Italian cable manufacturer Prysmian Cables & Systems has won the contract to supply and install the land connection route for the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm in Wales, UK.

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At £15m ($21m) the contract is the largest so far awarded in the UK by RWE npower renewables and represents a significant investment in the local economy as all the cable will be manufactured at Prysmian’s plant in Wrexham, North Wales. The contract involves the supply and installation of four circuits of 132 kV cable along an approximate 11.2 km land connection route from Pensarn to a new substation at St Asaph using a fully ducted system.

The company will deliver the 134.4 km of 132 kV cable using large, 3.4 metre diameter drums to enable long section lengths.

Prysmian will also manufacture and install 132 joints and 12 gas-immmersed terminations. The company is responsible for every element of the design, implementation and testing of the project, which includes excavating through environmentally sensitive areas and some 57 special crossings to rivers, drainage ditches and roads.


Testing to address the threats to transformers

Lloyd’s of London has identified transformer failures as one of the biggest risks to the security of national power supplies.

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Many transformers in the UK supply network have reached their service lives and, while routine testing cannot completely prevent failures, it can identify units at risk.

Megger’s extensive range of testing equipment includes dielectric frequency response analysers for determining moisture content in insulation, and sweep frequency response analysers that can detect electromechanical changes inside transformers.


GEA Westfalia Separator wins Morocco fuel treatment order

For the expansion of the Kenitra gas turbine power plant north of Moroccan capital Rabat, GEA Westfalia Separator Group has won an order to deliver a complete fuel and process water treatment system.

The order volume totals around €7m ($9.5m); shipment is scheduled for May 2011. The order includes nine two-stage heavy fuel oil washing lines. For the Kenitra power plant, these consist of preheaters and two separators type OSE 80 as well as two extraction mixers.

The power plant is designed as a backup installation for an existing hydroelectric power plant and is intended to assure the region’s power supply in months when the precipitation is low.


GE introduces 1 MW solar inverter

GE has launched a 1 MW solar inverter in both 50Hz and 60Hz versions for worldwide use.

Like GE’s existing 700 kW solar inverter, the new product is based on technology GE uses for its global fleet of wind turbines. Building on a platform of power electronics, including the monitoring and controls that enhance wind energy grid integration, GE’s solar inverters include grid-friendly features that deliver performance in large-scale solar installations similar to conventional power plants.

Solar inverters are key in solar power systems that convert DC power from solar panels into usable electricity. To ensure plants stay online during grid disturbances, GE’s solar inverters include control functions that enhance integration.


Tata Steel opens wind tower hub opens in UK

Tata Steel has invested £1.3m ($2.1m) and created 19 new jobs at its Scunthorpe, UK, steelworks to tap into new market opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

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The company has created a new wind tower hub to process and distribute up to 200 000 tonnes each year of steel plate which is manufactured at the adjacent Scunthorpe Plate Mill, as well as at the Dalzell Plate Mill in Motherwell.

Tata Steel has bought a purpose-built Messer Omnimat profiling machine and installed it alongside two other profiling machines at the wind tower hub. The machines, which use gas burners to cut the steel into the desired shape, can process up to 40 000 tonnes a year of profiled plate for delivery to manufacturers to be fabricated into tubular tower structures.

Phil Knowles, Tata Steel plate sales manager for the energy sector, said: “This new hub allows us to supply plate to wind turbine and tower manufacturers at exactly the right time in their production process. It also allows us to carry out further processing of our plate, enabling us to add extra value to the product.

“The profiling machines will cut the plates into shapes suitable for fabricating into conical towers. They can at the same time cut special edges on to the plate so that our customers can weld the edges together after the steel has been fabricated into a tubular structure and join these sections together to produce towers.”

While the first profiled plate has already left the new hub, the facility will continue to be commissioned over the next few months.


IMI launches gas turbine sensors series

IMI Sensors has launched the Series 176 high-temperature pressure sensors for gas turbine monitoring.

When directly mounted to a gas turbine’s combustor, the Series 176 high-temperature pressure sensors provide 24/7, consistent, reliable combustion dynamics data monitoring.

IMI’s Series 176 high-temperature pressure sensors detect and measure dynamic pressure phenomena and combustion instability in extreme heat environments (+986 °F, +530 °C) generated by today’s gas turbines. In addition, these sensors are ATEX and CSA certified for use in hazardous areas.

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