Radiodetection has launched a new range of utility cable and pipe precision locators.

Over two years ago, Radiodetection launched the popular RD7000 range of utility specific locators, offering high performance in an ergonomic and user-friendly platform. The RD7000+ products that replace them focus on core user requirements by incorporating Dynamic Overload Protection to improve locating performance in electrically noisy areas and Compass, which determines and displays the orientation of the target cable or pipe, simplifying route determination and helping to improve depth measurement accuracy.

The task of locating specific pipes and cables in large underground networks is becoming increasingly complex, making the operator’s job more difficult and more time-consuming. Radiodetection research into this area identifies improved locator ease of use, accuracy and reliability as key to user requirements.

The RD7000+ range addresses these needs with new features that deliver accurate, reliable and repeatable measurements. Radiodetection’s proprietary Compass feature provides the operator with a visual indication of the orientation of the target cable or pipe. This feature makes following the target line significantly easier, and also makes it easier to position the RD7000+ correctly for maximum depth measurement accuracy.

Dynamic Overload Protection extends the locator’s area of operation into electrically noisy environments where other products fail. This allows the user to continue to locate accurately in areas with high levels of electromagnetic interference, such as power sub-stations and beneath high voltage transmission lines and overhead or railway HV cables. The protection is an integrated, automatic feature of the RD7000+ that requires no user input to activate.

The RD7000PL+ is designed specifically for the power industry with tailored features and a range of compatible accessories designed for power applications. This unit also features fault find capability, enabling cable faults to be precisely located.

All RD7000+ units are Centros enabled. Centros is a measurement engine based on more than 30 years of continuous development, combining new and innovative algorithms with established software on a high-performance processor core. Centros improves location accuracy and repeatability and delivers timely responsiveness in the field.

Unique to Radiodetection’s precision locators, eCAL allows users to validate the original calibration of their RD7000+ locator. By checking the internal components’ responses, eCAL provides the user with confidence that the locator performs as it did when it first left the factory. eCAL can be carried out on-site and allows the owner to print a validation.


Emerson to supply Ovation expert control technology for four new Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors in China

Westinghouse Electric Company has awarded Emerson Process Management contracts totalling approximately $17 million to supply its Ovation expert control technology at four new Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors in China.

The Ovation control system, or its predecessors, is already installed at most existing Westinghouse nuclear reactors.

The new reactors will help China generate additional baseload electricity to meet the country’s needs, which are growing at more than 8 per cent per year, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Emerson’s Ovation system will be installed at the Sanmen nuclear power plant in Zhejiang province and at the Haiyang nuclear power plant in Shandong province. Each plant has two 1000 MW reactors currently under construction, with more units planned. The first Sanmen unit is scheduled to come online in 2013; the first Haiyang unit is due to begin commercial operation one year later.

For these units, Ovation technology will control power generation processes, provide an interface to operations and maintenance systems, and collect and distribute plant-wide information for process and power generation management. Emerson will supply a total of 380 cabinets and controllers, 220 workstations and 2245 I/O modules.

Under separate contracts awarded previously, Emerson is also providing Fisher control valves, TopWorx position sensors, and Bettis valve actuators for the Sanmen and Haiyang units.

Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately half of the world’s operating nuclear plants, including 60 per cent of those in the United States. The AP1000 design is the only Generation III+ design for nuclear power plants to have received design certification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The AP1000 is fast becoming the new plant technology of choice throughout the world, including in the United States, where the AP1000 is the selected technology for more than one-half of the announced plants.

Emerson and Westinghouse have worked together in addressing the needs of the nuclear market since Emerson’s acquisition of Westinghouse’s non-nuclear I&C business in 1998. Emerson’s Ovation or WDPF control systems – or Westinghouse’s previous-generation systems such as the 7300 analog control system – already exist in virtually all Westinghouse-built pressurized water reactors.

In 2007, the two companies signed a 10-year extension of an existing agreement for Emerson to provide key technology for automation of nuclear power plants that utilize the AP1000 and other plant designs.

“We are pleased to be part of the Sanmen and Haiyang projects,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management.


Wireless real-time energy monitoring and control technology breakthrough for homes operating on smart grid networks

Seamless Sensing has unveiled its breakthrough wireless energy monitoring and control solutions, enabled by EnOcean’s energy harvesting technology.

These new energy-autonomous wireless products have been developed for integration with smart grid networks and are the only such solutions that have been designed specifically for homes, as well as other buildings.

In total, Seamless Sensing – a member of the EnOcean Alliance – has launched seven unique Wireless Smart Sensing Modules, including indoor solar powered temperature sensors, energy meter pulse monitors and a weather station that can track the efficiency of renewable energy.

All of these technologies have been designed to provide a fully wireless communication infrastructure between a person’s home or their workplace and a purpose-built, online portal based in the cloud.

Dr Edward Mellor, the founder and chief executive of Seamless Sensing, said: “Our patent pending technology provides live information about a building’s energy use. The EnOcean Wireless Smart Sensing Modules can be easily connected to equipment, appliances and systems.

“The data each module collects is then transferred in real-time to a cloud-based platform, allowing people to monitor and set up automatic controls of the energy they use.”

The seven Seamless Sensing EnOcean Wireless Smart Sensing Modules launched are:

  • Indoor solar powered temperature sensor – a self-powered, zero-maintenance sensor that tracks room temperature;
  • Weather station – this provides key sensing information to monitor the efficiency of renewables. Being self-powered, with a compact and lightweight design, it is very easy to install and uses proven industry leading sensing technology;
  • Hot water and heat meter – meets the needs of heating, hot water, cooling and chilled water applications. The reading is used to understand the efficiency monitoring for solar thermal or conventional gas or electric heating systems;
  • CO2, temperature and humidity sensor – enables the monitoring and optimization of comfort levels within buildings to gain higher efficiency of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units and lower energy costs;
  • Current clamp sensor – non-invasively measures the current in a cable. The device is simply clicked around a single line cable in a meter box or consumer unit. The device is self powered and requires zero maintenance;
  • Wireless appliance smart plug – measures energy consumption of connected appliances, such as kettles, and also supports on/off switching capability;
  • Energy meter pulse reader – a battery powered device that connects to an existing metering infrastructure to monitor electric, gas, water and oil supplies.

The Seamless Sensing GPRS gateway, which is independent of any IT infrastructure, can support hundreds of wireless sensor modules positioned throughout a building.

The gateway provides a two-way transfer of data and communication with the Seamless Sensing web-based platform,, which users can access from any location using an Internet connection.

Dr Mellor concluded: “Through the online portal, people are able to see exactly where they are using energy – whether it be through a television, their heating or perhaps a washing machine. They can use it to control energy usage remotely. For example, a person could turn off their home heating or start their washing machine while still at work, or even whilst on holiday on the other side of the world!”

The control of home electronics through this new technology is enabled by the wireless appliance “smart plugs”, which are placed between the electrical outlet and the device or system being controlled. Smart plugs act in direct response to commands, such as on/off requests, from a smart grid through the smart meter, which is controlled through the Internet or the smart meter’s user interface.

In addition to providing people with control over the amount of power they are using, the energy management system is able to forecast energy demand based on the data collected, including previous energy consumption and local weather conditions, as well as occupancy information.

The system also considers consumer based power generation, such as solar or wind power, and is capable of prioritizing one or more devices so that energy consumption can be automatically changed to meet consumer defined energy cost or usage targets.

The wireless solutions from EnOcean draw power from their surroundings, for example from motion, light or temperature differences. This creates a fully energy-autonomous and maintenance-free solution. The energy produced in this way is sufficient to transmit a wireless signal, for instance, to turn on a light.

Use of the batteryless wireless technology not only reduces the installation costs, it also greatly simplifies any building cabling requirements since no wiring is needed at a later date, while allowing the room configuration to remain as flexible as possible.


China’s State Nuclear Electric Power Planning Design and Research Institute selects Intergraph SmartPlant Foundation

China’s State Nuclear Electric Power Planning Design and Research Institute (SNPDRI), based in Beijing, has chosen Intergraph SmartPlant Foundation and other SmartPlant solutions to manage engineering data for its AP1000 project.

As a subsidiary of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC), SNPDRI sought a standard engineering database to easily share engineering data within the organization and with SNPTC.

SNPDRI chose Intergraph’s SmartPlant Foundation because it is the world’s most proven, industry-standard engineering information management solution in the process, power and marine industries.

SmartPlant Foundation is the “e-Engineering integration hub” for SmartPlant Enterprise and will enable SNPDRI to manage its data more efficiently and ensure that valid, consistent and high-quality engineering data is shared between applications and users when and where they need it. SmartPlant Foundation, along with other solutions from the SmartPlant Enterprise suite, will be implemented company-wide across all of SNPDRI’s worldwide projects.

SmartPlant Foundation is Intergraph’s total solution for plant information management and supports global collaboration between clients, contractors and suppliers. It ensures an open, independent data storage system with secure access to protect plant information for the life of the plant, and addresses all of the design, build and operation requirements of a facility throughout the entire plant lifecycle.

Designed for phased implementation by owner operators and EPCs, ISO 15926-compliant SmartPlant Foundation encompasses a plant’s design, modifications, upgrades and refurbishment, effectively managing the evolving plant configuration from front-end engineering design to plant decommissioning. It is the only product on the market today that supports such a wide scope and yet is deployable in a modular, incremental fashion, if required.

“We are pleased to have Intergraph as our technology partner to support the growth of our power plant and nuclear conventional island business globally,” said Gai Qiqing, director at SNPDRI. “SmartPlant Enterprise integrated solutions, including SmartPlant Foundation, will enhance SNPDRI’s design processes through the effective management of high-quality engineering data for all of our projects.”

Gerhard Sallinger, Intergraph’s Power, Process & Marine president, said: “Intergraph solutions are already delivering results for State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation, and we are now successfully supporting its subsidiary’s nuclear power projects. SNPDRI’s selection of Intergraph technology reinforces Intergraph’s global leadership position in the process, power and marine industries, particularly in the nuclear power generation market.”

The industry analysts ARC Advisory Group ranked Intergraph first for overall engineering design 3D software and process engineering tools in its worldwide market analysis and forecast through 2013.


Nuclear inspection and quality control contract awarded to RBG

RBG, the leading provider of fabric maintenance and construction support to the global energy industry, has secured a multi-million pound contract to provide a range of third party vendor inspection and quality related services to a number of nuclear facilities.

The three-year contract, awarded by Magnox, Springfields, Sellafield, INS, NNL, LLWR, DSRL and RSRL, has a one-year extension option and is worth approximately £8.8m ($14.5m).

RBG will provide qualified discipline engineers, auditors and inspection personnel to ensure all decommissioned and new build works are carried out in accordance with the required standards and specifications.

The RBG team will carry out both on and offsite duties at various supplier sites worldwide. The contract will see RBG’s involvement from the initial design review of equipment through to final acceptance and installation.

RBG was awarded the contract based on its experience and its ability to adapt and customize the delivery of its services, while taking into account the highly specific requirements of the nuclear industry.

RBG’s approach included a solid transition plan, which detailed all of potential risks and corresponding steps it would take in mitigation.

Commenting on the contract, Doug Bolton, quality services manager at RBG, said: “This contract award is a fantastic achievement and testament to the hard work and commitment of all those involved.

“RBG has many years of experience in the nuclear industry but we also utilize and adapt skill sets developed in other sectors, adding significant value and flexibility to our proposition.”

RBG has been involved in the nuclear industry for over ten years, during which time it has achieved an unprecedented safety record with an estimated 100 000 man hours incident free.

As well as providing inspection personnel for both onsite and offsite works, the company has also been involved with providing the nuclear industry with non-destructive testing services.


GE to provide control valves and auxilliary systems for IGCC

GE has been awarded a contract to provide Masoneilan LincolnLog and SteamForm modulating steam control valves and auxiliary systems to Mississippi Power’s integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant in Kemper County.

Southern Company, the parent company of Mississippi Power, has placed an order including more than 50 separate turbine and process steam bypass valves, spray water control valves, pressure reducing valves and silencers.

Masoneilan bypass valves will facilitate the start-up, shut-down and trip cycles of the steam turbines as well as providing process steam to and from the gasifier. They will allow the Kemper County plant to operate more flexibly in response to fluctuating power demands.

The 582 MW IGCC power plant, owned and operated by Mississippi Power, will employ a unique high-efficiency process that utilizes lignite coal to generate electricity.

Lignite is cheaper than traditional coal and found in abundance nearby the plant. The high-moisture coal will be converted to syngas, which is then used to fuel gas turbine-generators that also drive downstream steam turbine generators.

Mississippi Power claims that the Kemper County power station, which is due to be operational in 2014, will be a “clean coal” project because it will be able to capture and sequester 60 per cent of the CO2 emitted plus most other harmful emissions.


FLSmidth Pfister celebrates Rotor Weighfeeders landmark

FLSmidth Pfister is promoting its patented Rotor Weighfeeder technology, which has proved its reliability over 25 years in more than 2300 successful installations in various application fields worldwide, including power generation.

The robust design makes the system extremely reliable, says the company accurate and reliable gravimetric feeding for direct and indirect firing and dosing for a variety of materials such as crushed coal or alternative fuels and biomass, for example

Powered by ‘ProsCon’ proactive control strategy, the flow rate is controlled to greatest stability, making it possible to achieve highest short- and long-term accuracy even within a large feed range. The Rotor Weighfeeders are fully closed, dust-tight and, if necessary, supplied in an explosion-proof design.


Solar connectors from Multi-Contact accept heavier duty cable

Multi-Contact has expanded its range of MC4 solar power connectors to include a model that accepts 10 mm2 cables.

With photovoltaic installations becoming larger, cables with greater cross-sectional area are increasingly being used because they offer lower resistance and therefore reduced power losses, particularly when they are operating at high currents.

The heavy-duty MC4 solar power connectors incorporate Multilam technology, which ensures high reliability through multiple points of contact. They can carry up to 43 A at 1000 V DC, and have an operating temperature range of -40 oC to +90 oC. Their environmental protection rating is IP67 when mated.

“These connectors are the first 10 mm2 photovoltaic connectors on the market that are certified to the latest EN 50521 standard,” said Multi-Contact UK managing director Selwyn Corns.

MC4 photovoltaic connectors include a safety clip that requires a tool to unlock. The system enables easy cabling of solar panels either at the factory or on-site.




Tapered and cylindrical bearing combination minimizes shaft displacement and vibration in wind turbine rotor shafts

A new bearing solution has been developed for supporting the main rotor shafts of wind turbines.

The combination of tapered and cylindrical roller bearings capable of angular adjustment enable extremely narrow axial guidance of the rotor shaft, which significantly reduces shaft displacement and the effects of vibration.

The solution combines the excellent characteristics of tapered roller bearings as locating bearings and cylindrical roller bearings as non-locating bearings.The housing design allows angular adjustments to be made to compensate for misalignment between the bearings.

Wind turbine main shafts are normally supported by two spherical roller bearings with separate bearing housings. These are able to compensate for shaft misalignment and support the high radial and axial loads occuring during operation.

However, spherical roller bearings require relatively high radial internal clearances on the locating bearing side. This results in axial internal clearances up to seven times higher than radial internal clearance.

If high axial loads occur at low speeds, during a sudden gust of wind for example, the spherical roller bearing moves in an axial direction. This leads to sliding movements between the rolling elements and raceway, which can damage the bearing over time.

Axial displacement must occur via the bearing housing on the non-locating bearing side. This requires significant forces that increase the load on the bearing.

Schaeffler’s new tapered roller and cylindrical bearing solution prevents high axial clearances that are found in spherical roller bearings.

Double row tapered roller bearings in ‘X’ or ‘O’ arrangements are ideal locating bearings. The bearings can be set with little clearance or even with preload. The contact angles of the rows of rolling elements in the bearing are optimally adjusted to match the load conditions.

The distribution of loads on both rows of rolling elements is therefore more uniform. The bearing supports the high axial forces acting on the shaft without any lateral sliding movement. Damage to the rolling bearings is therefore prevented and, at the same time, tighter guidance of the shaft and rotor is possible.

In the second position, a double row cylindrical roller bearing is used as the optimum non-locating bearing of the main shaft. Here the radial internal clearance is also reduced. The load distribution across the rows of cylindrical rollers is also more uniform.

Axial length compensation no longer occurs via the bearing housing, but via the rolling elements within the bearing, which means that the bearing is subject to significantly reduced loads.

An angular adjustment facility is also required for the bearing position of this arrangement in order to compensate for shaft deflections. In a conventional solution, this is normally achieved by using a spherical roller bearing.

If tapered roller bearings and cylindrical roller bearings are used, static angular misalignments are compensated for by the spherical surfaces between the outer ring and housing.

Both bearing outer rings have a spherical outside surface located in a concave bore in the housing. These spherical surfaces slide on one another, similar to spherical plain bearings. Coating the surfaces improves the sliding characteristics and prevents fretting corrosion.


RWE to equip Amsterdam with up to 750 electric vehicle charging stations in plan to boost zero emission mobility

The Dutch energy utility Essent, a wholly owned subsidiary of RWE AG, has been asked by Amsterdam City Council to deliver and install at least 125 charging stations.

The delivery may be extended for up to 750 charging points. The first charging points are due to be installed quite soon, in the first half of this year.

Amsterdam City Council has ambitious environmental targets and is planning for 10 000 electric vehicles by 2015. The city already has about 100 publicly accessible charging points, which makes Amsterdam one of Europe’s trendsetters in the introduction of electric mobility.

“This contract is very important for Essent and RWE. It’s the first time in the Netherlands that electric mobility will cover an entire city and become part of the scenery,” said Peter Terium, chief executive officer of Essent.

“The charging stations we are setting up in Amsterdam have been developed by RWE and have so far been installed in numerous European countries, including Germany, Poland, Hungary and Austria.

“After Berlin, we see Amsterdam as our second European metropolitan project where we are seeking to implement a mobility scheme for an entire city,” says Ingo Alphéus, CEO of RWE Effizienz GmbH. “Electric mobility is being promoted particularly swiftly in the Netherlands. So we can learn from our shared experiences and then apply these to other cities.”

RWE provides intelligent European-wide system solutions for electric vehicle charging facilities. RWE is already operating over 800 charging points in 14 European countries. Its customers in each country include, above all, local councils and authorities, energy utilities and fleet operators.


The Radiodetection GatorCam4 pushrod video inspection system

Radiodetection has launched the GatorCam4 pushrod video inspection system, featuring USB flash drive connectivity and ultra-robust, 25 mm and 50 mm high-resolution cameras.

The range includes the flexible Plumbers system, designed to navigate the tight bends and traps found in commercial plumbing. At the heart of the GatorCam4 system is the ruggedized and weatherproofed GatorCam4 USB controller, which records high quality digital video or images, and displays them on an ultra-bright 200 mm TFT screen.

Users can zoom, pan and rotate images during recording and playback to focus on problem areas. Still pictures can also be taken.

An operator can plug in a USB memory stick to record, store or copy inspection videos, photos and observations. The system also works with Compact Flash memory cards, or can be directly connected to a PC to transfer data.

The GatorCam4 offers a choice of two ultra-tough, high resolution, cameras constructed from stainless steel, and is capable of withstanding 11 bar of pressure, equivalent to working 100 m underwater.

Models combining focusable lenses with dramatically improved video resolution and the latest generation ultra-bright white LEDs to deliver a perfect, clear, picture in most pipe conditions. The 50 mm inch camera is self leveling, keeping the video picture upright when navigating a pipe.

The GatorCam4 Plumbers system is the ideal tool for smaller diameter plumbing inspections – and the built-in sonde can be used to pinpoint its position with a suitable cable and pipe locator.

The GatorCam4USB controller automatically organizes jobs by client, site and survey – making reporting and reviewing videos, photos and observations straightforward. The pre-installed comprehensive GatorCam4 USB reporting system can be used to quickly fill out report observations on-site; it can also produce Sewer.dat report files, with no need to plug into a computer.

The Flexisight Manager software allows the operator to import, store and manage all their digital inspection data. Comprehensive reports can also be created with the operator’s company branding. The Flexisight Manager reports can be easily customized, incorporating pipe graphics, descriptions and color-coded defect grading.

The GatorCam4 can be configured to suit most inspection needs. A range of rods is available from the extra-flexible 30 m plumbers’ reel up to the 150 m extra stiff rod designed to push for longer distances.

The cameras can be fitted to any rod and a range of compatible sondes, skids brushes and accessories completes the package, while compact reel designs ensure that the systems are fully transportable and protected.


GE introduces taller wind turbine towers to improve annual output and allow more locations to be farmed

GE has expanded its onshore wind turbine product line to include a range of taller towers.

The greater heights will enable higher annual energy production by reducing the impact of turbulence and placing the turbine in higher winds, thereby also increasing the number of potential sites that are commercially viable to farm.

The towers initially will be offered for GE’s 2.5 MW series, including the new 2.75-103 wind turbine.

These taller towers are now available with hub heights that are in excess of 130 m.

“We continuously strive to increase value for our customers. The taller tower, which will also be available for our new 2.75-103, is the next step in our evolutionary product portfolio,” said Stephan Ritter, the general manager of GE Renewable Energy Europe.

“With taller towers, more sites become attractive wind farm locations. The increased height also offers more customer value through higher winds and a reduction in the impact of turbulence resulting in higher annual energy production.”

The taller towers are made to a robust hybrid pre-cast concrete and tubular steel design. This construction is said to offer the optimal balance between customer value for money and advanced technology, while also reducing the logistical challenges of manufacturing and installing the wind turbines.

GE believes that the new tower is a particularly good fit for most densely forested areas and hillside locations that are prone to high turbulence intensity.

The new, taller wind turbine towers are initially expected to be in greatest demand in Germany, Scandinavia, Poland, Romania and Canada.


British university signs secondment agreement with Babcock

The University of Strathclyde has strengthened its links with the engineering giant Babcock International Group after signing a ground-breaking secondment agreement that will see academic and commercial experiences shared between them.

In a move that further demonstrates Strathclyde’s commitment to working in partnership with industry, the Neil Grant Secondment Scheme will provide staff, from both the university and Babcock, with the opportunity to gather knowledge in a new environment.

The news comes just weeks after the university unveiled plans for the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) at Strathclyde, a world-leading research hub that aims to encourage closer working between academia and industry.

The secondment scheme will see staff from the University participating in the life of the UK’s leading engineering support services organisation, while staff from Babcock will contribute to the academic work of a leading technological university.

It has been named after Neil Grant, a former visiting professor at the university and director with Babcock’s marine technology division, who died in December 2010. It was his vision that initiated the plans for the programme after 15 years of working together with Professor Alex Duffy of the University’s Faculty of Engineering.

Professor Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “The signing of this agreement with Babcock highlights our commitment to sharing knowledge and working in partnership with colleagues from the Scottish, UK and international business communities.

“Neil Grant made a tremendous contribution to the university and shared our vision of forging closer links between academia and industry to drive innovation and benefit the economy. We are delighted to be creating this scheme in his name as a lasting tribute to his hard work and vision.

“Our staff will benefit from hands-on industrial experience that will inform our world-class teaching and research programmes.

“In turn, Babcock employees will bring their high-level industrial expertise and knowledge to the University of Strathclyde.”

Staff from every area of the university will be eligible to participate in the secondment scheme and make contributions to projects as the company moves through a period of high activity, expansion and diversification.

It builds on the success of the BIG Academy, an executive development programme that has been run in conjunction with Strathclyde Business School, which has been undertaken by more than 400 of Babcock Marine’s senior managers over the course of the past four years.

Archie Bethel CBE, divisional chief executive of Babcock and an alumnus of the university, said: “Nurturing the next generation of engineering talent is critically important to Babcock and to the Scottish engineering industry.

“The projects on which we work are, by their very nature, long term, and if we are to compete effectively in a global marketplace in future years, we need to take responsibility now for ensuring that we have the best engineering brains we can.

“We also have a responsibility to share the experience and skills of our people with the wider community and our new, expanded association with the University of Strathclyde represents an excellent opportunity to do so.

“Neil Grant was a highly respected and valued member of Babcock’s senior team, and was an inspiration to those who worked with him and to those whose careers that he directly influenced.

“It is both fitting and a privilege to be able to name this initiative in his memory.”

Babcock staff will, as part of their career development, have the opportunity to participate in specific activities across the University. This will allow their industrial perspectives and experiences to be shared with University colleagues and students.

In turn, Babcock staff can gain a greater understanding of the nature of University business and of the varied pathways through which greater engagement and collaboration can be achieved.

Signing the agreement with Professor Jim McDonald was Babcock Marine’s chief executive, Archie Bethel CBE.

Dr Bethel received an honorary degree from Strathclyde in 2009, having first graduated from the university in 1975. He was also one of the first graduates of the University of Strathclyde’s distance learning MBA programme.


Crane provider takes an innovative approach to setting up Terex unit for St Petersburg power plant cooling tower build

Russian distributor JSC GRPM has provided a complete Terex Cranes solution to OAO Metrostroy for a major federal power station project in St Petersburg. The construction involved a 120 m wide, 150 m high cooling tower to replace an existing facility with a new generation plant.

“The CTT 331-16’s height, lifting capacity and maneuverability were an ideal match with the cooling tower’s impressive overall dimensions,” said Andrey Chukichev, equipment supplies director for St Petersburg at JSC GRPM.

From the outset, it was planned to erect the crane inside the cooling tower to take advantage of the structure’s protection against the weather. This meant finding a solution to avoid the costly process of setting-up and dismantling the crane’s 65 m boom and telescopic cage within the tower confines.

A traditional anchoring technique using steel bracing rods was not feasible, since the rods would have been too long to withstand the forces acting on the crane without buckling. The cooling tower’s walls were also not strong enough to serve as an anchor to the tie-in braces.

Tests proved that the shelter of the tower made it possible to employ only two tie-in collars instead of the usual three, resulting in reduced equipment costs and time saved during set-up and dismantling.

A system using eight pairs of 40 mm thick pre-stressed steel cable anchors, attached in two stages as the cooling structure’s wall grew higher, would be fixed on two separate levels of the crane’s tower. These were rigged at a tension of 17 t per cable to withstand the increased pressure induced by their length and inclines.

The only solution to overcome the insufficient strength of the tower’s walls was to directly fix the cables’ tie-in braces into the base perimeter of the cooling structure.

An dismantling device was specially designed for the job of shortening the jib length during set-up and dismantling, and made work safe and more comfortable within the restricted perimeter.

From March to September 2010, the CTT 331-16 worked around-the-clock, 24 hours a day, using a self-climbing framework to adjust to the structure’s increasing height.


Flowserve Valbart trunnion-mounted control ball valve helps control noise and cavitation in pipeline applications

Flowserve has introduced the Valbart trunnion-mounted control ball valve, which is designed to reduce noise, control cavitation and provide increased reliability.

The valve is designed to reduce the total cost of ownership for severe service applications in the oil and gas, chemical, liquefied natural gas and power industries.

It combines Flowserve Valbart proven trunnion-mounted ball valve design with its high-performance noise and cavitation-reducing trims.

“For customers dealing with severe service applications involving gases and liquids, noise reduction and cavitation control are extremely important,” said Tom Pajonas, president of the Flowserve flow control division. “This high-performance control valve is designed to deliver cost-effective reliability for demanding applications.”

The new valve is fully integrated with a heavy-duty actuator and a high-performance Flowserve Logix digital positioner. This configuration can also be equipped with Flowserve ValveSight advanced diagnostic technology.

The metal-seated Valbart trunnion-mounted control ball valve features a tungsten carbide-coated ball and seat, which can extend its life by enabling tight shut-off even after prolonged service.

The new design operates with zero external leakage, ensuring that the valve meets environmental standards. Due to the high rangeability and increased flow capacity, the valve is smaller in size and dimensional envelope when compared with traditional control valve offerings.

In July 2010, Flowserve announced the acquisition of Valbart, a privately owned Italian manufacturer of trunnion-mounted ball valves used primarily in the oil and gas industry. Flowserve had previously entered into a joint venture agreement with Valbart in December 2009.


Wärtsilä and Aker Solutions join forces to develop highly efficient installation vessel for offshore wind turbines

Wärtsilä and Aker Solutions are combining their fields of expertise to develop a new and environmentally sound concept for offshore wind farm installation vessels.

Wärtsilä will provide the new installation vessels with the ship design, electrical power generation, propulsion machinery and high-end automation, whilst Aker Solutions will supply the jacking system. Wärtsilä, together with Aker Solutions, will also offer a 24/7 global support service for maintenance, repairs, and component supply to the vessels.

The companies have selected technologies for this custom designed installation vessel to create a highly efficient way of setting up offshore wind power generation.

The three Wärtsilä 6L34DF and two Wärtsilä 9L20DF dual-fuel engines, which will provide main and auxiliary power for the vessel, can operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG) with low emissions.

Similarly, heat from the engine cooling system will be utilized to generate drinking water, and to supply hot water for use by the crew. The accommodation heating on board will also use the same heat source, while absorption chiller units will provide air conditioning during summer months.

Aker Solutions has applied its in-depth knowledge of the offshore drilling market to develop a continuous hydraulic jacking system for truss legs, which has been customized for high performance turbine installation vessels.

This jack system has great benefits in regard to redundancy, and has a robust design for operations in harsh environments.

The new vessel concept will be marketed as a complete package. It will fulfil the industry’s requirements for large deck space, sufficient crane capacity, year-round and all-weather operational capability and cost-efficient operating systems. It is designed for operating in the International Maritime Organization’s emission control areas (ECAs).

Riku-Pekka Hägg, vice president, Wärtsilä Ship Design, said: “This new concept is already generating significant interest among that segment of the industry involved with the installation and maintenance of offshore wind farms. There is a notable demand for a high technology, and fully integrated installation vessel design having significant environmentally sound features.

“We are delighted to be in co-operation with Aker Solutions to fill this need, which is especially significant in the North Sea area. We expect to get the first orders this year.”

The market for offshore wind farms is rapidly developing as demand for renewable energy sources increases. Since offshore wind farms in Northern Europe tend to be in shallow waters of 50 m or less in depth, jack-up vessels are used for the installation work.

At the installation site, the vessel lowers massive legs to the seabed on which the vessel is jacked-up until it is above the waves. A hydraulic grip system is used for this jack-up operation.


Scottish tidal energy generator to be fitted with innovative subsea and shore based electrical systems by Converteam 

Power conversion specialist Converteam has announced that it has been selected to supply major elements of electrical equipment for a 1 MW tidal turbine known as the HS1000.

The contract awarded by Hammerfest Strøm UK includes the subsea generator and the shore based systems, including a power converter, transformers and switchgear. The turbine will be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, off north-east Scotland, during the late summer of 2011.

After an initial test period, Hammerfest Strøm will work with Scottish Power Renewables to install a 10 MW array at Islay in 2013 utilizing the HS1000 generic design chosen by Scottish Power Renewables as their preferred device. This project will be situated in deep waters (greater than 48 metres) just south of Port Askaig in the Sound of Islay, between the islands of Islay and Jura off Scotland’s west coast.

Strøm Stein Atle Andersen, managing director of Hammerfest, said: “In 2004, at Kvalsund in northern Norway, our HS300 tidal turbine [the prototype device to the HS1000] became the first large scale tidal device to be successfully connected to the grid.

“Our criteria are to utilize proven technology, albeit in an innovative way, while at the same time applying conservative safety margins in all aspects of our design: in selecting component and system suppliers we have sought out companies with relevant expertise and a proven track record who have demonstrated their responsiveness to our demanding selection criteria.”

Steve Raynor, senior vice-president for Northern Europe at Converteam, said: “The development of tidal power systems poses a series of challenges for their designers. Converteam has many decades of experience in designing electrical equipment and systems for hostile environments, such as those found in our offshore and oil & gas markets, so we know how to mitigate those challenges particularly with respect to reliability and maintenance which are exceptionally demanding in a subsea installation.”


Dutch scientists to conduct large-scale meteorological assessment of wind resources available in the North Sea 

The wind energy department of the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) recently has been commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation to carry out a four-year meteorological measuring programme of Dutch wind resources in the North Sea.

The aim is to collect better data that can be put to use in preparing new offshore wind farms in areas that have been designated for development by the Dutch national water plan.

As wind resources are one of the most important variables in calculating the yields and commercial viability of these future farms, it is very important to collect more reliable data.

Eventually, the data should lead to higher security and fewer risks for investors, resulting in lower costs.

Wind measuring is already carried out on various platforms located in the North Sea, but the data gathered is not considered sufficiently accurate for offshore wind energy planning. For example, the measuring height of these platforms is usually too low, and so are the measuring frequencies.

To conduct these measurements, ECN will hire a meteorological tower that is going to be built by RWE this fall at a distance of about 40 nautical miles, approximately 75 km, off the coast, west of IJmuiden.

Sensors will be installed at four different heights, between 30 m and 100 m, which measure and record wind speed, wind direction, temperature and pressure fluctuations.

To be able to design safe and cost efficient foundations for wind turbines in the future, the meteorological tower will also be used for measuring sea currents and wave data.

In addition, plans are being made to install a Lidar system on Lichteiland Goeree, located 16 nautical miles southwest of Hoek van Holland. With this system wind measurements can be conducted by means of laser beams that are invisible to the eye.

All measurements will be collected in a database that will be available to the public. Moreover, the outcome of the research will be used in the research and development programme of the Far and Large Offshore Wind (FLOW) consortium.

The FLOW project was started in 2009 by the Dutch companies and knowledge institutes Essent-RWE, Eneco TenneT, Ballast Nedam, Van Oord, IHC Merwede, 2-B Energy, XEMC Darwind, ECN and Delft University of Technology.

On this occasion, the partners constructed a business plan that enables the parties involved to take a leading position in the European market for offshore wind farms.

Next to opportunities for additional employment, it is in the interest of the Dutch government that the European targets for renewable energy (14 per cent in 2020) are realized, part of which will rely on the contribution of offshore wind energy.

The objective of the FLOW Plan is to realize a cost reduction of 20 per cent for Far Shore wind energy in 2015 (compared to 2010).

Worldwide knowledge and experience with wind farms that are located far from the shore and in deep waters is still limited.

FLOW aims to increase the reliability of this type of wind farm, to accelerate the development and at the same time to lower the risks and costs.


GE Energy launches cost-conscious transformer warning solution aimed at monitoring important, but less critical, grid assets

GE has launched the Intellix GLA 100, a cost-effective transformer warning solution using dissolved gas-in-oil analysis (DGA), tailored for monitoring less critical transformers.

With the Intellix GLA 100, utilities, operators and industrial users can now cost-effectively extend their transformer monitoring strategy to include a broader range of transformer assets – further decreasing the chance of unplanned outages and improving reliability.

“Transformers are key and expensive components of the electrical grid – knowledge of their health condition is essential for a reliable network,” said Eamonn Whelan, product line leader for monitoring and diagnostic products at GE Energy Services. “Currently, there are approximately 300 000 significant transformers worldwide that are unmonitored.

“With the GLA 100, we are responding to customer feedback that requested robust, basic DGA capability tailored for less critical yet still important assets in the grid. GE now offers monitoring solutions suitable for the largest power transformers to smaller distribution pad-mounted units and even to oil-filled instrument transformers.”

The Intellix GLA 100 is a compact, lightweight device, easily installed on a 25 mm valve. It continually monitors key fault gas and triggers an alarm if it reaches a preset level.

Two levels of alarms can be set, with outputs in the form of colored light indicators at the transformer and SPDT relays through to control rooms. Alarm levels can be set or changed without the need of a computer or interfacing software, and the device comes ready to use with default settings.

The Intellix GLA 100 provides the ideal solution for users who want to expand their coverage to a broader range of transfomer assets.

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