Project & Technology Update

Putting power for the Games on the fast track

There may be a full four years between every Olympic Games, but deploying Olympic Games-scale power distribution, backup power and protection systems typically comes down to the final months – or even weeks – before the Opening Ceremony of the games.

For this year’s Rio Olympic Games, GE Energy Connections implemented a series of fast-track processes based on lessons learned from work at five previous games to help scale up the power for more than 32 venues and facilities.

“Having supported the Olympic movement since the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, we’ve learned some valuable lessons about how to deploy comprehensive power systems across multiple sports venues and facilities under a highly compressed timetable,” says Rohan Kelkar, general manager for one of GE’s Energy Connections businesses.

For the Rio games, GE provided more than 3000 three-phase and single-phase uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, 65 power transformers and a host of electrical distribution equipment from low-voltage panels to switchgear.

All of this equipment needed to be delivered, installed, tested and connected to a centralized power monitoring centre in time for the Opening Ceremony on 5 August.

Sotiris Salamouris, chief technology officer at Olympic Broadcasting Services, says that “there is no way that this can happen unless there is strong co-ordination. It’s about teamwork – there is no other way”.

Working with fast-track tools and methodologies developed as part of the GE’s FastWorks process, the company looked at every phase of the project – from customer-focused specifications and ongoing interactions to ways of enhancing delivery and deployments – to help ensure every power system would be up and ready for the Games.

Before the final specifications were put in place, GE shared its experience and data collected from past Olympic Games projects with the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee to develop an optimum list of requirements.

GE said this process “saved valuable time up front, helping to ensure the right technology, system configurations and support services were specified”.

Given the 110 GE three-phase and 2954 single-phase UPS units being used in Rio, GE said that it was important to standardize on core platforms.

By standardizing on its SG and TLE series of UPS backup power units early in the process, downstream issues of commissioning and deploying power protection systems were greatly simplified. In addition, standardizing on basic units continued to offer flexibility in terms of power capacity output while also streamlining potential issues such as training, support and parts inventory – depending on settings and requirements.

In typical power protection and distribution applications such as a data centres, for example, design and deployment schedules were well defined and managed. GE said: “Provisioning power at a new or upgraded data centre typically proceeds along a clear and linear path. When providing power systems to facilities that are under construction, however, delivery and installation flexibility is essential.”

Mauro Scappini, senior service manager for critical power products at GE Energy Connections, said: “Unlike many of our commercial deployments when a final deadline sometimes varies, the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games is a can’t-be-missed deadline.”

GE said that figuring out how to assemble all the components of a comprehensive network of power systems across some 32 venues and facilities can be daunting. “It’s a logistical challenge to not only ship all the equipment and components from various locations, but also for the local crew to bring together all the components into the right solutions.”

Scappini said: “Choosing the right solution can be similar to deciding between going to a lumber yard to collect the wood, nails and tools needed to build a house or getting a pre-packaged ‘house kit’ of all the supplies and equipment delivered on one truck. For the Olympic Games, we looked at each of the 32 venues and facilities and determined it would be best to deliver ready-to-deploy, complete equipment and system packages in containerized units for each venue and application.”

Having a full complement of pre-specified equipment consolidated in a single container helps ensure that all of the right equipment and components are in the right place at the right time, accelerating GE’s schedule and helping to ensure quality.

Developing an extensive training regime for both GE’s Energy Connections critical-power services team and its channel partners in Brazil was also part of the company’s fast-track strategy to ensure installation and services teams were ready for the quick deployment strategies put in place years before the Games and the company’s Rio teams began their training in February.

Enerpac SE Asia launches electric torque wrench

Enerpac SE Asia is introducing its new Electric Torque Wrench throughout the region to improve bolting efficiency and performance for industries requiring high repetition and high precision.

Advances incorporated into the design of the wrench include a large seven-inch touchscreen on the control box as well as a bright three-line LED display on the back of the tool, so that it can be read easily, even in bright sunlight.

The control box is designed to simplify complex jobs through the creation of automatic presets. In addition, fastening records can be viewed on-screen and transferred through a standard USB connection.

“The new Electric Torque Wrench is highly versatile,” said Ramit Sharma, bolting manager at Enerpac SE Asia. “We have a full range of sockets, extensions and reaction arms to suit different applications, and can even supply non-standard versions on request to suit special applications.”

Sharma said the the LED display on the back of the tool “is excellent for minimizing downtime”.

EthosEnergy wins $8m Myanmar gas turbine deal

EthosEnergy has won a gas turbine overhaul and upgrade contract worth over $8m from Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise (MEPE).

The deal is for equipment at the Ywama power plant in Yangon, where EthosEnergy will overhaul one 701D unit with all new parts and upgrade two MHI 701D units including controls.

MEPE said that when awarding the contract it was looking for “the ability to restore the units to the original manufacturer’s performance specifications of 120 MW. Equally we expected a proven state of the art control system to allow us accurate and efficient machine calibration, monitoring and control.”

Toshiba wins Vietnam steam turbine and generator deal

Toshiba has won an order to supply steam turbines and generators for the extension of a coal-fired plant in Vietnam.

The extension of the Vinh Tan 4 plant – owned by Vietnam Electricity – is currently being carried out by a consortium of Mitsubishi Corporation and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction.

The 600 MW steam turbines and generators that Toshiba will supply generate steam at a pressure of over 240 bar, with a reheat steam temperature of 593à‚°C. Toshiba said they are “considerably more efficient than the steam turbines and generators now in wide use in Vietnam”. The firm will start delivery in January 2018, with commissioning scheduled for 2019.

In 2014 Toshiba won a contract to provide the same equipment for Units 1 and 2 of Vinh Tan 4, and started delivery in December 2015.

Takao Konishi of Toshiba’s Energy Systems & Solutions Company said: “Demand for power is growing fast in Vietnam and Toshiba is pleased to help increase capacity. Selection of our steam turbines and generators for Vinh Tan 4 extension is a strong testament to the country’s confidence in the technologies and services which Toshiba has developed over the years.”

Strong economic growth is putting a strain on Vietnam’s power generating capacity, with the south of the country particularly susceptible to shortages and the government is responding with expansion plans to boost electricity supply.

Funding for fourth coal unit on Mindanao

Funding has been secured for a fourth unit at a 540 MW coal-fired power plant on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

Developer AC Energy Holdings, a subsidiary of multinational conglomerate Ayala Corporation, said financial close has been achieved on the $1bn project in the municipality of Kauswagan in Lanao del Norte province.

The project is to be funded by 70 per cent debt from domestic and foreign banks plus 30 per cent equity. The first three 135 MW units are currently under construction and unit 1 is planned to be completed late next year, with the entire plant expected to come online in 2018. The plant will feature pulverized coal combustion technology with Shanghai boilers and Siemens turbines and generator.

As the Philippines prepares to draft an energy policy under the new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, energy secretary Alfonsi Cusi said in July that “as a developing country we cannot afford not to have coal”. He added: “We have to find a happy balance. We cannot afford to rely solely on renewables. … Coal is the more dependable, the more reliable source for baseload”.

Covestro makes first polyurethane turbine blade for Asia wind market

German polymer company Covestro has manufactured the first polyurethane rotor blade for wind turbines in Asia.

The 37.5 metre-long rotor blade is designed for a wind turbine with an output of 1.5 MW. It was fabricated with a special polyurethane infusion resin from Covestro and glass fibre mats from Chongqing Polycomp International, a Chinese glass fibre manufacturer at the Shanghai FRP Research Institute.

A vacuum pressure infusion system with continuous degassing, developed by process technology company HàƒÅ“BERS, was used to produce the rotor blade.

Kim Klausen, global head of Covestro’s wind energy programme, said the milestone is “further proof of the performance and cost advantages of polyurethanes over epoxy resins in wind power generation”.

Covestro says the polyurethane resin has “very good physical properties, an excellent flowability and it thoroughly wets the glass fibers. Furthermore, less thermal energy is released during its processing than with epoxy resins.”

“The faster curing significantly improves productivity,” added Klausen, “and that gives manufacturers a major cost advantage.”

The resin was developed in a collaboration between the Covestro Wind Competence Centre in Denmark and the Polymer Research Development Center (PRDC) of Covestro in Shanghai.

At the recent China Summit Forum 2016 for International Wind Power Composite Materials in Zhejiang, Dr. Roland Stoer, general manager of WINDnovation, a leading rotor blade design company, said about the use of polyurethane: “We would like to optimize rotor blade design and take full advantage of the benefits of polyurethanes. We are impressed by Covestro’s research capability and commitment, and would like to cooperate with the company to design even more sophisticated rotor blades in the future.”

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