Project Update

GE secures gas turbine contract for Beijing Taiyanggong power plant

GE Power Generation Services has been selected to provide long-term maintenance services for two GE gas turbines at the Beijing Taiyanggong power plant.

GE will upgrade and rebuild the turbine combustion systems to become simpler, more fuel flexible and reduce station emissions.

The work is part of a renegotiated contractual service agreement (CSA) that GE says will be “a first-of-a-kind service model for Chinese utilities looking to reduce the operational costs and environmental impact of their existing power plants”.

Cao Mansheng, director of Taiyanggong power station, said: “Signing this CSA with GE makes strategic sense because it can help ensure the reliable, efficient operation of our facility over a longer period of time, helping us to lower our operating costs as well as overall emissions.”

First built as part of the energy infrastructure needed to support the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 780 MW facility is China’s first large-scale combined cooling, heating and power plant.

The Beijing Taiyanggong overhaul marks the first CSA renegotiated project in China for GE, and the renegotiated multi-year agreement will cover the plant until 2025.

GE will upgrade the dry low Nox (DLN) burner system of two existing GE 9F.03 gas turbines from a DLN2.0+ to a DLN2.6+ system to enhance the power plant’s fuel flexibility and also comply with government efforts to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, the combustion system upgrades will help the Beijing Taiyanggong station eliminate its visible emissions during startups.

Yang Dan, vice president for GE Power Generation Products and Services in China, said: “We see this as an innovative service model to deliver technology enhancements in China as operators seek to overcome their fuel-flexibility challenges and improve the environmental performance of their fleets.

“We are committed to help operators both expand the varieties of gases that power plants are using and reduce the resulting emissions. Our DLN2.6+ combustion system will boost the financial return for operators as well by increasing the plant’s overall efficiency to reduce fuel costs.”

Doosan Lentjes wins flue gas deal for Vietnam coal plant

Doosan Lentjes has won a deal to provide its flue gas desulphurization (FGD) technology for a new coal-fired power plant located in Vietnam.

The 1240 MW Vinh Tan1 plant is currently under construction at a cost of $2 billion and is expected to be commissioned in 2018.

Doosan Lentjes says its FGD technology will remove sulphur dioxides from the plant’s flue gas, helping it to meet emissions standards.

The contract includes engineering and delivery of key FGD equipment such as spray nozzles, spray banks and mist eliminators.

Prysmian commissions German HVDC offshore wind grid project

Prysmian Group has commissioned the high voltage direct current offshore grid connection project HelWin2, located in the German North Sea.

HelWin2 now links the Amrumbank West offshore wind farm to an on-land converter station in Büttel, north-west of Hamburg.

Prysmian says that the 690 MW cable making the connection is operating at the highest commercially available voltage of ±320 kV DC, along a total route of 130 km – 85 km underwater and 45 km on land.

HelWin2 uses extruded HVDC cable technology from Prysmian together with Siemens HVDC Plus converter technology at the offshore platform and onshore stations. Prysmian Group has also installed the 155 kV HVAC submarine cables, which connect the converter platform HelWin Beta to the respective individual offshore wind farm transformer platforms.

In addition, HelWin Beta has been connected to the neighbouring platform HelWin Alpha via Prysmian’s Feltoflex HV 155 kV, a new generation of high voltage, rubber insulated cable systems that Prysmian says is “easy to lay even in the harshest climate conditions”.

Alstom bags Brazil transmission deal and UK substation contracts

Alstom has been awarded a turnkey contract worth around $110 million to integrate wind farms into Brazil’s transmission grid. The wind farms are located at the southernmost tip of Brazil, in Rio Grande do Sul state.

The contract has been awarded by Eletrosul Centrais Electricas and the project is due for commercial operation in March 2018.

Alstom will lead a consortium to supply two new substations and the extension of six existing substations.

Sérgio Gomes, Alstom Grid’s vice-president in Latin America, said: “The southern region of Brazil has huge wind energy potential and will now be able to fully optimize this alternative energy, ultimately creating diversity in the overall energy mix for over 30 million people.”

Alstom has also won substation automation contracts for three of Dong Energy’s offshore wind farms in the UK.

The systems will be fitted at the 580 MW Race Bank project off the Norfolk Coast, the 660 MW Walney Extension in the Irish Sea and the 258 MW Burbo Bank Extension in Liverpool Bay.

All three projects are currently at various stages of development and all will feature Alstom Grid’s DS Agile, the company’s next-generation digital control system for smart substations.

Hervé Amossé, Alstom Grid Substation Automation Solutions vice-president, said: “Alstom is offering Dong Energy a state-of-the-art substation automation solution that will help them manage intermittent power flows in a flexible manner. With increasingly interconnected grids and electricity provided from various sources, Alstom’s leading edge substation automation system will help to better, and efficiently, bring the power to shore and into the local grid.”

Hamon inaugurates cooling tower at Kozienice in Poland

Hamon Polska has inaugurated the natural draft concrete cooling tower shell of Kozienice power plant in Poland. Located 85 km from Warsaw, Kozienice is the country’s second largest power plant. A new 1075 MW block is currently being built to support Poland’s growing electricity needs and, once operational, the plant will become Europe’s biggest coal-fired power unit and the most modern one with supercritical parameters.

In 2013, Hamon won an order for the natural draft cooling towers as well as for two electrostatic precipitators. At 185 metres high and with a 133.8 metre base diameter, the natural draft cooling tower is one of the tallest ever built in Europe. It has been designed for a flow of 100,340 m³ per hour and is equipped with a flue gas injection system, fabricated by another Hamon Group company, ACS.

Hamon’s scope at Kozienice includes the civil, mechanical and thermal works as well as the internal and external flue gas ducts and components.


Technology Update

Areva unveils robot for nuclear power plants

Areva has delivered the first in a new generation of robots designed to be used in nuclear power plants to the French Atomic Energy Commission.

Called RIANA (Robot for Investigations and Assessments of Nuclear Areas), the robot is capable of operating in radioactive areas to map, take samples or measure radioactivity.

Areva calls RIANA the “Swiss army knife of nuclear robotics”. It is a motorized platform with interchangeable measurement or sampling modules that can be adapted to any operational situation.

Available with four-wheel or caterpillar track drives, it is also equipped with 3D and thermal cameras to reconstitute its environment in real time. It also has on-board laser detectors to negotiate its way around obstacles and position itself precisely within a confined space.

RIANA’s human-machine interface is based on a technology which facilitates in-zone interventions, and Areva says its work “can be executed without necessarily requiring the presence of an operator – an optional guidance program allows the robot to find its own way and to work on a site autonomously”.

In the event of a signal loss, RIANA is automatically guided back towards its last known location, whether being teleguided by an operator or operating autonomously.

Areva says that RIANA’s features make it an ideal tool for supporting nuclear dismantling operations, particularly in areas where operator presence is restricted or prohibited.

According to Areva, the French Atomic Energy Commission has already placed an order for a second model equipped with additional functionalities. The firm added that nuclear operators have also expressed an interest in the technology.

Thierry Varet, technical director of Areva’s Dismantling & Services, said: “RIANA provides a new range of services for interventions in sensitive nuclear areas, within confined spaces or those affected by accidents, both in day-to-day and emergency situations.”

Shell says new gas turbine oil offers ‘step-change in performance’

Shell has launched a new gas turbine oil targeted at the UK market.

The company says it has developed Shell Turbo S4 in response to a shift away from coal towards more gas-fired power and, within that shift, a preference for smaller yet more powerful turbines.

The use of these turbines results in more stress being put on their oil.

Shell Turbo S4 is a range of lubricants made from Shell’s gas-to-liquids technology.

The base oil in the Shell Turbo S4 product range has been produced from natural gas at a molecular level and Shell says it is “a significantly more stable product than a conventional base oil”.

The company adds that, in tests, Shell Turbo S4 X32 “proved to have a life span of 10,000 hours – twice the industry standard”.

It states that the benefits of using the oil include “outstanding viscosity index; high demulsibility and air release; high performance over a wide temperature range; excessive aeration and foaming are minimized; and water-separating properties reduce opportunities for corrosion”.

Shell’s gas-to-liquid technology in lubricants was originally tested on the F1 race track with Ferrari. Shell has used the knowledge and technological experience drawn from testing lubricants on complex Ferrari F1 engines designed for power and performance to develop oils to lubricate the turbines that bring energy to the UK.

Peter Drury, Shell’s Power Sector Manager, told PEi: “There is no other lubricant company using this technology to produce this base oil. The reason that it is so different is the molecular level: we’ve taken the gas apart and put it back together as a liquid, which is completely different from how you would usually produce a base oil from crude oil.

“What that delivers is a much more refined product that lasts longer and delivers value for money to the end customer in terms of their asset protection, life-of and downtime reduction.”

He said that the oil has been produced because “in our experience in the UK, coal has been diminishing”.

“Gone seem to be the days of the massive power station linked in to the grid – now it’s more bespoke small units for end users.”

Drury said that smaller turbines with higher output put more stresses on the oil. “That’s where the key benefits of this product come in. It’s a step-change in performance and that’s because of the gas-to-liquid element.”

He added that the shift in the UK power market was “about more smaller, compact end-users generating electricity for their own needs and putting the excess back into the grid. We are seeing that in all sorts of areas other than the traditional coal- and gas-fired stations – it’s in renewable energies as well.”

ExxonMobil launches advanced gas engine oil

ExxonMobil has launched a new advanced gas engine oil, Mobil Pegasus 605 Ultra 40.

Developed in response to growing demand for engines running on biomass and landfill gas, the new oil was formulated to extend oil drain intervals as well as optimize engine performance.

Oliver Glow, equipment builder engineer, said the two- to three-year development process for the new product included consultations with engine manufacturers and their customers to determine both technology and quality needs. “Most are looking for economics,” he said, in terms of longer engine lifetime and improvements in total cost of ownership – which will both be affected by a longer oil drain time.

Jarmo Vihersalo, marketing manager, said the new product arose from recent growth in landfill- and biogas-fuelled engines, across Europe but especially in the UK, Germany and greenhouses in the Netherlands.

According to Glow, the product contains new and more powerful additives and a newly formulated base oil, both aimed at reducing engine deposits and halving the need for maintenance.

“The development process is a collaborative one, with engine manufacturers giving specifications as to the amount of additives allowed (with too much, deposits will form). So the new additives are more powerful; it’s about quality rather than quantity,” said Glow. And in tests, he said, the new product has been shown to double the oil drain interval.

Testing is first performed in ExxonMobil’s test facility in the US, which is “not the standard in the industry”, Glow said, because most oil companies do not have purpose-built testing facilities. ExxonMobil’s contain engines from several different manufacturers.

Vihersalo said another important aspect of ExxonMobil’s product is training for the customer on how to change oils correctly. “There is always a risk that you can do something wrong when working with engines,” he said, “so we want to reduce the possibility for safety hazards”. The firm trains on “how to handle oils – oil is a chemical,” he noted, “and contamination to skin can be a health risk”.

Siemens develops circuit breaker monitoring system

Siemens has developed a new monitoring system for circuit-breakers in medium-voltage switchgear.

In particular, Assetguard MVC monitors the operability of the circuit-breaker drive, which is often exposed to harsh ambient conditions and yet rarely trips. Over time, the mechanical components can become dirty and – in the worst case scenario – fail to work.

The monitoring system checks the reliability of the triggering system, the effectiveness of the closed circuit and the condition of the primary contacts.

If the measured values do not match the preset values, the system signals the need for maintenance of a component such as a switch or the drive. This allows more efficient planning of maintenance routes and possible component replacement, making the switchgear more reliable and preventing the expense of unscheduled intervention.

Siemens says that to simplify the installation and configuration of the monitoring system, all functional components – power supply, data acquisition system and data memory, optical fibre communication system and the web server for data visualization – are designed as a switchgear cabinet slide-in module and accommodated in a 19-inch (48 cm) housing.

The integrated data memory also records measured data before the actual switching operation, analyzes the measurement curves and compares characteristic points with the preconfigured limit values. If these values are exceeded, the system sends an alarm to the control centre where any maintenance activities that may be necessary are initiated immediately.

MAN Diesel launches ‘most powerful gas engine on market’

MAN Diesel & Turbo unveiled its new line of two-stage turbocharged gas engines at POWER-GEN Europe in June.

Both of the company’s gas engine models 35/44G and 51/60G are now also available with two-stage turbochargers.

The 35/44G TS and the 51/60G TS are spark ignited two-stage turbocharged gas engines. The 35/44G TS is available in 12 V and 20 V-cylinder versions with mechanical outputs of 7.4 MW and 12.4 MW.

The 51/60G TS can be delivered as an 18-cylinder version with outputs of 18.9 MW and 20.7 MW. While the 18.9 MW aggregate reaches a mechanical efficiency of more than 50 per cent, MAN Diesel says that the 20.7 MW machine is “the most powerful gas engine currently available on the market”.

Dr Tilman Tütken, vice-president at MAN Diesel & Turbo, said the two-stage versions “grant additional power and efficiency and allow for a higher power density, and hence a more compact plant design”.

He added: “Our gas engines are ideally suited to help plant operators master the requirements of today’s transitioning energy markets, where increasing amounts of intermittent renewable energy pose new challenges to flexible plant operation. We offer operational qualities such as fast starts and stops and ramp-ups, which are necessary to qualify for participation in regulated energy markets, e.g., balancing energy or capacity markets.

“Thanks to optimized settings for combined heat and power applications – depending on the project – total efficiencies of above 90 per cent can be reached.”

SEL launches microgrid control system solutions

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) has unveiled a new line of microgrid control system solutions.

SEL says that at the heart of its solution is a powerful microgrid controller that is able to respond to external data, such as real-time pricing signals and fast-changing system dynamics. This capability “enables the microgrid controller to optimize the system configuration based on the system user’s priorities and real-time data”.

Priorities can be assigned to various user-defined scenarios such as economic dispatch, carbon footprint minimization, renewable integration and system resiliency. The fast, deterministic controller can operate in as little as half a cycle, allowing it to reliably balance load with available generation.

Bob Morris, SEL vice-president of national operations, said: “Microgrids have low inertia, which means they need relay-speed SEL microgrid controllers. SEL microgrid solutions combine dependable computing and communications to provide high-performance microgrid control, including adaptive relaying, synchrophasors, and cybersecurity.”