside the US.

AVERT allows organisations to simulate both an attack on a facility – such as a military installation, airport or nuclear plant – and to simulate possible responses of security forces and physical protection equipment. The event scenario can be visualised from the viewpoint of attackers, defenders or other perspectives, such as any CCTV camera locations. AVERT also allows a quantitative assessment of the security response, allowing different approaches to be compared.

NNL has worked with ARES to test and develop the AVERT product to simulate potential assaults on NNL’s own Central Laboratory facility on the Sellafield site in Cumbria – the first such application outside the US. NNL and ARES will work together to offer this product to nuclear and other key sectors where defence against terrorists is a major consideration.

The agreement was announced in London by NNL Managing Director Paul Howarth and ARES Corporation President Dr William Vantine. “Our work with ARES has allowed both organisations to bring our key expertise and capability in our respective fields to develop a superb solution, to security issues,” said Paul Howarth. “We are working together to bring this solution to the market, and I am confident that we will be successful – both in the nuclear field and in other key sectors where security is paramount.”

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