Fuel cell projects for four California universities

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has authorized Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison Company to undertake projects to install utility-owned fuel cells on four University of California and California State University campuses. Manufacturer of high efficiency power plants based on fuel cells, FuelCell Energy (FCE) will work with the utilities to finalize contracts, says the company. The approval is part of a programme to support clean distributed power generation in California.

The fuel cell power plants are expected to be configured to generate base load electricity for the facilities, in addition to recovering the surplus heat by-product for heating needs. This configuration can achieve up to 80% efficiency.

PG&E’s Fuel Cell Project will include the installation and operation of two FCE 1.4 MW facilities at California State University-East Bay and San Francisco State. The fuel cells plan to utilize the by-products of the energy conversion process, including waste heat and water to meet the campus needs including thermal demand for heating the swimming pool at CSU-East Bay and using excess water for landscape irrigation. Southern California Edison’s Fuel Cell Project will include two FCE 1.4 MW units located at CSU-San Bernardino and CSU-Long Beach. The fuel cells will interconnect and operate in parallel with Edison’s distribution system and utilize the by-product heat.

In conjunction with the installation of the fuel cell power plants, the state universities are expected to incorporate fuel cell technology into their respective curriculums to teach students and the public about the benefits of fuel cell systems.


UK hospital combines CHP and heat pumps

A new UK hospital, scheduled to open later this year, is to use a combination of CHP and ground source heat pumps for its on-site energy supplies. The Malvern Community Hospital will use advanced renewable and energy efficient technologies from Manchester-based ENER-G to make it one of the greenest hospitals in the country.

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By generating its own green power, the hospital is projected to save €10,000 per year on its energy bills, and reduce its carbon emissions by 15 tonnes per annum. The National Health Service is responsible for around 3% of England’s total carbon dioxide emissions and has an annual energy bill of over à‚£500 million.

Both technologies are being supplied as part of the eco-friendly design brief set by Interserve, which is contracted by Worcestershire Primary Care Trust to build the à‚£18 million hospital. Capita Symonds is providing building services engineering and BREEAM (green building certification) consultancy. The scheme is expected to obtain an excellent BREEAM rating.

The ground source system involves 25 boreholes and two heat pumps with combined capacities of 125 kW for both heating and cooling. The CHP system is a reciprocating gas engine rated at 33 kW of electrical output that will also generate 55 kW of useful thermal output for the building and the ground loop for the heat pump.à‚ 

CHP unit in Denmark replaces coal with straw

Vattenfall has opened a new straw-burning unit at the Fynsvàƒ¦rket CHP plant in Odense, Denmark. More than three hundred thousand large bales of straw will be burnt in Fynsvàƒ¦rket’s new large boiler every year, replacing the use of approximately 100,000 tonnes of coal, which means that the atmosphere will be spared 245,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Burning straw will result in heating for 60,000 consumers on Funen island and electricity for approximately 35,000 households, says the company.

The new straw-burning facility will help to make Odense a greener city, and at the same time is one of the pieces in the larger puzzle of making Vattenfall’s production of electricity and heating carbon dioxide-neutral. The plan includes replacing a large part of coal consumption with bio energy. Vattenfall has set a target for its Nordic operations to become carbon dioxide-neutral by 2030.

à‚ Major PV plant to serve airport at Alice Springs

Alice Springs’ reputation as the solar centre of Australia will soon be evident to every person who arrives by air, when the city airport becomes the first in the country to be powered by a large-scale solar power station. The second of five large-scale iconic projects for Alice Solar City, the Alice Springs Airport Solar Power Station will deliver approximately 28% of the airport’s electrical demand.

The power station will be developed by Australian solar developer Ingenero using 28 SolFocus Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) tracking arrays, measuring eight metres wide and seven metres high. The total cost of the project is estimates at $2.3 million, with nearly half of that provided by the Australian Government.

General Manager of Alice Solar City Brian Elmer said: ‘Alice Solar City has supported and encouraged the development of major iconic projects in and around Alice Springs that will play a critical part in our strategy of making Alice Springs a national and international showcase for sustainable living and the use of renewable energy. The airport solar power station will compliment the Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre located two kilometres south on the Stuart Highway, and the proposed Ilparpa solar farm which is expected to be announced later this year.’

à‚ Siemens to equip gas turbine power plant in China

Siemens Energy has received an order to supply key components for four 250 MW combined cycle units at the Ningxia East thermal power plant in China which also provide district heat in the winter months to residents of the city’s Xingqing district. Plant construction is scheduled to commence in August and be completed by 2012.

Under the terms of the contract, Shanghai Electric Power Generation Co (SEPG) and Siemens will cooperate to supply the gas turbines for the four 250 MW combined cycle units operated by Ningxia East Thermal Power Co. In this project Siemens Energy will act as SEPG’s subcontractor and supply key components for the four SGT5-2000E gas turbines.

The company has also signed a service agreement, under the terms of which it will provide long-term maintenance to Ningxia East Thermal Power Co.

The maintenance agreement aims to ensure long-term operational reliability and provide additional technical and financial benefits to the plant owner, including predictable maintenance costs and extended warranties. Under the terms of this agreement, Siemens will provide spare parts and maintenance services for approximately ten years.

Ningxia East thermal power plant, which is located in the city of Yinchuan, the capital of the Ningxia autonomous region, is jointly owned by Ningxia Hanas Natural Gas Thermal Power Co and Ningxia Master (Group) Investment Co. The total investment is approximately RMB 3.8 billion. After the start of commercial operation the power plant will supply electrical power to Yinchuan city and district heating to the city’s Xingqing district.

à‚ ABB controls for Dow CHP scheme in Germany

US chemical giant Dow Chemical has selected ABB’s ‘System 800xA for Power Generation’ distributed controls system for phase 1 of a new cogeneration power plant at the Stade chemical production complex in northern Germany.

The new gas and hydrogen-fired boiler plant is part of an integrated energy concept developed by Dow to secure the long-term supply of power and steam for the complex at economical cost and with minimal environmental impact.

The solution includes AC 800M controllers and high integrity controllers for integrated safety functions, and S800 I/O technology. ABB is also responsible for engineering, supply, and commissioning of the control system. The new system will enable the new power plant to operate at high levels of efficiency and availability, says ABB.

Stade is a key site in Dow’s global network of production centres, producing some two million tons of chemicals a year at 18 production plants. ABB will execute the project under its existing global framework agreement with Dow Chemical for control system solutions, service and support.

à‚ European industry campaigns on EU ETS changes

A group of 10 European industry trade associations, together with COGEN Europe and Euroheat & Power, have called on the European Commission and Member States to stay true to the spirit of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) Directive and not unduly penalize high efficiency CHP and district heating systems.

The organizations have issued a joint letter, addressed to the European Commission and to Member States, that says that organizations do not want to be penalised for running CHP installations against less efficient techniques under the revised EU ETS, and wish to suggest solutions to the anomalies in the interpretation of the revised EU ETS directive of 26 March 2010 on the level of free allocation of EU Allowances (EUAs) to CHP plants within industrial and district heating installations.

Industry is concerned that a misguided interpretation of Article 10a4 will result in district heating and CHP installations being penalised under the scheme from 2013. The 12 associations believe this can and must be avoided at all costs, and committed themselves to work with Commission officials and Member State representatives to ensure that no undue distortions are created on the heat market.

à‚ ‘Accelerated growth’ for stationary fuel cells in Europe

Innovative developments in the European stationary fuel cell market are shaping an optimistic future for the industry, and there is a growing interest in many European countries to adopt this zero-emission technology across various applications. Boosted by this need of sustainable solutions, the fuel cell market is transitioning from validation to the pre-commercialization stage. So says research from Frost & Sullivan, which adds that the transitioning process is expected to generate maximum revenues at accelerated growth rates in the coming years. Specifically, Germany, the UK, France, and Italy have been identified as the opportunity hot spots for the emerging stationary fuel cell technologies.

The three types of stationary fuel cells expected to be at the forefront of driving growth in the industry are proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs), and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), says F&S.

PEMFC technology is preferred by the automotive industry as well as stationary power generators, as it operates at relatively low temperatures. Its forecasted revenues are estimated to be around $180 million by 2018. The key identified geographical markets for PEMFCs are Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands.

In the total European stationary fuel cells market, MCFCs are one of the already commercially available fuel cell technologies, and manufacturers are focusing on more advanced technological improvements that are necessary to equip the fuel cell systems with increased robustness. With current revenues of $6.5 million, this technology is projected to have potential revenues of $83 million by 2018. Its key geographical markets are Germany and the UK.

The third type of stationary fuel cells, SOFCs, shows the potential to be one of the key power generation technologies in the future owing to their high electrical efficiency. They can run on many fuels, including hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, and biogas. SOFCs are estimated to have potential revenues of $3.8 million by 2018. The technology’s key geographical markets are Germany, the UK, and Italy.

The regional hot spots for European stationary fuel cells offer influential opportunities for growth, says Frost & Sullivan. With more than 350 companies and institutes, the German fuel cells industry is the largest one in Europe. By 2015, Germany will account for more than one-third of the total European demand for fuel cells. The UK is the second largest European market for stationary fuel cells, followed by France and Italy.

à‚ SGT-400 turbine package reaches 1 million hours

One of Europe’s largest wastewater treatment plants, the island-based installation at Psyttalia off the coast of Athens, Greece, is being supplied with power and heat from a gas turbine package from Siemens, the SGT-400. The global fleet of 153 SGT-400 packages around the world has also reached a milestone of 1 million operating hours, says the company.

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Factory-packaged power-plants designed and engineered on the basis of the long-established SGT-400 industrial gas turbine are ideal for reliable operation in critical applications, says Siemens, and the package design allows for control solutions to be tailored to suit customers’ specific requirements.

With a terminal power rating of 12.9 MW for electricity generation, and a shaft output power of 13.4 MW for mechanical drive, the two-shaft SGT-400 is the highest efficiency gas turbine core in its class with 36.2% efficiency at shaft output, adds Siemens.

à‚ 14 SunEdison PV systems for Toronto

SunEdison is to develop and construct up to 14 roof-top solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, with capacity totalling up to 3 MW, for Ontario real estate developer the Remington Group.

Under an agreement with Remington, SunEdison will finance, build, own, operate, monitor and maintain photovoltaic solar energy systems hosted at Remington facilities, and the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) will purchase the energy produced under the terms of Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff Program.

The 14 roof-top PV systems will all be located in the Greater Toronto Area, and will be launched using a phased rollout plan starting in the summer of this year.

Over 20 years, the systems will generate sufficient energy to avoid the emission of over 42,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, says SunEdison.



à‚ GE’s LM6000-PF turbine joins ‘ecomagination’ club

GE has added its LM6000-PF aeroderivative gas turbine to its ‘ecomagination’ product portfolio, which aims to certify products that significantly and measurably improve customer’s environmental and operating performance.

GE’s aeroderivative gas turbines have been powering cities and industries for 40 years. The LM6000-PF features high efficiency, superior fuel gas consumption and fuel flexibility, coupled with lower emissions and water usage in both the 50 and 60 Hz segments, says GE. It is the second aeroderivative gas turbine to join GE’s ecomagination portfolio, alongside the LMS100.

GE’s LM6000-PF is the industry leader in the 35-60 MW range, says the company. With the highest reliability (over 99%) and availability (over 97%) in its range.à‚ 

Dresser-Rand to supply turbine gensets for FPSOs

The Dresser-Rand Group is to supply advanced turbomachinery to three different clients for four floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels, three of which are destined for Petrobras’ pre-salt oil fields in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil and one for the UK sector of the North Sea.

The company will supply four gas turbine generator sets for on-site energy supplies, plus 14 centrifugal compressor trains and two mechanical drive gas turbines for these projects. The total price for the scope being supplied exceeds $120 million.

The gas turbine generator sets will be engineered by Dresser-Rand’s packaging centre in Kongsberg in Norway, and the compressor trains in Le Havre, France and Olean, New York, US.

Merger forms MAN Diesel & Turbo

The merger announced between MAN Diesel SE and MAN Turbo AG to form MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, based in Augsburg, Germany, is now complete. By combining the complementary product portfolios of the two firms, the merged company says it will be striving for growth and looking to strengthen its position in the relevant market segments.

‘The MAN Group will be seeking to pool its expertise in large bore diesel engines and power plants with its strengths in compressor and turbine technologies,’ said Klaus Stahlmann, MAN Diesel & Turbo SE’s Chief Executive Officer and member of the Executive Board of MAN SE.à‚ 

Heat map identifies loads for UK CHP schemes

UK energy and climate change consultancy AEA has developed an industrial heat map for the UK Government. The initiative is part of the Government’s strategy is to help promote decentralized energy for both new and existing buildings.

The map has been developed as a successor to the original tool aimed at assisting power station developers consider the opportunities for combined heat and power (CHP) as required under planning policy. However, due to its increased scope, the updated map can now be used by both small and large organizations to help identify the locations where CHP, renewable heat plants and district heating would have the greatest technical and economic potential, and therefore the largest positive environmental impact.

The interactive heat map presents the heat demand within the UK across various sectors. The search and zoom facilities allow users to search using grid references, highlight and isolate the heat use in specific post code districts.

Mahmoud Abu-Ebid, Chief Consultant at AEA on CHP and heat said: ‘The search facility returns a high level of detail identifying the heat demand within the search area, which can be varied from 1 km2 up to 100 km2. The heat demand can also be separated by sector with large users highlighted on an individual basis.’

AEA is a leading provider of low carbon policy advice, including CHP, to the UK Government, and also manages the CHP Quality Assurance Programme.


Second generation micro-CHP for Britain

UK utility E.ON has announced an exclusive deal to bring the next generation of the ‘WhisperGen’ micro-CHP unit to Britain’s homes under the slogan: a power station in your garage.

E.ON and Efficient Home Energy (EHE), part of Spanish manufacturer Mondragon, are working together to deliver the first European mass-produced version of the Stirling engine-based micro-CHP unit, which generates 1 kW of electricity and 12 kW of heat for home heating and hot water. The device is roughly the same size as a dishwasher and replaces the gas boiler in a conventional central heating system. Compared to a standard heating system, the WhisperGen unit could reduce a home’s carbon dioxide emissions by between one and two tonnes per year, says E.ON.

The company also suggests that UK owners could earn up to €440 per year for feeding power back into the national grid, under the UK Government feed-in tariff scheme.

Don Leiper, Managing Director of E.ON’s Energy Services business, said: ‘With EHE we’ll be ramping up production in the next few years, mass-producing this technology for the wider market and making it available to local authorities, housing developers and residential customers.’

E.ON was the first energy firm to bring micro CHP to the UK and will be the exclusive distributor of this new series of WhisperGen units.

à‚ Mitsubishi PV system for Japanese noodle plant

Mitsubishi Electric has completed installation of a 62 kW photovoltaic system at Toyo Suisan Kaisha’s Kanto Factory in Tatebayashi City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. The installation was partly funded by subsidies from the New Energy Promotion Council.

The electricity, generated by 330 PV modules installed on a surface area of 460 m2, will cover part of the electricity consumption used for air conditioning and lighting at the Toyo Suisan Group’s largest noodle processing factory in Japan. Annually, the system is expected to generate approximately 60 MWh of electricity and prevent the emission of around 19 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Of the 62 kW system, a 51 kW system comprising 270 PV modules has been installed on the warehouse roof of the Kanto Factory, equipped with Mitsubishi Electric’s three-phase 50 kW PV inverter that will convert generated electricity into AC.

There is also a 11 kW system of 60 modules on the main gate arch, whose electricity will be converted using a 10 kW inverter, also supplied by Mitsubishi.à‚ 

On-site power system for Turkish aluminium plant

ECGD, the UK export credit agency, has supported a UK-based company’s boiler and steam turbine system export deal to a Turkish aluminium recycling plant. Sovereign Star Trade Finance (SSTF), which financed the deal with ECGD support, closed the loan agreement with DT Metal Geri Kazanim Teknolojileri Sanayi ve Ticaret (DTM).

The seven-year, $14 million loan agreement supports Chinook Sciences’ export of a turnkey boiler and steam turbine system for DT Metal’s aluminium recycling plant at Cerkezkoy, Tekirdag, outside Istanbul. Chinook’s power plant will recover heat from burning the gas generated by the reprocessing process. The steam created by this method will generate around 3 MW of electricity for the plant.à‚ à‚ 

Cogen plant for the Winter Olympics in Russia

Siemens is to contribute to the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi by implementing several energy projects worth more than €125 million. Siemens Energy has supplied gas and steam turbines to the local utility, Sochinskaya TES, which will ensure power and heat supply for athletes and visitors.

The company supplied two SGT-700 gas turbines, each rated at 29 MW, and a 25 MW steam turbine with generator. The company also supplied switchgear for the high- and medium-voltage levels. The Siemens turbine-generators, with an efficiency level above 50%, will double the electricity generating capacity of the Sochinskaya cogeneration plant to approximately 160 MW. The plant’s heating capacity will increase to 210 GJ.

GE gas turbines to upgrade Portuguese refinery

GE is to ship two Frame 6B gas turbines for one of the largest cogeneration facilities in Portugal ” Galp Energia’s Matosinhos cogeneration plant near Porto.

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Replacing older, oil-fired technology at the site, the gas turbines will increase the plant’s efficiency and reduce its environmental impact in line with the Portuguese Government’s regulation to promote efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The turbines are expected to provide all of the steam requirements for the nearby Galp Energia’s Matosinhos refinery and also will enable Galp Energia to produce electricity and sell it to Portugal’s national grid. The Matosinhos cogeneration turnkey project is being developed by the consortium Ensulmeci-Efacec Cogeraàƒ§ao do Porto, ACE, formed by two of the major Portuguese engineering, procurement and construction companies.

The new gas turbines are the third and fourth GE 6B gas turbines selected to modernize power and steam production for its refineries in Portugal, says the company. The first two 6B machines recently entered commercial operation at a cogeneration plant that supports the Sines petrochemical industrial park. Both the Sines and Matosinhos cogeneration plants have power capacities of 80 MW.

GE’s scope of supply for the Matosinhos project also includes gas turbine auxiliary equipment and technical advisory and training services, during construction and commissioning. A contractual service agreement also has been signed, providing for ongoing maintenance of the turbines.

‘The modernization of our refineries with GE Frame 6B gas turbines supports the growing interest in Portugal to implement cogeneration as a more efficient, cleaner way to produce electricity and meet our process steam needs,’ said Ricardo Manzoni of Galp Energia. ‘The use of 6B technology at the Matosinhos plant will enable us to avoid emissions of over 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.’



US hydrogen station to incorporate fuel cell

A new hydrogen fuelling station planned to be built by Air Products in Fountain Valley, California, is to incorporate FuelCell Energy’s ‘DFC-H2’ fuel cell technology to produce clean on-site power and heat ” and renewable hydrogen.

The contract, to demonstrate a renewable hydrogen fuelling station was awarded to Air Products by the California Air Resources Board and supported by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and US Department of Energy (DOE). The fuelling station is to be installed at the Orange County Sanitation District’s (OCSD) wastewater treatment facility.

The system will be fuelled with biogas from wastewater treatment operations and produce 300 kW of power and up to 300 pounds of hydrogen per day. This hydrogen could be used for early market fuel cell applications such as back-up power and forklifts and is sufficient to fuel roughly 100 fuel cell cars. The electricity will be available for use by OCSD for its operations.

Christopher Bentley, FuelCell Energy’s Executive Vice President of Government Research & Development Operations, said: ‘Our research indicates that hydrogen efficiently produced as a by-product by the DFC-H2 can be less costly than hydrogen produced by other methods.’



‘CHP Plus’ to power new US medical centre

NRG Energy, Inc, through its subsidiary NRG Thermal, has signed a contract to provide high-efficiency energy services, including a new CHP system, to the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP), which is currently under construction in Plainsboro, New Jersey, US.

Under a 13-year contract, NRG will provide services from its ‘CHP Plus’ programme that integrates conventional, proven energy sources with high efficiency technologies. The hospital will use electricity from a CHP system that will also produce steam for heating and chilled water for air conditioning, achieved by means of a thermal energy storage system.

Other ‘green’ elements include solar power generation and energy-saving ‘smart’ meters.

The 237-room, acute-care hospital is expected to open by the end of 2011. Benefits of the CHP Plus system include, says NRG:

  • lower total costs ” by using on-site CHP;
  • optimal energy efficiency ” CHP Plus takes an already energy efficient power system and enhances it with ‘smart’ ap pliances and meters that monitor and adjust energy consumption for optimal efficiency; and
  • reliability ” the on-site CHP facility will provide 100% redundancy for the hospi tal’s power needs. The UMCP replace ment facility at Plainsboro will have access to power generated by CHP as its primary source; this power will be backed up by the local utility power and, finally, limited power to crucial areas of the hospital from emergency generators.

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