John Crane UK has introduced an advanced new method of wirelessly monitoring the condition of rotating equipment and associated machinery in difficult or hazardous environments.

Building on John Crane’s experience in remote monitoring technologies, the new DART 1 wireless monitoring system provides operators with the accurate and reliable information they require to make informed decisions about plant and machinery conditions.

The ATEX Zone 1 certified DART 1 system can be used in numerous hazardous area applications. Machinery located inside platform legs can be monitored round–the-clock without the need for personnel to enter the area themselves; while critical equipment mounted inside enclosures can be assessed without the need for access, or for safety systems to be overridden. Even normally inaccessible equipment such as fin fans, pedestal cranes or unmanned installations can be monitored easily and reliably.

The DART 1 system combines a series of battery-powered sensor nodes and a gateway facility with proprietary John Crane software. Each sensor node is a wireless data acquisition and processing system which can be configured to take detailed measurements, at user-defined intervals, on the performance of the equipment being monitored.

The sensors then carry out significant onboard signal processing which reduces the amount of data that needs to be sent back to the gateway unit over the wireless link. This enables each DART 1 sensor node to operate for up to 8 years between battery changes.

The wireless method of operation reduces both the cost and time required for installation, and multiple sensor nodes can transmit data back to one gateway unit. They can also act as wireless routers which allow data to be ‘multi-hop’ transmitted, wirelessly, over larger distances than would otherwise be possible, according to John Crane.

The DART 1 system can be accessed remotely and securely via the internet, allowing the condition of machinery to be monitored from any location in the world using just a standard computer.

John Crane says the system is virtually maintenance-free, can be configured to provide data for third-party systems and set to turn off automatically and ensure radio silence when required.

“The strength of DART 1 is the combination of flexibility, reliability and safety that it provides,” said Colin Ure, general manager at John Crane UK. “It is ideal for routine monitoring and for short-term data capture or performance testing exercises on critical machines. It can also be used in root cause analysis projects, or situations where round-the-clock surveillance is required after routine logging has failed to pinpoint an intermittent fault.”


Yokogawa signs deal with Belden

Yokogawa Electric Corp has signed a supply agreement with Belden, a global manufacturer whose products include the Hirschmann brand of industrial network switches for connecting the different components of a control network.

This new agreement will allow Yokogawa to provide a long term and stable supply of Hirschmann’s industrial ethernet switches to its customers for use with the Yokogawa Vnet/IP(R) high-speed control network.

Under the terms of the agreement, Yokogawa will sell these network switch products to its customers and provide maintenance services that facilitate the configuration of highly reliable control networks.

The construction of reliable plant control networks requires high performance network switches that are reliable and have strong resistance to hostile environments with extreme ambient temperatures and corrosive gases.

In addition, the continuous supply and maintenance of switches must be ensured at each stage of the plant lifecycle. Yokogawa will offer Hirschmann brand network switches from Belden because customers value a low failure rate and high environmental resistance. In addition, Hirschmann’s industrial ethernet switches are, says Yokogawa, the perfect choice for configuring control networks in plants in demanding environments that must operate with long-term stability.

The Yokogawa Vnet/IP(R) high-speed control network allows control information to be transmitted between the devices such as human interface stations and controllers that comprise a control system. The Vnet/IP control network is used in Yokogawa’s CENTUM(R) VP integrated production control system and ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system.


Hansen supplies 6 MW gearbox

Hansen Transmissions International NV has officially delivered the first 6 MW gearboxes for China’s first 6 MW wind turbine. The firm has officially delivered its first made-for-China 6 MW gearboxes for the Sinovel SL 6000.

Hansen says the new gearbox is suited for offshore use, and was designed and engineered in close co-operation with Sinovel. Hansen has many multi-megawatt gearboxes in operation and its design experience, engineering know-how and product lifecycle management were combined to create a robust, compact and easy-to-service gearbox.

The new gearbox has ocean-specific features including an adapted lubrication, increased safeties on structural components, special bearing technologies and a more powerful cooling system. The gearbox is designed for increased serviceability and advanced condition monitoring.

With the delivery of this new gearbox in the Chinese market, Hansen says it has proven it can support OEMs all over the world with customised solutions up to 6.15 MW and beyond, prototypes as well as serial production.

Hansen Transmissions chief executive Alex De Ryck said: “We believe in the future growth and sustainability of wind energy in China. It is for this reason that Hansen Transmissions is making substantial investments in China. We have already established a significant assembly and testing facility. We are on schedule to establish a fully fledged business set-up, which will include the most modern and precise manufacturing technologies, an extensive R&D team, technical support and business development.”


Rolls-Royce tidal prototype feeds 100 MWh into the grid

Rolls-Royce has achieved a significant milestone in the deployment of tidal energy technology with confirmation that its prototype tidal turbine, located subsea off the Orkney Islands, Scotland, has successfully generated and fed over 100 MWh of electrical power into the national grid.

Harnessing the reliable and predictable energy of tidal streams, the 500 kW tidal turbine prototype was designed and built by Rolls-Royce’s wholly owned subsidiary Tidal Generation.

“Rolls-Royce has injected its world-class engineering expertise and incubation processes to deliver this innovative renewable energy project,” said Robert Stevenson, vice-president of Rolls-Royce Power Ventures.

“Reaching the 100 megawatt-hours milestone highlights the significant potential of cleaner, greener tidal power as part of a diversified UK energy mix. Having proven the capability of tidal energy, Rolls-Royce is well placed to meet any future demand with larger, more efficient technology on a commercial scale.”

Installed as part of the Deep-Gen III project, co-funded by the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board, the Rolls-Royce prototype tidal turbine is currently deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) offshore test site off the Orkney Islands, Scotland.

It is the first EMEC located project to both receive Renewable Obligation Certificates and to reach 100 MWh of supply to the grid.

The tidal unit’s three-bladed turbine is attached by a tripod to the seabed and can operate, fully submerged at water depth of 40 metres. Its design allows the turbine to continually rotate to face the incoming tide at an optimal angle.

In addition, the turbine unit is semi-buoyant and can be easily towed to and from the point of operation, minimising installation and maintenance costs by avoiding the need for specialist vessels, according to Rolls-Royce.

Neil Morgan, head of energy at the Technology Strategy Board, said: “This is a significant milestone for the UK marine renewables industry. The UK is well-placed to exploit tidal stream energy resources and, if commercialised on a large scale, this technology could be an important part of the renewable energy mix we’ll need in the future, and could create jobs and exports for the UK.”


New FAG WiPro system launched

The Schaeffler Group’s maintenance management and condition monitoring division, Schaeffler Industrial Aftermarket (IAM), has launched an improved version of its FAG WiPro online condition monitoring system.

The new system is more compact than its predecessor and offers increased functionality and flexibility. The new individual modules – the monitoring unit and the multiplexer – are now integrated in a single, compact unit that Schaeffler says offers a high degree of flexibility for end users. The new FAG WiPro is ideal for permanent condition monitoring of wind turbines.

Unlike its predecessor, the new system combines all control modules into a single compact housing, which measures 260 x 150 x 90 mm, enabling easy installation in control cabinets. The integrated multiplexer enables the recording of signals from up to eight different sensors.

The new FAG WiPro can save up to 16 separate monitoring tasks and execute these automatically, according to the Schaeffler Group. The system is protected to IP67 and can therefore be installed in harsh environments, in ambient temperatures ranging from -20 °C to +70 °C, says its maker.

The system monitors vibration conditions which, if left undetected, can cause costly unplanned shutdowns of wind turbines. These conditions include damage to bearings and gears, as well as shaft misalignments. If a specified threshold value or alarm limit is exceeded, the system triggers an alarm.

The vibration monitoring data can be analysed directly on site at the central control station or this data can be retrieved via a TCP/IP communications link and analysed by either the end user or by Schaeffler Industrial Aftermarket Services. This means that operators can make changes to system parameters remotely from anywhere in the world.


Reactec updates HAVmeter

Vibration company Reactec has officially launched the ATEX HAVmeter, a new version of its HAVmeter device designed for potentially dangerous or hazardous environments.

The ATEX-accredited version of the HAVmeter system – designed to protect workers protected from contracting chronic injuries from vibrating power tools – can now be deployed in the UK offshore oil and gas, nuclear sector and petrochemical industries.

The HAVmeter technology monitors vibration levels to prevent workers from contracting Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) – one of the biggest risks associated with using vibrating power tools or equipment. More commonly known as Vibration White Finger, the disease affects the functionality of blood vessels and can result in symptoms such as numbness or tingling of the fingers, loss of strength in the hands and the cold whitening of the fingertips.

By recording the vibration exposure levels and trigger times from vibrating power tools, the HAVmeters help to provide an in-depth and accurate overview of every employee’s vibration exposure so that they do not exceed the levels stipulated by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

The ATEX HAVmeters have also been designed specifically to comply with European ATEX and International IECEx directives required for potentially hazardous and explosive atmospheres.

ATR Group, Reactec’s UKCS Oil and Gas partner, has successfully rolled out the system across a number of key North Sea oil and gas projects.

Jim O’Hagan, managing director of Reactec, said: “The ATEX HAVmeter, which is a variation on our award-winning design, has been fully certified by Baseefa and adheres to the ATEX directives required for workers’ safety. It has a hazardous area classification of Zone 0.”


Emerson extends pH sensor line

Emerson Process Management has added a new rugged pH sensor line to the its pH product families. The new Rosemount Analytical Model RB Sensor is designed for optimum sensor life in demanding scrubber applications.

pH sensors are most vulnerable to failure due to poisoning of the reference junction. The new RB sensor features a proprietary multi-junction that hinders reference poisoning. This design is particularly successful against the aggressive sulphides found in scrubbers, says Emerson, as the multi-junction reference chamber of the RB extends survivability. In addition, the sensor is built of chemically resistant Kynar adding to its long life.

“Now, our customers have an exceptional range of long-life pH sensors from which to choose,” said Linda Meyers, senior product manager.

“Our PERpH-X line of sensors allows extended operation in high heat and pressure. The popular TUpH family resists coating in applications with high suspended solids. And now the RB fits nicely into the line when chemical resistance is the primary challenge.”

Instead of replacing the entire sensor, the Model RB Sensor can be simply reassembled inside its titanium sheath high-pressure body, reducing costs for replacement and shipping.

The sensor allows for optional installation methods including in-line, submerged or ball-valve insertion.


L-3 MAPPS full-scope simulator for Olikiluoto passes testing

L-3 MAPPS’ Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) nuclear power plant full scope simulator (FSS), the first-ever FSS for an EPR plant, has passed preliminary acceptance testing in Olkiluoto, Finland.

In co-operation with the direct project client AREVA, L-3 MAPPS successfully delivered, installed and commissioned the FSS in early July. AREVA is now using the simulator to support training exercises.

“We are thrilled to be part of the team that has made the very first Generation III+ plant full scope simulator operational,” said Michael Chatlani, vice president of L-3 MAPPS Power Systems and Simulation.

“Working closely with our teammates to overcome a host of technical complexities, this achievement marks a significant breakthrough in the nuclear power plant simulation field.”

During the first phase of OL3 FSS acceptance testing, a battery of tests was performed and approved covering normal operations – from cold shutdown to 100 per cent full power, and from 100 per cent full power to hot, intermediate and cold shutdown, as well as for mid-loop operations and core performance. In addition, numerous transient tests were successfully demonstrated.

The OL3 FSS runs on L-3 MAPPS’ state-of-the-art Orchid simulation environment, which features advanced instructor station capabilities and a proven Windows-based graphical simulation environment.

L-3 MAPPS has supplied plant models for the reactor, thermal-hydraulic systems, conventional plant hydraulic systems and electrical systems, as well as certain instrumentation and control (I&C) systems not controlled by the digital control systems (DCS).

The L-3 MAPPS simulation environment is coupled with AREVA- and Siemens-supplied DCSs, replica control room panels, and a stimulated human-machine interface system.

The safety system’s DCS is AREVA’s Teleperm XS, and the operational I&C DCS system is Siemens’ SPPA-T2000 with an OM690 human-machine interface.


HP offers smart meter cloud

HP has extended its managed service capabilities to offer a smart meter cloud service for the utility industry.

HP has leveraged its in the design and build of large scale smart meter solutions in Europe and North America to offer this capability as a service which will be charged on a pay-per-meter basis.

The service combines HP’s Smart Grid and operational network service management capabilities, its expertise in managed services, and its unique software IP – HP Utility Center – together with third-party software to offer a secure, flexible and cost-effective pay-as-you-go service.

The new cloud service enables utilities to minimise the upfront investment required for a large scale roll-out of smart metering systems and reduces both risk and time-to-market.

“Utilities companies are looking to enter the growing smart energy market in a measured and cost effective way with minimal upfront investment and maximum flexibility,” said Craig Wilson, vice president of HP Enterprise Services, UK and Ireland.

“HP’s extensive managed services capabilities combined with its software intellectual property, HP Utility Center, provide HP with the capabilities to help utilities companies move their applications to the cloud.”

The HP Smart Meter Managed Service will first be rolled out in the United Kingdom and will be priced on a per-meter per-annum basis.


AUMA and KBL supply Indian plant

A partnership between AUMA and Kirloskar (KBL) has amalgamated actuator and valve technology to support an Indian thermal power plant in Salaya, Gujarat.

The automation solution, supplied to Essar Power Gujarat, has been produced to control the common header of circulating water pumps for Salaya 1.

Demonstrating an ability to provide tailored systems, the bespoke design for the 2 x 600 MW plant combines AUMA’s electric multi-turn actuator, integral actuator controls and worm gearbox with a 3.6m butterfly valve from KBL.

AUMA’s modular actuator design supports the need for flexible operation at the thermal power plant, while addressing durability through KBL’s ebonite lined butterfly valve.

AUMA has an established track record of supporting electricity generation. Previous installations include actuators supplied to units six and seven of the Kota Super Thermal Power Station, Rajasthan’s first major coal-fired power plant.

The Salaya scheme confirms AUMA’s capability supporting large scale valve technology.


Kistler introduces K-Beam MEMS capacity accelerometer family

Kistler, a worldwide supplier of precision sensors, systems and instrumentation for the dynamic measurement of pressure, force, torque and acceleration, has introduced its K-Beam high-sensitivity, low-noise MEMS capacitive accelerometer family.

The K-Beam family is designed to support single axis and triaxial measurement requirements within automotive, aerospace, civil engineering, OEM, R&D and in-laboratory test applications, particularly those in which the use of an instrument-grade accelerometer for high-precision, low-frequency measurements is required.

The K-Beam family is offered in ranges from ±2 g to ±200 g and with frequency response from DC to 1000 Hz (5%). Accelerometers are available in four different models of either single axis (Type 8315) or triaxial (Type 8395A) versions and incorporate a MEMS variable capacitance sensing element, consisting of a small inertial mass and flexure element sandwiched between two parallel plates (electrodes).

As the mass deflects under acceleration, the capacitance between the sensing element and plates changes, which is then converted to a proportional voltage by the internal analogue signal conditioner. All units offer excellent thermal stability and reliability over an operating temperature range of -65 °F to +250 °F (-55 °C to +125 °C), with 6000 g pk shock survivability.

The Type 8315 single axis version features a 1-inch (25.4 mm) footprint and is powered by a single wide range supply between +6 and +50 VDC. Type 8315 models are offered with three different housing (AC, TA, TB) options, which determine available output signal formats.

The AC option features a lightweight, hard anodized aluminum housing with environmental sealing, integral ground isolation, epoxy seal and integral PVC cable, with a maximum operating temperature of +185 °F (+85 °C).

Available AC option output signal formats are bipolar at 0±4V; single ended 2.5V±2V; or differential 0±8V. Series TA and TB options feature lightweight, welded titanium housings with choice of 4-pin, ¼-28 connector or integral Teflon jacketed cable, for a fully hermetic design with integral ground isolation.

The TA and TB options are offered with the same output signal formats as the AC option, but also include a temperature output, if external temperature compensation is desired. TA and TB options operate from -65°F to +250°F (-55°C to +125°C).

The Type 8395A triaxial version is designed to simultaneously measure acceleration and low-frequency vibration in three mutually perpendicular axes (x, y and z) with a compact design that occupies a 0.85-inch (21.6 mm) cube footprint.

The output format of the Type 8395A series is bipolar at 0±4 V and provides a high-sensitivity, low-noise signal, compatible with a variety of data acquisition or readout devices. Sensing elements and integral electronics are housed within a lightweight, welded titanium housing with a specially designed miniature circular 9-pin connector, for a fully hermetic design.

It is powered by a single wide range supply between +6 and +50 VDC. If external temperature compensation is desired, a temperature output is provided, in addition to output signals. Ground isolation is obtained by mounting the sensor using off-ground accessories or by adhesively mounting to the test object using the side of the sensor with the integral hard anodised plate.


MWA wins landmark meter deals

Two landmark contracts awarded to independent meter specialist MWA Technology have signalled the company’s ambitions to provide high quality meters to major power station operators.

At the Isle of Grain gas fired power station, three high-pressure specialist replacement meters are being supplied for operator EON. The second contract is for Loucetous Energy in Stoke-on-Trent, where a replacement meter and consultancy services have been offered.

MWA’s business development director, Ian Dawson, described the three special in-line Turbine Meters Class 600 (100 bar Design Pressure) at the Isle of Grain CHP plant as being “the Rolls-Royce of turbine meters”. The three meters are to be held as spares for when the originals are recalibrated. All the meters are to be calibrated on natural gas at the operating pressures of 65 bar and 45 bar for fiscal applications and the accuracy will be in the region of +/- 0.5%

MWA Technology is providing a 200 mm gas turbine meter, supplied by Common Meters of Poland in five working weeks to Loucetous Energy.


Ampair debuts power solutions

UK small wind turbine manufacturer Ampair has continued its push into the renewable hybrid power system market by launching the containerPod range of power solutions predominantly designed for providing platform power for the offshore wind measurement sector.

Jeremy Davies, Ampair’s sales and marketing manager, said: “Onshore heated met-masts and LIDAR installations use between 50 and 200 W of power and to date we have been able to power these with our existing solutions.

“However in any offshore installation, the loads are typically 400 W at a minimum, reaching up to well over 1 kW for periods. The main reason for these higher loads is the requirement for essential navigation lighting and communications equipment to be powered coupled with the simultaneous use of traditional met-mast and LIDAR measurement systems on the same platform.”

Ampair’s OF4000 ‘containerPod unit is a turn-key packaged power solution that includes wind generators, PV arrays and an integrated back-up diesel generator which is designed to ‘rescue’ the system should there be a prolonged bout of poor renewable generation weather. The OF4000 system is designed to power continuous loads of up to 850 W for 12 months without the need for a support vessel needing to be chartered to refuel the unit.

“After extensive modelling with our in-house stochastic modelling software proAmpair we could see that that using a purely renewable solution just didn’t add up as they required much larger battery banks, larger wind turbine arrays and larger solar arrays,” said Davies.

“These carried a price, weight and deck space premium that was not attractive. From the model, we could see that the best efficiency was obtained by using a small DC diesel generator that should only need to be run for 50–100 hours a year.

“By keeping the generator run time so low, we still deliver the low/no maintenance benefit of a purely renewables-based system, but we can supply power year round in a much more cost and size effective package.”


Siemens develops Smart Grid solution based on AMIS system

For the expansion of Smart Grids, Siemens Infrastructure & Cities has developed a Smart Grid solution based on its AMIS system, which covers both Smart Metering and the automation of distribution networks.

In addition, Siemens has for the first time integrated in this application the energy automation, power quality and multimedia functions. For example, the power snapshot analysis is the first Smart Grid application worldwide, which provides synchronous grid information via AMIS Smart Meters, says Siemens.

Power quality data supplements this information, with the aid of which grid stability and supply security can be enhanced. Open interfaces for tablet computers or smartphones, via which consumption and energy data can be graphically displayed, are also available.

“Siemens is one of the few companies worldwide that is capable of offering such comprehensive one-stop solutions,” said Jan Mrosik, chief executive of the Smart Grid division of Siemens Infrastructure & Cities.

The solution essentially comprises a Siemens AMIS automated metering and information system and an Energy IP meter data management system. It was developed as the future-proof basis for Smart Grid applications in order to be able to manage the increasing feed-in of fluctuating renewables-based power into power supply networks. The core tasks include remote reading of energy and grid data and the management of all meters in a supply area. Gas and water meters can also communicate bi-directionally within the supply area via the AMIS smart grid meters. In the course of many projects Siemens has to date delivered more than 100,000 of these Smart Meters.

The power snapshot analysis of the Siemens solution based on AMIS Smart Meters supplies synchronous grid information from the low-voltage level. The data serve as a basis for grid planning and can be used to estimate investment costs for new infrastructure.

Power quality data, which are input via the data concentrators of the smart grid system, additionally supplement the amount of data. All this data is required to enhance grid stability and thus also supply security. The scope of functions of the Smart Grid solution also includes the integration of AMIS load switching devices into a higher-level control system.


Elfab improves Opti-Gard range

Pressure relief specialist Elfab says it has further improved its Opti-Gard range so that it can now offer the rupture disc as a single-disc solution.

Opti-Gard was previously available in either the OPR or OPK design, depending on the burst pressure required. Simple enhancements made to that version have enabled Elfab to produce a single-disc design covering the full range of sizes and burst pressures, offering customers potential stock reductions of more than 65 per cent.

Opti-Gard recently became the first ever rupture disc to be covered by a three-year warranty, which Elfab says demonstrates the ongoing reliability of a range initially launched in 2003.

The disc is still supplied with Flo-Tel, Elfab’s non-invasive ATEX-approved burst detection as standard. With tolerance of 3 per cent across a wide range of burst pressures and a 95 per cent operating ratio, Opti-Gard, says Elfab, still offers the highest performance characteristics for liquid, gas or vapour applications.


Tenesol unveils solar supports

Global solar provider Tenesol has launched its most secure solar support structure to help fight the rising number of solar thefts in the industry – particularly in rural locations and off-grid sites.

The company has drawn on its 28 years of experience in the off-grid solar sector to develop the S-TE Sun Guard structure. The structure uses self-destructing bolts, welded U-frames, stainless steel links and concrete settings to ensure its PV systems are secure.

The S-TE Sun Guard structure is designed to remain intact for more than 25 years. It can withstand winds of up to 150 km/h and uses stainless steel components to resist corrosion, even in marine environments.

The S-TE Sun Guard structure can be linked to a remote monitoring system that warns operators when a panel has been tampered with. Fencing and surveillance equipment powered by the PV system can be used as an added deterrent.


Trolex launches Sentro 1 sensor

Trolex says that its new Sentro 1 has intelligent plug-in gas sensing modules to provide safety monitoring of toxic and flammable gases in industrial applications with easy installation, rapid, cost-effective maintenance and the highest safety performance.

The advanced design technology uses pre-calibrated input eModules for monitoring a wide range of gases with each one storing all necessary data about type identification, sensing range and specific calibration.

Swift and simple recalibration is crucial to efficient performance and safety and so the eModules can be substituted at any time by a replacement module without the need for a complex calibration procedure by a specialist technician.

The sensor integrates directly with other plant equipment and monitoring devices and Trolex says it is unmatched in its choice of direct fully conditioned output signals to satisfy most preferences.

The module can be calibrated by either replacing the module or applying test gas using the convenient bayonet fixed gas hood and using the two-button remote IR Commander with no need to remove the unit cover.

The Sentro eModule uses electrochemical cells, combining good sensitivity at low gas concentrations with high range capability and stability. The poison-resistant catalytic combustion sensor to monitor flammable gases present in the atmosphere has a long and reliable operating life with exceptional stability even in conditions of high vibration.

The Sentro eModule for CO2 and methane gases uses a highly specific infrared sensor which can be calibrated equally well for low gas concentrations and high concentrations up to 100 per cent by volume.

Built to withstand adverse conditions, Sentro 1 has a high strength moulded housing with dual wall construction for maximum impact strength. The housing is sealed against dust and moisture to IP65 standard and is EMC protected.

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