ABB sets a switchgear standard

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The global market for primary air insulated switchgear in medium voltage ratings is extremely diverse and highly fragmented, as each country traditionally has its own unique specifications. ABB used to offer 18 product platforms in this range but has now scaled it down to just a single platform that meets the individual needs of every market.

ABB’s single platform is a modular design that allows for more than 150 local switchgear requirements, all of which can be added to the basic UniGear platform. For example, in the UK market ABB has adapted UniGear to provide suitable rear cable box configurations, interlocking, shutter labelling and earthing arrangements.

The unification process has enabled ABB to reduce its production lines from 47 to nine and cut the number of switchgear parts by almost 95 per cent, thus enabling shorter lead times.

In addition, the width of the panel has been reduced from 650 mm to 550 mm for feeder applications up to 1250A. According to ABB, this makes UniGear ZS1 the most compact withdrawable AIS switchgear available on the market.

Vacuum and gas circuit breakers and vacuum contactors with fuses are all available for the ZS1 switchboards. The apparatus is interchangeable inside the switchgear unit making it possible to use a single switchboard user interface, with the same service and maintenance procedure and operations.

Six degrees of freedom

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Fluent has released an updated version of its flagship computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. Fluent 6.2 has increased the speed and improved accuracy, meaning that all multiphase models can be used in conjunction with species transport and chemical reactions. Free surface and discrete phase modelling are both more efficient and a new solar radiation model opens up new application areas.

The software’s mesh capability for simulating flows around moving bodies has been enhanced including the addition of a new six degrees of freedom solver. It also offers a comprehensive range of turbulence and acoustics models in any CFD code. The capacity of its predecessor has also been enhanced with regard to the handling of chemically reacting flows. The updated version includes a new efficient laminar stiff chemistry solver, special models for engine ignition, and a facility to create custom, reusable, material property databases.

Combined inspection speeds defect search

The amount of time and energy that goes into inspecting metallic components for defects could now be drastically cut with a new ultrasonic non-destructive inspection technique developed by the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI).

Non-destructive pipe inspectors usually survey the outside of the pipe using time of flight diffraction (TOFD) to evaluate the defects. By analyzing the time difference between ultrasonic waves reflecting off the metal surface and the internal defect reaching the receiving probe.

Another method often used is the phased array method, which aims a concentrated ultrasonic beam at an arbitrary point in the inspection object.

The method CRIEPI has developed combines the TOFD method with the phased array method to detect defects within metallic structures with higher accuracy in a shorter time.

Using a 50 mm thick test sample with artificial defects at the heat affected zone of the weld, CRIEPI found that the measuring position by the angle beam can be shortened to around one minute per section, compared with about 60 minutes in the past. Also, dimension measurements can be used to detect 210 mm high cracks at a measuring accuracy below +/- 1.3 mm in the same detection time.

Engine performance optimized

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Cummins has developed a new software package that aims to optimize engine performance to offer the OEM greater flexibility. As part of the Advisor software suite for electronic engines, PowerMatch shapes torque curves and adjusts the features of an electronic engine to match engine performance to customer needs.

By using PowerMatch, Cummins believes that OEMs have the ability to optimize engine performance to the machine and the work it is designed to perform. Benefits include engine and equipment protection and being able to maximize fuel economy with the Alternate Torque Curve feature.

PowerMatch takes into account the work environment, load factors, ambient temperatures and operating modes, and customizes accordingly the power curve and features of an electronic engine to a specific equipment model and/or application. By using the High Speed Governor Trim, the OEM can set maximum speed and power transfer rate for optimum performance. Additionally, savings in operational cost and reduced emissions can be made through a low speed setting.

How low can you go?

GE Energy is introducing a new Dry Low NOx combustion system that will reduce NOx emissions in its 12 MW class 10-2 gas turbine from 25 to 15 parts per million (ppm).

The new emissions technology was primarily developed by GE to enable small/medium pipelines or other mechanical drive applications to meet worldwide emissions regulations, particularly in densely populated urban areas.

A NOx emissions level of 15 ppm is guaranteed over operating conditions spanning 50-100 per cent load, and an ambient temperature range of -29° to +38°C. This was achieved without the use of catalytic hardware in order to minimize the number of combustion parts and simplify machine maintenance.

The new 15 ppm combustion chamber features the addition of four GE5 premixed pilot burners and also includes a flame detector, flashback thermocouples and a humming detection system for flame control.

Now available on all new GE 10-2 gas turbines, an upgrade option is available to existing 10-2 users and the new emissions technology is also to be adapted for the 10-1 (single shaft) gas turbine.